Look Out Felix, Here Comes DeMarco

Selected 71st overall by the Dallas Cowboys during the 2011 National League Football draft, DeMarco Murray entered his first pro season with the tall task of distinguishing himself from the solid offensive core already in place. He definitely made his presence known last weekend in the Dallas Cowboys' 34-7 win over the St. Louis Rams.

Known for his speed and quickness, Murray set a franchise record by rushing for 253 yards, which broke Emmitt Smith's 1993 record of 237 and was just two shy of fellow RB Felix Jones' total for the entire '11 season. It's the most rushing yards in the NFL since Kansas City Chiefs' Jamaal Charles ran for 259 against the Denver Broncos on Jan. 3, 2010. Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson holds the rookie rushing record of 296 yards, which was set in 2007.

The highlight of Murray's game was a 91-yard touchdown, which was the second longest in the team's history. The former University of Oklahoma star athlete posted an EPA of 10.9 in the game. He didn't just play well - he excelled with the increased role.

Murray's WPA of 0.20 pushed his season WPA/G to just 0.02, showing that his first five games in the NFL left a lot to be desired. In limited opportunity, though, he has a success rate of 48.8%, which is good for 10th amongst RBs in the NFL this season. It suggests that, with more playing time (25 of his 49 carries came against the Rams), Murray could continue to impact the ground game for Dallas.

The Week 7 performance could not have come at a better time.

With fellow RBs Jones and Tashard Choice banged up, look for the rookie to be QB Tony Romo's favorite target on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8. Murray, himself, entered the NFL with a history of injury so he may be his own worst enemy as time progresses. If he can avoid the training room, he could continue to be a key player for the Cowboys for the foreseeable future.

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