A-Train Headed to Dallas

Anthony Thomas was unhappy backing up Thomas Jones, so he decided to play behind his brother, Julius, in Dallas.

Thomas signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys on Monday. He hoped to find a starting job in free agency, but he didn't receive any guarantees on the open market and had to settle for a supporting role.

Carries in Dallas may be scarce because Julius Jones had a huge second half of his rookie campaign for the Cowboys. He rushed 803 yards and seven touchdowns during the final 7 games of the season.

The Bears saw first hand what Julius Jones can do, as he rushed for 150 yards during the team's 21-7 loss to Dallas on Thanksgiving.

The Cowboys also drafted Marion Barber in the fourth round of last month's draft.

Over his four-year stint in Chicago, Thomas rushed for 3,332 yards, which ranks fifth in team history.

Thomas, a second round pick out of Michigan in 2001, burst onto the scene winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award with a franchise rookie rushing record of 1,183 yards. He added a second 1,000-yard rushing campaign in 2003.

When the Bears signed Thomas Jones to a four-year contract last off-season, Thomas' days in Chicago were numbered.

Despite the fact that the Bears were 4-0 when Thomas was the team's leading rusher, he had less than 200 carries for the first time in his career. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder rushed for 404 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games last season.

Back in Chicago, Thomas Jones may find himself in a similar situation to Thomas. The selection of Cedric Benson with the fourth pick in the draft is a clear signal the Bears expect him to be the starter in short order.

Although Lovie Smith has publicly stated Thomas Jones remains atop the depth chart, to justify the selection of Benson, he must rise to starting status.

Thomas Jones had never started more than nine games before last season, in which he was limited to one carry during a three-game stretch because of a toe injury.

The most likely scenario will be for Thomas Jones to become a change of pace and third down back behind Benson.

Offensive coordinator Ron Turner will also look for opportunities to use both backs on the field at the same time.

"I think in time, as Cedric and Thomas both of them get more comfortable with what we're doing with the offense, I think that's something that definitely could work," Turner said.

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