Great Expectations


doused the team's season-long firepower with all those runs, but one into the end zone and from only one-yard out. 

OK, I know, that Jones wasn't this Jones. But at least Julius still had the ability to threaten the end zone from wherever. Just like Felix. Barber doesn't threaten the end zone unless within 10 yards. Defenses are willing to brace for a pummeling, and frankly welcome knowing some guy isn't likely to take the ball to the house from any point on the field. What a relief. 

Yet that is the key to playing offense, and why Felix needs as many touches as he can handle, without him breaking down. You must have the ability to threaten the end zone, either with your running back or your receivers. For sure your quarterback's arm. And in that 21-17 playoff loss to the Giants, with Barber supplanting Julius and Terrell Owens hobbling along on that high ankle sprain, the Cowboys had neither, and promptly went out and scored the second-fewest points in a game Tony Romo finished that season and 11.4 fewer than they averaged all year. 

Hmmmm. 

You are what you are. 

So let's not start raising a bunch of hysteria this late in the offseason by over-analyzing what Barber is and what he isn't or what he was and what he is. He's a nice running back. He's a complementary running back, be the first complement, the second complement, or the last complement. In other words, a rotation guy, and when combined with plenty of Felix Jones and Choice will do a nice job for the Cowboys once again this season. 

The Cowboys know what he is, otherwise, why the heck would they spend a first-round draft choice on another running back and then less than a month later still sign him to that lucrative contract? That tells you while they value who he is and what he does, they also realize who he isn't. 

And one last word on this injury stuff. If you remember, in the second game of the season Barber "strained" his quad. Medically, a strained muscle is some tearing of the muscle fibers just like a sprained ligament means at least some fraying of the fibers. But let's not act like he tore the thing to pieces here, yet tried to still play and then limped along all season. Please. You don't run the ball 214 times with a "torn" quad. 

As for the tiny "hole" in the quad, the trainers tell me that indeed is there, but also that it's also the same degenerative condition Michel Irvin had, and nothing stopped Irvin's Hall of Fame career other than his behavior and lastly driving his head into the cement known as turf at The Vet. 

In the same words, you are who you are. 

So look, there is nothing wrong with Marion Barber III a tablespoon full of perspective can't cure.        

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