IRVING, Texas — DeMarco Murray let his mind “marinate” while he was benched for fumbling in a preseason game against Cincinnati.
Taking his cooking analogy one step further, the Dallas Cowboys running back was never boiling even though he was forced to watch a quarter and a half.
Murray acknowledged Monday that he was frustrated by the move. And he definitely got the message because he had 45 rushing yards and a 7-yard scoring catch on one drive when coach Jason Garrett gave him another chance after sitting him three straight series in the Cowboys’ 24-18 victory Saturday.
“I wasn’t mad at anyone,” said Murray, who fumbled inside the Dallas 10 the third time he touched the ball but was bailed out by offensive lineman Jermey Parnell’s recovery. “I wasn’t pouting on the sidelines. I was waiting for my opportunity to get back in the game. Once my number was called, I was ready to play.”
Garrett didn’t bench the third-year back immediately after the miscue — Murray handled the ball twice more before a Dallas punt.
But the coach clearly was fed up after the loose ball on the Cowboys’ fifth offensive play just one week after they had five turnovers in the first half and six total in a loss at Arizona.
“Can’t happen,” Garrett said, pointing out that avoiding turnovers was a “huge emphasis” in training camp and had to be reinforced after the loss to the Cardinals. “I don’t care who you are. We can’t have it. DeMarco’s a man. He understands what his role is on this football team. We just felt that was the right thing to do, and he responded exactly how we thought he would respond.”
The Cowboys have preached carrying the ball “high and tight” throughout the preseason, and Murray was simply the latest to violate that rule in a game.