The Landry Hat Discusses Marion Barber With Randy Cross, Coach Reeves


I was on Sirius radio this morning to chat with Randy Cross and Coach Dan Reeves about Marion Barber, the Miami Dolphins and the first pick.

If you remember, Randy Cross two weeks ago told me that it would be a bad move for the Cowboys to trade up to get Miami’s top pick to select Darren McFadden. I asked him to explain why he thought that, and to also discuss Marion Barber’s restricted free agency. I certainly don’t condone the Cowboys making such a move, but it is a theory.

Coach Reeves said the Cowboys could take away the restricted label–and all of the bidding that may occur for Barber that the Cowboys would have to match if they want to keep him—just by signing him. I know many fans said the Cowboys don’t need to immediately sign Barber, but I say you’re wrong. I think it would boost the team’s energy if he was signed before this game with the Giants. But the question remains: Why hasn’t he been signed? What the heck is going on?

Rumors are abound that the Dolphins want to trade that top pick. We all know the Jerry Jones-Arkansas connection and the manlove of some people here for McFadden. Bill Parcells is breaking apart the Cowboys coaching staff and scouting. Do you think Jones is just allowing this to happen because he loves Parcells? Certainly, Jones has talked with the Miami powers about other things, right?

There was talk– much of it I admit of my own making as I introduced the possibility here on my blog–that Parcells would go after Barber to create a two-back system for Brown in Miami, to keep him healthier. No one realistically thinks Ricky Williams can stop smoking blunts.

The theory made a bit of sense, and if there is a trade, Miami I don’t think needs to give up a 1st and 3rd round pick. Trades I believe can start in March. Dallas may also deal Bobby Carpenter (it appears Zach Thomas is leaving Miami and he took down his permanent parking sign at the facility). Dallas also has two first round picks. Easily, it seems, Dallas can obtain that top pick if the organization wants it. How bad does Jerry Jones want McFadden? Or will he risk not doing it and maybe take Felix Jones with the final first round pick, if he is there?

Both Cross and Reeves cautioned against moving up to get that top pick. Cross also said he highly doubts the Cowboys would move Barber. THEN WHY NOT SIGN HIM?

“They obviously, to me, would have no intention of losing Marion Barber,” Cross told me.

Cross explained that moving up for Miami’s top pick is too risky and too costly. He went through the top 10 picks in the last draft and said the bottom five players provided more for their teams this year than the top 5, and he’s right to a point.

“It’s going to necessitate quite a price tag,” Cross said to move up for Miami’s top pick. “Whether or not you want to do that, it is going to hurt you. There’s not a gigantic market right now for that top pick.”

The Cowboys have the foundation of a grea team now, he said. Marion Barber is a big part of that foundation.

Reeves used the example of Coach Mike Ditka trading his entire draft for Ricky Williams. That was a costly trade that didn’t pan out as much as Saints fans and the organization might have wished. Oddly enough, he ended up in Miami.

“You’d give away way too much. I don’t see that happening,” Reeves said.

I countered that the two-back system is becoming popular in the NFL because not only does it seem to work, but it keeps backs healthy. The Jags and Cowboys are doing it with success. I said Miami, with Parcells running the show, will likely want to have a two-back system. Reeves said that in Jacksonville, “Taylor realizes that Jones-Drew has extended his career.” It’s different in Dallas, he said, where you have two young backs who want to start and would likely start on other teams in the NFL that don’t use the two-back system. He said he thinks Julius Jones wants out of Dallas, and Dallas may have interest in keeping him. I found that interesting.