The Dallas Cowboys just picked up former draft pick, Darius Jackson, after he was cut from Cleveland. Is this a chance for Dallas to right a wrong?
Two years ago the Dallas Cowboys infuriated the fanbase when they waived everyone’s pet cat, Darius Jackson, halfway through his rookie season. Jackson, a 2016 sixth round pick, dazzled fans with a strong preseason, making visions of a Zeke/Jackson 1-2 punch dance in our heads.
Sadly, the Cowboys had other ideas. Despite Jackson’s enormous potential, they opted for the unspectacularly reliable when they essentially chose to give Darren McFadden Jackson’s roster spot. McFadden would go on to carry the rock for a whopping 87 yards and Jackson (and his three years under team control) walked out the door for nothing.
Fast-forward to today and you have one of those rare opportunities to right a wrong.
You see, things didn’t work out in Cleveland. Instead of lighting the NFL on fire like many of us thought would happen, Jackson’s career was frozen by injuries. And it seems now Cleveland finally got sick of waiting, waiving him on Thursday, and paving his way to rejoin the team that drafted him.
Same Place – Much Different Situation
Darius Jackson rejoins the Dallas Cowboys in a much different situation this time around. Gone are the progress-stopping veterans Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. Instead, Jackson will primarily face off with Rod Smith, 26, and rookie seventh rounder, Bo Scarsbrough, 22.
If Darius Jackson can prove his mettle, he’ll get a job. Rod Smith probably has the RB2 nailed down but RB3 is wide open. Scarsbrough is far from assured a roster spot (more on him in a later column), so Jackson will get a chance to pick up where he left off two preseasons ago.
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Second Chance – Same Massive Potential
Some may be wondering, what’s the big deal about a sixth round pick who couldn’t even make the roster of the worst team in the NFL?
It’s a valid question and it’s why, even as one of Darius Jackson’s longest supporters, I recommend tempered expectations. But in case you forgot…
Darius Jackson, 6’1” 220lbs, is a big guy with big-time speed. Clocked with a 4.35 second 40-time, Jackson is one of the fastest players on the Dallas Cowboys. He has the speed to burn you and the size to truck you – a common theme amongst the ball carriers here in Dallas.
Although it’s been a while, he’s shown the ability to perform in a zone blocking scheme as well as a power blocking scheme. Jackson’s pSPARQ score (an athletic score that combines his measurements in speed, power, quickness and agility) was 149.4. That’s the third highest in his draft class and places him in one of the top percentiles in the entire NFL.
Darius Jackson could provide dominant depth to the run-heavy 2018 Dallas Cowboys. He’s capable of shouldering the load or chipping in as a role player. Will the Cowboys finally give him a chance to develop? Yes, but only if he stays healthy and earns it.