DeMarco Murray saved his best move for last, slipping out the back door of the locker room.
He left everyone else to talk about his entry into the league’s record book.
Murray joined Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the only running backs in NFL history to begin a season with six consecutive 100-yard games as the Dallas Cowboys running back gained 115 yards on 29 carries.
“Like I said from Day One, he’s a beast,” Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said. “If you don’t want to believe it now, you better start. That guy is an animal.”
Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown vowed to get Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle more involved early in the game to ease some of Murray’s workload. He did that, with Randle reeling off a 38-yard run in the first quarter and finishing the game with five carries for 52 yards. Dunbar had one carry for minus-4 yards, but caught four passes for 48 yards.
The Cowboys finished with 162 rushing yards against the league’s top-ranked rushing defense. The Seattle Seahawks entered the game allowing only 62.3 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry.
Murray became the seventh 100-yard rusher the Seahawks have allowed in Pete Carroll’s four-plus seasons in Seattle.
“They played really well,” Carroll said. “They ran some unique stuff, some style of plays that worked for them — a real nice counter, and they had the G-play going late in the game. DeMarco is really good. I thought we had a lot of plays at him, at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, where he was able to shake us and get a couple yards. He has a really cool style about breaking tackles. We didn’t do as well as we thought we would. We were high on some tackles, and he knocked us off a few times.”
Murray had a lot of “dirty runs,” but the 2-, 3- and 4-yard runs finally resulted in big runs in the fourth quarter. On the Cowboys’ go-ahead touchdown, he had runs of 25, 6 and 15 yards, back-to-back-to-back with the final one ending in the end zone.
“We said we were going to have to be patient this game, going against a great defense that’s stingy against the run and all that stuff,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “But DeMarco, the players, with DeMarco being the ball carrier a lot of the times, executed great. I give a little credit, a lot of credit, that we were able to keep him fresh.
“Joe Randle went in there, and he was getting those yards and that big run. Lance Dunbar goes in and he has his place. That’s good to have those guys playing in that role for him, because it’s hard, and we all talk about it. It’s hard to take 29 off the field. But I think you can see why his effectiveness in the fourth quarter was probably raised somewhat. That’s what I think.”
Murray ended with 35 touches for 146 scrimmage yards. It was enough for history and for the win.
“DeMarco really ran hard,” tight end Jason Witten said. “I really think he’s showing his maturity as a back, sticking with it, sticking with it and coming out on the back end on a couple of those late in the game.”