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News » It may be Barber show late Team wants to get RB back in a position to excel in 4th quarter


It may be Barber show late Team wants to get RB back in a position to excel in 4th quarter


It may be Barber show late Team wants to get RB back in a position to excel in 4th quarter
Jerry Jones created a stir - unintentionally - on Sunday night when he talked to Ch. 11 about moving Marion Barber back to a closer role.


"I think this is a legitimate question because that's where Barber began and that's where he had tremendous impact on the success of our team," Jones said. "It's really not behind Felix Jones ... but using his skills when the defense is worn down a little bit because of how physical he is."

The fact that the Cowboys are thinking of moving Felix Jones over Barber as the starter isn't the issue.

Finishing the game is.

Barber will probably remain the starter in 2009, but expect Jones and Tashard Choice to get more carries than they did last season.

And if that happens, Barber should close games with a fury.

When Barber has done that, the Cowboys have had success.

In 2007, as a backup to Julius Jones, Barber rushed for a team-leading 975 yards and 10 touchdowns in earning a Pro Bowl berth. The Cowboys finished 13-3 and were the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

That same year, Barber led the NFL with 402 fourth-quarter rushing yards and was seventh in the league with 603 second-half rushing yards.

The Cowboys also outscored their opponents, 247-140, in the second half of games.

So, what happened in 2008?

Barber finished out of the top 25 in fourth-quarter rushing yards (185) and was 25th in second-half rushing yards (399).

The Cowboys, meanwhile, barely outscored their opponents (173-171) in the second half.

Oh yeah, the Cowboys missed the playoffs.

That can't happen again in 2009.

Jerry Jones understands that finishing games is important to success.

The tricky part is making sure Barber has the strength to do that this season. But if Barber, who should recover from a dislocated little toe in time for spring workouts, is taking on the bulk of the carries, he could wear down late.

This is where Felix Jones and Choice come in.

In the last four weeks of the season, Choice had two 90-plus-yard games and rushed for 88 yards against Pittsburgh while Barber was hurt.

Felix Jones, before getting placed on injured reserve because of a toe surgery, averaged a team-leading 8.9 yards per carry.

These are two young players the Cowboys have to get on the field. But they also have to get Barber out there.

"To say Marion Barber is not going to be involved or have the carries we all think he would is not a issue at all," Jerry Jones said. "It's a question of the timing of those carries ... to help us better win games."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 6, 2009

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