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Mailbag: How Has Murray Helped The Passing Game?

Posted Dec 17, 2012

DANIEL  CHARTER
EL PASO, TX

How does the return of DeMarco Murray affect the passing game? Is it me or does he bring much more to this offense than the yards he brings in?

Nick: It’s not just you. You’re exactly right. Murray might not be racking up 100-yard games but he is making a difference. What you’ve seen more than anything is the Cowboys’ ability to pick up third-and-1 plays more often. By doing that, it opens up the play-action. Jason Witten’s touchdown on Sunday doesn’t happen with Felix Jones back there.
 
Rowan: It helps tremendously. Getting Murray back and productive might be the best thing that’s happened to this team the last couple weeks. He’s completely opened up the play action, and after rushing for 5.8 yards per carry against the Steelers, teams will need to respect that part of the Cowboys’ offense. He’s always a threat to break a huge run, and he’s doing wonders for Tony Romo in the passing game.
 
MICHAEL SMITH
FRANKLIN PARK, NJ
 
How do you rate the Cowboys chances of running the table and making a push in the playoffs if they get there?
 
Nick: Like everyone, I’m still shocked they’ve been able to do this. It’s not that they’ve won any particular game, it’s just that they’ve strung so many together and how they’ve won. Winning five of six, you’d think there would be a blowout or two mixed in. Not with this team. It’s all close, all the way. So it’s hard to think a team will keep living on the edge, and surviving. But I do think they should beat the Saints and if Murray is healthy, I think they have a much better shot of beating the Redskins this time around. So I guess I’d say the chances are pretty good.
 
Rowan: Running the table would mean beating a Saints team that just blanked the Bucs and then facing a Redskins team that beat the Cowboys at home earlier in the year, but I won’t doubt the possibility of winning the next two games. Despite the injuries on defense and the setbacks throughout the season, this group’s salvaged a playoff push after starting 3-5. One would think the defensive losses would eventually be too great to overcome, which could be the case in either of the next two games, but anything is possible when this offense is clicking. The Giants won a Super Bowl after going 6-6.
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