Just two months removed from his first 1,000-yard season, rumors are flying concerning Cowboys running back Julius Jones.
Could this former Notre Dame star actually be on the trading block? According to at least one published report, the Cowboys are looking over their options.
But dive into this potential deal a little bit deeper, TheRanchReport.com first examines the source and literal text of the article in question:
The Cowboys aren't exactly shopping running back Julius Jones, but they've told teams that have inquired about him that he's for sale for the right price. Cowboys owner-GM Jerry Jones apparently is prepared to hitch his wagon to the team's other young running back, Marion Barber. Jones, who rushed for 1,084 yards, had just 65 carries in Dallas' final six regular-season games, but played well in the playoff loss to Seattle, rushing for 112 yards on 22 carries.
Why would the Cowboys dump Jones, the starter in favor of back up Marion Barber? Why would the Cowboys break up what's proven to be one of the top 1-2 running back tandems in the NFL?
Sure, it's easy to fall in love with Barber and his 14 touchdowns from a year ago but wouldn't it be foolish to break these two up given their total production in 2006?
Combined, Julius Jones and Marion Barber rushed for over 1,700 yards and scored 18 touchdowns. At times, Jones was the workhorse. Later in the season, it was Barber who proved to be more effective in the ground game.
Why do anything to break that kind of production up? 1,700 yards and 18 touchdowns?
It makes no sense.
Simply put, TheRanchReport.com believes the Cowboys should not get rid of Julius Jones, unless the deal of the century comes along.
Make that a Herschel Walker kind of deal.
If some team wants to pony up a first round draft pick and a few future picks, then by all means, investigate a deal.
But if not, forget about it.
The Cowboys have too good of a thing going in a league that demands two quality running backs per team.
Losing either Barber or Jones hurts the overall effectiveness of the ground game, and that's the last thing the Cowboys need headed into the 2007 season.
In addition, shouldn't there be bigger concerns with this team at this point in the offseason? What about free safety? What about the offensive line or an aging wide receiver corp?
The Cowboys, like any team in the National Football League, have their share of problems and running back is not one of them. Don't create another problem by trading away your only 1,000 yard rusher from a year ago.