NFL trade deadline passes as teams stay pat

Dallas Cowboys' runningback Marion Barber runs for a first down against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on September 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

As expected, the NFL trade deadline passed with nary a peep from any of the 32 teams. Willis McGahee is still a Raven, Marion Barber is still a Cowboy and as far as I know, Jen is still with Brad. (Come again? What?! When? With who? Home wrecker…)

As pointed out, the top NFL Insiders (Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Jason LaCanfora, Anthony Stalter) were rather quiet all afternoon, which was an indication that no major deals were forthcoming by the 4:00PM ET deadline.

There was speculation by one of the beat writers at the Baltimore Sun that the Ravens might look to trade McGahee. But head coach John Harbaugh insisted that the team wasn’t actively trying to trade their running back and GM Ozzie Newsome backed up those words on Tuesday by keeping McGahee on the roster.

In other running back trade news, the Cowboys didn’t send Barber packing either. Of course, that has more to do with Barber’s salary (he’s due $3.86 million this year and $4 million in March thanks to a roster bonus, then $4.25 million 2011, $5.75 million in 2012, $6.25 million in 2013 and $7 million in 2014) and production (3.4 yards per carry so far this year) than it does Dallas’ desire to hang onto the 27-year-old back. I can’t imagine that if the ‘Boys were offered a decent draft pick that they would say, “No, please, don’t take our ineffective running back with the bloated salary.”

La Canfora said this morning that Albert Haynesworth may be moved before the trade deadline, but nothing transpired. No team was going to meet the Redskins’ asking price of either a first or second rounder for the disgruntled but talented DT.

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Felix Jones now the starter in Dallas

It appears that Marion Barber’s days as a starter are over in Dallas, as Chris Mortensen reports that Felix Jones will officially move to the top of the Cowboys’ depth chart at running back.

Barber finished with 214 rushing attempts last season, while Jones received 116. Those numbers will likely be reversed this season, with Jones getting the bulk of the carries. Tashard Choice is still expected to get some touches as well, seeing as how both Jones and Barber have issues staying healthy.

While this is certainly big news, the biggest question surrounding the Cowboys’ running game isn’t which back will start, but whether or not Doug Free can man the left tackle position now that Flozell Adams has been released. Dallas did not select an offensive tackle in last week’s draft, which was a huge vote of confidence for Free, who has very limited experience. Unless they re-sign Adams at some point, it looks like the 26-year-old Northern Illinois grad will start Week 1, because there is no depth behind him.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Marion Barber on the trade block? Cowboys deny rumors.

Over the weekend, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported that Cowboys’ running back Marion Barber could be dealt to another team within his division before or during the draft. The NFL Network also reported that Barber could be available via trade.

But late Tuesday afternoon, multiple sources with the Cowboys denied the rumors.


Multiple team sources said Tuesday that the Cowboys haven’t discussed trading Barber, who is coming off two injury-filled seasons where he failed to rush for more than 1,000 yards. The NFL Network reported Monday that NFL executives have said Barber is available via trade.

The only definitive information about Barber’s status has come from Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who said the organization has thought about starting Felix Jones.

“I see the advantages the way we’ve done it,” Jerry Jones said last week about having started Barber with Felix Jones in a reserve role. “But it was a pretty close decision, really. I know it was a consideration.”

Last season, Barber suffered from a plethora of injuries — a bruised left thigh, fractured thumb and a bruised left knee — but missed just one game, Week 3 versus Carolina.

Jerry Jones is not concerned about Barber’s health.

The original rumor is rather ridiculous when you think about it. Teams rarely trade within their own division and never trade starters within the same division. Barber’s health has been a concern, but the Cowboys are built to win now so it doesn’t make sense for them to part with him now – even though he’s due a $4 million roster bonus and $3.8 million in base salary.

We’ll see if this rumor picks up steam again around draft time, but I doubt it will. Again, the original rumor doesn’t make much sense.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

2009 NFL Week 13 Top Observations: Giants 31, Cowboys 24

Here are five quick-hit observations from the Giants’ 31-24 huge win over the Cowboys in Week 13.

1. Can’t blame this one on Romo.
Normally when the Cowboys lose, the attention immediately shifts to how well Tony Romo has played. But considering the man completed 41-of-55 passes for 392 yards and three touchdowns, nobody can pin this loss on Romo. The Cowboys’ defense and running game let them down tonight.

2. Somebody found where Brandon Jacobs was hiding.
For much of this season, Brandon Jacobs has been a ghost. But he emerged today by producing a huge 74-yard touchdown reception in which he actually outran the entire Dallas secondary to the end zone. He only finished with 39 rushing yards on 13 carries, but he did score his fourth rushing touchdown of the year and the key was that he contributed period. Along with Domenik Hixon’s wild 79-yard punt return, Jacobs’ touchdown reception keyed the Giants’ victory.

3. What the hell has gotten into Roy Williams?
After hauling in six passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, Roy Williams has now reached pay dirt five times in the last six games. Granted, he has benefited from more teams paying attention to Miles Austin (who had another big day today, catching 10 passes for 104 yards and a TD), but he nonetheless is starting to produce. Given his lack of explosion and playmaking ability, he’ll never be worth the compensation that Dallas gave up to acquire him, but at least he’s not as useless as he was at the start of the season.

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Fantasy Quick Hitters: Caddy, MBIII, Marshall and more

Bucs’ OC Greg Olson wants Caddy to be the featured back. Williams has been productive, but he’s injury-prone, and if the Bucs start giving him 25 touches a game, he’s probably going to break down. This is bad news for Derrick Ward in the short term, but in the long term, it might be a good thing. Ward could be the primary ballcarrier to close the season.

Brandon Marshall seems to be happy again. It’s amazing what a 4-0 start and a sick, game-winning TD catch will do for a guy. Marshall’s talent is undeniable, and it seems like he and HC Josh McDaniels have put the ill will behind them and have found a way to work together. Marshall’s upside is still limited somewhat by Kyle Orton (just ask Eddie Royal owners), but he has been productive of late and has worked his way back to being an every-week start in most formats.

Rashard Mendenhall should start this week. With Willie Parker likely out, look for another big game from Mendenhall as he faces the Lions’ 20th-ranked rush defense.

MBIII is back at practice. The Cowboys face the Chiefs this week, so it’s a nice matchup for the entire offense. Barber should be in most starting lineups, but Tashard Choice is likely to see a lot of work to keep Barber fresh. Choice has been productive, so there’s no reason not to use him.

Frank Gore on track to return in Week 7. The 49ers have a bye next week, so it looks like Sunday may be the last week that Glen Coffee is startable. He has a nice matchup with the 25th-ranked Falcons’ rush defense and should see plenty of work. Regardless, Gore owners should keep Coffee stashed as a handcuff.

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