DeMarco Murray's carries to be watched

December, 2, 2012
12/02/12
11:06
AM ET
When the Dallas Cowboys get starting running back DeMarco Murray back for Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles from a sprained left foot, the team's medical staff will monitor how he feels and how many carries he receives, according to a source.

NFL ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported this morning the Cowboys will limit Murray's workload.

Murray, who has missed the last six games, will play with a plate in his cleat to stabilize the foot. If Murray feels good during the game, and the Cowboys are not forced to be one-dimensional, it's expected he'll get a good workload. But the Cowboys don't want to force the issue. Before his injury, Murray has carried the ball at least 20 times once, the season opener at the New York Giants. Since then, Murray has carried no more than 18 times in a game.

It's a delicate situation for the Cowboys because backup running back Felix Jones has two sore knees. He practiced late this week with two knee braces. In Murray's absence, Jones has rushed for 236 yards on 73 carries with two touchdowns. Jones' best game was a 16-carry, 71-yard performance Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

With two running backs nicked up, the Cowboys will have backup running backs Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner available on the game day roster. The last time the Cowboys had four running backs active for a game was Oct. 14 at Baltimore.

In that game, the Cowboys rushed for a season-high 227 yards on 42 carries. It was the most rushing yards allowed in the history of the Baltimore Ravens.

On the season, the Cowboys are last in the NFL in attempts (244) and rushing yards (866). The Cowboys are just one of four NFL teams with fewer than 1,000 rushing yards.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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