Dallas Cowboys

December 18, 2013

Cowboys’ Murray wanted opportunity to close out game

DeMarco Murray downplays his reaction late in the fourth quarter and says he was “just mad at the situation.”

DeMarco Murray looked mad, and Emmitt Smith has said Murray should be mad. But Murray downplayed the anger he displayed Sunday.

TV cameras caught Murray forcefully removing his helmet and screaming after Tony Romo threw an interception on a changed play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Murray left the locker room without talking to the media after the game.

“I think in that situation the offensive line and myself would definitely have liked the opportunity to close the game out for us and give us that opportunity,” Murray said Wednesday. “I wasn’t mad at anybody. I was just mad at the situation. We let them come back and gave them an opportunity to win the game, and they took advantage of that. But I wasn’t mad at anyone or anything like that.”

Murray rushed for 134 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game, and averaged 7.4 yards a rush. But only seven of his 18 carries came in the second half.

Coach Jason Garrett has said repeatedly this week that the Cowboys should have run the ball more in the second half. Murray has earned the right to close out games, with the running game having averaged 145.8 yards over the past four weeks.

“Yeah, I think that’s kind of what you want to do,” said Murray, who has a career-high 977 rushing yards this season. “As an offensive line and the way we’ve been running, we feel like we can close the game out. But, once again, that’s up to [offensive coordinator Bill] Callahan, who calls the plays. He gives us great opportunities. We’ve just got to continue to get those opportunities and help this team out as much as we can.”

Carter to call plays

Bruce Carter returns to his familiar weakside linebacker spot Sunday, where he will call the plays for a unit seeking veteran leadership.

“My job is to try to lead the defense to a victory and just play as good as we can,” said Carter, who missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury. “When things get out of hand, try to get everybody to calm down and just try to get back to our game plan and play sound. I’m up for the challenge. I know what’s ahead of me, and we just got to go out there and execute.”

Carter and Sean Lee were inactive last week, and the Cowboys lost Justin Durant (hamstring) and Ernie Sims (hip) in the first half. That left rookie Cameron Lawrence, rookie DeVonte Holloman and second-year player Kyle Wilber to finish the game.

Holloman will make his first career start this week, filling in at middle linebacker for Lee.

“With me having the experience I do have, my job, I just want to go in there and get everybody lined up,” Carter said. “I think once we can get everybody lined up and get into position where we need to be, I think things will kind of fall into place and it’ll flow a lot better. If we can get that done, I think we’ll be great.”

Ware has back injury

Defensive end DeMarcus Ware has almost as many injuries as sacks this season. After fighting through neck and quadriceps injuries, Ware missed practice Wednesday with a back injury.

He has only six sacks this season, including only two in the past 11 games. Ware had two assists Sunday, according to coaches’ grades, and two quarterback pressures.

Rookie receiver Terrance Williams tweaked his hamstring in Sunday’s game, the 12th Cowboys player with a hamstring injury. He was among others to miss practice Wednesday.

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