One of the biggest stories in the NFL this year, and without a doubt the biggest story for the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, has been the emergence of DeMarco Murray as the Cowboys' workhorse running back.
Murray burst on to the NFL scene on Oct. 23 after Felix Jones was lost to injury in the prior week. Tashard Choice got the ceremonial start against the St. Louis Rams, but the game belonged to Murray, who set an NFL rookie rushing record with 253 yards and a touchdown. He's been hot ever since.
Early in Sunday night's loss to the New York Giants, Murray was wrapped up by the legs and Cowboys fans watched and cringed as his ankle was twisted in a highly unnatural way. The result? A high ankle sprain and a fractured ankle that will end Murray's standout rookie season.
He finishes with 870 rushing yards and 177 receiving yards in eight starts (including the St. Louis "non-start" and the Giants game on Sunday).
It's a serious blow to the Cowboys' playoff hopes, which were also diminished by the loss on Sunday. Now, the Cowboys will be back to relying on Felix Jones, who himself is an injury waiting to happen. Jones proved a capable replacement on Sunday, racking up over 100 yards but he also had a key fumble. If he goes down, the Cowboys are really screwed as rookie runner Phillip Tanner is on injured reserve, as well. That would leave Tony Fiammetta as the Cowboys' lone running back, and they will surely bring someone else in before next week.
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