By Shawn Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys were reeling thanks to a two-game losing streak and the back injury to quarterback Tony Romo. Thankfully for Cowboys fans, a trip to London for a game with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and a returning Romo helped temporarily right the ship. DeMarco Murray also rebounded well in the game and continued his record breaking season as the Cowboys’ lead running back.
Murray raced for 100 yards on 19 carries in the game and is the first Dallas Cowboys running back to have nine 100-yard rushing games in a season since Emmitt Smith did it in 1999. Murray opened the season with eight straight 100-yard rushing performances, more than any other running back to open a season in NFL history. The legendary Jim Brown held the old record with seven games to open a season. Smith was in second place with six games before Murray passed him.
DeMarco Murray’s only sub-100 yard game came last week in the loss to the Arizona Cardinals, a game in which Brandon Weeden played as the starting quarterback. The Cardinals challenged Weeden to throw the ball by stacking the line of scrimmage with up to nine players to stop Murray. Despite the extra attention, Murray still gained 79 yards on 19 carries in that loss.
With Romo back, it looked like the same old DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys running back actually passed 100 yards earlier in the contest, but followed up with a negative yards attempt and had to try again to hit the 100 yard mark. After the game, Murray now has 1,233 rushing yards on the season. The next closest competitor is the Houston Texans’ Arian Foster, who has run for 822 yards on the year.
After 10 games, Murray is averaging 123.3 yards a game. Thanks to the last two contests, Murray is now only on pace to 1,972 yards this season. While that is still a monster season, Murray still has the chance to pick things back up in the second half of the season and become one of only seven NFL running backs to surpass 2,000 yards in a season. The last two players to hit that mark were Adrian Peterson (2,097) in 2012 and Chris Johnson (2,006) in 2009. Eric Dickerson is still the NFL single-season rushing leader with 2,105 yards in 1984.
The Dallas Cowboys have a bye this week and then they start a stretch of very tough games to finish off the season. They return to face the New York Giants on the road in Week 12. In the Cowboys last game with the Giants, Murray ran for 128 yards and Dallas won 31-21. After that, Dallas faces the hot Philadelphia Eagles twice in three weeks, the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and then finish the season with a rematch with the Washington Redskins, who beat Dallas two weeks ago.
Of course, Cowboys fans are still watching to see if DeMarco Murray makes it through the 2014 NFL season. The star running back has never completed a full season since coming to the NFL, and this is a problem that he had in college as well. On Sunday, there was one point where Murray, Dez Bryant and Tony Romo were all getting checked out by medical staff on the sidelines, but all three returned to the game. As long as Murray stays healthy, he gives Dallas a chance to win and will continue his amazing record breaking campaign.
For more Cowboys news and updates, visit Cowboys Central.
Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.