The Cowboys running game presented us with numerous versions of itself in 2011. The year started without a fullback on the roster and Felix Jones as the starter. The team would soon sign free agent Tony Fiammetta and start to work towards the type of offense head coach Jason Garrett envisions as his winning formula. Fiammetta was out after Week 3 and wouldn't return until Felix was out with his injury in Week 7.
That's when rookie DeMarco Murray stepped in against St. Louis and rewrote the Cowboys record books. It's been well documented the success that Murray had in his initial stint of games. However, the sledding got much tougher once Fiammetta was again sidelined due to injury. Murray's per carry average and game totals plummetted. Outside evaluators will say that the league got tape on Murray, however it would be foolish to discount the effect of a quality lead blocker. Murray would later break his ankle in the first Giants game and Jones would regain the top spot on the depth chart. He filled in admirably enough (Top 25 in league in yards per carry, Top 10 in yards after contact average).
By all accounts, the Cowboys improved their lead blocking situation this offseason with the signing of Lawrence Vickers. There is hope that the two-headed running attack that Dallas hasn't enjoyed since 2006 is finally returning in 2012.
For his part, DeMarco Murray says he is ready to go. Murray sat down for a chat on ESPN.com .
Amongst other topics, he says that his ankle is doing great and "I’ll be able to do whatever the coaches want me to do."
Murray is ready to pick up where an exciting rookie season left off.
"I knew I would have some success, but I didn’t know it would go that well. But I was blessed to have good coaches and once I got the opportunity, I ran with it…literally."
This is good news for a team that still has several open-ended injury questions as camp opens up in less than three weeks. Felix missed the offseason work due to shoulder surgery and it will be interesting to see how quickly he rejoins the fold.
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