Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Jones says he didn't mean to be critical of injured Barber

ESPN.com news services

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was in scramble mode this week regarding comments he made about Marion Barber after the running back did not play Sunday in Dallas' loss to Pittsburgh because of a dislocated right pinkie toe.

Barber's status still up in air

Stephania Bell looks at the most notable injuries heading into Week 15, including Marion Barber's dislocated toe. Blog

Barber did not travel with the Cowboys (8-5) for the game, a 20-13 come-from-behind Steelers victory, and following the defeat, a stunned Jones said he believed Barber could have played with the injury.

"He can play with the soreness and a combination of those things. I see nothing that led us to believe he couldn't," Jones said after Sunday's game.

Yet late Tuesday, on his weekly appearance on San Antonio radio station WOAI-AM, Jones attempted to back away from those comments.

Pittsburgh Steelers Dallas Cowboys

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

"We all know how tough Marion Barber is," Jones said on WOAI. "When he had his injury, I felt, look, you'd have to shoot him to keep him off the football field. So, I was surprised that we didn't have him.

"That was not meant to be critical of his toughness. It did come out that way. Fundamentally, it was because he is so tough that you would have thought that he could play."

Barber left the Cowboys' 34-9 Thanksgiving victory over Seattle in the first half after someone stepped on his foot. He also injured his calf.

His status for Dallas' home game Sunday against the NFC East champion New York Giants hasn't been determined.