Source: Barber hopes to play

Updated: September 23, 2009, 2:29 PM ET
By Matt Mosley | ESPN.com

Nursing a strained quadriceps muscle in his left leg, Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber received treatment Tuesday morning and hopes to play against the Panthers on Monday, a league source told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Barber
Barber

When asked Wednesday about his condition by reporters, Barber, who rarely talks to the media, didn't seem to rule himself out.

"I'm good today, I'll be good tomorrow and then up until Monday," he said.

An MRI exam taken Monday morning confirmed the strain. Coach Wade Phillips said the Cowboys would have to "wait and see on that" when asked about Barber's status during Monday's news conference. The Cowboys will see how Barber's quad responds to treatment the next few days, then make a decision.

Barber pulled up lame at the end of a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' 33-31 loss to the Giants on Sunday night.

Television station KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth cited anonymous sources in reporting on Tuesday that Barber will miss one to two weeks, but the Cowboys initially said the running back was "50-50." Now, it appears to be a waiting game.

Having one extra day certainly helps the running back's situation. But if Barber, who ran for 124 yards on 18 carries Sunday against the Giants, isn't ready to go, second-year player Tashard Choice will take on a larger role on the offense. When Barber and Felix Jones were out with injuries last December, Choice stepped in and made a very favorable impression.

Jones tied a career-high with 96 rushing yards and scored a touchdown on seven carries Sunday.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones questioned Barber's toughness when he was injured last December, which seemed completely out of place for one of the most punishing runners in the league. Jones attempted to retract his comments later, but it still made for a bizarre situation.

To add depth, the Cowboys signed running back Chauncey Washington to their practice squad on Tuesday.

Washington played in six games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2008 as a rookie seventh-round draft pick out of USC. He had only four carries for 9 yards and one catch for 9 yards.

To make room on the practice squad for Washington, the Cowboys released fullback Julius Crosslin.

Matt Mosley covers the NFC East for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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