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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
What Went Wrong: DeMarco Murray's ankle

By Todd Archer

This is the first installment in ESPN Dallas' five-part series on things that went wrong for the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.

No. 5. DeMarco Murray breaks his ankle

DeMarco Murray
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray suffered a broken ankle vs. the Giants on Dec. 11, and the Cowboys missed him greatly down the stretch.
Murray transformed the Cowboys’ season in many ways because he brought a balance to Jason Garrett’s playcalling. He was the workhorse, getting at least 20 carries in five games of a seven-game span.

Murray suffered the injury on Dec. 11 against the New York Giants when defensive end Dave Tollefsen landed on Murray while making a tackle.

Without Murray, the Cowboys had to rely on Felix Jones to be the main running back. He did a decent job, but he suffered a hamstring strain at Tampa Bay in which he had his first set of back-to-back 20-carry games.

Many will point to Murray’s franchise-record 239-yard outing against St. Louis as his best game, but it actually might have been his 73-yard game at Washington on 25 tough carries where he proved his mettle.

Jones is just not built to be an every-down back. Murray, whose rehab is on schedule following surgery, is.

The Cowboys missed the rookie greatly down the stretch.