Not so fast in anointing Felix Jones as the Cowboys' starting running back.
Jerry Jones conceded after the season that the Cowboys came close to making Felix Jones their starting running back late last season. There has been speculation, based on the way Felix Jones finished the season, that he will supplant Marion Barber as the starter in 2010. But all Jerry Jones said on the subject Tuesday was that he plans on the Cowboys using all three of their running backs, including Tashard Choice.
The owner had nothing but praise for Barber, who has had injuries each of the past two seasons.
"I know this: He looks quicker," Jerry Jones said. "I think that is going to make him even more effective. He looks as good out there, just in these initial practices, as I've seen him look in his career. You could easily go from there, and what his role might be, and it certainly would be on par with everything he’s done."
Jerry Jones was asked if he thought Barber was better as a closer, the role he played most of his first three seasons until Julius Jones left before the 2008 season, or a starter, which Barber has been, when healthy, the past two seasons.
"I'm not so sure one way or the other that we’re ever going to have the kind of answer," Jerry Jones said. "He is the best blocker, with the others coming hard. He has great hands. He punishes 'em early. The other backs, Felix looks stronger and quicker. His routes, early on here [in the off-season], are superior to what they were anytime in his last two years. You've always had to shoot him to get him off the football field. He just will work so hard. He is very impressive out there. Choice, we know that you just stick him in there, and he finds a way to get it done. So we're in good shape there. It just really helps me say what Barber's role is. We've just got to plan on, before it's over, using three backs."
Barber has 3,984 career yards. He has never had a 1,000-yard season.
-- Charean Williams