Barber wants to play in homecoming

Cowboys starting running back Marion Barber missed Wednesday's practice with a swollen left knee and his status for today's practice is uncertain. But coach Wade Phillips knows he'll have a hard time keeping the former Gopher off his old college playing field in Minneapolis.


Barber"Marion really wants to play in this ballgame," Phillips said Wednesday. "If there's any way he could play he will, and I think he's better."

Phillips has had a difficult time talking Barber out of playing in preseason games at the Metrodome, so he knows it will be nearly impossible to keep him out of a divisional-round playoff game. Barber's father, Marion Jr., finished with 34 career touchdowns for the University of Minnesota. Barber III, the Cowboys running back, finished with 35, which was second on the school's all-time list.

I realize that Felix Jones' 148-yard outburst against the Eagles last Saturday has some Cowboys fans almost hoping that he's forced to start against the Vikings. But believe me, continuity is the best thing for this offense right now. And don't forget that Barber opened the game against the Eagles two weeks ago with 58 yards rushing during the first possession. This team feeds off of Barber's raw energy and I think they'll benefit from his homecoming if he's able to play Sunday.