Dallas Cowboys fans and the NFL experienced another tragic loss in a recent long line of them on Wednesday when news broke that powerhouse running back Marion Barber had passed away at the age of 38. No cause of death was given.
As remembrances of Barber reached social media, one in particular stood out in furthering a glaring recent pattern: ABC News’ attempt to memorialize him included a random dig at how few 1,000-yard seasons he recorded in the NFL.
That’s fitting, too, since it was never about total yardage for Barber, but rather how impressive he made short-yardage pickups look. One of the running back’s most memorable on-field moments came against the New England Patriots in Dallas, and it involved a two-yard run that should’ve been stuffed behind the line and in the end zone on multiple occasions before one of the game’s all-time escapes.
And this wasn’t just the Patriots — it was the Patriots in 2007. This elite defense stacked with Hall of Famers en route to a perfect regular season was left chasing shadows and tackling steel beams when Barber was in the backfield.
Cowboys RB Marion Barber passes away, remembered for two-yard run vs Patriots
1st & 20, backed up deep near his own end zone? The Cowboys tried a desperate handoff to Barber in hopes that he could gain at least a bit of breathing room.
And that he did, after an all-out chase laden with broken tackles and featuring the likes of Rodney Harrison, Ty Warren and Junior Seau all struggling to take down the power back who needed to create his own momentum out of nothing in this particular scenario.
The Patriots ultimately won the game, as they so often did that season, but Barber’s moment of heart and heroism has endured to this day.
Barber gaining the most impossible two yards you’ll ever see against a defensive front that made running backs sweat all season should be his enduring legacy in the game.
We also shouldn’t have to talk about his “enduring legacy” in 2022. What a tragic loss indeed.