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Sitting On The Fence

touchdowns out of 14 completions. But certainly, that's not what is making him the top draft prospect on the board. It'll probably have more to do with his 4,590 rushing yards in three seasons with 51 total touchdowns.  

The reason why is because we're talking about a 6-2, 205-pound tailback that will probably run in the 4.3 range, either at the scouting combine or his own private workout at his school. Size, speed, explosiveness, big-play potential. McFadden has it all.  

If there is a knock on him, it would have to be his fumbling. He lost too many fumbles last season and even Bill Parcells - the guy that probably started this whole rumor in the first place - has always said that no running back is worth the fumbles.  

Not sure I ever agreed with that. If the same guy is getting 100 yards a game and has the chance to score from any spot on the field and forces defenses into an eight-man front, I think that running back is worth an occasional cough-up. 

OK, so McFadden will probably be a great running back. Yes, probably. 

But now let's get to the deal. Is he really worth trading away a guy that has already proven himself, much less more draft picks?  

That's the part I'm not so sure of. Now just about every opinion I've heard lately, including that of Jones, seems to have the answer right now and it's an emphatic 'No.'  

To me, it comes down to how much?  

If you're talking about trading away both the No. 22 and No. 28 pick and Barber, for Miami's No. 1 overall pick, I think I'd have to pass. You made that trade with Cleveland last year for the very reason that you could move up to the top pick if you needed to. But we never thought a Pro Bowl running back would have to be thrown into the equation just to make it work.  

Sure the Cowboys are talented, but they need to get a few more things in this draft. Trading away two first-round picks, plus Barber, is simply too high.  

Now, that being said, if you can make this deal by trading just one first-rounder, just the No. 22 and maybe another third or another player, with Barber, then I'd have to listen.  

And please don't mistake this for being anti-Barber at all. I really enjoy watching him play. Not only was he a difference-maker on the field, but he seemed to give the offense a jolt more often than not. If you want to call Barber the "heart and soul" of the offense, there may not be too many who would disagree.  

But would we go so far as to call him a special back? Or is he just head and shoulders above Julius Jones? Let's be honest. Rushing for 975 yards isn't actually special. OK, he did it with less carries. Sure, I understand that.  

But history has proven that backs don't last that long in this league, especially ones that take such a pounding, and double-especially the ones who give out just as much pounding, too.  

Barber is entering his fourth year in the league. How many more years of this can we expect? That's exactly the reason why Kansas City stalled for so long before giving Larry Johnson a huge contract. The Chiefs know history isn't on their side in doling out big bucks to a running back that has already taken his share of hits.  

Not saying Barber will wear down anytime soon. The argument can be made that while he has only played three years, he's yet to garner the bulk of the carries just yet.  

I'm not saying Barber is finished. Not at all. I'm just saying the Cowboys have to at least consider the possibility of a chance to get younger and even more dynamic.  

Now, all that being said, you can make the same arguments about why you don't pick a running back with the No. 1 pick, especially this year when there are so many running backs in the draft.  

There could be as many four or five in the first round. Still, not sure any of them are flat-out special like McFadden. But if you're going to keep Barber in the fold, you don't actually need special. The Cowboys just need someone to complement him. Someone with some speed, quickness, shiftiness and if he can return a punt or kickoff, or both, that would be even better.  

Can you see why I'm on the fence here? Back and forth, back and forth. 

It's a tough call.  


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