IRVING, Texas - With three games to play in the regular season, and the Cowboys needing to likely win all three just to assure themselves a playoff spot, there aren't many other storylines that can compare with this team fighting for their playoff lives.
But the possibility of DeMarco Murray flirting with a 2,000-yard rushing season, and perhaps an outside shot at breaking the NFL's 30-year-old single-season record, still on the table, Murray can only smile when he gets asked about the not-so-crazy opportunity.
"That'd be nice," said Murray, who also knows that a record-breaking season of any kind will only help his cause when it comes time for a new contract this offseason. "But I can't focus on all that. It's really just about the wins."
Murray has 1,606 yards, needing 394 to become just the eighth player in NFL history to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark and the first since Adrian Peterson went for 2,097 yards in 2012 with the Vikings. Murray would need to average a little more than 130 yards per game to hit that milestone. So far this year, Murray has five games of at least 130 yards or more, although just 73 against the Eagles in the first outing two weeks ago.
Eric Dickerson rushed for 2,105 in 1984, a record that was only seriously challenged by Peterson two years ago. For Murray to set the NFL single-season record, he would need exactly 500 yards in the final three games. That would take an average of 167 yards down the stretch.
But first things first, Murray has a more realistic chance to set the Cowboys' single-season franchise record, currently owned by Emmitt Smith, who went for 1,773 yards in 1995. Murray is currently in fourth place, behind Smith's 1,713-yard season in 1992 and Tony Dorsett's 1,646 in 1981.
Even surpassing Smith's Cowboys record would be a humbling feat for Murray.
"Obviously you've got respect for the best running back to ever play the game," Murray said of Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher. "To be mentioned in the same breath as him is definitely humbling."
But to Murray's credit, his approach all along, even dating back to the start of training camp, has been to direct attention towards his blockers and other skill players around him.
"There's a lot of credit to the O-line and the coaches who put the game plan together, and us as a team," Murray said. "It's an individual accolade but a lot of people put a lot of work into this, not just me."