OXNARD, Calif. — Don't expect to see Ronald Jones when the Dallas Cowboys take the field to open their preseason schedule against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, Aug. 12. The veteran running back is dealing with a groin injury suffered roughly one week prior and he's yet to return to practice as he works to recover from it.
It's unlikely he'll participate in padded practice on Thursday, either, and head coach Mike McCarthy said if Jones is held out of the final practice preceding the contest, the Cowboys will not allow him to suit up at AT&T Stadium.
That kicks the door open for the other young(er) RBs on the roster to eat.
"I don't think it'll be a challenge at all [to manage the rep counts], especially now that RoJo's not gonna be going on Saturday — unless something changes big time here in the next 24-36 hours," said McCarthy. "I think there will be plenty for all those guys."
This makes for a spicy mix to come in the evaluation of Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis, Deuce Vaughn and Hunter Luepke — each having drawn high praise from McCarthy and the Cowboys coaching staff thus far in camp.
Luepke, listed as a fullback, will get plenty of work with the running backs on Saturday, McCarthy stated. The intrigue of his flexibility in addition to that of Vaughn's could make for quite the show, and the battle of Dowdle versus Davis is already at full tilt and, without Jones in uniform, has a chance to really take off as early as Saturday.
Let the games begin.