IRVING, Texas - Running back DeMarco Murray didn't seem keen on shying away from contact in the opener, while finishing fourth in the NFL after one week with 6.6 yards per carry.
Murray said running backs need to have a feel for when to run through a defender and when to play it safe.
"There's times where you've got to be smart and get out of bounds," Murray said. "You're by the sidelines and there's five defenders there, just definitely got to get out. But there's times where you feel you can create something and maybe make a few guys miss and get out of there."
Head coach Jason Garrett talks to his running backs about finding a medium, but he also wants them to trust their instincts. He said the best backs understand the balance between finishing a run and limiting unnecessary risk.
Though Murray is still growing as an NFL running back, Garrett said he thinks Murray has that feel.
"We want guys who are physical," Garrett said. "But at the same time, we don't want them to be stupid looking for extra contact when they don't need to."
Murray will see another player this weekend who rarely ducks away from contact. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was questionable last week and still rushed 21 times for 85 yards.
Murray said Lynch is one of the hardest runners in the NFL. He said he's never modeled or simulated his game after Lynch, but he's seen him on film and has a lot of respect for the Seattle running back.
"He's definitely very physical, a very smart player," Murray said. "He finishes all his runs, so I'm excited to see him play. Hopefully, we get the best of him."
Murray was able to wear down the Giants defense throughout the opener. He totaled just 20 yards at halftime, but finished with 131 yards rushing, including a 48-yard dash.
He said the beginning of the game is usually the hardest to break off long carries. But after the negative rushes, eventually three or four yard carries start to build as he fights for extra inches.
As for whether the size of a defender determines Murray's decision to run straight ahead or duck out?
"Not at all," he said.