Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where In The World Was Marion Barber?

BY Scott Crisp

Cowboys fans muddling through the molasses-paced parade of miscues that was Sunday's 17-7 loss to the Packers in Green Bay probably noticed a curious absence from the game after the first half.

It wasn't Marc Colombo, as his absence was quite explainable: he had suffered a broken left fibula. Ken Hamlin and Mike Jenkins, also, left the game with injury. But the one healthy Cowboys whose absence might have raised some red flags was that of Marion Barber, whose presence was felt in the first quarter and not much afterward.

According to Gerry Fraley at the Dallas Morning News, Barber got four carries in the opening frame for 27 yards. He got another carry to open the second half, losing a yard. Apparently, this ill-fated run was enough to convince Jason Garrett that the whole "establishing the run" thing wasn't worth the trouble--because it was the last carry Barber would take on the day.

This is far from a new thing. Garrett is often accused of "getting cute," of "over-thinking," and so forth, basically meaning that he forgets the run in an attempt to outsmart the opposing defense through the air. On Sunday, obviously, this didn't work out. It never seems to.

With three catches for 11 yards, Barber's total offensive output totaled 37 yards, his lowest total, Fraley says, since last season's 44-6 loss to Philadelphia, since known as the "Philly Flop." And Dallas fans are left to gaze skyward and ask, "why?"

Dallas posted 217 yards through the air on 39 attempts. Green bay posted 178 yards on 36 attempts. Dallas's 4.4 average on the ground was nearly a half yard better than that of Green Bay. The only trouble is, Green Bay ran the ball twice as much as Dallas, which explains, partially at least, how they won the time of possession battle by almost 12 minutes.

According to the report, Jason Garrett was unavailable for comment.