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August 26, 2013

Jason Garrett on decision to bench Murray: "You can’t hand the ball to a guy if he’s going to fumble it."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett showed never seen before toughness in Saturday's preseason victory against the Bengals by benching starting running back DeMarco Murray because of fumble in the first quarter.

Murray finished the series but remained on the sideline for the rest of the first half as he was replaced by backup Phillip Tanner.

Murray returned in the third quarter and played well but the message from Garrett was sent loud and clear: he's not going to tolerate turnovers, especially one week after the Cowboys committed six in a preseason loss to the Cardinals.

"DeMarco Murray is a really good football player," Garrett said. "He’s a really valuable part of our football team. We need to be able to run the football. We need to run it better than we’ve run it in the past. We need to run it more than we’ve run it in the past. He’s a big part of that. You can’t hand the ball to a guy if he’s going to fumble it. Those should be safe plays, control-the-game type plays. If the ball comes out, we really don’t have a chance to be a good football team. Obviously last week in Arizona, we turned it over six times. We made a huge emphasis on taking care of the ball and taking the ball away all through the offseason, all through training camp and then we have a game like that. We make a further emphasis as a staff, as a football team all week long, and then on the fifth or sixth play of the ballgame the ball comes out in the shadow of our own goal post. Can’t happen. I don’t care who you are; we can’t have it. DeMarco’s a man. He understands team. He understands what his role is on this football team. We just felt that was the right thing to do, and he responded exactly how we thought he would respond, came back and played really hard and really well and took care of the rock. Keep doing that going forward."

Garrett asked if he would have done the same if turnover would have occurred in a regular season game and not a preseason game.

He declined to answer, saying, "Hypothetical decisions are hard to deal with from this podium."

Asked a similar hypothetical on whether he felt quarterback Tony Romo would be benched on his first interception, Murray had no problem providing an answer.

"I highly doubt that," Murray said.

Clarence Hill

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Comments

On Romo not being benched for an interception....

I know things are taken out of context sometimes, so I don't accuse Murray of putting Garret or Romo down. But a lot of things can lead to an INT that are not always the QBs fault. A fumble from a RB on the other hand... he STARTS the play holding on to the ball and going forward. He doesn't have to hand it or toss it to anyone. He knows exactly where it is and has two hands to secure it if necessary. If he loses it he has only himself to blame.

A QB has to get the exchange from center. Drop or turn back. Locate world class athletes on both sides of the ball running at near full speed. Spot his player and ascertain his "coveredness", then decide to deliver the ball or go to the next guy. All the while being aware of what is going on around him in the pocket - did the RB pick up the blitz, did the OL handle the stunt. After he throws it he has to count on the receiver to have seen the same things he saw and turn to catch the ball.

The QB depends on most of the guys on offense every pass to prevent a turnover. The RB only has to depend on the QB getting him the ball to prevent a turnover.

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