IRVING, Texas – The stars of Sunday's win over the Giants were the usual suspects. Guys like Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were crucial on the winning drive. Jason Witten had two big touchdowns earlier and steady kicker Dan Bailey provided another clutch field goal.
There are always other key role players in the game and running back DeMarco Murray should be included in that. He rushed for 86 yards on 14 carries (6.1 yard average). And he had three more catches for 40 yards as well.
But according to his head coach, Murray likely should've had a few more yards as well.
On two occasions, the running back simply ran out of bounds to avoid contact, when it appeared he possibly could've fought for extra yardage.
The question was asked to Jason Garrett, who was quick to respond.
"There were some times that DeMarco needs to finish runs better, there's no question about that," said Garrett, who then tried to soften the stance. "Sometimes backs do what he did (Sunday). They see a certain situation a certain way they feel like the best option is to go out of bounds. I think when we went back and looked at the tape, we said, 'You can stick your nose in there a little more.'
"It's not cowardly. He's the furthest thing from that. Just watch the rest of the game. Sometimes you make a judgment about how you see a situation and make a decision. When you re-evaluate it on tape you think maybe I could've done something different. Those plays happen fast. You have to make a decision quickly. We all know that."
Murray spoke to reporters following Garrett's comments on Monday and defended the moves.
"I don't know, I just looked at the one run I had that I went out of bounds on and thought it was maybe a good decision. I was trapped in, wasn't a lot of room to go," Murray said. "You've just got to be selective. You've got to be smart in situations like that. When you get trapped in toward the sideline there, you don't have much room."
Murray has dealt with injuries throughout his three-year career, including a knee injury that sidelined him two games this year against Philadelphia and Detroit.
"I haven't changed my style at all," Murray said. "That one run I guess is a huge deal, but I'm not worried about it."
Murray has a team-high 634 yards and despite the injuries, still is on pace to rush to have a 1,000-yard season. The Cowboys have not had a back reach that milestone since 2006 when Julius Jones rushed for 1,084.
Murray has rushed for 897 yards as a rookie in 2011 before an ankle injury ended his season with three games to play. Last year, he missed six games with a foot sprain, but led the team with 663 rushing yards. [embedded_ad]
Garrett was asked if he thought Murray was running differently because of his injury history.
"You'll have to ask him that. Maybe that's not a dumb thing to do," Garrett said. "We just sit here with coaches and say, 'a couple of those you could've been more physical and aggressive with.' He was physical and aggressive throughout the game and played a good football game for us. He was a big part of our success for the game. We don't want to over evaluate that at all. That's something we address with our players. There's a lot of things you address with your players over the course of a game, as a coach. This week we address them quickly and move on to the Raiders." Since Murray has returned from the knee injury, Murray has 206 yards in three games, but is averaging 6.06 yards per carry.