Sunday afternoon against the Colts matters to the Cowboys. With rival Philadelphia pecking at their shoulders at 9-5, one slip up could give the Eagles first place in the NFC East and the Cowboys a seat on the couch come playoff time. A great emphasis has been placed on the health of running back DeMarco Murray (broken hand) and rookie Zack Martin (ankle sprain) with the running game and offense line led Dallas in this postseason push.
Cowboys owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones is optimistic Murray and Martin will play Sunday.
"I’m pretty positive about having the ability to play them and to getting that decision," Jones told 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] Friday. "Both of those guys, you should be able to count on them."
Murray had surgery Monday at 6 p.m. and was at the media portion of practice Wednesday morning participating in team drills. Murray also practiced on Thursday, though listed as limited.
Even though Murray will play, Jones says he would be surprised if reserve running backs Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle didn’t see increased carries.
"Yes, I would be, because I think that probably in this situation more carries mean we’ve had the ball, the time we want to have it, the time of possession," Jones said. "And it means when those Randle and Dunbar have that ball in their hands, we have a chance to make a big play. We’ve done it. We’ve seen it. I’m excited about Dunbar on big plays. I think it gives us a chance to maximize their abilities, and they have some unique abilities as opposed to Murray."
Randle has 34 carries for 237 yards and two touchdowns, averaging seven yards per carry. Dunbar has been used more in the passing game, where he has caught 16 passes for 207 yards and averaged 12.9 yards per reception.