IRVING, Texas -- How good has DeMarco Murray's season been?
"I thought he was fantastic," coach Jason Garrett said. "It starts with the offensive line. They blocked very well, but to be able to run the football as well as he's run the football week in and week out, against a lot of eight-man type fronts where they're trying to defend the run, I just think is really, really good stuff. He was physical throughout. Sometimes you get some gaudy numbers running the football because you make some big runs. He had a couple of explosive runs for us, but for the most part it was a grinder. That's really to me, when you're evaluating a back, that's when it gets most impressive. He's had a number of those kind of games where a lot of dirty runs, a lot of five, six, seven yard runs where he's finishing forward. He just did a lot of positive things in allowing us to control the football, make some first downs and really control a lot of the game."
And yet Murray wasn't completely pleased Sunday.
"I definitely felt like I was rusty," Murray said, adding, "I may have missed a few things here and there, but we'll watch the film and get it corrected and see where we go."
Murray entered the season seven games of at least 120 rushing yards in his career. He has six this season. He has recorded at least 100 yards in 10 of the Cowboys' 11 games. He is now third in team history with 17 career 100-yard games, trailing only Emmitt Smith (76) and Tony Dorsett (43).
His 1,354 yards are ninth-most in franchise history. He is on pace for 1,970 yards, which would be a franchise record. Smith had 1,773 yards in 1995. He needs one more 100-yard game to equal Smith's team record for most in a single season.
"I like the word patience better than pace," Garrett said. "Pace kind of suggests that he's pacing himself. But great runners have patience. They have great vision and they have patience. There's a ton of expressions that have been used through the years, slow to the hole, fast through the hole. You're always kind of working on coordinating the runner with the line blocking and the scheme and the timing of that, his depth, his steps, all of those things. And allowing plays to develop is a big part of being a good runner. The best runners I've been around, they kind of see things and ‘Hah!' and they go. And he certainly has those traits."