IRVING, Texas – If the media was counting on Joseph Randle to say something juicy about facing DeMarco Murray and the Eagles, they needed to be here back in May.
That's when Randle's comments about Murray leaving "meat on the bone" became a national story that prompted Murray to respond with his hopes of Randle "tasting some of that meat" when they squared off in the regular season.
Well, that moment is finally here as the Cowboys and Eagles meet up in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.
But Randle certainly didn't provide any "meaty" quotes this time around, sticking to Jason Garrett's theme of his team facing a "nameless, faceless opponent." The Cowboys starting running back, though, did admit his excitement level for Sunday and his desire to have his best game individually.
"The excitement only builds. I've been waiting for this game for a long time," Randle said Thursday. "I've been waiting for this opportunity. I hate to be a little selfish, but I still haven't had a 100-yard game yet. So it's a lot of things I have to focus on with my game and helping this team win."
Randle rushed for 65 yards last week against the Giants, but did have another 42 yards in receiving. Meanwhile in Philly, the Eagles fell behind early and while Murray did get two touchdowns, he only rushed for nine yards on eight carries.
While this isn't a Randle vs. Murray showdown, the Cowboys' back did say it's a weekly goal to outdo the opposing backfield.
"We always pride ourselves on winning the rushing title every week," Randle said. "That'll be the same this week, too. It's going to be fun. I think we're going to focus on our guys – an us against the world type of feeling. It is a rivalry. Any time we play this game, we're excited to play."
Randle said he hasn't spoken to Murray since his former teammate signed with the Eagles in the spring, but did say his game is comparable.
"I think we are more similar, I would imagine. We are kind of both hard workers, so I have a lot of respect for his game," Randle said. "But this week we're opponents. That's the opponent in you. We're just trying to go up there and win."
When asked what he learned from Murray, a player he backed up for two years, Randle sidestepped that question like a defender.
"Right now, I'm just trying to focus on me and perfecting my game, which I've been doing every day out there in practice and trying to make sure I'm the best Joe Randle on Sunday that I can be," Randle said. "That's my main focus. It's not really about stats, the stats will come with execution for everybody on our team. We've got a void to fill this week, and we're going to do our best to do that."[embeddedad0]
Randle said he hopes for more opportunities this week than last Sunday when he had just 16 carries. And getting a lead early in the game could help that cause.
"That's just how the game plays. Sometimes it's a different type of game," Randle said. "You got all those two minutes in there. You're not going to run the ball a lot in two-minute situations. I'm excited about this week and just taking advantage of my opportunity. I've learned that if you make the most of the chances you get, you'll stay out there."