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Is DeMarco Murray a ‘bell cow’ or lead dog?

08/13/2014 7:47 PM

08/13/2014 7:47 PM

The Cowboys plan to run the ball more this season and DeMarco Murray will get the bulk of the work load.

The Cowboys have been consistent on that -- from owner Jerry Jones down to coach Jason Garrett and play caller Scott Linehan. They plan to build in Murray’s 2013 campaign when he rushed for 1,121 yards on 217 carries and scored nine touchdowns. All were career highs.

Yet look for Murray to more of a lead dog like Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett was during his Cowboys heyday than a bell-cow workhorse back in vein of NFL all-time rushing king Emmitt Smith.

The Cowboys want to keep Murray healthy and productive. He has missed at least two games in each of the last three years and the Cowboys plan to use backups Lance Dunbar and Joe Randle in a committee approach to the running game.

“I see him as the leader of a committee, but boy, he’s got bell-cow traits,” Garrett said. “We have no issue handing the ball to that guy, throwing it to him and giving him as much touches as possible. He’s one of those guys that good things happen when he has the ball in his hand.

“I say by committee, because boy, we like Lance Dunbar; we like Joe Randle; we like some of the things that Ryan Williams is doing. You want to give those other guys a chance to touch the ball as well. But DeMarco has all the traits you want in a runner.”

Contributors

Charean Williams has covered the NFL for 21 seasons. She's a Hall of Fame voter, a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and a proud Aggie. Follow her on Twitter at @NFLCharean

E-mail: cjwilliams@star-telegram.com

Clarence E. Hill Jr. has been the Dallas Cowboys beat writer since 1997. He's battle tested with one playoff win, six coaches, countless scandals, controversies and unfullfilled expectations. Follow him on Twitter at @clarencehilljr

E-mail: chill@star-telegram.com

Drew Davison joined the Star-Telegram as a correspondent in 2007, primarily covering high schools along with helping out with Rangers, Cowboys and colleges coverage. He became one of the Rangers beat writers in July 2011, and also assists with coverage of Texas Motor Speedway and the Cowboys during the offseason. Davison graduated from the University of Kansas and had internships at The Kansas City Star and MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavison

E-mail: ddavison@star-telegram.com

Jimmy Burch is the college sports and golf writer/columnist for the Star-Telegram. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys and other Dallas-Fort Worth pro sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Jimmy_Burch

E-mail: jburch@star-telegram.com

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