DeMarco Murray entered the locker room with the ball still tucked under this arm. He got it all Sunday — a game ball, a record and a win.
Murray set an NFL record with a seventh consecutive 100-yard game to start the season, with his 128 rushing yards helping the Cowboys to a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants.
“It’s hard for me to accept this individually,” Murray said. “I definitely wish the offensive linemen were here, but they’re a huge part of this — the tight ends, receivers, entire coaching staff. I definitely give lot of credit to those guys.
“I’m blessed to be mentioned in that [record], but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, and it’s a long season.”
Hall of Famer Jim Brown owned the record for 56 years, topping the century mark in six consecutive games to start the 1958 season. Murray owns it now.
The fourth-year running back gained 118 yards against the San Francisco 49ers, 167 against the Tennessee Titans, 100 against the St. Louis Rams, 149 against the New Orleans Saints, 136 against the Houston Texans and 115 against the Seattle Seahawks before Sunday’s game against the Giants.
“Probably one of greatest running backs ever to play this game,” Murray said of Brown. “I have a lot of respect for what he’s done. In no way am I trying to say I’m at his level, by any means. I’ve got lot of respect for him. He’s a great guy. He’s a great activist in the community. Just a great player and a great person. But I’m not in that category at all.”
Murray has 913 yards, sixth most in NFL history through seven games. It has him on pace for 2,087 rushing yards for the season, or only 18 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s NFL-record 2,105.
First Jim Brown, then Eric Dickerson?
“He’s off to a great start,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You’ve heard me say this a lot lately — that it’s a team thing. It’s a collective accomplishment by everybody.
“Bill Callahan and Frank Pollack and the offensive coaches do a great job designing a good run game plan. And I say that as the lead, because teams are coming in trying to stop the run, so they have a lot of people down there. There’s a real emphasis on it. We’re still finding ways to do it. It’s not always easy. It’s hard.
“Scott [Linehan has] done a really good job staying with it, being stubborn with it and giving us a chance to have some success over the course of the game.
“From a player standpoint, it starts with the guys up front. Tight ends are blocking; receivers are blocking; fullback’s blocking; and obviously the runners are running. DeMarco’s just doing a fantastic job for us. He’s seeing softness in the defense. He’s feeling things. He’s getting north and south. He’s finishing runs, and sometimes when it’s a 2[-yard gain], a 1, a 2, a 1, a 3, backs can get frustrated. But he’s still believing in the runs and making sure he’s giving every one of them a chance. As the game goes on, you see him having more and more success.”
Murray rolled his ankle on a 21-yard run late in the second quarter, but he retaped it and returned after halftime. He rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the second half.
He insisted afterward that he was fine.
Who wouldn’t be after doing something no other back in NFL history has ever done?