Plenty of Competition

Julius Jones will find himself with plenty of competition once he returns to the field next weekend.

The decision to release running back Anthony Thomas is a clear indication that injured running back Julius Jones will back in action when the Cowboys play the Eagles on Nov. 14, following the Nov. 6 bye.

Jones' return to action after an ankle sprain doesn't mean he will resume his previous role

as the team's primary ball carrier. Rookie Marion Barber's emergence against the Seahawks and Cardinals demands that he continue to get carries.

And Cowboys coach Bill Parcells plans to continue to use Barber and fellow rookie Tyson Thompson.

Barber became the first Cowboy to rush for 100 yards in 2005 when he ran for 127 and two touchdowns against the Cardinals. Thompson is averaging 4.1 yards per carry in limited duty.

"We've got a couple of guys now with a little more experience than they had before (Julius left)," Parcells said. "It has helped us create a little

better situation at the position." Considering Jones' injury history - he has missed 11 games the past two seasons - the Cowboys felt they needed a little more depth and insurance at the position. Parcells doesn't want to question Jones' toughness or call him injury prone. He calls it bad luck for now.

What is certain is that the NFL doesn't cancel games because your running back is out, and the Cowboys needed someone else to rely on. Besides having Jones split time with Barber will help keep him healthy.

"You can't have enough running backs," Parcells said. "You can't have enough. No number is too many ... If you really study professional football closely and just take the last five years, just go look at it and see how many teams really have the same guy in place, and is productive. It is just a very difficult position to play and sustain production, and it's a very physically demanding position.

"Now, hey, Julius had a little bad luck last year, some guy falls on his ankle here ... I'm not ready to (question him). So you don't know what it is, but all you can do is tell those kids how to train, and what to do, and that they have to squat and clean and lift weights on Mondays after they've had 27 carries. They have to do it, or else it just wears them down, so we'll see where it goes."

Parcells expects Jones to be ready for the Eagles game. He will start if he is 100 percent healthy.

CowboysHQ Top Stories