ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Running back Felix Jones #28 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Down the stretch of the 2009 season, Felix Jones grew into an increased role in the offense.
Through week 13 at New York, the Arkansas-product had had just one career game of ten or more attempts; from week 14 on, he never had less than ten, a stretch punctuated with a 16-carry, 148-yard performance against Philadelphia in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
This was an organic development, precipitated by (a) Marion Barber slowing down visibly late in the season and (b) Jones, for the first time in his career, showing that he could stay healthy for a sustained period of time. It is this sort of natural development that Stephen Jones is banking on to eventually sort out Dallas's jumbled backfield.
"Usually those things take care of themselves," Jones said Thursday, per ESPNDallas.com. "They play themselves out. Very rarely does it not crystallize for you."
The roles of the respective running backs may change indeed, but don't count on any new faces in the mix--or, for that matter, any old faces out of the mix. Stephen Jones continued, to the chagrin of those who want to see a trade, that he expects all three runners to return in 2010.
"I can tell you right now I don't see it a whole lot different than last year," Jones said. "All of these guys have gotten opportunities to help us win games. That will continue to be the case."