IRVING, Texas – The running game is trending the wrong way.
After rushing for 131 yards in the opener, running back DeMarco Murray's yards on the ground have consistently decreased every week since, culminating in 24 yards rushing against the Bears.
But head coach Jason Garrett won't stop feeding Murray the ball anytime soon.
"His patience, his persistence, his toughness have all been good," Garrett said. "He just needs to understand we're going to keep trying to give him opportunities. He needs to keep doing what he's supposed to do and trust the other guys that they're going to do what they're supposed to do, and we'll get this running game going."
The average per rush for Murray isn't as much of a problem as the constant negative rushes and the Cowboys falling behind early, forcing them to throw.
Murray is currently rushing for 3.9 yards per carry. That number is only over 3.0 yards per carry because of his 6.6 yards per carry performance in the opener. Of the 18 running backs with 60 or more carries this season, Murray is one of seven rushing for fewer than 4.0 yards per carry.
After a superb rushing performance on 20 carries against the Giants, his average fell to 3.7 yards per rush against the Seahawks, 2.1 against Tampa Bay and 2.2 against the Bears. He finished 39th in rushing last week with his 24 yards at home, as he was met in the backfield on most of his 11 rushes.
He was stopped at the line of scrimmage or met in the backfield on five of his 11 rushes. Murray never got a rushing opportunity in the fourth quarter.
"Teams have done a good job trying to move around up front," Garrett said. "Sometimes the run isn't always as clean as you want it to be. He's been a running back for a long, long time, and he understands that."
Until the offensive line can start creating holes for the running back, containing the frustration might be difficult.
Garrett said the lack of a running game can't be placed on Murray's shoulders. Even in his stellar performance against the Giants, Murray's 48-yard run came as a result of a busted play where he had to make something out of nothing, cutting inside on a toss play to the right before bursting back outside along the sideline.
"I think he does a really good job," Garrett said. "He's done a good job just being persistent throughout the ballgame and trying to continue to be true to the runs and trying to find the hole that's there."