Marion Barber's future could be in Dallas

November, 30, 2010
11/30/10
3:32
PM ET
The perception is that starting running back Marion Barber will not play with the Cowboys in 2011.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones disputed that somewhat on his radio show on Tuesday.

"I know certainly he’s got critics but I wouldn’t go that far in any way to say his time is done with the Cowboys," Jones said.

Barber hasn't rushed for 1,000 yards since becoming the full-time starter in 2008. After he reached the Pro Bowl, as a backup in 2007, Barber inked a seven-year, $45 million contract.

It appears Barber hasn't lived up to the deal. This season, while still the starter, Barber is not the leading rusher; that's Felix Jones.

Jerry Jones likes Felix Jones' explosiveness and his ability to make people miss in space. Barber remains the short-yardage back, he's one of the league leaders in first downs gained in this area, but he doesn't break as many tackles as in years past.

The Cowboys owe Barber $14 million through the 2014 season and it seems doubtful he'll earn all that money. However, maybe the Cowboys want to keep Barber because they're not sure about No. 3 back Tashard Choice.

Jerry Jones said Choice needs to play better on special teams in order to get more time on offense. Choice, who hasn't requested a trade has but heard rumors he might be dealt, wants to play more.

He might get his chance when the Cowboys visit the Colts on Sunday. Barber is nursing a calf strain and the team isn't sure he'll play.

"Felix gives us an explosive opportunity every time he touches the ball, and I think that weighs to some degree of the critique of Marion," Jerry Jones said. "And I think I'm being trite when I say that. You just would like to some degree give yourself every opportunity to make the big play every time, and all of that weighs into that."

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