Friday, September 13, 2013
DeMarco Murray gets ready for more work
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- There was only one man in the NFL who touched the ball more than Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray in Week 1 -- Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy with 32 touches.
Murray touched the ball 28 times for 125 yards with no touchdowns in the Cowboys' season-opening victory against the New York Giants. In Week 2, Murray gets another chance to do it again when the Cowboys visit the Kansas City Chiefs.
Murray carried the ball 20 times last week and caught eight passes out of the backfield. The Cowboys wanted to run the ball more, but short passes to Murray were almost like run plays, and they allowed the Cowboys to get some shorter distances on second down.
"I thought it went well," Murray said of the short throws. "I thought we ran it 20 times but I know they want to run it more, we’ll see how that goes. Whenever you get passes like that, sometimes those are better than handoff runs. (You get) a little bit more space and things of that nature (to run). I thought they did a good job of calling plays."
Durability has been a question for the Cowboys' starting running back because he's never finished a full season without getting injured. In 2012, he missed six games with a sprained foot, yet had three games with 20 or more carries. He touched the ball 27 times in a Dec. 2 game against Philadelphia.
In his rookie season, 2011, Murray fractured an ankle and played in 13 games. But Murray had five games with 20 or more carries, and also had a career-high 31 touches in an overtime game against the Washington Redskins.
The Cowboys were worried about Murray's health, so they selected Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle in the fifth-round of the 2013 draft. But Randle was a healthy scratch in Week 1, and the emergence of backup Lance Dunbar and the special teams work of Phillip Tanner has kept Randle on the bench.
Murray is hoping for more touches in the offense, especially when it comes to running the ball.
"Yeah, whenever I can get the ball, trying to make something happen, give this offense a spark, its going to be good for our team," he said. "They did a good job of giving me opportunities to do that last weekend."