PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles will give former Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones an opportunity to resurrect his career.
Jones, who was an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year contract on Tuesday and participated in the Eagles' practice at the NovaCare Complex.
"I'm excited to be here," Jones said after practice. "Right now, I'm just learning the system, but I'm really looking forward to competing for a spot. I can't wait."
Jones, who battled injuries and ball-security issues during his five seasons with Dallas, will compete with Bryce Brown and Chris Polk for a backup spot behind Eagles starter LeSean McCoy. He also could provide a much-needed boost as a kickoff returner.
The 5-foot-10, 215-pounder rushed for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns on 569 carries (4.8 yards per carry) for Dallas, caught 127 passes for 1,062 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored on a 98-yard kickoff return against the Eagles as a rookie in 2008.
Jones, the Cowboys' first-round draft pick in 2008, worked out for the Eagles last week and also auditioned for New England and Cincinnati.
"The biggest thing was to find the right fit for me," Jones said. "I saw (Eagles) coach (Chip) Kelly doing his thing (at the University of Oregon) and it seems like a fun system. I'm really looking foward to it."
The Cowboys declined to re-sign him because of durability issues that earned him the nickname in Dallas of "Fragile Felix." Although Jones played in all 16 games last season, shoulder troubles hampered his production.
The 26-year-old averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry and his 25 receptions were his fewest since 2009.
DeMarco Murray is the Cowboys' top running back while Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner served as his backups for most of last season. They also selected Joseph Randle in the fifth round of last month's NFL draft.
"Things just didn't go right in Dallas," Jones said. "Injuries were a factor, but I can't dwell on that. I'm feeling good and I'm ready to go. There's no animosity toward the Cowboys. It's going to be interesting playing against them."
The Eagles have an opening for a running back after trading Dion Lewis to Indianapolis, but both Brown and Polk will provide stiff competition. When McCoy suffered a concussion against Washington late last season, Brown took over and rushed for 564 yards and four touchdowns on 115 carries (4.9 yards per carry).
He also had trouble holding onto the football, however, losing three fumbles in six games. Polk made the team as an undrafted free agent last season, but was sidelined with turf toe for most of the year.
Rookie free agents Miquel Maysonet (Stony Brook) and Matthew Tucker (Texas Christian) are the other running backs currently on the Eagles' roster.
"I've always played with a couple of running backs, ever since college (at the University of Arkansas)," Jones said. "There are some good backs here and I'm definitely going to have to compete for a spot, but we can also make each other better."
To make room for Jones on the 90-player roster, the Eagles released wide receiver Marvin McNutt. A sixth-round draft pick in 2012, he spent most of last season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster for the final four games.
Contact David Weinberg: