Cowboys keep talking about giving DeMarco Murray fewer touches


Before this season, the Cowboys talked a lot about running the ball more.  But they never really did.

This year, the Cowboys finally are running the ball more.  So much more than running back DeMarco Murray is on pace to run the ball more times than anyone ever has in a single season.

As a result, the Cowboys are now talking about giving the ball to Murray less.  But they’re not doing it.

“Well there’s no doubt we look at it and there’s no doubt we’d like to get that cut back,” COO Stephen Jones told Adam Schein of SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio on Thursday.  “We’ve got to get our hands around having the ball 30 minutes versus having the ball 33, 34, 35, in some cases 36 minutes, even though you are giving Joe Randle and [Lance] Dunbar some carries when you keep the ball that long.  We need to even do it a little more.

“But we’re certainly aware of it.  We certainly know that when you touch the ball that many times you are exposing DeMarco to a difficult hit or something like that.  So we’re aware of it.  We want to do better in terms of reducing his touches.  Not by a ton but you’d like to see him get it less than 30 times a game.  Between his receiving and running I think he’s in the 35-36 range.  So we would like to get that down.”

Technically, Murray’s workload currently is under 30 touches per games; he’s a 29.8.  Still, he had only 17 per game for his career before 2014, and he never stayed healthy with that more limited workload.

So maybe the goal should be to get Murray under 25 touches per game.  If they don’t, it’s just a matter of time before Murray won’t be able to manage one touch for one or more consecutive games.

23 responses to “Cowboys keep talking about giving DeMarco Murray fewer touches

  1. Why is this such a big thing? I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning this when Lynch or Johnson were having their beast seasons. Why now is this such a huge flippin deal?

  2. So if they just run him five times a game, he can play until he’s 60 years old!!!

    It’s not about touches. It’s about seasons.

  3. They say that, but they won’t. But they SHOULD. But it’s also hard to do that because when a game needs hard yards, he’s seeking contact to finish a game off.

    But he has been smarter with his runs. He now knows when a run is over and gets to the ground to save his body. Maybe the injury history has made him smarter.

  4. Wilder, James.
    Johnson, Larry.
    Anderson, Jamal.

    Probably leaving off one or two others, but guys who rush that many times are never the same afterward. Either they do what they claim they’re going to do (they don’t even realize it, saying they are exposing him to a big hit, and not wearing him out for good, which is the real harm), and put less potent Randle and Dunbar out there, or Romo ends up getting the ball more to turn it over more.

    Either way, Dallas better enjoy this first half of the season, because it won’t be pretty in the end. Guaranteed.

  5. douchebigelow says:
    Oct 23, 2014 3:25 PM
    He should get plenty of rest this week. The game will be a blowout in the 2nd quarter against the pathetic Redskins.

    Watch them lose.

  6. Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. He could get hurt walking in the living room. Should he limit his minutes walking? Absurd! He still has to block and decoy. It’s not about plays or longevity. It’s about seasons. Let him have his monster season. No one worried about play counts, touches, or pitch counts, until lawyers and unions! Stupid!

  7. lonskils says:
    Oct 23, 2014 3:25 PM
    Why is this such a big thing? I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning this when Lynch or Johnson were having their beast seasons. Why now is this such a huge flippin deal?

    Because guys who rush that often are rarely even 80% of what they were in the seasons that follow. Chris Johnson diminished by 40% the following season in terms of output, and hasn’t been much of a big time rusher since the 2,000 yard season and the 1,300 yard season that followed.

  8. It’s hard to say what is the right move here. He has a history of injuries, but he has an amazing line so his runs are different this year than in previous sowe can only speculate the damage his body is taking. What we don’t want is what the Bucs had happen to the about 8 years back when they ran Williams into the ground.

    We can still have a run game with Murray getting less touches, we have other guys. And as the O line gels more and more, the second RB should get more touches.

  9. That’s awfully presumptuous. Hell, maybe he plays better with more touches. Maybe his body gets used to the contact with more touches. Not ridiculous to think.

    Sometimes you just gotta let it ride. Don’t need to be a CEO of a football team to know that.

  10. This problem will solve itself in one of the following ways:

    1. Murray has the historic season and is never the same again (requires him to be both healthy AND prolific for the entire year).
    2. opponents stack the box, and Dez Bryant and the other receivers play pinball on the scoreboard.
    3. Murray wears out or gets injured, and his performance declines

    My hunch is that behind a much improved line, Murray has a monster year.

    I’m an Eagle fan, but Murray sure is fun to watch. He is having the kind of year PHI got from McCoy last year.

  11. It’s a long season and it’s been proven over and over again … over worked RBs will break down.

  12. “It’s a long season and it’s been proven over and over again … over worked RBs will break down.”

    You mean like Emmitt Smith, Thurman Thomas, Jerome Bettis, and Barry Sanders?

  13. As an Eagles fan that ain’t skerd a the Cowgirls, I woudn’t mind him havin’ a seat on Thanksgiving:) Come back in two weeks in Philly.

    But that 4 piece combo of Romo, Whitten, Dez, and Murray, hard pressed to find a better 4 punch combination with that O-Line they quietly pieced together over the past few seasons.

    I can’t believe I said that I’m about to vomit!

  14. Smart move. If they make it to the playoffs they are gonna need him rested and healthy. Because we all know that the cowboys cannot rely on Romo to win them a playoff game.

    Other teams fans envy our teams players. Other teams players envy our teams fans. #choochoohawksdynastytrain
    #12thmanisheretostay #dynastybeforeyoureyes #kissthering

  15. Just keep giving him the ball, December will be here soon enough and he’ll be hurt and the cowboys season will begin it’s annual “Tank fest”.
    I hear they’re going to have rides at Jerry’s world for “Tank Fest”.
    One of the attractions is going to be a dunk tank where you wear a Romo jersey and try to throw it to the receiver and if you get intercepted you get thrown in the tank.
    There will also be a bathroom selfie stall, complete with Jerruh masks.
    The Grand Prize is a Toyota Tundra for the biggest bandwagon fan. You have to be able to prove that you’ve gone to the most games and paid the least amount of attention to the game, as well as prove how early you leave the game to “beat the traffic”.

    “Tank Fest”

  16. I don’t see the big deal. He’s not taking big hits at the line. He’s getting hit by smaller secondary and linebackers not d-linemen.

    I don’t recall this much hand wringing with Emmitt in the 90’s. Of course, there weren’t as many “experts” spewing BS all over the internet either.

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