Of the many differences between the Cowboys’ week one victory over the New York Giants on the road and their week eight loss to the Giants at home, the lack of a running game in the loss stands out, if only because the numbers are so night-and-day.
Specifically, DeMarco Murray ran for 131 yards in the season-opening win in New Jersey, a devastating performance that helped wear down the New York defense; with Murray out of the lineup on Sunday with a foot injury, and playing from behind for most of the game, backup Felix Jones mustered just 19 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
Tony Romo and Phillip Tanner combined for no yards on four carries (two a piece), though Romo did score a rare rushing touchdown.
The combined rushing effort in Murray’s absence was made all the worse by a late fumble by Jones, which led to the Giants’ second field goal of the fourth quarter and forced Dallas to play for a touchdown rather than a field goal on their final drive. The good news is that after the loss, Jerry Jones seemed optimistic that Murray could return next week as the Cowboys take on the undefeated Falcons.
“I talked to him a little before the game,” Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News, “and I am encouraged that he has a chance to be back.”
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