Posted: 10:07 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
By Josh Kirkendall
Thanks to the Hall of Fame game being played several weeks ago, this will actually be the fourth preseason game that the Dallas Cowboys are playing. And during those three games, starting running back DeMarco Murray has only posted 22 yards rushing on seven carries. But it's not so much because of an injury. Sure, he dealt with a minor strain during OTAs, but consider that the Bengals are doing the same thing with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, currently with three carries this preseason -- he didn't play against the Titans.
Calvin Watkins with ESPNDallas.com writes that Murray has been outstanding during practice, "bouncing off defenders", making defenders miss, and a "burst through holes." The Cowboys may plan to increase Murray's carries against the Bengals, during the so-called dressed rehearsal.
"What we’ve tried to do is bump him up every week," head coach Jason Garrett said via ESPN. "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."
Dave Halprin with Blogging the Boys (SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys site), lists the running back position as one of the team's five things to worry about.
This one seems odd considering Dallas has a stable of four running backs who look capable. But after being fooled by a big output in the first preseason game, the Cowboys started to look like the old Cowboys in game two and three. The talent is there in the backfield, so it's really a matter of poor run-blocking, combined with maybe a little bit of vanilla play-calling. I've beat this drum before - the Cowboys shouldn't be a run-oriented team, but if they could run the ball with some effectiveness, it would help with a lot of other issues like keeping Romo safe and holding leads.