Reports: Marion Barber violates rules

Updated: November 15, 2010, 8:17 AM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jason Garrett era had a minor issue before the opening kickoff.

CBS 11 and the Dallas Morning News reported prior to Sunday's Cowboys-Giants game that starting running back Marion Barber violated the Cowboys' new dress policy, and was benched for it.

Garrett, who took over Monday when coach Wade Phillips was fired, wants his players to dress professionally, meaning suit and tie and no tennis shoes for road games.

Barber wore jeans, an untucked shirt and blazer on the team charter, according to reports and eyewitness accounts. After the game, a number of players wore suits and ties with dress shoes. Prior to the new dress policy being put in place this week, some players already wore suit and ties with dress shoes to games such as Bradie James, Roy E. Williams and Jason Witten.

Garrett said Barber didn't violate any team rules.

"I don't know anything about that, whatever that was," said Jerry Jones, who noted he was not on the team charter. "I have no details about it. It's probably good they are working through those matters without any input [from me]."

However, Barber, who became the full-time starter at running back in 2008, didn't start the game. Instead, Felix Jones earned the start, which was by design, according to Garrett, because it was the first play in the Cowboys script.

"We like Felix running that play," Garrett said.

Jones gained 10 yards on a running play toward the left side.

Barber came in on the next play and carried the ball three consecutive times before the Cowboys were forced to punt on their opening possession of the game. When asked if Barber was benched, Garrett said, "Marion was in on the second play."

Barber, as his custom, declined to speak with reporters. Barber's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, didn't return a phone call seeking comment on the possibility of his client violating team rules.

Jones rushed 14 times for 51 yards and had three catches for 85 yards including a 71-yard touchdown. Barber had eight carries for 47 yards and no touchdowns.

As a unit, the Cowboys rushed for 103 yards, the first time they've reached the century mark in the last four games.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.

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.