Should DeMarco Murray be benched if he fumbles again?

The Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to give away possessions, so a solution must be found for DeMarco Murray's fumbling problem.

One option is benching Murray if he fumbles again, as he has in four straight games dating to last season’s finale, even if it’s just for one series to send a message.

“Everything is on the table,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Taking care of the football matters. We’ve done that with him in the past. We’ve chosen not to do that in each of the games this year when he has fumbled. He’s responded really well within that game.

“Obviously, we have to make sure that we correct this issue with him and with everybody on our team who possesses the football. You can’t put the ball on the ground. Those are big plays. Those are game-changing plays. He’s done a great job overcoming it within the game. We’ve done a good job overcoming it in two of the three games, but we certainly have to do better in that area.”

The case for not benching Murray is pretty simple. He’s the most productive back in the NFL so far this season, leading the league’s rushers in carries (75), yards (385) and touchdowns (three).

In the three series immediately after his fumbles, all of which have come in the first quarter, Murray has rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. The Cowboys have scored on each of the three drives, accounting for 13 points.

However, based on two analytic metrics, Murray has been an overall minus for the Cowboys because of his fumbles this season.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Murray has accounted minus-3.8 in expected points added and minus-24 percent in win probability added. The harm of his three fumbles – minus-13.3 EPA and minus-36 percent WPA – significantly outweighs the positives from all of Murray’s other carries in these advanced stats.

No matter how much stock you put in those numbers, there’s no question that Murray must find a way to hold onto the football. Murray knows that as well as anyone, but he’s tired of talking about the topic.

“I’m not going to spend a lot of time on that,” Murray said. “I know what’s happened the past three weeks, and you’ve just got to move on from it, got to learn from it and got to get it corrected. But I’m not going to overthink it and try to do a whole lot and change my game. I’ll continue to run hard and try to make as many plays as I can.”

If Murray fumbles again, Garrett will have to decide whether he puts the NFL’s rushing leader back on the field the next series to make more plays.

Should DeMarco Murray be benched if he fumbles again? Should DeMarco Murray be benched if he fumbles again? Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 9:14:00 PM Rating: 5

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