Cowboys' Three-Headed RB Monster: Best In The Business?

Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice. Any offensive coordinator would be elated to have such an outstanding trio of backs at their disposal. As Cowboy fans it is difficult to step away from our slightly slanted vision, as we are quick to adorn the Cowboys three-headed monster the best in the business. All biases aside, how does the Cowboys backfield stack up against the rest of the league? Sure, there are quite a few remarkable one-two punches, but can anybody go three deep as well as the ‘Boys can? Let's take a look at some of the more potent projected backfields around the league. 

New England Patriots - Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Laurence Maroney - It is my guess that Kevin Faulk will be the odd man out in an extremely talented Patriots backfield. In my opinion, Fred Taylor has been on of the league’s most underrated backs for the better part of his career. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but Fred Taylor, barring injury will hurdle the 12,000 yard mark this season. That’s a heck of an achievement, and Taylor still looks to have quite a bit in the tank. Sammy Morris is steady, and Laurence Maroney is a dynamic talent when healthy. While Taylor vs. Barber is probably a push, neither Sammy Morris or Laurence Maroney is the game-changing homerun threat that Felix Jones is for the ‘Boys.

Advantage: Cowboys

New York Jets - Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene - The Jets did not get into this conversation until they solidified their backfield depth by selecting Iowa standout Shonn Greene with the first pick of the 3rd round of this year’s draft. Thomas Jones is a Pro Bowler, and Leon Washington is a speedy playmaker, not at all dissimilar to the Cowboys’ Felix Jones. Washington and Jones are proven NFL commodities, but Greene, who at times looked sluggish as a Hawkeye runner must still prove that he can be effective against the speed of the NFL game.

Advantage: Cowboys

Baltimore Ravens - LeRon McClain, Ray Rice, Willis McGahee - The Ravens have an interesting mix at running back. They have the 260 lb. LeRon McClain, who will be listed as a fullback this season, but will likely still see a substantial chunk of the carries. In complete contrast, the Ravens also have the diminutive (5’8") Ray Rice, and the well rounded but unspectacular Willis McGahee. All three of these backs are good, buy I personally wouldn’t put any of them ahead of Marion Barber or Felix Jones.

Advantage: Cowboys

Tennessee Titans - Lendale White, Chris Johnson, Javon Ringer - Assuming Ringer is able to beat out former second round pick Chris Henry, the Titans backfield looks eerily similar the Dallas’. Lendale White is the bruiser that Marion Barber is. Chris Johnson is the Titans' slightly faster version of Felix Jones. Ringer is the well rounded, steady 3rd stringer that Tashard Choice is. In my opinion, Barber is a little better than White, but Johnson is a little bit better than Jones. Ringer and Choice should be on about the same plane.

Advantage: Push

Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, Justin Fargas - I know it gets caught up in all of the madness that is the Oakland Raiders, but the team is absolutely loaded at running back. Darren McFadden played most of the season dinged up, but showed that he can be a terror when healthy. Fargas is a legit NFL lead back, and the 245 lb. Bush began to reveal his true potential when he ripped through a desperate Buccaneers defense for 177 yards in the season finale. The Raiders are as talented in the backfield as any team in the business.

Advantage: Raiders

New York Giants - Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown - Even after losing Derrick Ward to the Buccaneers this offseason, the Giants still have a formidable threesome at running back. Though often injured, the 265-lb. Jacobs is still the NFL’s unstoppable force. He is simply too big to be brought down by one man, and you can almost hear him saying Fee…Fi…Fo…Fum as he drags linebackers into the second level. Bradshaw delivers some homerun ability, but is just short of electric. Andre Brown however, reminds me a lot of Marion Barber, and may be one of the steals of the draft. Still, I can’t give too much credit to unproven commodities.

Advantage: Cowboys

Carolina Panthers - DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Goodson - In my eyes, Williams and Stewart comprise the leagues top duo at the running back position. If Goodson can show anything at all, I would hand the crown to Carolina. It took a while, but last season Williams showed that he was the dynamic, do-everything back that everyone expected him to be when the Panthers drafted him in the first round of the 2006 draft. Stewart is a joy to watch for any old school football fan. Stewart is every bit the violent, powerful runner that Marion Barber is, with a little more speed. Still, I can’t hand this one to Carolina before Goodson proves himself.

Advantage: Cowboys

Who knows whether or not the Cowboys backfield threesome is the league’s best? Who cares? The important thing is that they are undisputedly in the conversation. I am holding out hope that Romo-friendly is just Jerry Jones’ way of saying run-heavy. I know that given the weapons the Cowboys have on the perimeter, and the tendencies of the offensive coordinator, the Cowboys will probably throw the football often and deep. But with a backfield as talented as this, it would be a lot of fun to see the Cowboys pound teams into submission with the running game from time to time.

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