Feature Back?

The Cowboys have no concerns about making Marion Barber their feature back, which is why they gave him a $45 million contract extension in the offseason, despite never having rushed for 1,000 yards.

He rushed for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. He scored two more touchdowns through the air. But keep in mind that Barber put up those numbers splitting carries as Julius Jones' backup last season. He had only 204 carries and averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

That won't be a problem in 2008 as Jones is gone and Barber has been elevated to the role of starter.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

Rookie first-round pick Felix Jones will get some touches, as his speed will provide a nice change of pace to Barber's hard-charging style. But Barber will be the focal point of the running game.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

"Marion embraces every opportunity of whatever we give him," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "He loves to play football. I think we all see that each and every game."averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

Barber became a fan and team favorite last year because his running style gave life to the offense. Everybody got charged up watching Barber run the ball.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

He gave the Cowboys a reminder of that in Friday's preseason game against the Texans, rushing 13 times for 75 yards.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

It was the same old Barber.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said they wanted to get him some extended work against the Texans because he didn't get a lot of carries in the first two preseason games.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

Phillips liked what he saw.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

"We were just in a rhythm," Phillips said. "We needed to see Barber get some work in. We'll need it during the regular season. He was awfully impressive." averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

"It was great," Garrett said. "That's the way he plays. That's the Marion Barber I think we all have come to know and really love to watch. He just plays with reckless abandon. He plays a physical style, always taking it at the defense. It was good to see him (score)."averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

Barber didn't talk after the game, as his custom. But guard Leonard Davis was impressed.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

"He's a player," Davis said. "He's doing everything he's supposed to do and then some."averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

It was a special game for Barber because his brother Dominique is trying to make the Texans as a safety. The two didn't get to go head to head because Barber was off the field resting by the time his brother got some action.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

The younger Barber said he would have been ready for big brother, though.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

"It was fun to watch him out there," Dominique Barber said. "He's a great player. But if I was in there, and he was running, you have to do what you have to do."averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

If that had been the case, it wouldn't have been personal or any brother on brother hazing. That never happened growing up.averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per attempt.

"No, he wasn't like that too much," Dominique said of Marion. "He didn't do that big-brother stuff to me. He was always pretty cool like that. We're really good friends, too."

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