Only 10 days ago former first-round draft pick Felix Jones was losing his bid for the Eagles' running back job.

Not the starting job — the No. 3 job. He trailed not only starter LeSean McCoy but also backups Chris Polk and Bryce Brown.

Now in a curious twist that resulted from a rare Steelers trade Jones temporarily may have secured a position in Pittsburgh with a team that is expected to be better than the Eagles.

Remarkably it's the starting job.

Coach Mike Tomlin hasn't made it official. But it appears Jones — whose NFL future was in doubt earlier this month — might start the Steelers' opener Sept. 8 against Tennessee as rookie Le'Veon Bell remains out with a mid-foot sprain.

Jones a disappointment during most of his five-season Cowboys career appeared to vault ahead of Jonathan Dwyer the idle Isaac Redman and LaRod Stephens-Howling by running for 56 yards on 14 carries during a 25-10 preseason loss at Carolina on Thursday night.

That effort along with a 29-yard performance the week before against the Chiefs that occurred after he had only one ballroom walk-through in which to learn the plays clearly impressed Tomlin.
“I thought Felix Jones helped himself” Tomlin said. “I thought his pedigree showed. His natural run instincts showed. We'll just continue to look at it and go through the process in the proper manner.”
Asked if he thought he might start Jones said “We'll see how things go. ... You've got to let things play out.”

Jones has had only two full practices with the Steelers but he is the most accomplished of their running backs and might have the best upside to start the season. He has 2728 yards and a 4.8-yard career average that was brought down slightly by last season's 3.6-yard average.

But he was bothered throughout his Cowboys by injuries from a hamstring to an ankle to a shoulder.
So just as the Steelers chose not to bring back former first-rounder Rashard Mendenhall who was drafted one spot away from Jones the Cowboys elected not to re-sign the 26-year-old after Jones ran for 402 yards last season despite making seven starts.

“It's definitely frustrating” the 5-foot-10 215-pound Jones said. “I don't want to dwell on that. It can hold you back. What I like to do is keep working and give it all I've got. It's the mindset you have to keep pushing on.”

He signed with the Eagles but never seemed to fit in there and was in danger of being cut before he was dealt to the Steelers for linebacker Adrian Robinson who also might have been cut.