NFL Season Preview: What Does Drafting DeMarco Murray Mean for Marion Barber?

Alex RhoadesContributor IIIJune 11, 2011

DeMarco Murray stiff arms a defender on his way to a touchdown
DeMarco Murray stiff arms a defender on his way to a touchdownDilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

When the Dallas Cowboys drafted DeMarco Murray in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, it sent a clear message to Marion Barber: your time is up.

Marion Barber got a mega contract extension in 2008, a seven-year $45 million extension to be exact, and every year since, his stats and productivity have declined. Last year, Marion Barber played in 13 games and rushed for an abysmal 374 yards.

He added 49 yards through the air and a total of four touchdowns. This production would be acceptable for a third string half back, but not one that gets paid to be a featured NFL star.

Enter DeMarco Murray, an all around back who runs, block, and catches with exceptional ability. In his senior season alone, Murray had 282 rushes for 1,214 yards on the ground, 71 receptions for 594 yards through the air, and was a very dependable blocker in the backfield.

Running back wasn't considered a need when the Cowboys drafted Murray in the third round, however, behind closed doors the decision to get rid of Marion Barber forced their hand.

It's too costly to keep Barber around for the money he is making, and the Cowboys need a running back that can do it all in the backfield, and on special teams as a returner.

DeMarco Murray will come into a crowded backfield and force Marion Barber out of town, and take snaps away from Felix Jones and Tashard Choice in the process.