Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys owner says Murray might play Sunday

Jerry Jones isn’t ready to rule DeMarco Murray out of Sunday’s game against Indianapolis.

Jones said it’s not “unrealistic” Murray could play even after undergoing hand surgery on Monday. Murray broke a bone in his left hand late in last week’s game against Philadelphia, and it required surgery. It’s a similar injury to what Emmitt Smith had in 1999, when he missed only one game.

“I’m not so sure how much he can heal between now and Sunday,” Jones said on his KRLD/105.3 FM radio show. “And I haven’t been shown examples of where someone has had an injury like this. It’s not uncommon — I’m not saying it’s an everyday occurrence — but it’s not uncommon for a back to have a hand injury. They do take some hits on that hand.

“It’s conceivable to me — it’s not unrealistic to me — that it could work with him being ready.”

Murray, who will likely be fitted with a protective pad when he does return to the field, had his hand heavily wrapped in the locker room Tuesday. He declined to talk extensively about the injury.

He said he felt better and would give an update on his status when he talks to the media Thursday.

Murray said he has researched the injury and will talk to Smith about his experience.

Backup options

Backup running backs Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar don’t know if their roles will increase with Murray recovering from surgery to repair a fractured finger on his left hand.

Randle and Dunbar have combined for 60 carries for 328 yards.

“We’re approaching it the same way,” Dunbar said. “... You always have to be ready just in case your number is called.”

Randle, who has 34 carries for 237 yards and two touchdowns this season, highlighted by an eye-catching 7 yards per carry, will likely get the start if Murray can’t play.

“We don’t know what the opportunity is yet because he hasn’t been ruled out, but I’m ready for whatever,” Randle said.

Parnell ready

Doug Free was on the training room table Tuesday, getting his injured left ankle treated. He missed three games earlier this season with a sprained right foot.

Jones hasn’t ruled Free out for Sunday’s game against the Colts, although a source said Free likely will miss two games.

Jermey Parnell started at right tackle in the three games Free missed against the New York Giants, Washington and Arizona earlier this season. He replaced Free in the second half last week against the Eagles.

“As a swing tackle in this league, you’ve got to always be prepared,” Parnell said Tuesday. “That’s point blank, period. The reps out on the field to in the classroom, just always be prepared, and you’ll be ready.”

Playoff match

With two weeks remaining, the Dallas Cowboys are in an interesting spot in the playoff picture.

For now, though, we look at the scenarios in which the Cowboys can clinch a playoff berth as early as this weekend:

Dallas will clinch the NFC East division with:

▪ 1. Dallas win + Philadelphia loss or tie OR

▪ 2. Dallas tie + Philadelphia loss

Dallas clinches a playoff spot with:

▪ 1. Dallas win + Green Bay loss or tie + Detroit loss or tie as long as both don’t tie

Clarence E. Hill Jr.

817-390-7760

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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