IRVING, Texas -- After three preseason games, Cowboys starting running back DeMarco Murray has just seven carries for 22 yards.
To say the Cowboys are being careful with Murray would be accurate. The team doesn't want to risk its leading rusher, who has yet to play 16 games in a season due to injury.
On Saturday, however, the Cowboys will play their starters for at least the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals. And with backup Lance Dunbar out with a sprained foot, expect Murray's carry total to increase.
Murray has been outstanding in camp practices. He's not shying away from contact and seems to have adjusted his game by lowering his shoulder more into defenders instead of his head. The NFL made a rule change saying runners can't lead with their head or it will result in a penalty and/or possible fine.
Not only is Murray bouncing off defenders, he's also making them miss. Murray has shown a burst through holes and is doing a nice job of getting off the edge, as well.
"What we’ve tried to do is bump him up every week," head coach Jason Garrett said. "I don’t know that it's actually happened because (of) fewer plays with turnovers. But you want to get him feeling like he’s playing in a game, get a little lather, get knocked around a little bit, come back, play consecutive plays, get consecutive carries, all that stuff."