2014 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

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group