The Dallas Cowboys’ RB depth was bolstered Tuesday when the team inked a one-year deal with Ronald Jones II. This is a homecoming for Jones who attended McKinney North High School, located about 30 miles northeast of Dallas.
The monetary details of Jones’ contract haven’t been released.
After releasing Ezekiel Elliott earlier this month, Dallas was left with two RBs on the roster: Tony Pollard and Malik Davis. Since then, the team has re-signed Rico Dowdle and brought in an external free agent in Jones.
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Jones was a 2nd round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with the Buccaneers and had a career-best season in 2020 when he recorded 978 rushing yards, 165 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Jones then joined the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2022 season, but got lost in the shuffle of a deep RB room. Jones played in only six games and got 17 touches for 70 yards and one touchdown.
The former USC Trojan is a two-time Super Bowl champion, which should bring helpful insight to a Cowboys squad that has struggled getting over the postseason hump.
Is Ronald Jones Over The Hill?
Based on Jones’ lack of touches and production in 2022, one may assume he’s washed up and this signing won’t be significant for Dallas. But there’s more to know beyond his surface-level stats from last year.
After Leonard Fournette became the Bucs RB1 in 2021, leaving fewer touches for Jones, many thought a season in Kansas City would revitalize Jones’ career. But as we mentioned, the Chiefs RBs had some extremely productive performances that most didn’t anticipate.
Isiah Pacheco was a 7th round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he wound up earning Kansas City’s RB1 job. He finished his rookie campaign with 960 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.
RB2 was Jerick McKinnon who had 803 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. Rounding out the group was Clyde Edwards-Helaire with 453 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns.
Jones simply got lost in the shuffle in Kansas City. But it’s important to note Jones is only 25 years old and took just 38 offensive snaps in 2022. He should be plenty fresh for next season, and if the Cowboys roll with the current RB group, then he should get a better opportunity to win the RB2 job in training camp.
Will the Cowboys Still Draft A Running Back?
Cowboys fans have been buzzing about the possibility of selecting Texans Longhorns RB Bijan Robinson with the 26th pick of the 1st round, as Dallas is high on the Bijan Robinson draft odds board.
At this point, it seems a trade-up into the mid-teens would be necessary to draft Robinson. And according to Pro Football Focus, Robinson is the only RB to receive a 1st round grade in this draft. So if Dallas maintains the 26th pick and Robinson is off the board, it would be a reach to select a RB.
However, that doesn’t rule Dallas out of taking a RB after round 1. Pollard is the only proven commodity at RB for the Cowboys right now. There’s hope Jones can return to form, but drafting a RB would provide a safety net if things don’t work out.
It would be wise to snag a ball carrier in the mid-rounds of the draft and create a training camp competition for a spot on the 53-man roster.