DeMarco Murray needs to solve fumble problems

December, 24, 2012
12/24/12
2:30
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Prior to last week, Cowboys starting running back DeMarco Murray had fumbled only once and it was recovered by the Cowboys.

But in the last two weeks, Murray has lost two fumbles, including one on Sunday against the Saints where he cost the Cowboys the lead. Murray's fumble came at the Cowboys 3 and the Saints turned that into a go-ahead score when Drew Brees connected with Pierre Thomas with a five-yard pass to make the score 24-17 Saints.

Against Pittsburgh, Murray fumbled at the Steelers 7. Now that turnover didn't cost the Cowboys any points but heading into the regular season finale against Washington, you can't afford to have your starting running back dealing with turnover problems.

"Ball security is critical, and he’s been very good throughout his career and they’ve been critical," coach Jason Garrett said of Murray. "One of them was down in the red zone with a scoring opportunity last week and this one was coming out, which gave them a real easy scoring opportunity. We obviously have to get that corrected."

The run game overall produced just 40 yards and it was due to the limited opportunities with the Cowboys' offense. The Cowboys held the ball for just 8:12 in the first half, compared to the Saints which had control for 21:48.

"I think we had 18 plays in the first half," Garrett said. "We were 11 for 40. Eight of those 11 runs were what we would describe as efficient runs. We had a couple of minus runs that contributed to that. In general, we felt that was something we could get to."

Garrett later explained an efficient run is something where the running back gets at least four or more yards a carry. In Sunday's game, Murray had eight carries with four or more yards gained.
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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