Cowboys notes: DeMarco Murray ready to play a week after Garrett held him out

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray understands the coaching decision to sit him last weekend. That doesn’t mean he likes it.

Doctors cleared Murray’s return from a sprained left knee, but coach Jason Garrett decided to hold Murray out after not seeing enough at practice last week when Murray was listed as limited.

“I thought that I was ready,” Murray said. “I thought I was going to go, but it was his choice to rest me one more week, but he made a good call. It was best for this team and for myself, so I’m ready to go.”

Murray fully participated in practice Wednesday, the first time that has happened since he injured his knee Oct. 13 against the Washington Redskins. He said he is not wearing a brace.

Murray missed most of the victory over the Redskins, leaving early in the second quarter after only 15 plays and seven carries. He sat out the past two games.

Murray has missed 11 of a possible 40 games in his three-year career.

“You get your hopes up, and it’s a little frustrating, but you’ve got to come to the conclusion it’s a long season and whatever they’re doing is best for me and best for this team,” Murray said. “But it was tough watching on the sidelines.”

With Murray on the sideline for most of the past three games, the Cowboys have rushed for only 184 yards on 71 carries. Rookie Joseph Randle has 108 yards on 44 carries, a 2.5-yards-per-carry average.

Waters’ backups

While starting right guard Brian Waters likely is out for the season with a torn triceps, the Cowboys are willing to wait for Waters to explore all his options in what might be his final season. Waters is delaying surgery in hopes of finding a way to return in a few weeks.

“We just want to explore every option with him,” Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “He has that kind of impact on our football team, so when you have a guy like that, you just want to check every avenue before you make any definitive comments, and then we’ll have to make a decision one way or another here in the next few days.”

Mackenzy Bernadeau will step into the starting role at right guard. Since the Cowboys released David Arkin from the active roster Saturday and signed him to the practice squad Monday, they have no true backup guard.

Thus, starting center Travis Frederick and starting right tackle Doug Free took snaps at guard during practice Wednesday. Free said it was the first time since the season has started that he has taken reps at guard.

“Just preparing for if the worst happens,” Free said Wednesday. “I don’t really know what’s going to happen, so we’ll just prepare for the worst, and see where it goes.”

Smith admits hold

Tyron Smith did it. The left tackle admits he held Lions defensive end Devin Taylor, which stopped the clock with 1:07 remaining, even though Detroit declined the penalty.

“It was a tug,” Smith said Wednesday in his first comments about the penalty. “It’s a technique issue, but I have to clean up that mistake and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Jason Garrett also implicated running back Phillip Tanner, who was supposed to run up the middle but bounced outside to Smith’s side. 

Tanner, though, said he was just “trying to make a play.”

“From what I saw, if I was going to go straight, I would’ve ran straight into the back of the linemen,” Tanner said. “So I was just trying to make a play. It’s instincts. …If we get the first down, we win the ballgame.”

Injuries

The Cowboys practiced without five starters Wednesday. Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring), defensive end DeMarcus Ware (thigh), right guard Brian Waters (elbow) and safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) did not participate.

Safety Danny McCray (hip/toe) and rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck) also were held out.

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (neck) was limited as was safety Barry Church (hamstring). Church said he will play Sunday.

 

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

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