Several fans repeated a sentiment throughout Marion Barber’s career in Dallas: physical runners like him do not usually last long in the NFL. He took a beating, even when he wasn’t a starter, and his productivity suffered. He became a starter in 2008 after the team parted ways with Julius Jones, but Barber frequently suffered through injuries. Dallas released him before the 2011 season.
Barber played one year in Chicago but announced his retirement today.
Barber’s 47 touchdowns rank third in team history behind Emmitt Smith (153) and Tony Dorsett (72). Barber finished his Dallas career with 4,358 yards, ranking sixth in team history in that category.
Here are some quotes about Barber, whom the Cowboys took in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.
“It wasn’t something that popped into my head. I’m strong in my decision. It’s been a very difficult process, and the support I’ve had throughout has gotten my through it.”
Barber about his decision to forego his senior season at Minnesota to enter the NFL draft in 2005. Barber left as the all-time leading rusher with the Golden Gophers with 3,276 yards.
Source: ESPN.com, Jan. 17, 2005
“I know he is a well-prepared player. Plus, his experience of having pro football in his family was another thing that kind of made me think this kid will be down the road further than the average rookie. And really he is.”
Bill Parcells about Barber, whose father played with the Jets for seven years in the 1980s. Barber’s brother Dominique is a defensive back with the Houston Texans.
Source: Associated Press, 2005
“He ran so hard. I’m shocked we couldn’t execute in the second half.”
Guard Leonard Davis about Barber’s performance against the Giants in the 2007 playoffs. Barber rushed for 129 yards on 27 carries and appeared to be unstoppable in the first half. However, Dallas fell to the Giants 21-17.
Source: New York Times, January 14, 2008
Poll: Ranking Marion Barber
Here is what may be a tough question: where does Marion Barber rank among running backs in Dallas Cowboys history?
Consider a few facts before completing the poll. Barber ranks sixth in rushing in team history, trailing Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Don Perkins, Calvin Hill, and Robert Newhouse. Hill rushed for more than 1,000 yards twice, which was an accomplishment that Barber never had. Newhouse never exceeded 1,000 but had 930 yards in 1975, which was a Super Bowl season. Barber also never went over 1,000 yards and also never came close to a Super Bowl.
The other players in the top 10 in rushing yards include Walt Garrison, Herschel Walker, Julius Jones, and Felix Jones