DeMarco Murray: It’s hard to run against nine in the box


After rushing for 100 yards in each of his first eight games this season, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was held to 79 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals. Afterward, Murray indicated that things would have been different if Tony Romo had played.

Noting that the Cardinals continually stacked the line of scrimmage to stop Murray and dare Brandon Weeden to pass on them, Murray said the Cowboys actually did pretty well running the ball, considering the Cardinals’ defensive alignment.

“We did good against nine guys in the box,” Murray said, via the Star-Telegram. “It was a hard day.”

Murray is right: When you’re going up against a defensive front like this, it’s hard to run. But given the absence of Romo, it’s surprising that the Cowboys have handed Murray the ball just 19 times in each of the last two games.

It’s hard to run against a nine-man front. But it’s even harder to pass when Weeden is your quarterback.

77 responses to “DeMarco Murray: It’s hard to run against nine in the box

  1. Been almost a year and a month since the Cardinals allowed a 100 yd rusher.

    They would’ve done mostly the same thing with similar results if Romo were in the game. P2 basically shut out Dezzy, except for some garbage time catches.

  2. The media needs to make up their minds. Is DeMarco being run too much to last the season, or was he not run enough the last two games? Pick one to bash Dallas for and stick to it.

  3. Love that last line about its even harder to pass when Weeden is your QB. That guy is an absolute scrub who tries to throw the ball as hard as he can every throw as opposed to throwing an accurate pass. Complete Scrub Romo please come back.

  4. The GOAT, Barry Sanders, did it for his entire career behind a much less talented offensive line than you have in front of you.

  5. You did good at running against nine in the box huh? Usually the coach adapts and starts passing it but thats just the rest of the NFL, not Jerry.

    8-8 is GREAT!!

  6. Yeah, that’s why it sucks to have a QB with a back issue and Brandon Weeden as the backup. Superb GMing on your team, demarco. You’re good, but you play for Jerry.

  7. Dez Bryant: 2 catches, 15 yards, 1TD.

    I saw that stat after the game and wondered why they didn’t target him at least ten times. He makes bad QBs better. Then I checked, and Weeden DID target him ten times. He threw eight uncatchable balls to Dez Bryant. How??

  8. lol

    Welcome to AP, McCoy, Foster territory. It was bound to happen. AP still got his yards though. McCoy isnt doing too well against stacked fronts, and Arian Foster looks very good.

  9. It might be hard to run against nine in the box, but it’s even harder to run when your coach keeps calling pass plays.

  10. Dez dropping pass didn’t help. 5 offensive linemen 2 tight ends and a fullback should be able to block that front. You just had to get one guy to miss. One guy can’t bring you down. After all, Dallas has the best offensive line in the history of football. Ask Jerrah, he’ll tell you all about it.

  11. When an opposing defense KNOWS your QB can’t throw and you HAVE to run, it gets easy to defend it.

    Simple math: When you have 8 guys in on the line and 9 guys to block, it doesn’t turn out too well.

  12. Creeaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Weeden/Sanchez.

    That’s the sound of the door beginning to open for Big Blue.

  13. texansfan82 says:
    Is anyone else impressed that he ran for 79 yards against that?
    Not really. Since most of his break-outs were against the blitz.

  14. ebpatton says:

    It might be hard to run against nine in the box, but it’s even harder to run when your coach keeps calling pass plays.

    Yet you were probably parroting the media when they said he was being run too much.

  15. @hyzers. The GOAT. I doubt that. Sanders was great but running out of a spread offense isn’t the same as running out of a pro set. Murray did an admirable job despite missing Leary and Free not to mention Romo.

  16. Pittsburgh Steelers says:
    Nov 3, 2014 12:40 PM
    Arguably the worst team in the league right now. The world laughs at you.

    And the Steelers have the exact same record 6-3. So is the world laughing at them too?

  17. You know you are good when the media and haters think rushing for 79 yards in a game where your team trotted out the weeks worst starter is not a success.

  18. The link to MDS’ twitter account shows a cardinals alignment against a 3 tight end two back set on what was a third or fourth and inches. Were the Cardinals supposed to play a dime defense against that? I’m not arguing that perhaps the Cardinals played with a lot of guys in the box to try and stop the run, but their alignment on that play isn’t exactly a good demonstration of that.

  19. Here we go with the excuses for the Cowboys instead of credit to the Cardinals. The Cardinals have allowed what, 1 Frank Gore 100 yard game these last few years? Hard to run against 9 in the box? That picture you link was from when the Cowboys were going for it on 4th and a few feet…everyone stacks the box in that situation. It was one play and you let him get away with that excuse for the whole game? Apparently Weeden only had to pass against Cromartie and Peterson to all his TEs and WRs….oh but they all had sucky numbers too.

    Look, Romo has never won anything and exemplifies the over-rated Cowboys year after year to the point it has been a joke. On the flip side, the Cardinals have more recent playoff and Super Bowl success yet still get no respect. They are 14-3 since their 2013 bye week, the only losses were close ones to the Eagles (terrible officiating) and 49ers (actually good last year) and this year vs the Broncos (Logan Thomas QB, Campbell chop block injury).

    You know when it’s hard to run Murray? Ask the dozens of other RBs the Cardinals have limited over the last two years.

  20. Even though he’s never won anything, I guess its easy to miss Romo when the only others to play are Kitna, Orton and Weeden. One of these days this team is going to get a real QB that can actually make a playoff run.

  21. Colin Kaepernick: Wow that sounds easy, sometime I have to run against 11 in the box which is much harder, in fact you can’t even see the yardage I get when I do get some.

  22. Memo to Demarco Murray:
    Barry Sanders made a HOF career out of it, running against stacked boxes year after year after year. With QB’s like Andre Ware, Rodney Peete, Erik Kramer, Charlie Batch, Scott Mitchell, I can’t go on it’s too painful.

  23. “RomoIsGod says:
    Nov 3, 2014 1:20 PM
    You know you are good when the media and haters think rushing for 79 yards in a game where your team trotted out the weeks worst starter is not a success.”

    You know who has better weekly QB averages than your dimpled god?

    2 Mannings, Rodgers, Luck, Big Ben, Brees, CARSON PALMER, KYLE ORTON, Brady, Cutler, Rivers, Brees, Ryan, Wilson, Stafford and Flacco. That’s half the league right there. Romo is no special snowflake, but if a cute smile, dimples and blondes in the stands are what you want in your QB he is a great choice.

    Kyle Orton…that has to hurt.

  24. FOX network should be ashamed of themselves for always allowing Aiekman to do Dallas games. He becomes one side it sick. Whoever the team playing the Cowboys should be all over the network for their coverage. He does nothing but give excuses to the Cowboys. Glad I don’t have to hear this every week.

  25. @joedc669: Did you watch him play? The GOAT, Barry Sanders, had his best season under Bobby Ross, with a fullback in front of him. It was anything BUT a spread offense, and it was against stacked boxes. I guess what I’m saying is you shouldn’t say anything if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  26. Great running backs don’t whine about the defense. They find ways to work through them as if that’s their job, not defenses being easier for them to walk through. Thank you, Demarco Murray, for pointing out why you aren’t an elite running back. I don’t think Emmitt Smith or Eric Dickerson ever complained that the defense was making it too difficult to them!

  27. @hyzers. The GOAT. I doubt that. Sanders was great but running out of a spread offense isn’t the same as running out of a pro set. Murray did an admirable job despite missing Leary and Free not to mention Romo.


    Remember that year Sanders rushed for 2000 yards in 14 games? Yeah that wasn’t a spread offense Bobby Ross ran son.

  28. Maybe I can send him some tissues. Poor Mr. Murray.
    Cards basically ran the same D that’s been winning it for them for the last year and a half.
    Suck it up like a big boy.

  29. Dallas Cowboys offense should have stepped up when they knew Tony Romo was not going to play. The offense was playing like they don’t want Weeden to quarterback for them. They all are the blame they didn’t play.

  30. I’d never watched Weeden play before yesterday so I had no idea how bad he actually was. After watching that game, I’m absolutely baffled that he’s in the NFL in any capacity. The Cowboys are done if Romo can’t get back right away. Romo’s not great and is known to choke, but Weeden gives that team absolutely no chance at all. That was embarrassing.

  31. Well, if you’re facing 9 in the box every play, you can always change your formation to 1 RB, 1 FB, 1 WR and 2 TEs, so you have 8 people blocking. For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, it’s called an ADJUSTMENT. Of course when you live by the creed “Every word that procedeth out of the mouth of Jerry Jones is irrefutable gospel,” as Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett do, you’re not likely to do such crazy things.

  32. With how bad Weeden has shown to be in his short NFL career, a headline like this should be taken as a compliment by him. Arizona apparently thought enough of him to not stack the box with all 11 defensive players

  33. Yeah, well, it’s called a “game plan”, and that’s the responsibility of the coaches, not the backup QB. If the Cowboys couldn’t come up with a game plan that gave Wheedon a good chance to succeed, well, that’s how it goes sometimes. You can’t just put a backup in there and expect things to be exactly the same.

  34. The Cowboys have a much bigger problem than the nine in the box on the field. They’re losing because of the one in the box in the owner’s suite.

  35. It would not have matter if Romo was in….he was injured. He wasn’t going to do any better against that defense.

  36. What really happened yesterday was that “coach of the year” candidate Jason Garrett got exposed big-time. He and his staff were THOROUGHLY outcoached by Arians and staff. If the Cards really were loading up 9 in the box, and already had the statistically #32 passing defense in the league, was there NO way you could exploit that, even with Weeden behind center? C’mon.

  37. The Cowboys haven’t beaten the Cardinals since 2006….so yesterday was no surprise.

  38. Dez needs to shut his f’in mouth and let Weeden or Romo run the offense and go with the people the defense gives them. I am certain Dez was telling Weeden he was open all day, because he wants that big contract Jayz wants to give him. If Weeden had thrown to the slot man Cole Beasley, who faked his man out of his shoes, or Dwayne Harris who did the same thing, not to mention Witten. How about the forgotten man Gavin Escobar? What about the hands to the face that Petersen was giving Dez? Where was NFL Officiating for the hands to the face? Where were the Cowboy corners? Why weren’t the Cowboy corners doing the same to Larry F. or the Cardinal receivers? If I am a Cowboy corner and I see this happening to my teammate, I am doing the same thing to the Cardinal receivers when I am on defense. Demarco would have had a 150 with Romo back in at QB.

  39. The greats never complained that defenses were making it too hard for them to play. Being able to figure out how to get through defenses, and doing it? That’s what made them great! Not because defenses laid down for them!!

  40. Dermarco would be wise to get a few films of Forte of the Bears on how to makes yards when the run box is loaded against you. Especially if Wedden is on the trip to England. (think the new term of art is dink and dunk)

  41. It’s bad enough that every Cowboy hater crawls out of the sewer everytime the Cowboys lose trying to leave what they think are intelligent posts ( they aren’t ) but for a giants fan to cut down the Cowboys after 1 of their lower then low class fans punched a Cowboys fan ( at AT&T stadium ) after losing and breaking the guys jaw for celebrating the win ( Remember it was a HOME game for the Cowboys ) to think that they still have a chance to win the division you need to stop drinking so much. Manning has no one left to just close his eyes and throw the ball to. If it wasn’t for him having guys going up and getting his crappy passes he would not have 2 SB rings. But take heart, giants fans are now below Philly as having the lowest class fans in the league..

  42. On the Critical 4th down call…. The Cowboys had the opportunity to go Mano y Mano with the Cardinals 9 in the box…

    And 7 of those Cardinals were in the backfield.

  43. Weeden was as surprised as anyone when the Cowboys came running after him to sign a contract. With how awful he has looked as an NFL QB you have to wonder if Dallas looked at any tape at all on him. I don’t care if he was in Cleveland or New England the guy just can’t process anything or have a feel for touch. Probably one of the worst first round picks in the history of the draft along with Trent Richardson.

    Also, Cardinals are a good team but lets not forget they play in a relatively weak division and conference.

  44. Fans and media use an excuse for the Cowboys losing because of one player out. Yet they do not even mention all the injuries the Cardinals had going into this game. In fact, the Cowboys lost to a team with a bunch of second and third stringers playing. Cards weren’t just missing guys, they were missing pro bowlers, team leaders, guys who make a difference on both sides of the ball.

    Years of trashing Romo and the one game he is out everyone acts like he is a football God. I guess they needed Romo on defense too right?

    Cowboys go up 10-0 and everyone is talking trash and all happy about them controlling this game. Then the Cards end up dominating the rest of the way and its all because of Romo being out? Cards will never get the credit they deserve, no matter who they beat.

  45. Cowboys got handled by the Cardinals just like the last 3 times they played (2008, 2011, 2012) when Romo was the QB. Not really a surprise.

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