There has been a lot of debate regarding the running back position. People seem to really be indecisive about who they want carrying the ball for the Cowboys. What most people fail to realize is that we are really lucky to be having this debate. Three running backs that could be starting for many of the teams in the NFL is quite a luxury. Yet, it seems that at times the Cowboys under utilize the backs. Is it a too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing type situation? Or are the coaches trying to keep too many people happy to the detriment of the team?
I do know that each guy brings a lot to the table and that is what I want to explore in this article.
Barber has played in 80 games with 981 attempts for 4159 yards. At 4.2 yards a carry and 44 rushing touchdowns he has shown that he is a solid running back. His ability as a receiver have also been decent with 169 receptions, 1252 yards for 7.4 yards per catch and 6 touchdowns. He has 15 total fumbles or 0.1875 per game and .015 fumbles every time he carries the ball, that is not much.. His touchdowns come roughly every .045 he carries the ball.
Barber is not really the slash and dash kind of back that breaks loose for a ton of yards. He really reminds me of Daryl "Moose" Johnston whose average was 3.2 Yards per carry and 7.6 yards per catch. Very dependable, very tough,reliable...A guys guy. One that you want in there on a 3rd and 2 or goal line situations.
Felix Jones nickname says everything you need to know about him "The Cat"... but for argument sake I will throw in a few of his numbers...25 games with 197 attempts for 1180 yards at 6.0 YPC and 6 touchdowns. Felix has 39 receptions 245 averaging 6.3 YPC and 0 touchdowns. FJ has 3 fumbles averaging .12 fumbles per game or a fumble every .015 attempt per carry. His touchdowns come every .03 carries.
What this show me is that Felix is more of a slash, dash and cut type of back...A little more Emmitt than anything else....But I think he could have AP type bursts.
Choice is an intriguing back. He has had 37 games 164 carries for 842 yards at 5.1 YPC with 5 TD's and 1 fumble. 39 receptions for 321 at 8.2 yards per catch 0 TD's. Choices touchdowns come every .03 attempts, and he fumbles .03 times per game or .006 times per carry.
Choices numbers are a little bit skewed considering his lack of playing time. Maybe if given the opportunity he would score more touchdowns or he would fumble more. Who knows until he gets the chance.
It seems to me that we have 3 good backs and each seems to be better than the other at something. Marion is the slam sort yardage guy, where FJ is the slash, cut guy and Choices numbers seem to show him as a better receiving back. Maybe Jerry could spend some of his billions to meld these guys together into one or two Super backs so we can free up one of those game day roster spots for someone else.
What do we do next year,and whatever we do who will start?
I couldn't find many morphed Marion Barber clips...but here are a few of each of their unique skills.