Sorry for the lack of posts today, but I spent most of the morning working on the co-blogger issue and have made some headway toward the final decision.
To be as transparent as I can be, I will tell everybody that I made a decision to cut-down the field of potential co-bloggers to guys who have been on BTB for a while and who comment regularly. I felt that I owed loyalty back to those guys who have helped to make BTB what it is today - without the help of a group of dedicated and informative veteran-BTB’ers, this blog would go the way of so many blogs on the Internet, into the dustbin of history. I had enough candidates who fit this description who are also good writers that I decided that was the way to go.
I’ve sent emails this morning to some applicants who didn’t fit this criterion. I want to say that I really appreciate those guys who decided to take a chance on the position and I’m sorry to disappoint them, it’s the worst part of this process. I also told them, and now I’m telling everybody: These positions aren’t permanent and will probably change over time, so I encourage anybody who in the future might want to help me on this blog to get active and show us what you got in the comments and in diaries. No, this isn’t a shameless ploy to get more participation but a deeply held belief that I should reward those guys who are helping me everyday in keeping this blog a great place for Cowboys’ fans to visit. Also, there are a group of dedicated BTB’ers who didn’t apply for the position, and that’s OK, the commitment it takes isn’t for everybody, but to those guys I also say your support is greatly appreciated.
Over the next few days I will be thinking about how to choose the guys - and yes, with the responses I got I’ve decided to add at least two, maybe three – who will be the winning candidates. This isn’t easy; there are more than enough qualified candidates.
Anyway, just wanted to keep you guys informed.
As for actual Cowboys’ news, I offer up this from Calvin Watkins on our RFA’s:
Who doesn't get the tender? Marion Barber isn't going anywhere, and the Cowboys have a good relationship with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. The sides expect to get a three- to five-year deal done. If any club offers Barber a contract, the Cowboys are expected to match it. The club wanted to start Barber in the last few weeks of the season, but elected not to. Now, he's the starter, and he will get starter's money.
That’s pretty much where I thought this was going. The Cowboys have made a decision that MB3 will be the starter next year unless they get someone in training camp who absolutely blows the competition away. I don’t expect that to happen, MB3 is a very capable back who does a lot of things well and he knows the system.
There is a debate about MB3 being a starter who can carry the load on a regular basis because of his style of running. Whether it’s his lack of ‘homerun’ ability or the thought that his physical style will not suit him being a starter, there are some questions. I think the Cowboys will add a RB who can help MB3 out by taking some of the carries in a game. It might be a free-agent or a draft pick, but MB3 won’t be regularly toting the rock 25-30 times a game.
But, I have no issues with MB3 being a featured back. There have been plenty of backs who have had a physical running style that had very successful careers. John Riggins, Jerome Bettis, and Earl Campbell are just a few that come to mind. Now, I don’t want to see anybody end up post-NFL like Campbell did, but he played in the league at a high level for 7-8 years. It might have shortened their careers to some extent, but all RB’s in the NFL are always just an injury away from retirement and almost all of them really start going downhill after they cross the 30+ age barrier. Sure there are exceptions, but I’m just going with a general rule.
Nothing I’ve seen from MB3 precludes him from being a feature back that carries a heavy load in the running game. In my opinion, he could do it and he could do it well. Having said that, though, I would definitely like to see the Cowboys add a RB who could keep the Cowboys from over-working MB3.