DeMarco Murray bounces back from benching

IRVING, Texas — For the first time since getting benched during the first half of Saturday night’s preseason victory over Cincinnati, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray addressed standing on the sidelines for nearly 20 minutes as the first-team offense was on the field.

The third-year starting back fumbled during the game’s second series and didn’t return until the third quarter.

“It was a little frustrating, I got to be honest,” Murray said Monday. “But I’m just trying to make plays. I’m a competitor. I wasn’t mad at any one. I wasn’t pouting on the sidelines. I wasn’t anything. I was waiting for my opportunity to get back in the game. Once my number was called, I was ready to play.”

Murray said he respects Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s decision to replace him with Phillip Tanner, but said he didn’t need the benching to get his attention.

“I made a mistake and I can’t let that happen,” Murray said. “No one needs to motivate me. I know how to motivate myself.”

Murray also let it be known that there are no hard feelings.

“He made the decision, and hey, I’m a team player so I respect the decision,” Murray said. “He’s a smart coach. Great coach. I’m always gonna be behind him. Whatever is best for the team, I’m all for it.”

Murray was jokingly asked if Tony Romo will get benched after he throws his first interception.

“I highly doubt that,” Murray said.

Murray returned in the third quarter, working behind the same offensive line that started the game. He carried eight times during the first offensive series of the second half, totaling 45 yards. Murray then capped the drive by breaking five tackles to score on a seven-yard reception.

“It always feels good to make a play and give the team a spark,” Murray said. “I’m just trying to make plays and that’s it.”