Ranking the Running Backs, Part Two: Dallas Cowboys

Jeff Little@@JeffLittle32Senior Writer IMarch 22, 2008

Part two of a 32-part series, a running back position analysis of each franchise.

The Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East with a 13-3 record and earned home-field advantage in the playoffs, but lost to their division opponent the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional Playoff game.

The Cowboys were outdone by costly penalties. The Cowboys finished with 11 flags thrown their way for 84 yards, many of them came at crucial times. The loss was tough to swallow and adds more fuel to the fire of this heated rivalry. The Cowboys as a team averaged 154 yards per game which was best in the league.

Dallas Cowboys


Marion Barber – 6’ 0”  221 lbs.  204 Att.   975 Yards   4.8 YPC Avg.    10 TDs  

                          (Postseason      27 Att.     129 Yards    4.8 YPC Avg.     1 TD)

Julius Jones –    5’ 11” 211 lbs.  164 Att.   588 Yards    3.6 YPC Avg.    2 TDs

                          (Postseason         3   Att.      8  Yards    2.7 YPC Avg.)

Alonzo Coleman – 5’ 9” 207 lbs. 1st year player from Hampton

Ronnie Cruz –      6’0” 237 lbs.  2nd year player from Northern State  

Marion Barber was a Pro Bowl runner last year even though Jones was the starter. He is 24 years old and, barring injury, will lead the Cowboy rushing attack for the next 3-5 years.  

Julius Jones saw the writing on the wall and walked as a free-agent, signing a deal with the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys have signed two free agents, Alonzo Coleman and Ronnie Cruz, as depth at the position this offseason.

I feel the Cowboys will acquire a running back through this draft. There has been speculation that the Cowboys will attempt to work a trade to move to the top of the draft to select Darren McFadden.

This strikes me as a rumor that got out due to McFadden and owner Jerry Jones both attending the University of Arkansas. The move makes no sense as Marion Barber is set to be the starter. The move would be extremely costly when the team will have several RB choices when selection No. 22 rolls around.  

The Cowboys have two first-round picks and needs at RB and WR. Rashard Mendenhall and Felix Jones are good fits in round one. The Cowboys could look at Jamaal Charles or Chris Johnson later in the draft either scenario allows them to continue the league-wide trend of a two-headed rushing attack.

The question for the Cowboys: Can they add enough depth at the CB, safety, and WR positions to their solid core talent and match 2007's numbers? Another question would be is Wade Phillips a lame duck coach after 2008?