DeMarco Murray has not been ruled out of the Dallas Cowboys’ week 16 game against the Indianapolis Colts at Cowboys Stadium. However, chances are the Cowboys will have a running back committee roundup due to Murray’s broken hand.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told Ed Werder from ESPN the team is confident DeMarco would be able to play ball against the Colts.
“The biggest question we have to ask ourselves is, is he functional to do his job? Can he hold the football? Can he carry it under duress? Can he block? Can he do the things necessary to play the position? He’s as strong-willed and as determined an individual as I’ve ever been around, and if anybody has a chance to come back, he does.”
Fantasy owners of Murray are asking the same questions. With the fantasy championship on the line, many fantasy owners are handcuffing Murray by adding Joseph Randle to play instead of DeMarco.
Murray broke the fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand late in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys went on to win by a score of 38-27.
If Murray is unable to play in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Colts, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar will play an important role in keeping the Cowboy’s playoff hopes alive.
From a fantasy perspective, Joseph Randle is a better choice to follow in Murray’s tracks. Randle rushed 34 times this year and averaged 7.0 yards per carry. He is 6’0″, 210 pounds, whereas, Dunbar is 5’8″, and 195 pounds.
Former Arizona Cardinals running back, Ryan Williams is currently on the practice squad; however, he could be activated if the Cowboys make a decision to allocate Murray time to heal.
Garrett expressed his confidence in the running back committee to ESPN.
“We have a lot of confidence in those guys. Obviously, we like to give them opportunities in games to spell DeMarco and just to give those guys a shot. I thought last night was a good example of how those guys consistently take advantage of those opportunities. Joseph got a couple of carries and was productive with his. I felt Lance did a really nice job in that game, at the end of the game handling the football and just doing some good things and making some good runs. They weren’t splashy runs but they were real positive runs in critical moments of that ballgame.”
On Tuesday, general manager and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had this to say on 105.3 The Fan.
“I haven’t been shown examples of where someone has had an injury like this. It’s not uncommon. I’m not saying it’s an everyday occurrence, but it’s not uncommon for a back to have a hand injury. They do take some hits on that hand. But I know it’s in a place where it can really be protected. We do that and we see that often with different kind of hand injuries. Certainly, he’s got a lot of parts to his game that work – protection, what he does, frankly, with that hand when he’s running with the ball, he usually carries it in his right hand. All of those things, it’s conceivable to me; it’s not unrealistic that it could work with him being ready.”
There’s still a glimmer of hope for fantasy owners of DeMarco Murray. Murray carries the football in his right hand.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]