Only five running backs have ever carried the ball more than 400 times in a season, led by Larry Johnson’s NFL-record 416 in 2006. DeMarco Murray is on pace for 427 after carrying it 28 times Sunday against the Giants.
But the Cowboys aren’t worried about wearing down their feature back.
“That’s that new-school stuff – keeping him fresh,” running backs coach Gary Brown said. “We’re going to keep him rolling.”
Murray has 187 carries in seven games, or more carries than he had in 2011 or 2012. He had a career-high 217 carries last season.
He also has 22 receptions, giving him 209 touches already this season.
“If we can get that much, with that many carries with Murray, then we’re ahead,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of Murray’s record-carry pace. “But seriously, it’s logical that where you can you should cut back, and let him stay as fresh as you can during the game. I saw us attempting to do that today with [Joseph] Randle and some there with [Lance] Dunbar, and I think you’ll see that. I mean, that’s just common sense to give him a little break, but it’s real difficult. With the back that he is, I can see why it’s real difficult with the game on the line – and how can you say when it’s not on the line? Look at what happened out there today. So it’s real difficult to take him out of there in these critical situations. This game is a big win for us. We needed the win on the numbers, and we needed the win psychologically. We needed it all now. I don’t know that there’s a more important time than when he came back out there that second half, and if we’re doing it, used him up some.”
Dunbar had three carries for 16 yards Sunday, and Randle contributed two for 7 yards.