DeMarco Murray admits he was frustrated, but he understands exactly why he was benched soon after his first-quarter fumble Saturday.
Murray talked Monday, the first time he has addressed his brief benching.
"We know how important the ball is," Murray said. "I think there’s different approaches to go about it, so they chose to go about it that way, and I respect that. Just got to take care of the ball. At the end of the day, that’s the whole message.”
The Cowboys had six turnovers in their preseason loss to the Cardinals on Aug. 17, and though Murray didn't play a part in the team's carelessness with the ball in that game, he did pay in Saturday's game against the Bengals.
On the Cowboys' second series, Murray carried the ball for 3 yards to the Dallas 7 and then on second down, he had the ball stripped by Wallace Gilberry. Jermey Parnell recovered at the Dallas 9, and Murray stayed in the game to finish the series. He had another carry and a pass reception before the Cowboys had to punt.
But Murray did not return to the field in the first half. He stood on the sideline with his helmet on, watching backup Phillip Tanner carry the ball 12 times for 51 yards to close out the half.
"Let it marinate a little bit," Murray said of his thoughts on the sideline. "It was a little frustrating. I've got to be honest. But I’m just trying to make plays. I’m a competitor. I wasn’t mad at any one. I wasn’t pouting on the sidelines. I wasn’t anything. I was waiting for my opportunity to get back in the game. Once my number was called, I was ready to play.”
In the second half, Murray had eight carries for 45 yards and caught a 7-yard touchdown pass, avoiding five would-be tacklers to the end zone.
“It always feels good to make a play and give the team a spark," Murray said. "I’m just trying to make plays and that’s it.”
Murray was back on the field with the first team during practice Monday.
-- Charean Williams