- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys starting running back, was trying to explain his feelings about a rushing attack that set a franchise record on Sunday.
It's not a franchise record to be proud of.
The Cowboys attempted a franchise-low nine carries on Sunday in the victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
“I thought for the most part when I was given the opportunity, I thought I did well," said Murray, who rushed four times for 31 yards, which includes a 27-yard run. "Obviously, I’m not in control of that so I got to continue to worry about myself and control what I can control. The most important thing is we got the win, so at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”
Yet the Cowboys didn't run the ball enough and that's something coach Jason Garrett has said needs to happen. He talks about balance, but it doesn't happen.
"Yeah, we just didn’t get it done, and we got to do that," Garrett said. "We have to be more balanced. We have to give the running game more of an opportunity to get going. We have to run it better. I think in some ways the running game numbers were skewed. In the minimum number of attempts that we had, we did have a 27-yard run in there. We weren’t as efficient as we needed to be, too many tackles for loss in a limited number of opportunities. But we have to be more patient with it. We have to strive for balance.
"I thought [offensive coordinator] Bill [Callahan] did a good job finding different things in the passing game to get the ball moving for us in that big drive coming out in the second half and in that drive at the end of the ballgame. We just have to do a better job being more balanced. It will help our football team. It will help our linemen. It will help our quarterback. It will help our defense. It will help our team in general."
One excuse used was the Vikings' defensive alignment posed a problem where they used eight or nine defenders closer to the line of scrimmage to stop the running attack.
“Nah. After seeing the film, we had some success running the ball," Murray said. "Like I said, Romo had a great day passing the ball. There were definitely some opportunities to run it out there but it just didn’t go that way.”
Romo is Tony Romo, the Cowboys' quarterback. He attempted 51 passes on Sunday and he changed several plays at the line of scrimmage from run plays to pass. The Cowboys also produced the shotgun formation 50 times out of 63 total plays on Sunday and ran out of it one time. Romo also used play-action pass several times to force the Vikings linebackers to reacted by moving closer to the line. Romo did throw a touchdown pass to Jason Witten using play-action pass.
It seemed surprising to watch the Vikings get caught off guard by the play-action pass considering the Cowboys didn't try to establish the run.
The running backs carried the ball eight times on Sunday, Romo scrambled on the other rushing attempt, and Murray said he's not frustrated by how things are going or feels the need to speak with any of the coaches about it.
"Wins -- that definitely takes a lot of stress out of it," he said. "As long as we are winning I'm fine about it."