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Notes: Edgar Jones Returns, Murray Nears 1,000; More
IRVING, Texas – Edgar Jones was a full participant in practice Wednesday for the first time since he injured himself in the Cowboys’ Week 4 loss to San Diego.
Jones suffered a groin/abdominal strain in that loss to the Chargers on Sept. 29, and he spent the past eight weeks on the reserve/injured list with a designation to return. It’s been a long wait to reach the playing field, but Jones said he’s confident he can contribute in the Cowboys’ last three games.
“It took me the mental side and the physical side – staying in meetings, being accountable on the meeting side of it – and then doing my rehab while the team was practicing,” he said. “Everything is going great, and I’m looking forward to playing on Sunday.”
Jones made just five tackles during his month of play before the injury, but he should have a chance to contribute quickly. The Cowboys have just six sacks in their last five games, which is something Jones hopes to help fix.
“I feel I can help out. They brought me here for a reason, and I feel like I can definitely help out,” he said.
NFL rules prevented Jones from returning in full capacity until this week, though he has been working out to the side in the two-week window prior to his reinstatement. He said he felt comfortable with his recovery several weeks ago, but he was glad not to be rushed into the lineup.
“With the rules, I feel like I could have come back earlier than the rules were set for. I kind of felt like, around week six, I was feeling back to myself,” he said. “The good thing about that rule, though, there wasn’t any rush on it. That was the thing I had to be careful about – not trying to rush it and getting hurt.”
Murray Mum on Stats
If there’s one guy who might potentially feel good about his performance Monday in Chicago, it’d probably be DeMarco Murray. One of the few silver linings in the loss was Murray’s 146 rushing yards on 18 carries – an average of 8.1 yards per carry.
Murray declined to congratulate himself on his night, though, citing the loss as the only meaningful stat.
“The outcome is always frustrating,” Murray said. “You don’t worry about things of that nature, you just worry about getting wins – that’s the most important thing to us.”
It’s a consistent viewpoint, at any rate. Murray has been asked about personal performance throughout the season, and his views on his contribution – whether meaningful or miniscule – have always coincided with whether the Cowboys won.
Despite the up-and-down season, though, Murray’s big night in Chicago pushed him within striking distance of a 1,000-yard season. The Cowboys haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Julius Jones in 2006, but at 843 yards on the year, Murray only needs to average 52 yards per game to reach the milestone.
True to his message, Murray said that wasn’t his concern.
“I don’t know where the yards are – that’s the last thing I’m worried about. I’m worried about victories,” he said.
Handling the Doubt
With another brutal showing in the loss to the Bears, the question about confidence was bound to be asked to Dallas defenders. Monday night’s game was the fifth time the Cowboys have been absolutely scorched.
It would be easy to lose faith in the face of such adversity, but Orlando Scandrick said the defense has to remember the occasions when it has shown the ability to make plays.
“You just look at time we have played well. Consistency has been everything – we haven’t been consistent,” he said. “We haven’t made plays on a consistent basis.”
To say the Cowboys have had some rough outings would be an understatement, but they’ve also managed to put in some rebound performances. The defense responded to losses to Denver, Detroit and New Orleans with wins in their next games out.
“You’ve just got to have the ability to put the things in the past behind you,” Scandrick said. “As much as it hurts us all and as much as it hurts me, we can’t do anything about it at this point.”
He added that the best way to move on is to look forward – starting with a Green Bay game the Cowboys desperately need to win.
“It’s a three-game season, but it’s a one-game playoff this week,” he said. “We have to figure out a way to win this game.”
Many Happy Returns
The last time the Packers played in Arlington, Texas, they wound up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl XLV champions.
The exterior of AT&T Stadium might look similar to that wintry day in February 2011, assuming the recent ice hasn’t melted away. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said it should serve as a fun reminder of Green Bay’s 31-25 win against Pittsburgh to win the league.
“That was obviously a great time and a great memory for all of us in Green Bay, and you can’t say enough about the stadium and the city of Dallas,” he said. “It’s a great place and it will always be something we hold special.”
You’d assume that much of anyone who has won a Super Bowl championship. You’d also expect to hear McCarthy temper that enthusiasm, which he did with a reminder that the Packers have plenty of work to do to catch Detroit and Chicago for a chance to make the playoffs.
“The reality is we’re coming down there to play the Dallas Cowboys in a very big football game, and that’s what we’re looking at,” he said.