I can’t guarantee that Marion Barber will be the starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 and beyond. But I can guarantee the fact that he’s house-hunting -- er, condo-craving -- in Uptown is a damned good sign he isn’t going anywhere. I know, I know -- Barber wants a contract in the range of $40 million, while the Cowboys are offering around $30 million. Trust me, with Julius Jones gone to Seattle, this deal will get done.
Barber, who rendered Jones expendable by making the Pro Bowl without starting a single game, was browsing the Azure's condos a couple weeks ago. You know Azure, the “singular residence in the prestigious uptown enclave among modern architectural elegance.” Or, as us dimwits like to call it, the giant tower on Maple with the big blue streak. By any description, the joint ain’t cheap. And it ain’t for second-stringers. How’s $1.35 mil for 1,726 square feet grab ya? Miele and Sub-Zero appliances. Exotic stones. Private garages. Thirty-one stories of Dallas dissipation. Perfect, really, for an imminent multi-millionaire.
In February the Cowboys tendered Barber a one-year, $2.5 million offer that forces potential suitors to compensate the Cowboys with a first- and third-round draft choice. You hear that, Parcells? A first and a third. You can have all the mediocre assistants you want -- and, please, take your guy Bobby Carpenter while you’re at it -- just stay away from our running back of the future. --Richie Whitt