PROSE and CONS > Eddie George vs Julius Jones, RB, Dal
Thursday, September 02, 2004 - Scot Porter
Scot takes a look at the battle for carries in Big D.
Eddie George has defined the term warhorse for his entire career with Houston Oilers/Tennesse Titans. Although he has averaged over 3.9 yards-per-carry three times in those eight years, the Titans philosophy was, simply, feed Eddie the ball. He has racked up an amazing amount of carries in those years and, to his credit, has never missed a game due to injury. As I said, he’s a warhorse.
Well, warhorse just isn’t going to cut it anymore as an every down back as the Titans made apparent by asking him to take a pay cut and then releasing him. Such is life in the NFL…here today, released tomorrow. Picked up by the Cowboys shortly before camps opened, he seemed like he was brought in to be the man in Big D. I know Bill Parcells wishes that he can plug Eddie in there and not have to worry about the running game. Sorry to say, Bill is just not going to be able to stand by and watch Eddie run smack into the backs of his offensive linemen and fall forward for the entire year. As much as the Tuna like his veterans, he also knows when to make a move and to change what is not working.
Three games in to the 2004 pre-season I think he already knows it. Even to the most casual observer, it is apparent that rookie Julius Jones is the man that should be getting the lion’s share of carries. While George is strictly a North-South runner, Jones is able to make the cuts that George can’t. Dallas already has one guy in the backfield that can’t get out of his own way (Testaverde). They don’t need two.
A lot of football experts were a bit perplexed when the Cowboys, having a gaping hole in their backfield, opted out of taking consensus #1 running back on the board, Steven Jackson, and grabbed Notre Dame’s Julius Jones in this years draft. I thought the ‘Boys would be giggling like schoolgirls when Jackson had slipped down the draft to them. “Tuna must know something” everyone said. Jones immediately became a huge target on everyone’s fantasy radar. The Cowboys, for whatever reason (most likely Jerry Jones’ reason) then jumped on Eddie George when the Titans released him in turn effecting Jones’ value. Now, after showing the reason why the Titans became a passing team, and then eventually releasing him, it is obvious to everyone that George just doesn’t have it anymore. Jones’ quickness, ability to break big plays and his ability to receive are just too much to overlook.
George is still going before Jones in most all drafts (for sentimental reasons I can only assume) but it is Jones that should be the Cowboy running back you want. I do not recommend George at all, but if you do, make sure you have Jones to handcuff to him (although, in reality, it is the other way around as to who is handcuffed to whom). If Jones in still out there in the late 6th-early 7th round, grab him. If George is still out there in those rounds, pass on him.