Living Legends: Where are they now?
Former Arkansas running back and Dallas Cowboys tailback Felix Jones isn’t currently in the league, but he hasn’t officially retired.
The former first-team All-SEC performer and first round draft pick still believes he a back of service to an NFL organization.
“I know something is going to happen, I have a gut feeling,” Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning-News in June. “I just have to stayed prepared for it.”
Jones had a standout career for the Razorbacks, teaming up with Darren McFadden and Peyton Hillis in a backfield for which no team in the SEC had an answer. A first-time offensive coordinator named Gus Malzahn put Jones and his battery mates in all kinds of formations leading one of the most prolific running games in the past decade.
The 22nd overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft rushed for nearly 3,000 yards in five seasons with the Cowboys. After being released in 2013, Jones bounced around in the 2014 NFL preseason before being cut.
Still, the 27-year-old Tulsa, Okla., native is doing his best to stay in NFL shape, even though he doesn’t know when his next opportunity may come.
“Everyday just grind, it’s a grind,” Jones said. “Get out there and stay focused and stay on top of things and do the things you know how to do. [I have] to stay focused and ready.”
Jones was a staple back in the league in the mid-2000s. The game is changing, and running backs are being used in increasingly different ways in an increasingly passing league.
Running backs already have the shortest career span of any position in football, and now with the game changing at such a rapid pace — and with a greater concern about safety — turnover at the position is as high as ever.
“It’s very difficult, but you know you gotta make adjustments on the run,” Jones said. “That’s what I did and it’s an experience I will always have. It’s an enjoyable experience that I had.”
Should Jones receive the call, though, he knows he can still have an impact.
“I played the game for a few years,” Jones said. “I kinda got the hang for what’s going on in the NFL at my position. i know I can teach younger guys. Obviously I still got some gas in my motor.”
Even though Jones still desires to play, he’s enjoying the freed up time from a demanding career. He spends more time with his family and has engaged in charity work in the greater Tulsa area.
“That time that i would have [dedicated to the NFL], I can be with my family and experience things a little bit more.”