SAN DIEGO -- Running back Felix Jones missed the entire offseason program as he recovered from shoulder surgery and then when he was cleared to practice failed the mandatory conditioning test to start training camp.
After he finally passed the test, he showed glimpses of his burst and lateral movement in practices. His overall camp, however, has been inconsistent.
In two preseason games, Jones has dropped two passes and has been just OK running the ball.
Saturday night against the Chargers, Jones rushed for 10 yards on three carries, including one for eight yards.
It seems Jones is still trying to find a rhythm after missing the offseason camp.
"He's still getting there," coach Jason Garrett said. "The big thing you have to remember about Felix is he wasn’t in the offseason program very much because of his shoulder injury, and it's less about the conditioning test and more about just coming back from that injury and having been off the field and away from our team so much in the offseason."
The Cowboys want to use Jones in the passing and return game more this season. He's projected as one of the main kick returners when the regular season starts, and the Cowboys want to use him on swing passes and dump-offs.
But he's dropped two passes and hasn't returned any kicks yet in the preseason.
"He's got good hands," Garrett said. "He certainly catches the ball well. You don’t want to overdo (drops). We have to be able to throw and catch and we have to be able to make the makeable plays on a consistent basis, certainly the veteran playrs that we can count on."
Jones is a former first-round pick entering the final year of his contract. Last year, he lost the starting running back spot to DeMarco Murray, and it doesn't appear the Cowboys want to extend him long-term.
Early in training camp, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones did say he's open to an extension for the running back. But after an uneven training camp, Felix Jones most likely needs to pick things up.
"He has to continue to play and practice hard and get himself in physical shape to play football," Garrett said. "But I think he looks good. He looks like he has some quickness and some burst. It was good to see him out there for a few snaps."