The Dallas Cowboys are thin at the running back position, and Steven Jackson is still looking for work. The league’s current active leader in career rushing yards used Twitter to express interest in signing with “America’s Team,” and the Cowboys should at least bring him in for a visit.
Jackson tweeted a gorgeous shot of AT&T Stadium on Thursday night with the words “Attn: @DallasCowboys” as his text.
This was a not-so-subtle attempt at using social media to let the Cowboys know he’s still available for work, and it remains to be seen if Dallas has any interest at this time.
Jackson is one of the greatest power running backs in NFL history. He has accomplished many things on an individual level but has never been part of a team that did big things in the playoffs, having gone to the postseason just once in 11 years. He still believes he has a lot to offer but doesn’t want to spend his final days in the league teaching young players what it takes to win:
“I don’t want to go to a team that is rebuilding and needs me to come on and teach guys how to be professional,” Jackson said back in May, via ESPN.com. “I want to be part of a winning team because when I do hang up my cleats, I can see a lot of people holding that over my head when a lot of it was out of my control.”
Dallas has assembled a roster that is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. After letting DeMarco Murray leave via free agency, however, the running back position is very much up in the air this summer.
Two of the players who were supposed to help the team make up for the loss of Murray are already not available. The Cowboys signed oft-injured former Oakland Raiders back Darren McFadden, who was instantly placed on the PUP list to open camp with a hamstring issue. Additionally, Ryan Williams was just placed on the injured reserve list while he recovers from his own injury as well.
Keeping a positive outlook (always), Jerry Jones is currently pinning his hopes on Joseph Randle to “be the No. 1 back” for the Cowboys this year.
Jerry Jones expresses confidence that Joseph Randle can step in and be "the No. 1 back."
— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) July 29, 2015
Randle may well step in and be amazing for the Cowboys this year. However, he’s not a pile-pusher and isn’t known for his power around the goal line, and Dallas doesn’t have anyone right now to fill that role.
Enter the veteran Jackson, who could immediately provide such a service for the Cowboys.
Given his advanced age, miles of wear and tear and stated goal of being “a part of a winning team,” there’s little doubt Jackson would be fine with coming into Dallas and playing behind Randle, provided he was being given opportunities to contribute.
In limited action the past two years with the Atlanta Falcons, Jackson still managed to punch the pigskin into the end zone 12 times, and he lost zero footballs on the ground during that time.
Dallas has the cap space right now to easily sign Jackson to a short-term deal worth a couple million. After signing Dez Bryant to his long-term contract, the team has over $17 million in cap space, per ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Jackson would not only be a productive player in short-yardage and goal-line situations for the Cowboys, but his presence in the locker room and during film study as a proven leader would only further accentuate his value.
Dallas should at the least bring in the veteran back for a tryout. If he’s healthy and ready to roll, then Jones shouldn’t hesitate to sign Jackson for the 2015 season.
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