“The Cowboys should explore whether a fourth-or fifth-round pick is available for the former first-round pick, writes Watkins. “The team doesn’t trust Jones to become a 20-down back in the NFL.”
Jones is entering the final year of his rookie contract which is one of the reasons why Watkins suggests that the team should consider dealing him for a fourth or fifth-round pick. On top of that, he sees Phillip Tanner as an adequate backup for Jones that can help the team on special teams as well.
I can understand why Watkins suggests possibly trading Jones but the fact that he’ll only be 25 at the start of the 2012 and he’s due a meager $1.17 million next season, makes him more a valuable asset to the team next season. Dallas could very well be in contention for the NFC East title and DeMarco Murray went down with a serious injury of his own last season. The Cowboys would be gambling that Murray will be able to stay healthy for the entire season while keeping a largely unproven commodity in Tanner as their backup plan. Jones has been very productive when healthy and has shown plenty of ability on the field so it makes more sense to keep him than it does to trade him for a mid-round draft pick. Keep in mind that if the Cowboys allow him to leave next season, they’ll most likely get a fourth or fifth-round compensatory pick in return for him anyway’s.