Officially, DeMarco Murray did not practice on Wednesday. He didn’t take part in team drills, which is the determining factor in the NFL’s practice report policy.
However, Murray did go through some early individual drills during the first 30 minutes open to the media. He wore a pad on his left hand two days after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand.
The Cowboys have yet to determine if Murray will be able to play Sunday against the Colts, but it seems like going through individual drills less than 48 hours after surgery is a good sign for Murray.
“He’s going to do everything he can to play,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “I expect DeMarco to be out there. We’ll adjust if not.”
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Murray is the NFL’s rushing leader with 1,651 yards and is on pace to break Emmitt Smith’s franchise record for single-season rushing yards (1,773). He’s also a large part of the Cowboys’ offensive attack, carrying it a league-high 351 times as well as having 54 catches out of the backfield.
The Cowboys have expressed confidence in backups Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar to carry the load if Murray can’t go, although it seems more likely than not that Murray will play.
Outside of participating in the individual drills, Murray can also grip with his left hand. Smith missed one game with a similar surgery in 1999, but he couldn’t grip like Murray can.
Murray also carries the ball predominantly in his right hand, blaming some of his early-season fumbling issues on carrying it with his left. All of that bodes well for him to play Sunday.
“We’ll see how functional he is,” coach Jason Garrett said. “How he can hold the ball, hold it under duress, catch the ball, block, do all the things necessary to play. We’ll try to ease him into drills and practice as the week goes on and see where he is.”
Murray has never played a full 16-game season in his four-year career, missing games in the past because of a broken ankle, sprained foot and sprained knee.