It seems Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle may soon have some added competition for the top spot on the Dallas Cowboys running back depth chart. Fred Jackson, recently released by the Buffalo Bills, reportedly holds interest in the Cowboys running back job and Dallas, per a report from Mike Ortiz Jr. of ESPN and CBS Sports, feels very much the same. According to Ortiz, "mutual interest" exists between the Cowboys and Jackson.
At 34, Jackson is no spring chicken and no longer the player who managed to post over 1,000-yards rushing in five out of the ten seasons he spent in upstate New York. That being said, he's a versatile, capable back who knows how to carry the load, but also split reps with other players, something he did to great effect in Buffalo. He even led the Bills last season in rushing and receptions - no small feat despite the limited nature of the offense and the lack of output from the quarterback position.
Jackson, as Ortiz notes, was born in Fort Worth, TX and played his high school football in Arlington. While McFadden gave a couple of glimpses for hope in the Cowboys preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, he's not the same kind of well-established threat Dallas boasted from the position last year with DeMarco Murray. Between McFadden, Randle and Lance Dunbar, the Cowboys do seem to have enough skill and athleticism to make the offensive engine run, but there's no denying that a player like Jackson, even at his advanced age, would immediately upgrade the group and bring a strong, professional veteran presence to the Dallas offense.
As Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports noted early Monday, that Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones don't seem to be bluffing when it comes to their running back-by-committee approach. Jones, who said after the Vikings game, "If they're healthy, I'll take the skill and what [McFadden, Randle, Dunbar] can bring to our offense. I'll take that and go against the Giants and won't ask for any more," likely means what he's saying, the availability of an established talent like Jackson has to at least give him pause and, if Ortiz's report is accurate, may eventually result in a further addition to the Dallas offense.