Lance Dunbar was sore on Tuesday. His neck hurt, and the pain-killing shot he had at halftime for a sore toe had fully worn off.
But the North Texas product probably never felt better.
The rookie free agent played 12 of 57 plays against the Falcons, rushing eight times for 26 yards.
"I was surprised," Dunbar said of his increased playing time ahead of Phillip Tanner, who had one carry for no yards. "They don’t tell you how much you’re going to play. Just be ready."
Dunbar had one carry for 11 yards in his first NFL action against Baltimore, giving him nine carries for 37 yards this season. He has been on the 53-player roster only since Oct. 8.
DeMarco Murray has missed the past three games with a foot injury, and he missed practice again Wednesday. As long as Murray is out, Felix Jones will start with Dunbar getting time in relief.
"What he’s done is really show us that he’s a good football player," coach Jason Garrett said. "He’s a young guy, but right from the start of the off-season when he came out to practice for the first rookie camp, he showed us that he had something and really has taken advantage of his opportunities since then. He got a chance to carry the ball a little bit a few weeks ago in Baltimore, a nice 11-yard run, broke a tackle, game didn’t seem too big for him. So he has a little something to him as a runner, some quickness, some burst to him, a good feel, had good vision, so just wanted to give him a chance in the game the other night, and I thought he did reasonably well."