There’s something about MB3 that makes me happier each day that he plays for the Cowboys. We talk about the need to re-sign Tony Romo and then Terence Newman down the line, and those statements are true. There are also some other guys who are also "must keep" players, but right now, I’m thinking MB3 is a guy we can’t let get away. He's a restricted free agent this year so the Cowboys can keep him if they want, I just hope they keep him far into the future.
Lifting some stats from this Nick Eatman article, MB3 is fourth in the NFC in rushing yards (479) despite spitting time almost evenly with Julius Jones. He is fifth in the NFC in all-purpose yards (612), has scored six TD’s this year, and owns a 5.7 yards per carry average. He also leads the NFL in stiff-arms that look like punches to a defender’s grill. It’s that aspect that sets him apart. From the stats we know he can function as an all-around back; he can run, he can catch out of the backfield and he can administer some punishing blocks in pass protection. I counted three excellent pass blocks in last week’s game.
But his physical running style and the stiff-arm punches to the defense have become symbolic of his play. He sets a tone on offense that reminds the defense that they aren’t the only ones trying to knock someone’s block off when the Cowboys are matriculating the ball down the field. We’ve all noted how the offense takes on MB3’s attitude and energy when he is on the field. This guy is a keeper, and the Cowboys definitely should keep him, for a long time. I’m still guessing the Cowboys won’t re-sign JJ, so they will need another back on the horizon to complement MB3 in the backfield. Whatever they decide to do, draft a guy or acquire a free agent, MB3 needs to be a staple of the Cowboys offense for years to come.
MB3 is notoriously press shy but he did talk to the media this week. Talk to the media is a relative term here. While guys like T.O. and Bradie James can fill a reporter’s notebook when they choose to, Barber is much freer with his stiff-arms than he is with his words. Check it out, when asked about his physical style of play, here is what Barber said.
"It's either hit, or be hit," Barber said. "It's just that physical aspect of my game that has always been with me."
They asked him if he played defense when he was younger and what position.
"Corner," he said.
Barber on whether last week’s bulk of the carries in the game is a trend towards him being the featured back.
"No, I don't think at all," he said. "I just look at the opportunities and I've got to take advantage of it. It's all about winning the game. Whether it's a one or three-back system, whatever it is, you've got to get that W."
On splitting time with JJ.
"I'm used to that," he said of splitting time. "You have to be ready at all times. Whether it's one or 20 carries, you've got to be ready to make an adjustment. But it's all about what kind of player you are. I'm a team player first. You've got to want everyone to do well."
MB3 – a man of few words and many stiff-arms.
Here’s an article on the Cowboys permanent captains. For those of you who don’t know, they are Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Bradie James and Keith Davis.