Dallas Cowboys

Murray, Martin appear likely to play Sunday, Cowboys owner says

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, nursing a broken left hand, should be counted on to play Sunday, owner Jerry Jones said Friday.
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, nursing a broken left hand, should be counted on to play Sunday, owner Jerry Jones said Friday. Star-Telegram

DeMarco Murray and Zack Martin are listed as questionable, but owner Jerry Jones feels good about their availability for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Cowboys, though, list right tackle Doug Free (left ankle) as doubtful.

“Murray and Martin, I’m pretty positive about having the ability to play them and to get that decision,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on KRLD/105.3 FM. “Both of those guys, you should be able to count on them. Free’s a little bit different matter, and I’m a little skeptical we’re going to have Free, but let’s see what the few days bring. We may get some of Free, and that may be worth giving him an active roster spot.”

Murray, who had surgery on his left hand Monday, was limited in practice Friday. He also was limited Thursday after not participating Wednesday.

Although Martin didn’t practice all week, he was able to play through his ankle injury during last week’s game.

“I was encouraged I was able to finish the game and that gave me some hope, that I’d be good to go for this week,” Martin said.

Defensive tackle Josh Brent (calf/personal) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring) will not play Sunday.

Backup quarterback Brandon Weeden missed Friday’s practice for personal reasons.

The other five players on the injury report are probable.

Carr’s future

Cornerback Brandon Carr has yet to live up to the $50.2 million contract he signed as a free agent in 2012. This season, he has allowed 43 receptions for 808 yards and five touchdowns, according to STATS, while making only nine pass breakups and no interceptions.

He has only two pass breakups in the past eight games, and has gone 29 games without an interception.

Coach Jason Garrett said Monday the Cowboys have no thoughts of benching Carr because he remains a key part of the defense.

Owner Jerry Jones echoed Garrett.

He acknowledged Carr has not lived up to expectations but said he is glad the Cowboys have the cornerback. The owner still champions Carr’s ball skills and is hopeful the seven-year veteran will make a play that will be a key part of a championship run to make up for this contract disappointment.

“Oh, I think that one of the things that create a challenge for him is it’s like the same one that a No. 1 draft pick has,” Jones said. “The expectation of what he’s supposed to bring to the table is one that is really very difficult to meet.

“Now, has he played at a Pro Bowl level? No, he has not. And therein lies the issue. The expectation is that he would play at a Pro Bowl level. I’m not as hard on him as possibly it looks like we should be or others are because I know that he does give us a skill level and a size component back there that is very important to us right now.

“I’m glad we got him. I’m glad I’m paying him. Like everybody you’d like to have your deal squared up more to the value of where it is, but that’s just part of this. He’s very capable. He plays the ball well. One of his skills is how well he plays the ball, and let’s hope that he makes that interception at the time that goes down in history for the Dallas Cowboys.”

Home-field advantage? 

The Cowboys have drawn 628,659 fans to AT&T Stadium this season. Jones hopes the NFL’s largest stadium can provide a home-field advantage this week in a must-win game against the Colts.

“I think we’ll be wall-to-wall with Cowboys fans, frankly, just like it was on Thanksgiving, which was, in my mind, maybe the finest crowd, other than our opening day against the Giants years ago,” Jones said on KRLD/105.3 FM. “I was so disappointed that we laid that egg out there.

“Let’s have that same crowd. We need it. That’s trite to say that, we need it bad. But the other thing is, I want to reward these great fans that have been with us and should have the last game in the stadium for the Cowboys as far as regular season, should have a game of this quality.”

The Cowboys are only 25-22 in the $1.2 billion stadium, which opened in 2009. That includes a 3-4 mark this season. The Cowboys have lost three in a row at home, having last won in Arlington on Oct. 19 against the Giants.

Stephen Jones honored

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones will enter the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 27.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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