DeMarco Murray's gotta run for Dallas Cowboys

Posted Friday, Dec. 28, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

IRVING -- The best thing about this season for DeMarco Murray is it's not last season. When the Dallas Cowboys played at the Giants in a winner-take-all game to end the 2011 season, their starting running back was sitting at home with his leg elevated.

"It's always stressful not being out there with your teammates and not playing, no matter if it's preseason, practice or anything," said Murray, who missed the final three games of his rookie season with a fractured right ankle. "For me as a competitor and how much I love this team and love football, it's hard to watch. Just being out here, I'm blessed and thankful."

The Cowboys play a winner-take-all game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and Murray hopes to be the difference. He missed the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Redskins with a foot injury, and the Cowboys also were without left tackle Tyron Smith and center Ryan Cook.

Dallas fell behind the Redskins 28-3 in the second quarter and ran the ball only 11 times in the 38-31 loss.

It tied the team record for second-fewest attempts in a game, only one more than the franchise low. (The Cowboys also had only 11 carries last week against the New Orleans Saints.)

"I think this helps everybody being back and having a rhythm and having consistency," Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said. "I think it's obviously an advantage and is a little bit better than what we were going into [the first Redskins game]."

The Cowboys are on pace to tie the franchise record for fewest carries in 16-game season (355) and on pace to set a team record for fewest rushing yards in a 16-game season. They have only 1,165 rushing yards, fewer than nine NFL running backs have this season.

Murray has only one 100-yard game, and that came in the season-opening victory over the Giants. He missed six games in the middle of the season with a sprained foot.

With a forecast calling for a high of 37 and a low of 27 in Landover, Md., and facing a quarterback in Robert Griffin III who threw four touchdowns against their defense five weeks ago, the Cowboys need to run the ball as well as they have all season.

"To be successful, I think you've got to be able to run the ball," Murray said. "You don't want to be one-dimensional. You want to open up the passing game, help with the play-action pass and things like that.

"We're not worried about anything else or trying to keep them off the field. We're just trying to help the offense make plays, play good situational football. Running the football is going to be a key for this game."

Murray has 25 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown the past two games combined. He also has cost his team points.

Murray, who had no fumbles in the first 288 carries of his career, has two lost fumbles over his last 20 carries. His first occurred at the Pittsburgh 8-yard line, denying the Cowboys points, and the second happened at the Dallas 5, leading to a New Orleans touchdown.

"We have a tremendous amount of confidence in DeMarco," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He's done a lot of really good things for us. We're going to hand him the ball and give him every opportunity. He knows more than anybody else the importance of ball security. He's had a couple [of fumbles] the last couple weeks.... That really led to points and took points away from us. He knows that better than anybody else.

"He's carried the ball a lot in his life, and he understands the importance of securing it and making sure he can be a reliable guy that way. We'll give him some chances, though. There's no doubt about that."

Murray isn't worried about his foot, his fumbles or the turf at FedExField, which can be soft.

"I just try to play hard, try to play fast," Murray said.

Charean Williams

817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, September 19Full Scoreboard
Los Angeles «14Final | Box
Chicago Cubs5
Boston3Top 9th | Box
Baltimore3@theBallpark | TV: NESN, MASN
Toronto3Final | Box
NY Yankees «5
Milwaukee2Final | Box
Pittsburgh «4
Washington «3Final | Box
Miami2
Chicago WSox4Top 9th | Box
Tampa Bay3@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, Sun Sports
NY Mets2Top 9th | Box
Atlanta0@theBallpark | TV: SNY, FSN-S
Arizona2Top 7th | Box
Colorado11@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, ROOT-RM
Seattle8Top 6th | Box
Houston2@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-HOU
Detroit10Bottom 6th | Box
Kansas City0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, FSN-KC, ESPN 2
Cleveland4Top 8th | Box
Minnesota3@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Cincinnati1Top 8th | Box
St. Louis2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, FSN-MW
Philadelphia0Bottom 2nd | Box
Oakland2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, CSN-CA
Texas1Top 1st | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: TXA-21, FSN-W, MLB Net
San Francisco0Top 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD, MLB Net
Full Scoreboard
Friday, September 19Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Tampa Bay14Final | Box
Atlanta «56Gridiron Replay
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Detroit TV: FOX
Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
NY Giants TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FOX
Dallas 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Monday
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, September 19Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard