Barber rushed for 932 yards and seven touchdowns last season, leading the team in both categories.
boost of energy."
Witten said he can see a difference already in Barber's game.
"There's no question he's focused. He's got the right approach," Witten said. "He's always been his own worst critic. The standard is very high for himself. He's the guy that really embraces having his back against the wall. That's the way he plays, too."
Whatever change that has taken place for Barber seems to be a good thing. It's a good thing because Barber needs to be the Cowboys' starting running back. I know other people disagree, stating that Jones is a home-run hitter and you need your most dynamic players on the field at all times.
I get that part. Believe me, I like watching Jones take it 75 yards to the house as much as the next guy. But you have to monitor Felix's touches, too. All of these backs - even Choice - you can't give them too many carries. It's not just these three; it's everyone in the league. At some point, they're going to wear down. So watching how many carries and touches they have is part of the game now.
With that being said, I think it's important for Barber to start. Now, Felix says it doesn't matter to him. He said it again Tuesday like he's said all along - who starts doesn't really matter to him.
Honestly, and this might be a reach considering we really don't ever get to talk to Barber, but I think it does matter to him being this team's starting running back and living up to the expectations of his teammates and fans, the expectations that come with the contract, and living up to the Barbarian nickname that T.O. gave him three years ago.
Yes, I think it matters to him. He may not talk to the media, but I'm sure he hears what is being said. He knows there's a perception out there that Jones should replace him as the starter. There are even some around here who think Choice is a better option, too.
And maybe, just maybe those people are right. Maybe Marion Barber isn't the best running back for this team. But it doesn't sound like he's ready to hear that.