IRVING, Texas – DeMarco Murray established career highs in carries (32) and catches (nine) in the Dallas Cowboys' 41-28 win against the Chicago Bears, continuing a trend of heavy use the entire season but coach Jason Garrett doesn’t see Murray slowing down.
“DeMarco is a guy who has shown he can handle the workload, both as a runner and a receiver,” Garrett said. “He wants more. He never wants to come out of the game. At different times, we’ve done a good job of getting the other guys in there and they’ve taken advantages of their opportunities and we’ll continue to do that, but he’s a bellcow player and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down at all to me. He feels great. He says he feels great and really looks like he’s playing at a very high level.”
Murray leads the NFL with 320 carries and 1,606 yards. He has also equaled his career high in catches with 53 for 392 yards.
Garrett said the use had more to do with Chicago’s scheme than a specific plan to get Murray the ball that much.
“That used to happen a lot with Emmitt [Smith] back in the day,” Garrett said. “When you’d go play the Giants, they play a lot of Cover 2 and Emmitt would carry the ball a lot and they’d be trying to take the outside receivers away and we’d dump the ball down a lot. That was a little bit of the game the other night, whether it was all Cover 2 or not, there was a softness to their coverage where they weren’t going to give up a lot of big plays and Tony [Romo] did a good job of checking the ball down.
After limiting Murray’s snaps a little by using Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar more, the backup runners have combined for just five carries in the last three games. Garrett said the coaches monitor the work and will sit a player at their discretion.
The Cowboys report back to work Tuesday for the first time since the Bears’ win. Garrett believes the break will help Murray and the entire team.
“No special advice,” Garrett said. “Just get away from it a little bit, get yourself refreshed, recharged and get ready to get back to work.”