After the NFL's All-Time leading rusher Emmitt Smith departed to the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys were looking to fix a disappointing running attack led by Troy Hambrick, with the selection of a potential franchise running back. In the 2004 NFL Draft they found themselves with the opportunity to draft Steven Jackson, the highest-ranked running back, that fell because of concerns over a knee injury. Instead, the team felt they could select a comparable running back later in the draft and chose to trade their first-round pick to the Buffalo Bills (who used it to select J. P. Losman) for a future 2005 first-round pick who the Cowboys would later use on defensive end Marcus Spears. Jones was the back selected by the team in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. At the start of the season, already with a bruised rib, Jones fractured his scapula bone in a win versus the Cleveland Browns early in week two and the team was forced to depend on veteran free agent acquisition Eddie George during his absence.