ESPN’s Ed Werder reported via Twitter that the team fears the running back’s injury will keep him on the sidelines for a few weeks.
Cowboys concerned DeMarco Murray foot injury could result in multi-game absence but player tells teammates he will play vs Giants next week— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 16, 2012
With Murray watching the game instead of carrying the ball, the Dallas offense will suffer. Although Felix Jones had a productive day after taking over for Murray, he is not a complete running back.
Murray is a rare rusher who has the speed to break off big plays, but also runs with enough power to pick up tough yardage between the tackles and eat up the clock late in games. Jones’ only weapon is his speed and he will struggle to carry a full load. This is why Jones was used sparingly prior to Murray’s injury.
Jones had a few productive games last season, eclipsing the 100-yard mark three times. However, he scored just one touchdown in the 12 games he played in.
Murray does a fantastic job turning downfield and moving a pile, while Jones tries to bounce runs outside and gets caught moving laterally far too often. He is extremely effective when he does turn the corner, but in most situations, the Cowboys just need a no-nonsense rusher who will pick up a few tough yards.
Jones, like Murray, has also struggled with injuries in his career. He has played in all 16 games in just one of his four full seasons in the NFL.
The former first-round pick out of Arkansas is certainly talented, but the Cowboys need a bigger, more powerful back to complement him. Currently, Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar are the only other backs on the depth chart.
Tanner is in his second season and Dunbar is a rookie, and both were undrafted free agents. They do not provide the depth Dallas now needs at running back.
As the Cowboys grow more frustrated with Jones’ inability to carry a full load at running back, the team’s lack of depth at the position will become increasingly evident.