Dallas Cowboys Plan to Keep All Three Running Backs

March 30th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The last couple of days rumors and speculation about a possible trade of Donovan McNabb to Oakland have dominated NFL headlines, but another rumor sprang up early this week regarding Dallas Cowboy running back Marion Barber.  However, Cowboy officials all but shot down anything relating to the issue, saying that they have no plans to deal their running back.

Barber is coming 0ff back-to-back seasons that have been plagued by injury, in which he did not gain over 1,000 yards rushing in either.  The NFL network reported that NFL officials eluded to the fact that Barber is readily available to be traded.

Currently, Barber is owed $4 million in a roster bonus in addition to his $3.8 million salary for the 2010-11 NFL Season.  For Barber to be traded to another team, that organization would have to pick up those expenses, or negotiate an new deal entirely.

Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones might have sparked the speculation when he disclosed the fact that the team had tossed around the notion of starting Felix Jones ahead of Barber.

“I see the advantages the way we’ve done it,” Jerry Jones remarked of the current running back situation in which the team relied on Barber, and supplemented Jones into some packages. “But it was a pretty close decision, really. I know it was a consideration.”

This offseason, Barber has been doing his physical conditioning at the Michael Johnson Performance Center that is based out of McKinney, Texas.  Barber is trying to get into game shape as the workouts soon begin.

The running back is coming off a season in which he endured a myriad of injuries that included a thigh injury, broken thumb and a badly bruised knee.  In spite of that, he only missed the game against Caroline during week three of the NFL season.

Jerry Jones is confident in Barber and not concerned with his history of injury however.

“It would if we didn’t have the depth there,” Jones remarked. “But by having the depth, we can feel good about [it]. Maybe [if] Marion hadn’t [had] a couple of unfortunate seasons there, maybe we’ll get a big year out of him. If you did that, you’ve hit a home run.”

Felix Jones performed well for Dallas last season, and shined as a kick-off specialist.  On the year, he tabbed 685 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns on 116 carries.

Behind Jones is Tashard Choice out of Georgia Tech.  He is used mainly in third down packages and the “razorback formation.”  Choice has been on record admitting frustration to a lack of carries.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones stated the team’s intention to keep their tandem of running backs in full, while Jerry Jones just wants the combination that will produce the most amount of wins on the football field.

“I know this: We’ve been doing what we ought to be doing and that’s evaluating the running game and how we’re the most productive, what plays, what formations give us the most production,” Jerry Jones stated. “Based on preliminary input from our coaches, you could certainly see Felix in there earlier.”

Currently, USA Online Sportsbooks believe that the Cowboys will contend for Super Bowl XLV, going off at +1200.

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