No doubt about that. Jones was a redshirt freshman expecting to spend the season learning and waiting and backing up Sam Bradford. Then, the Heisman Trophy winner busted his shoulder and Jones was the man at Oklahoma.
“You try to tell guys (to be ready), but you don't ever know,” Monken said. “Every other position sees it that way. Every other position would say, ‘I'm a backup, and I'm going to get to play, and I'm going to prepare.' But at quarterback, it's almost like, ‘I'm never going to play.'”
“You just don't ever know.”
“In a single play,” he said, “your life can change.”
During preseason camp as a redshirt freshman, Staley was impressing everyone. He was climbing the depth chart. He was pushing for playing time. He was going to be another great Cowboy running back.
Then during a scrimmage a few weeks before the start of the season, he shredded his knee so badly that doctors feared he might never walk again.
The massive scar left by the surgery is evidence that this wasn't a normal knee injury.
Staley hasn't had the career we once thought he would. He never became that feature tailback. He never had that glorious career.
Saturday was his second career touchdown.
He blocks for guys having the careers he hoped to have.
“When he scores, it's kind of like an offensive lineman scoring,” Randle said. “He always says, ‘I didn't come here to play fullback. I can run the ball.'”
Maybe it should come as no surprise that Staley made sure to point out the fact that Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore had blocks that helped him get into the end zone.
“It felt different because normally I'm the one leading them into the end zone,” Staley said.
He raised an eyebrow.
“It was a good feeling.”
Particularly a day the Cowboys needed some sunshine.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.