Tough to measure DeMarco Murray's impact

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
9:55
AM ET


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Forget about the 83 yards Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray gained. The four catches for 19 yards don't matter either.

Neither does the touchdown he scored.

Murray's impact is bigger than any stat you want to discuss after the Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-33, on Sunday night.

He gives the Cowboys a toughness and a physical mentality they lack when he's not in the lineup.

Murray is the reason Tony Romo had his best game, passing for 303 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Murray is the reason Jason Garrett didn't abandon the run with the Cowboys trailing by a touchdown at halftime like he usually does.

He's the reason offensive line coach Bill Callahan was laughing and joking with all of his starters after the game. And he's the reason why more than one lineman talked about Garrett's commitment to running the ball the entire game.

Murray missed the past six games with a sprained foot, and that's the biggest reason the Cowboys entered the game ranked last in the NFL in rushing (78.7 yards) and attempts (22.0). They ranked 31st in average per carry (3.55) and hadn't had a run of more than 20 yards in 166 carries.

Pathetic.

To read more on how Murray's return helped change the Cowboys' attitude, click here.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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