Cowboys hope Barber will start Sunday

Updated: January 15, 2010, 4:35 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys starting running back Marion Barber participated fully in practice Friday, and he's listed as probable for the NFC divisional playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Barber practiced, although in limited fashion, for the first time this week Thursday because of a swollen knee. The Cowboys hope he will start Sunday.

"He says he's good to go," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "He wasn't sore and he moved around out there pretty good [Thursday]."

Barber was not available to reporters earlier this week because he was rehabbing the knee. When asked Thursday how he was feeling, Barber simply said, "God is good."

Barber injured his knee in the regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles and re-injured it in last week's wild-card victory, also against the Eagles. He lasted just three carries before he was taken out of last Saturday's game.

An MRI exam on Monday revealed no structural damage.

Running backs coach Skip Peete said he could tell Barber wasn't 100 percent during the playoff game against the Eagles. Peete said if Barber doesn't run with well against the Vikings, he would pull him out.

Felix Jones took the bulk of the workload in last week's playoff game, carrying 16 times for 148 yards and one touchdown.

Barber desperately wants to play this week at the Metrodome, as he played high school football in Wayzata, Minn, a suburb of Minneapolis. He also played college ball at the University of Minnesota.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.