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Notebook: Murray To Have MRI On Foot, But Club Hopeful
BALTIMORE – The Cowboys had a record-setting day on the ground Sunday, but starting running back DeMarco Murray wasn’t available for more than half of it.
Murray suffered a foot injury on a long run in the second quarter and checked out of the game, giving way to the likes of Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar, who combined for 136 yards. Murray came back in the third period for a couple snaps to test the pain in his foot, but left for good again, finishing with 93 yards on 14 carries. The Cowboys’ 227 rushing yards were the most ever allowed by the Ravens.
Murray will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his injury, but the Cowboys are optimistic. When Jones left for the locker room with dehydration in the third quarter, Murray was putting his gloves on preparing to go back in the game, but Tanner was given the nod instead.
“We’re going to have to wait and see,” team owner Jerry Jones said of Murray’s status for next week. “I don’t know right now. I certainly wouldn’t rule him out, but I know it was significant enough for him to not be out there. But it’s disappointing for him because of how he started off.”
Murray’s first half, which included big gains of 28, 13 and nine, was particularly impressive given his output in the last three games. After 131 yards in the opener, he had put up only 106 in the last three games.
Onside Kick Provides A Chance
Likely forgotten in the fallout from Dan Bailey’s missed field goal at the end and the questionable clock management that led up to it will be the small miracle that even gave the Cowboys a chance to win at the end, an onside kick recovered by receiver Andre Holmes.
After Tony Romo failed to connect with Dez Bryant on a two-point try with 32 seconds to play, the Cowboys lined up to kickoff knowing they had to recover the ball to have a chance. At first Bailey drilled the ball down the right sideline, but the Ravens called a timeout first, checking to see which direction the ball was going to go. When the teams lined up again, Bailey dribbled the kickoff right between the hashes. It bounced off a Ravens player and Holmes fell on it at the bottom of a pile.
“They obviously were trying to see what we were going to do,” Bailey said. “We practice every week for different situations, so that gave us an opportunity to kind of switch up our game plan a little bit.”
The perfectly-executed roller was the biggest bright spot for Bailey in a game that did include three field goals from shorter distance. In addition to the 51-yard miss at the end, he was also left chasing Jacoby Jones on an NFL record-tying 108-yard kickoff return touchdown in the third quarter.
Defensive lineman Marcus Spears was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career on Sunday, one of the seven Cowboys players who did not dress.
The former first-round pick was the odd man out upon the return of Jay Ratliff and Kenyon Coleman from their respective injuries. Also suiting up were Jason Hatcher, Sean Lissemore, Josh Brent and rookie Tyrone Crawford.
But it didn’t take long for the Cowboys to miss him. Lissemore suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and never returned.
Spears was a regular starter the first six years of his career, but has moved into a rotational role since 2011. During training camp that year, he signed a five-year, $19.2 million contract to remain with the Cowboys.
The Cowboys fall to 0-4 against the Ravens, who remain the only NFL franchise the Cowboys have never beaten.
The Dallas Cowboys amassed 481 yards of total offense, the most since gaining 511 against Tennessee (10/10/10).
Among Dallas’ 481 yards of total offense were 227 rushing yards, the most since racking up 294 against St. Louis (10/23/11).
Dallas’ 227 rushing yards were the most ever given up by the Baltimore Ravens.
The Cowboys had 42 rushing attempts Sunday, the most since running 46 times at Indianapolis (12/15/10).
Dallas ran 79 plays Sunday to tie the most plays in a single game in franchise history. The first time the Cowboys ran that many plays was at Green Bay (11/12/78).
The Cowboys had 30 first downs in the game to tie the second-most in a game in team history. The club record is 32, accomplished against Minnesota (11/26/98). The last time Dallas had 30 first downs was at Cleveland (9/7/08).
Alex Albright made the first of his career, starting in place of Anthony Spencer (chest).
Dez Bryant caught a career-high 13 passes for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday.
Bryant’s two touchdown receptions Sunday were his first of the season and gave him 17 for his career. He passed Golden Richards and tied Dan Reeves, Bill Howton and Mike Renfro for 17th on the team’s all-time touchdown receptions list.
Bryant’s 13 catches against the Ravens is tied for third-most in franchise history along with Lance Rentzel (1967) and Jason Witten, who had 13 against the Bears in the last game. Witten has the top two reception games with 15 (at Detroit, 2007) and 14 (at NYG, 2009).
Andre Holmes’ onside kick recovery marked the first for the Cowboys since Tony Curtis recovered one against Buffalo in 2007.
Lance Dunbar made his NFL debut and had his first career carry for an 11-yard run.
Felix Jones’ 22-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter Sunday was his first rushing touchdown since taking one in during the 2011 season opener at the N.Y. Jets (9/11). It was his longest rushing touchdown since he had a 73-yarder in the Divisional Playoff Game against Philadelphia (1/9/10) and his longest of the regular season since a 49-yarder against Philadelphia (1/3/10) one week earlier.
DeMarco Murray rushed 14 times Sunday to give him 237 career rushing attempts. He passed Daryl Johnston (232) for 25th in Dallas record books.
Murray rushed for 93 yards Sunday to up his career rushing yards total to 1,227. He passed Tashard Choice (1,139), Sherman Williams (1,162), Preston Pearson (1,207), Don Meredith (1,216) and Timmy Newsome (1,220) for 18thin franchise history.
Among Murray’s 93 rushing yards Sunday were 72 in the first quarter (on eight carries) for the seventh-most first quarter rushing yards in franchise history.
Tony Romo’s two touchdown tosses Sunday gave him 156 career touchdown throws. He passed Danny White for second place on the Dallas Cowboys all-time touchdown pass list.
Romo’s two touchdown passes Sunday gave him 50 career multiple-touchdown games to improve his club-high of multi-touchdown games and allow him to place fifth in the NFL since becoming a starter in 2006.
DeMarcus Ware recorded another sack Sunday, giving him six on the season and 105.5 in his career. He now needs nine more to surpass Harvey Martin (114) for first place on the all-time sack lists.