Seeing Double

McCluster had 40 kickoff returns at Ole Miss, but none in the last two seasons.

Safety? Defensive end? Wide receiver?

But what about running back? That's always a tricky position because you don't know how healthy these guys will be, and the future of players such as Choice and Barber are somewhat unclear. Yes, they're going to be here this year, but after that . . . who really knows.

Again, this all goes back to Felix. Whether or not he starts, we all know he's going to get the rock. Give me a backup that at least has a resemblance.

In 2008, Felix played six games as a rookie. He had 30 carries for 266 yards and three touchdowns. That's an 8.9 average per carry if you're wondering. He had 16 kickoff returns, averaging 27.9 a pop, with a 98-yard touchdown.

But when he went out in that Arizona game with a hamstring injury and then eventually missed the whole season when he needed toe surgery, the Cowboys never could replace his firepower.

Felix has juice that is hard to duplicate. There may be a few guys out there that are close, but if they can do something else, too, I think it's worth the draft pick.

Like I mentioned before, that player MUST be able to contribute somewhere else. The problem with McCluster is that we've all just pegged him as a third-down back who can return kicks. OK, sounds good. But he didn't really return kicks in college. McCluster has 10 career punt returns (and only two in his last two seasons) for a 7.1 yard average. McCluster did have 40 kickoff returns but all as a freshman and sophomore. And his longest return was just 39 yards with a 19.7 average.

And yes, he practiced returning at the Senior Bowl, but apparently it wasn't anything to get too excited about.

Now, it's been reported that Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones were discussing McCluster at the scouting combine in Indy. Does that mean they like him? Who knows for sure, but it sounds like the Cowboys do have some interest in McCluster, who is being projected as a second-round pick. That might be a little too high for the Cowboys, but if he were to somehow fall into the third round or so, that might be a different story.

And for what I'm talking about, it probably doesn't need to be anything higher than a third-round pick, unless the Cowboys were able to trade back into the late second-round area.

Obviously, Clemson's C.J. Spiller has the skills we're talking about, but it'll be a shock if he's not taken in the first 15 picks.

But what about guys like Cal's Jahvid Best, who has first-round talent, but some injury concerns might drop him into the second round. Or maybe USC tailback Joe McKnight or Florida's Brandon James. And if you're just looking for a return specialist, the smurf-types of Trindon Holiday of LSU or Kansas State's Brandon Banks might be able to provide some instant-excitement as both return specialists and maybe on offense.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying go out and find another Felix Jones. That's almost impossible. But if you can find a player in the same mold AND (don't forget the "and" here) can have a role on this team to contribute on game days, then I think it makes perfect sense.

The Cowboys are counting on Felix Jones this year more than ever. So having someone who resembles his skills wouldn't be such a bad investment.

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