IRVING, Texas – For all the talk about his sick day this week, DeMarco Murray gave a stark reminder of the other pain he's playing through on Friday.
Talking to reporters after practice, Murray showed off his un-bandaged, broken left hand – complete with two rows of stitches from the surgery he had just 10 days ago.
"It's real bad, isn't it," said Murray, when a reporter told him his hand looked "gnarly."
It's been an interesting two weeks for Murray. He played with the broken hand six days after that surgery, alleviating most concerns that he'd be hindered when the Cowboys reached the playoffs.
When he missed Thursday's practice with an illness, though, questions abounded about whether it was worth it to play the Pro Bowl running back in a game with questionable implications. Not surprisingly, Murray dismissed suggestions that the cold would bother him Sunday against Washington.
"I'm feeling better, feeling a lot better. The trainers take care of me," he said.
That'll give Murray two things to worry about when he suits up this weekend – a game the Cowboys insist they're going to play full-bore, without resting players. The good news for Murray is that, with the Cowboys' upcoming playoff trip several weeks removed from his surgery, the impact of his broken hand should be somewhat lessened once the team returns from Washington.
"Hopefully, after this game, I'll be able to downsize a little bit to something different and be able to use my hand a little bit better," he said.
With yet another round of questions about his health – not to mention his availability – answered, there's also the little matter of Murray's chance at history. Barring a miraculous performance, he's lost the opportunity at a 2,000-yard season. But when he takes the field against the Redskins, he'll be just 29 yards shy of Emmitt Smith's Cowboys single-season rushing record.
"It's definitely a humbling experience. I think we all have a piece in that – the O-Line, the coaches, the receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks," he said. "I think we all have a little piece of that, and whenever you have a chance to do something special like that you want to share it."
Smith himself wanted to share in the achievement. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday morning that Smith attended last weekend's win against Indianapolis so he could congratulate Murray personally if the record fell against the Colts.
As meaningful a milestone as it might be, Murray was quick to turn the focus once again off himself and on to the record that ultimately matters most – wins and losses.
"Records are meant to be broken. I'm sure this one will be broken sometime soon – whoever else comes along," he said. "That's what they're for, and you've got to cherish the moment and you've got to move on and really know what's important, and that's obviously winning games."