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June 03, 2014

DeMarco Murray ready for the Cowboys to give him even more

DeMarco Murray has never felt better. He said he is "great" after an offseason of yoga, spin classes and MetCon workouts. 

And Scott Linehan's promise to use the running game more has Murray champing at the bit.

"It’s always great to hear those things," Murray said. "I don’t care what we do, running, passing. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy with the overall stat, which is a win or a loss. [Linehan] brings a lot to the table. We’re excited to have him. The offense is doing well. We’re being very versatile, so it’s always good to be a versatile offense, and I’m excited for the season."

Murray had the third-most yards in the NFL in the final eight games of last season, finishing the year with 1,121 yards and his first Pro Bowl berth despite missing two games in October with a sprained MCL in his left knee.  

"DeMarco is great," Linehan said. "I’d love to see him have the best year of his career. We all would, and he’s going to in my opinion. ...It’s nice to have that go-to guy. I feel that we have a great one."

Linehan is known for having pass-heavy offenses. Critics point to the league-high 40.7 pass attempts his Lions' teams threw per game over the past five seasons.

But last season, the Lions had more yards (6,274), more rushing yards (1,792), more rushing attempts (445) and had the run game as a bigger percentage of its offense (40.4) than the Cowboys did. Dallas ran only 35.3 percent of the time last season, with only 336 rush attempts.

"I definitely think there were some games where we could have done better running the ball as a collective unit," Murray said. "There’s always room for improvement. The times we had success, I think everybody was doing their job. The receivers were blocking down field. The offensive line was making huge holes. [Lance] Dunbar and I were running well. It’s all about being on the same page and trusting technique and trusting coaches and just running ball plays."

The Cowboys drafted guard Zack Martin and now with three first-round picks up front, the offensive line should be a strength of the team. Murray could be the big beneficiary this season.

"He’s very quick and makes the big guys look good," Martin said. "He sets up blocks real nice. As long as we’re on the same page, he’s going to make us look good."

-- Charean Williams

 

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