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09/19/2013

The reality behind DeMarco Murray's numbers ain't great

Two football games into the National Football League's football season on the football field, your Dallas Cowboys professional football team once again finds itself running nowhere.

The Cowboys rank 26th in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging 62 yards per game.  Running back DeMarco Murray is healthy, too. Murray has rushed 32 times for 111 yards for an average of 3.5 yards per rush.

Demarco13.pngIf it makes you feel any better, the Oakland Raiders lead the NFL in rushing - 198.5 yards per game, a 5.9 yards per rush average. The Raiders are 1-1.

In this NFL, running the football well on the football field does not guarantee football success. But it helps to have some balance, at least in theory, to kill the clock and control the game.

Do not be surprised if on Sunday when the Dallas Cowboys host the St. Louis Rams, Murray goes big. The Rams rank 6th against the run, but Murray is due.

If not, well ... considering the short life span of NFL running backs (less than four years), we have to get real about Mr. Murray.

Murray has played 25 games in his two-plus NFL seasons. He has run 357 times for 1,671 yards for an average 4.7 yards per carry. Good numbers. If you break it down, he has had four monster games that have created a perception he is one of the top backs in the NFL.

2011
Oct. 23 v. Rams: 25 carries for a franchise-record 253 yards. It included a 91-yard run. (Rams 31st v run)
Nov. 6 v. Seahawks: 22 carries for 139 yards. (Seahawks 15th v run)
Nov. 13 v. Bills: 20 carries for 135 with a TD against the Bills. (Bills 28th v run)

2012
Sept. 5 at New York Giants: 20 carries, 131 yards. (NYG finished 25th v run)

Murray has had other productive days, but these four games comprise the bulk of his numbers: 87 carries, 685 yards, 7.6 yards per attempt.

Take these four games out of Murray's totals: 270 carries for 986 yards, and the most telling - a 3.6 yards per carry average.

In fairness, you can't take these four games out of his totals and I personally loathe when coaches say, "Other than the 99-yard touchdown run that was the game-winning score, we stopped 'em." You can't do that, Murray's numbers on the whole appear to be effective.

This has to be an "It" season for Murray, not only in terms of proving he can play 16 games but proving that he is more than just four games.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Bob in Arlington

Do you mean it's already an "It" season, like in "IT" is the same tired old season.... headed to 8 and 8 or somewhere less.

The Rams coming in do best what the Cowboys defense do the worse.... play pass and catch over Tampa 2 defenses.

Murray may not have but a few carries come Sunday night.

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