IRVING, Texas -- When Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray hurt his knee against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 13 and missed the next two games, reaching 1,000 yards on the season seemed like an afterthought.
When he had just four catches for 31 yards against the Minnesota Vikings in his return, reaching 1,000 yards seemed as far away as the moon.
Yet with three games to go, Murray is 157 yards away from 1,000. He needs to average roughly 53 yards per game to become the first Cowboys running back to hit four digits since Julius Jones had 1,084 yards in 2006.
“I don’t know where the yards are,” said Murray, who has 843 yards on 160 carries. “I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about victories.”
If Murray reaches 1,000 yards, he would do it in 14 games, which is more old-school when Tony Dorsett was putting up 1,000 yards in the mid-to-late 1970s.
“You always like to have a back run for 1,000 yards but at the same time if you’re winning it doesn’t matter if it’s 1,000 yards or 500 yards,” right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau said. “As an offensive line, you like to be those guys who make holes for the running backs so they can achieve the goal and not give up sacks, being good and firm in protection.”
In his past four games Murray has rushed for 384 yards, which is ninth-best in the league during that time span. He also has seven rushing touchdowns, the most by a Cowboys runner in a season since Marion Barber had seven in 2009.
The Cowboys have found some consistency in the running game.
“I mean just look at the past couple of games, I think we’ve run it well,” Murray said. “The offensive line has done a great job for our team. The tight end is doing a great job. The receivers are doing a great job. We’re just taking it one game at a time, try to help the running game out as much as I can.”