Cowboys cautious with Barber, who’s questionable

Cowboys RB Marion Barber, who’s nursing a left thigh injury, was limited for the fourth consecutive practice today and is listed as questionable to play in Monday night’s game against the Panthers.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said before practice that Barber needed to be healthy enough to play full time or the team would hold him out of the game. Phillips doesn’t want Barber to aggravate the injury, which he suffered during last Sunday’s loss to the Giants.

“I don’t want him to be in a situation where, No. 1, he could be hurt worse and you lose him for a longer amount of time,” Phillips said. “That goes with the determination of the athletic trainers and the doctors and so forth as to where he is, because he had some swelling. He had a legitimate injury that we have to find out, day by day, what it’s going to do and how much better it gets. But it wasn’t a long-term injury, and that’s why we’re thinking maybe he’ll play.”

If Barber can’t go, backups Felix Jones and Tashard Choice likely will split carries against the Panthers. Jones, a second-year pro, is averaging 9.1 yards per carry this season (118 yards on 13 attempts). Choice, also a second-year pro, rushed for 472 yards last season, but he has just four carries for 18 yards this season.

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