2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Cowboys' Murray aims for 1st injury-free season

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-22 10:02

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - DeMarco Murray stares down discussions about two injury-plagued seasons with the Dallas Cowboys the same way he does defenders in the open field: as though he's about to hit something.

``Any other questions,'' the third-year running back says with a glare.

Murray is ready to do what he finally did in his third year with the Oklahoma Sooners - put in a full season after frustrating setbacks cut short the first two.

He's just not interested in rehashing the broken right ankle that ended his rookie season in Dallas seven weeks after he set a franchise record with 253 yards in his first start. Or the dislocated kneecap with the Sooners late in his freshman season after Murray set a school record with five touchdowns in his debut.

``There are some things that I can't control,'' said Murray, who missed six more games last season with a sprained left foot. ``All I can control is when I'm out there on the field and doing whatever I can to help this team win.''

So far so good in 2013, although he caused a few whispers about his health when he was relegated to sideline conditioning work for the first offseason practice in May. He said at the time he was just being cautious with a hamstring, and training camp has proven him right.

Murray didn't miss any practice time because of injuries over nearly four weeks in California, and he has plenty to accomplish besides staying healthy. Thanks in part to his foot problem last year, the Cowboys had the worst per-game rushing average in franchise history (79 yards).

``I would say as a team and as a unit the last two years I've been here, we haven't played up to par,'' said Murray, who had 911 yards as a rookie despite missing the last three games, but slid back to 663 yards last season. ``We haven't gotten to where we want to, but we've made some strides to get better as a team, as an organization from OTAs and minicamp and now to training camp.''

The Cowboys, who play their fourth preseason game Saturday night at home against Cincinnati, weren't supposed to tackle in training camp, with the brief exception during a Blue-White scrimmage that involved mostly third- and fourth-team players. But that didn't keep Murray - or defenders he engaged - off the ground.

Murray and his new center, rookie Travis Frederick, were still running so hard 10 yards downfield that they both went sprawling to the grass in one of the most spectacular collisions of a physical camp.

Even when the whistle blew to stop play before a tackle, Murray was looking for contact the same way he's done in games. And when linebacker Sean Lee wasn't knocking Murray around as the whistle blew, he was clawing at the ball.

``It's always a grind whenever you're going best on best,'' Murray said. ``Every day we're out here competing. We're just having fun. Once the play is over, I'm slapping the guys on the butt saying, `Good job.' In between the whistles, it's definitely hard.''

And it's exactly the bruising Murray is looking for. He's not huge at 6 feet and 220 pounds, but he plays like a safety. And Murray will be one of the players to watch with the new rule designed to penalize running backs who drop their head to take on a defender outside the hash marks.

``If we're all honest with ourselves, I don't know if we all really, really thought he was going to be as physical a runner as he's turned out to be,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``His best trait as a runner is he finishes runs. It's just his nature. It's his demeanor.''

The Cowboys were attracted to Murray in the first place by his ability to catch passes after he set an OU record for running backs with 71 receptions as a senior. But now he has taken to blocking as well.

Garrett loves to watch him square off against Lee in a blitz pickup drill, and Murray made the highlight film in practice one day with a block that knocked safety Barry Church's helmet off. Murray apparently got tired of watching footage of blitzing defenders getting the best of the backs.

``That's the kind of physicalness he has as a player, and he saw the tape the first two nights and he really didn't like it,'' Garrett said. ``So he came back out and he was determined to do it the right way. It's just a part of what he's all about.''

Murray doesn't really care what the tape showed - good or bad. His approach to the next snap is the same as the last because his mantra is simple: never be satisfied.

``That's just in life,'' he said. ``Once you get content with yourself, the next guy passes you up, whether it's the CEO or the football player, coach, anybody. You can never be content.''

Now Murray wants to show he can stay motivated when he's healthy, too.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

Joique BellJul 29 07:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (undisclosed) was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday, July 29, as he recovers from offseason surgery. It is unclear what the [ More ]

James WrightJul 29 06:43p

Free-agent WR James Wright (Bengals) was placed on Reserve/Injured Wednesday, July 29.

Jordan ReedJul 29 05:43p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) has been cleared for full participation in training camp, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Chase CoffmanJul 29 04:53p

Free-agent TE Chase Coffman (Titans) re-signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, July 29, according to a source.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) can be placed on the Non-Football Injury list if/when he signs his franchise tender. Owner John Mara said the team would like [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:23p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) is receiving his own medical treatment and rehabilitation at his home. There is currently no timetable for his return. Pierre-Paul, however, could [ More ]

Roddy WhiteJul 29 03:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (knee) had his left knee drained before minicamp, and he could have it drained again before the season ends. White isn't concerned about it, [ More ]

Ryan KerriganJul 29 01:43p

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday, July 29, worth $11.5 million per season, according to a source. The deal includes a $16 million signing bonus.

Cyrus GrayJul 29 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray was released Wednesday, July 29.

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group