DeMarco Murray: Past performances against St. Louis Rams mean 'nothing'

Maybe there’s something about the St. Louis Rams helmet DeMarco Murray likes. Or the uniform. Or maybe it was the way the sun was shining through the doors at AT&T Stadium in the two games Murray has played against the Rams.

In those two games, the Dallas Cowboys’ running back has picked up 428 yards on 51 carries. On Oct. 23, 2011, he ran for a franchise-record 253 yards on 25 carries in a 34-7 win against the Rams, and he didn’t even start that game. Last year he picked up 175 yards on 26 carries in a 31-7 win.

Murray gets his third chance against the Rams on Sunday. How much will the previous games factor into this one?

DeMarco Murray has been hard for the Rams to handle in two prior meetings.
“Um, nothing,” Murray said.

The Rams have a new coordinator in Gregg Williams with a new scheme. They have new players but also will be missing one of their best players, defensive end Chris Long.

“I think you’ve got to be really careful of going back and saying, ‘Boy, he plays great against these guys,’” coach Jason Garrett said. “Well, these guys aren’t necessarily the same guys he’s played against in the past. But, he’s certainly playing well right now. We’ve run the ball well the first couple weeks, and he’s been a big part of it.”

St. Louis hasn’t exactly stopped the run, either. The Rams have the 30th-ranked run defense through two games, giving up 171 yards per game on the ground. Minnesota wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had 102 yards on three carries in Week 1. Tampa Bay’s Bobby Rainey had 144 yards on 22 carries in Week 2.

“I didn’t watch any film of the last two years that we played them at all,” Murray said. “I’ve watched them preseason and the first two games to get a feel for what they do and it’s totally different.”

St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn played in both contests, though he was not one of the NFL’s best defenders in 2011. Stopping the big run is at the top of Quinn’s to-do list this week. In the 2011 meeting, Murray had 172 of his 253 yards on four carries, including a 91-yarder. In 2013, 118 of his 175 yards came on five carries.

“We want to keep him within the box so our big guys and our ‘backers and sometimes safeties can get downhill and just keep him to as minimal yardage as possible,” Quinn said.

With as well as the Cowboys have started the season on the ground, play-caller Scott Linehan knows he will have to devise different ways to get Murray loose as defenses key on tendencies. But he doesn’t want to get away from what the Cowboys and Murray do best.

“He runs angry,” Linehan said. “It’s a great compliment to do that because a lot of guys are running to daylight. DeMarco has that ability but he plays the game like one of those big backs that run with that fierce, tenacious kind of style. You don’t realize it, but he’s not the biggest back in the league. I don’t know where you put him as far as where that is, but he plays that way. The physical nature, he brings a lot of identity to our team the way he plays because our guys are doing the same thing up front. The tight end, the receivers are playing with that same kind of physical nature. To be good at the run game, your back has to have that style to be the guy that’s packing it most of the time.”
DeMarco Murray: Past performances against St. Louis Rams mean 'nothing' DeMarco Murray: Past performances against St. Louis Rams mean 'nothing' Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 12:12:00 PM Rating: 5

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