IRVING, Texas -- With the expected return of cornerback Mike Jenkins to the game-day roster Sunday in Seattle, a trickle-down effect could take place as far as kick returns are concerned.
Claiborne has been lined up as the deep returner with Phillip Tanner and Dwayne Harris as the offset returners. The Cowboys still value Jones; coach Jason Garrett says the backup running back still has a role on the team.
When Jenkins makes his season debut, he's expected to play on special teams and take snaps from Claiborne on defense. Jenkins said he hasn't had an extensive conversation with the coaching staff yet regarding his playing status for Sunday.
The Cowboys want to get their playmakers on the field as much as possible so if Claiborne gets fewer snaps on defense, he could get some on special teams and take Jones off the field.
Claiborne said he felt comfortable returning kicks the last two days in practice. At LSU, he averaged 25.4 yards a kick return and returned one 99 yards for a score against West Virginia.
So if Jones is taken off kick returns, he could see more opportunities to run the ball. However, in the season-opening victory over the New York Giants, Jones didn't get any carries, the third time that's happened in his career, and was targeted twice on passing plays. Jones had no carries or catches.
Of course, this could all change when the Cowboys visit Seattle on Sunday, but it's interesting to watch how the team brings all these pieces together.