Marion Barber supports Jason Garrett
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys starting running back Marion Barber wouldn't acknowledge whether he was fined for not following a new dress code of wearing a suit and tie to road games, but he indicated he supports interim coach Jason Garrett.
When asked if it bothered him that reports came out about his dress code violation, Barber said, "By no means, that's your job. Why would I get mad at what you guys do? I respect what you do. Why would I cry about what you do? That is your job. That's what comes with the territory."
Sources said Barber was fined an undisclosed amount for his failure to comply with the dress code after Sunday's victory against the New York Giants.
Drew Rosenhaus, Barber's agent, didn't return a phone call seeking comment regarding the fine. NFL players, under the collective bargaining agreement, have a right to appeal any fine, but Barber hadn't done so.
It was a surprise not to see Barber in a suit for the Giants game. Barber wore a blazer with his shirt untucked and jeans. He's usually one of the better-dressed players for road games; he generally wears a suit and tie on such occasions.
Garrett said he will handle any disciplinary measures in private and won't discuss it with reporters.
In Sunday's game, Barber, who has started every game, didn't get the first carry of the game, leading to speculation he was being punished for the dress code violation.
Felix Jones received the first snap of the game, picking up 10 yards on a pass play. But Barber returned quickly and carried the next three times. When the game was over, Barber had rushed for 47 yards on eight carries in the 33-20 victory over the Giants.
After Jones received the first snaps of the game, the Cowboys went with their usual rotation of using their top two running backs.
The Cowboys like to use Jones on first- and second-down carries and give Barber snaps on third downs and on short down-and-distances. Barber said he didn't know if Jones was going to get the first carry again on Sunday versus the Detroit Lions or if he would remain in the starting lineup.
"I don't make the call," Barber said. "All I worry about is what we do prior to the game. How we prepare. How we work in practice. That's most important."
In his new role, Barber has rushed 79 times for 258 yards with two touchdowns this season. Barber ranks 43 in yards among NFL rushers and Jones leads the team with 353 rushing yards. It's a drastic decrease in yardage totals for Barber in 2010 than last year.
After nine games last year, which included one game he missed due to a thigh injury, Barber had 103 carries for 473 yards with four touchdowns.
"However they use me, I'm going to continue to work, if that makes sense," Barber said. "Regardless of the scenario, situation or circumstance."
Part of Garrett's program is changing the culture at Valley Ranch. Garrett has moved up practice times, made players wear full pads on Wednesdays and increased the overall intensity of practices.
"Yeah, it's positive changes," Barber said. "We are all leaders in our way."
Several of Barber's teammates still think he's a leader, and Garrett, despite the rule violation, didn't strip him of his captaincy.
"He's a great guy," center Andre Gurode said of Barber. "He's a guy who doesn't say too much of anything. He likes to let his actions speak louder than his words. He's fun. He's energetic and he wants to do anything and everything to help the team out."