Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys spotlight: Buccaneers RB Doug Martin chases team rushing records

Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has rushed for 643 yards this season, 115 behind league leader Adrian Peterson of the Vikings.
Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has rushed for 643 yards this season, 115 behind league leader Adrian Peterson of the Vikings. AP

Doug Martin, running back

Height: 5-9 Weight: 223

Season: 4th College: Boise State

Strengths: Martin has produced at every stop. He had more than 3,100 rushing yards his final two seasons at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, Calif. A two-year starter at Boise, Martin gained 1,299 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in 2011. He rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns on 319 carries as a rookie after the Bucs made him the 31st overall pick. He is an all-around back, capable of staying on the field for all three downs. He is athletic, he runs hard and will break tackles. His 32 forced missed tackles this season lead the league.

Weaknesses: His ball security has not always been good. He has lost two fumbles this season and four for his career. Keeping Martin on the field has been the Bucs’ biggest concern. He missed 15 games the previous two seasons, with fewer than 500 yards each season and a 3.8 yards per carry average. He ran only a 4.55-second 40 before the draft, but his speed seems fast enough. Martin has seven runs of 20 yards or more this season, tying for second-most in the league, and 22 for his career.

Last game: He had 11 carries for 31 yards, lost a fumble and dropped a pass in a 32-18 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. Charles Sims played more snaps (32) than Martin (31).

Who has to stop him? The Cowboys are tied for 18th against the run. Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman is the only back with 100 yards against the Cowboys this season. He rushed for 141 on 30 carries on Sept. 27. The Cowboys allowed 172 rushing yards to the Philadelphia Eagles last week on 35 carries.

Notable: The Bucs declined the fifth-year option for Martin, who is making a $1.3 million base salary this season. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. ... His nickname is the Muscle Hamster. … Martin has run for 643 yards this season, fifth in the league. Adrian Peterson leads with 758. … Martin’s 10 100-yard rushing games are second in team history behind Warrick Dunn (11 from 1997-2001, 2008). … Martin has 17 career rushing touchdowns, two behind Dunn’s team record. … Martin has 3,047 career rushing yards, 11 from passing Ricky Bell (3,057 from 1977-81) for seventh-most in team history. He needs 15 more to pass Reggie Cobb (3,061 from 1990-93) for sixth-most in franchise history.

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