ARLINGTON, Texas —DeMarco Murray may have eclipsed former Cleveland Browns icon Jim Brown as the first back in league history to start a season by running for at least 100 yards in seven straight games.
But the fourth-year Dallas Cowboys workhorse knows he has a long way to go to reach the Hall of Famer’s elite level after his 128-yard, one-touchdown performance keyed a 31-21 defeat of the New York Giants Sunday.
“He’s probably one of the greatest running backs to ever play, and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done,” Murray said. “In no way am I trying to say I’m on his level by any means. He’s a great guy, a great activist in the community, a great player and a great person. And I’m not even in that category.
“I’m blessed to be mentioned.”
Murray, who leads the league in rushing with 913 yards and seven touchdowns, made history with his 1-yard run on the first carry of the fourth quarter, shaking off a gimpy right ankle that buckled on him late in the second quarter. He gave credit to his offensive linemen who kept prying open lanes against a Giants defense that stacked defenders in the box.
“What an accomplishment,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “Anybody who knows how he got them, knows he got good help from his teammates. But I don’t know how you could have in this game of football, any more of a personal accomplishment to the will that it takes to get that.
“That kid has had ‘professional’ written all over him since the day he walked in. He stepped back in there after wrenching his ankle and competed.”
And he’s the engine who makes these 6-1 Cowboys go.
“DeMarco takes a pounding and he gives out a pounding,” said Calvin Hill, the former Cowboys running back from 1969-1974 who now serves as a consultant to the team. “I’m happy for DeMarco because he’s had to battle back from some injuries earlier in his career.”
Murray’s hard running opened up the play-action game for quarterback Tony Romo, who threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns, including two to second-year tight end Gavin Escobar.
“Demo is a special back,” center Travis Frederick said. “He’s one of the hardest working guys on this team. It’s nice to say we were a part of that as an offensive line.”
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he wants to extend Murray, who is in a contract year for “three, four years, whatever it entails.”