- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wants to take some carries away from running back DeMarco Murray to curtail on the wear and tear of the season.
It's becoming harder by the week to do this.
No. 2 back, Joseph Randle has 11 carries on the season and eight the last three weeks.
Change-of-pace back Lance Dunbar hasn't carried the ball the last three weeks and has just 11 carries overall.
Murray is a physical runner and Randle has showed he too can play a tough, physical brand of football. Randle has improved his vision since his rookie season and he's hitting holes much faster.
Dunbar is good on third down situations where he can use his speed to zip past linebackers and give him opportunities to beat secondary players in space one-on-one.
"He's been doing a great job running the rock and handling it by himself and doing an outstanding job," Dunbar said of Murray, who leads the NFL in rushing. "I try to be ready when my name is called."
Murray has expanded his game more so this season making it harder to get him off the field. His improved work on picking up the blitz, particularly on third down, and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, something Dunbar does well, has made things difficult to find playing time for the backups.
"In different games, sometimes the game takes you a certain way," coach Jason Garrett said. "You use particular personnel and we have a package of plays for him every week. We have opportunities for Joe Randle. But sometimes those guys don't get to take full advantage of those opportunities for whatever reason, so we'll continue to have plans for those guys. They're good players. We have confidence in them. They've done a good job when they've had opportunities."