Cowboys coach Jason Garrett confirmed that running back DeMarco Murray was benched against the Bengals following his first quarter fumble.
The fumble didn't result in a turnover and Murray stayed on the field for remainder of the drive.
However, Garrett replaced Murray with Phillip Tanner for the rest of the first half.
The Cowboys had six turnovers last week against the Cardinals. Garrett said taking care of the football is most important and they had a talk with Murray about that at halftime.
The former Oklahoma star was given a chance to redeem himself in the second half as a member of the second team offense.
He responded with an inspiring performance, rushing eight times for 45 yards on his only drive of the period. The highlight was as 7-yard touchdown catch from backup quarterback Kyle Orton.
Murray broke five tackles to reach the end zone, capping a 14-play, 86-yard drive.
Murray ran with anger and purpose on the field and was still seething after game, declining to talk to reporters.
Owner Jerry Jones, however, was impressed with the way Murray handled the situation and said it was inspiring to his teammates.
"I'm sure everybody had in mind we would put the emphasis on turnovers after last week, that we would do a little extra if we got a turnover situation," Jones said. "He responded just like you would expect. Frankly, he is just a man. He is a man. There is no doubt in my mind when challenged he is going to step up and meet that challenge. He met it competitively. That was expected. I think it inspired the whole team."
Jones was all for Garrett sending a message to Murray about fumbling but admitted having his fingers crossed as it starting running back played in the second half with other backups just 15 days before the season opener.
The first team offensive line remained in the lineup but quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant were done for the day.
"I'm glad he was able to do it and show everybody and not get nicked up," Jones said. "It would be a different Jones boy if he was nicked up. I promise you that."