Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli compares Giants RB Saquon Barkley to Barry Sanders
The Dallas Cowboys will have their hands full when they face running back Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants on Sunday. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley didn’t disappoint as a rookie, going to the Pro-Bowl and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year while recording a league-leading 2,028 scrimmage yards.
In fact, Barkley’s rookie season with the Giants was so outstanding that he’s earned comparisons to Hall of Famer Barry Sanders — just a 5-foot-11, 233-pound version of him.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Marinelli is one of those comparing him to Sanders and giving him high praise.
“It’s really like Barry Sanders,” Marinelli said on Thursday, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota. Very similar. You may have a lot of plays where you keep him to minimal, 5 yards, and then the ability to break the long one. You got to be on top of the details. We have to be disciplined.”
Marinelli joins head coach Jason Garrett in Cowboys staff giving the second-year back praise, saying, per USA Today’s John Fennelly:
“The guy makes two yards a few yards. Two yards four yards [or] eight like all the elite backs in the history of the NFL. Every time that ball is snapped you have to hunker down and make sure you’re doing things the right way. Go get this guy. He’s an elite football player.”
In two games played against the Cowboys in 2018, Barkley rushed for a total of 137 yards and a score on 4.9 yards per attempt. He also has added in 113 receiving yards on 18 receptions.
Dallas’ talented front-seven has their work cut out for Sunday.