Cowboys notes: DeMarco Murray happy with increased workload

Posted Friday, Sep. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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DeMarco Murray had 20 rushes and eight receptions in the Cowboys’ 36-31 victory Sunday over the New York Giants. His 28 total touches were the second most of his career, and the second-most touches by an NFL running back last week.

Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy had 32 touches. Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin and Detroit’s Reggie Bush each had 25.

“Whenever I can get the ball, trying to make something happen, give this offense a spark, it’s going to be good for our team,” Murray said. “They did a good job of giving me opportunities to do that last weekend.”

Murray had 31 touches against the Washington Redskins two years ago, the only time he’s had more than on Sunday.

Murray has a history of injuries, having missed nine games in his first two seasons, but coach Jason Garrett said he is not worried about exposing Murray to more hits with an increased load. Murray played 69 of 77 snaps, with Phillip Tanner taking five snaps. Joseph Randle did not play despite being active on game day.

“It’s how the game plays out,” Garrett said. “It’s good to get him the football. He’s a good football player. He’s the kind of guy who can control the tempo of a game and the pace of a game for you. That’s a good thing.

“There are a lot of good running backs in the history of the league who have been able to do that by either handing it to them or throwing it to them. So we think that’s a good thing for our offense and a good thing for our team.

“Obviously, we’ll be very aware if he’s getting worn down and we need to put somebody else in there. You do that in games. You do that over the course of games. But I don’t think that number is out of the ordinary at all.”

The Cowboys will have Lance Dunbar back this week to ease some of the burden on Murray. Dunbar missed last week’s game with a sprained foot.

“He’s a special player,” Murray said. “We’ll definitely get some touches [for him].”

Spencer’s return

Defensive end Anthony Spencer appears confident he can spell George Selvie for at least a few plays Sunday.

“If I go on Sunday, it won’t be like the starting role, playing 60-70 snaps,” Spencer said. “It’ll be limited. I’m not sure what that is right now, but it’ll definitely be limited. … I’m going to be backing guys up.”

The Cowboys officially listed Spencer as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

Spencer practiced Friday for the second time this week and for only the second time since undergoing left knee surgery July 25. He took “15 or 16” snaps during Wednesday’s practice, and he said he did more Friday after a planned day off Thursday.

The Cowboys have ruled out linebacker Ernie Sims (groin). Their other injured players — Dez Bryant (foot), Lance Dunbar (foot), Tony Romo (ribs), Danny McCray (hamstring) and Morris Claiborne (shoulder) — are probable.

Claiborne’s harness

Morris Claiborne said he practiced this week with a more restrictive shoulder harness than the one he will wear in the game. But he is unsure how it will affect his play.

“I don’t know. We’ll see,” he said Friday, asked if the harness would hamper him more defending the pass or making a tackle. “I just can’t say. We’ll find out come Sunday.”

Claiborne is recovering from a separated left shoulder in last week’s game against the Giants. He said he wore the more restrictive harness when the team was not in pads to keep from extending his arm too far.

Claiborne gave up the fourth-most catches in the NFL last week, according to STATS. He was targeted 10 times and allowed seven receptions.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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