- Calvin Watkins, ESPN.com
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IRVING, Texas -- DeMarco Murray is off to a fantastic start to the season. He leads the NFL in rushing yards (670) and he’s on pace to set the franchise record in carries.
Coach Jason Garrett wants to limit Murray's carries as the season progresses so he won't get worn down late in the season.
Yet, there’s one other area where Murray is also doing well in, and that’s situational football.
He leads the league with 29 fourth quarter carries, Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy is second at 27. Murray is fifth with 99 fourth-quarter yards. When the Cowboys need to close out games, Murray has been just as good.
“Sure and that’s an instinctive thing, an intuitive thing for a back to have,” coach Jason Garrett said. “And I think he has that. He does that a lot. It’s not give-up football. It’s just understanding where the play is and taking care of yourself and taking care of the ball.”
On several fourth-quarter runs, when the Cowboys are trying to stretch the clock, Murray has been pushed toward the boundary and instead of going out of bounds, he’ll do a baseball slide to keep the clock moving.
Murray has never played baseball, yet it’s smart plays like these that gives Garrett confidence he’s got the right man carrying the ball late in games.
Murray has 24 rushing yards in the final two minutes of games and of those five carries, three are been for first downs, which leads the NFL.
“I think they’re giving us an opportunity to do that,” Murray said of the Cowboys’ running attack. “The offensive line is playing well. The tight ends are blocking well on the edge and like I said before Dez [Bryant] and Terrance [Williams] and Dwayne [Harris], great receivers, blocking downfield. It makes it easier for those guys when we’re running well with the play-action and things like that. I think we’re playing fine.”
DeMarco Murray's running late in games big bonus for Dallas Cowboys in 4-1 start.