Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray rushes for 175 yards and then rushes off

Posted Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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DeMarco Murray stiff-armed the media and slipped out of the locker room, evading reporters as easily as he did the St. Louis Rams.

Without saying a word about his 175-yard rushing performance, Murray left everyone talking about him.

“It was fun to watch DeMarco break out because he’s a great running back,” Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said.

The Cowboys ran it more than they passed it for the first time in eight games, dating to the Philadelphia game last December, as they called 34 runs and 24 passes in the 31-7 laugher over the Rams.

In the first two games, the Cowboys had been criticized for their lack of balance. They had 91 passes and 39 runs in the first two games.

“I thought Bill [Callahan] did a good job calling the game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “I thought the balance was good throughout the game, and we kept giving DeMarco Murray opportunities to run the ball from a lot of different personnel groups, a lot of different-type formations, but we were consistent and efficient running it throughout the game. I thought that was the difference for us on offense.”

It helped that the Cowboys had success early running it. Murray’s first carry went for 14 yards, and he had 43 yards on six carries in the Cowboys’ first drive that went eight plays and 61 yards for a touchdown.

It also helped that the Cowboys led from start to finish.

Of the team’s 396 total yards, 193 came on the ground. It was the most since they gained 227 against the Baltimore Ravens last October.

“That’s just a credit to the guys up front and DeMarco and what they did today,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. “That makes my job and everyone else’s much easier. We wanted to run the football today, and we did a good job of obviously having production to make it easy to do so.”

The Rams seem to bring out the best in Murray.

He had his career-best day against the Rams as a rookie in 2011, rushing for a team-record 253 yards in his first extended playing time. But Sunday marked only the fifth 100-yard game of Murray’s career, his first since he opened the 2012 season with 131 yards on 20 carries against the New York Giants.

Murray had a career-best 26 carries and averaged 6.7 yards per rush. He also contributed three receptions for 28 yards, giving him 29 touches for 203 total yards.

“We’ve put a lot of time into the wide-zone scheme and running the football since March, and it was good to see it pay off for us like that,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “I thought we stuck to it, and more than anything, we had good runs early in the game. We understand you need to run the ball. It’s just you’re playing good teams, and sometimes it’s tough.”

Charean Williams 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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