Well, this game certainly has a different feel than it did last year, doesn't it? No longer is Julius Jones at the center of the conversation, looking to prove that he's the best RB in the league in spite of all facts and salaries pointing elsewhere. Jones talked big last year before heading into Dallas on Thanksgiving, entering with a chip on his shoulder the size of Jerry Jones' wallet. He stepped onto the field and, with the authority of a government agent and the hands of an infant, fumbled twice while running for about one yard.
Jones has, wisely, been a different player this week. Gone is the mohawk, gone is the boisterous pre-game chat, gone is the coach that never really wanted him or trusted him. But that chip? Oh, it hasn't moved an inch.
I'm looking forward to a big game for Julius this weekend. If Damion McIntosh can prove himself a decent fill-in for the seventeen other left tackles we've played since week one, I think there is a good chance our line gives us a shot to win. Rob Sims should be back, Chris Spencer has played well, and Unger and Willis have been solid (though not dazzling). So, let's protect the quarterback, yes, but lets also run the ball down their dang throats.
Julius Jones wants to make them sorry, now more than ever. He wants to redeem himself to the fans he left behind (he did have fans, really, he did). He wants to show the Cowboys that they are worse off without him, even if they do have a solid stable of backs.
Unfortunately, he hasn't really proven that to Seattle fans yet, either. This game is, in a lot of ways, a make or break game for Julius Jones' career. Sure, he'll have good weeks and bad weeks, and that's okay, but when the pressure is on does he break a 60-yarder or does he fumble on the three? Does he turn the corner or get stopped for a loss? Does he prove he's worth $5 million a year or does he inspire the front office to get their scouts out to Clemson, Georgia Tech and USC?
Photo courtesy of Tacoma News Tribune