Coming to Grips With Reality

receiver, maybe safety, and who knows, offensive tackle. There will be quality running backs available in the bottom third of the first round. 

Plus, was running the football the reason the Cowboys still haven't won a playoff game since 1996? Says here Barber rushed for 129 yards in the playoff loss to the Giants, and the Cowboys as a team 154. 

OK, the Cowboys were only the 17th-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 109.1 yards a game. But that was a product of rushing for that one yard in the who-cares game against Washington in the season finale. A mere 100 would have moved them up to at least 14th. 

Plus, please factor in want-to. The Cowboys were a passing offense first. Twenty teams rushed the ball more times than the Cowboys did last year (419). But only six teams averaged more than the Cowboys' 4.2 yards a carry, and one of those was better by only a tenth more. 

Also, while the Cowboys didn't have a LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson or Brian Westbrook, the combination of Jones and Barber accounted for 1,563 yards on 363 carries, 12 touchdowns and a 4.3-yard average. None of those lead dogs rushed for more yards, and only Tomlinson rushed for more touchdowns (15). 

Not only that, when it came to tandem backs - the combined yards of the top two rushers from each team - Jones-Barber finished 11th with the 1,563 yards. But consider they were within 43 yards - the Washington game? - of five other tandems. And, of those 10 tandems ahead of them, only six averaged more yards per carry than their 4.3. 

Ya'll with me with all this still? Catching my drift? 

Again, I'm not arguing against the Cowboys picking up a running back the first day of the draft, assuming Jones is not coming back. Barber, no matter what you think of him, needs a zig-zagging complement back there. 

It's just that the Cowboys don't need to spend their future to acquire the guy considered the "best" running back in the draft. The third or fourth guy, paired with Barber and this high-powered passing offense, will do just fine. Then, on top of that, maybe I find me a corner or wide receiver, or both better yet, that first day of the draft. Wouldn't that be something? 

What we are arguing here is Common Sense vs. Luxury, and McFadden, no matter what you think, would be a luxury for the Cowboys - a huge luxury - unless of course he started tumbling down into the first round or someone gave the Cowboys a-first-and-third to sign Barber away in restricted free agency. You want to drool, how about having three first-round picks? 

Otherwise, as the line goes, you don't always get what you want, but sometimes you just get what you need. As I've said before, this isn't fantasy stuff out here. This is real, with real money and real salary cap consequences. Think it through as you would - hopefully - think through your own personal finances, and remember in the NFL you can't file for bankruptcy to get out of a fix. The league doesn't allow any sort of debt-reduction plan. 

So come on, just stop it. Stop all this McFadden stuff. The cost is too high and the needs are more varied. 

Just get a grip, and move on.   

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