What to expect from ex-Cowboys trio
August, 1, 2011
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNChicago.com
US PresswireWhat kind of an impact will former Cowboys Roy Williams, Marion Barber and Sam Hurd have on the Bears?DALLAS -- If the Chicago Bears believe they’ll get much of an offensive boost from the three former Dallas Cowboys they signed, it certainly wasn’t based on the film from the teams’ meeting last season.
Running back Marion Barber rushed for 31 yards on 11 carries in the Cowboys’ 27-20 loss to the Bears, a typical performance for him last season. Roy Williams caught four passes for 53 yards, which was actually a very productive day by his Dallas standards. Sam Hurd didn’t catch a pass, as was the case in six other games last season.
Maybe Mike Martz, the man Williams considers the smartest offensive mind in the game, can work his magic on the former Cowboys.
Here’s what the Bears are getting based on the perspective of what the ex-Cowboys did for Dallas:
Barber: The man dubbed “Marion the Barbarian” by Terrell Owens still has a warrior’s heart, but his physical running style has taken a toll on his body. He played through a variety of nagging injuries the past two seasons, but he often didn’t play well. He especially struggled in 2010, when Barber rushed for only 374 yards on 113 carries. Barber was never a burner, but he has lost burst since his 2007 Pro Bowl campaign, when he rushed for a career-high 975 yards and 10 touchdowns. He still runs hard, but Barber doesn’t break nearly as many tackles as he did during his days as one of the league’s best backups.
Williams: The blockbuster trade bust not-so-subtly points the finger at Jason Garrett for his lack of production with the Cowboys, but Owens and Miles Austin managed to be Pro Bowl receivers in the same system. Williams’ biggest issues in Dallas were poor route running and inconsistent hands, which resulted in never earning the trust of Garrett and Tony Romo. As much as Jerry Jones hates to admit it, Williams wasn’t that productive in Detroit, either. He’s only had one 1,000-yard season, which came when he was coached by Martz.
Hurd: He’ll be one of the Bears’ special teams players. He’s strong and absolutely fearless, attributes that also make him a tremendous blocker for a receiver. Hurd was known for making acrobatic catches during training camp, but he never solidified a role in the Cowboys’ offense despite being considered even with Austin on the depth chart as recently as two summers ago.