RENTON, Wash. (AP) -The 2-9 Seahawks are trudging through their final five games, already out of the playoffs for the first time in six years. To keep them going, their coach is appealing to their professional pride and responsibility to earn their paychecks.
Julius Jones won't need such talk this week. He's been excited for Thursday's game at Dallas since the schedule came out in April.
He is still trying to sell the house he bought in the Dallas area last year, right next door to Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman. And Jones acknowledges he was ``salty'' about the way he went from the man who owned the Cowboys' first 1,000-yard season since Emmitt Smith in 2001 to dumped castoff in a matter of months in 2007.
``I'm going to try to control it. This is a huge game ... definitely for me,'' Jones said at Seahawks' headquarters before the team left for Texas on Wednesday. ``I was playing down there for four years. All my old teammates, I still talk to them. So it's going to be exciting. I can't wait.''
ith Seattle's lost season in need of some energy source, coach Mike Holmgren is going to capitalize on it. Four days after he benched Jones in favor of Maurice Morris, Holmgren will start Jones in Dallas.
``It absolutely figured in on whether he started or not,'' Holmgren said. ``Heck, we've made many trades and gotten players from other teams. And when they get a chance to go in and play against their friends that they made on other teams it's a special game for those guys - every play.
``I just think it's the fair thing to do.''
``Fair'' wouldn't be the first word Jones would use to describe his ending in Dallas.
Last season he began yielding the most important carries of games to Marion Barber. As Barber soared into the Pro Bowl, Jones slumped to just 588 yards rushing and two touchdowns, the lowest numbers of his four-year career.
``My rookie year I felt like it was the place for me to be. I had some really good games. I missed the first eight games and came back strong and made a name for myself,'' Jones said of gaining 819 yards with seven touchdowns in a half-season of play.
``My first year I'd say I felt I'd be there for a while. After that, I was trying to hang on.''
Jones didn't even get on the field for the Cowboys' playoff loss to the New York Giants in January. After Barber ran for 129 yards in that game, Jones told his replacement, ``It's your team now.''
ody wants to play. And I'd worked extremely hard down there,'' Jones told Dallas reporters in a telephone interview. ``I was cool with everything that happened to me down there. Obviously, I wanted to play in the playoff game. That was the most important game we've done there in a long time and I didn't even play. Of course I was a little salty about that. It's human nature - everybody wants to play in big games.''
Dallas let Jones leave quietly as a free agent, while Barber got a $45 million contract extension before training camp.
Asked what he told Jones at the end, Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said: ``Once we made a commitment to Marion, money-wise we couldn't keep both backs. ... He knew that.''
Jones calls that ``the business.''
``Coach Phillips spoke with me and that was that. It's in the past,'' Jones said.
So is sharing, as Jones is now learning again.
Jones visited Tennessee, Detroit and Seattle before signing a four-year contract worth almost $12 million to replace Shaun Alexander with the Seahawks.
But as Holmgren promised in training camp, Jones has split time with Morris.
In last weekend's loss to Washington, Morris gave Seattle its first 100-yard rushing day since Jones did it in Week 3. Morris has 278 yards rushing in eight games, with two starts.
hen Morris missed three games early in the season with a sprained knee.
Asked about his relationship with Holmgren, who is leaving the NFL in five weeks after 17 years as a head coach, Jones said: ``It's all right. I'm the player and he's the coach. It's like every other player-coach in the league.
``Yes, this is the best place for me to go. I feel comfortable here. ... It's a great opportunity for me, so I'm pleased with the decision I made. And I'm going to make the best out of it.''
Especially on Thursday.
``I don't hate Dallas. Things didn't work out for me there with the Cowboys. Other than that, Dallas is a great city.''

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