DENVER - OCTOBER 04: Marion Barber #24 of the Dallas Cowboys surges into the endzone against the Denver Broncos for a first quarter touchdown during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
As scathing indictments of the Dallas Cowboys offense abound, word has come that Marion Barber--who carried the ball just once in the second half after punishing Denver for much of the first--was actually fine, a development that will undoubtedly throw another dimension into the what-the-hell-was-Garrett-thinking about? debate.
Marion Barber was visibly not at full health in the first half; he limped slightly, but noticeably. But it didn't matter. Carrying the ball ten times for 39 yards in the first half, Barber looked like a good running back battling a good defense; that is, he was basically as effective as one could reasonably hope against the league's top-ranked defense.
When he became scarce in the second half, the most logical conclusion was that the troublesome quad had flared up once more; why else would Garrett shelf a player who appeared consistently effective, if slightly affected? This is a mystery on par with Atlantis, one that is compounded by Tony Romo's utterly ineffectual play throughout.
It's also downright aggravating.
Remember shortly after the 2007 season ended? Dallas as a whole held its breath as teams interviewed Jason Garrett for a head coaching position. The thought of losing the former Cowboy and undisputed future of offensive thinking in the NFL was a loathsome one; many argued that Garrett should have been handed the head coaching position then. Much like Garth Brooks, those in this camp (if any will admit to such thinking, at this point) must thank God for unanswered prayers.
Of course, a chunky payday and a not-so-subtle hint that Garrett would succeed Wade Phillips kept the redheaded wunderkind in Dallas; two years later, the chatter of Garrett as a head coach has been silenced in great part due to his all-too-heady (at times) approach to his current job.
Then again, perhaps Garrett is just waiting for his turn to take over. This wouldn't be wise, on his part; Jerry Jones doesn't mind reneging on a verbal (but otherwise insufficient) agreement every now and then.
Just ask Terrell Owens.