Rookie DeMarco Murray stole the show today in Big D as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the winless St. Louis Rams, 34-7 in a blowout victory. Murray rushed for a record 253 yards and solidified his place as the Cowboys’ new starting running back.
Dallas jumped out of the gates early in the 1st Quarter as Murray exploded for a 91 yard touchdown run on his very first play from scrimmage. It was the longest run the Cowboys have had all year and the longest in the NFL. Murray’s run was also the second largest run in Dallas Cowboy history. The longest run ever is still Tony Dorsett’s 99 yard scamper back on January 3, 1983. Dallas took the early lead over St. Louis, 7-0.
The Cowboys continued to ride the tide when S Abram Elam forced Ram’s RB Cadillac Williams to fumble the ball on a Rams screen play. The fumble was challenged by St. Louis, but the play was upheld.
There was a long delay at the end of the 1st Quarter, as Ram’s tackle Jason Smith was injured and eventually carted off the field. It was later reported that Smith had a neck strain injury, and it was not as serious an injury as most viewers previously believed.
When play resumed in the 2nd quarter, Elam’s turnover resulted in a seven play 62 yard drive by the Cowboys’ offense. That drive ended with a six yard Jason Witten touchdown off a play-action fake by QB Tony Romo. The Cowboys pushed the lead up, 14-0.
But, St. Louis would strike right back. The Rams were committed to pounding the rock with RB Steven Jackson, and that paid off big with two back-to-back running plays. The first was a punishing 40 yard run by Jackson to the Dallas 6 yard line. Then next play was a six yard run for the touchdown. Jackson was untouched on the scoring play. That made the score, 14-7 Dallas.
With just over three minutes left in the half, CB Mike Jenkins intercepted QB A.J. Feeley on the Ram’s 30 yard line. But the Dallas offense was unable to get a touchdown because of two consecutive dropped passes by Dez Bryant and had to settle for the Dan Bailey field goal. Dallas was up 17-7 going into halftime.
The Cowboys offense got the ball to start the second half and looked to move down the field. Murray had another great run of 19 yards in the series, but once he was replaced by Tashard Choice, things went downhill. Choice fumbled on the very next play and the ball was recovered by St. Louis. This was Choice’s second fumble in two games. But the Dallas defense stepped up big and made the Rams’ offense go three and out.
With 5:37 left in the 3rd quarter, Bailey kicked a 51 yard field goal to put the Cowboys up 20-7.
The Dallas rout continued in the 4th quarter. Another long 43 yard Murray run lead to a Phillip Tanner six yard touchdown. Tanner scored on only his second NFL career carry ever. Dallas extended it’s lead, 27-7.
The Dallas defense continued to haunt Feeley and the Rams. DeMarcus Ware will be in Feeley’s nightmares tonight.
Then with just over four minutes left in the game, Romo hit Bryant for a beautiful leaping catch in the endzone to make the score 34-7, Dallas.
The Rams were able to get the ball the the Dallas one yard line with just under two minutes left in the game. But the Dallas defense refused to allow them to score and held them on fourth down forcing the change of possession. Elam made a great back field tackle on Jackson to force the turnover on downs.
Murray had a record setting day. He set the Cowboys rookie and all time single day rushing record with 253 yards on the ground. He also recorded the most rushing yards in a single game this season in the entire NFL.
Romo had a quiet day going 14 of 24 for 166 passing yards and two touchdowns. Dez Bryant added 5 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Feeley had a rough day going 20 of 33 passes for 196 yards and one interception. He faced tremendous pressure all day. The lone bright spots for the Rams were Steven Jackson and newly acquired WR Brandon Lloyd. Jackson recorded 70 yards and a touchdown. Lloyd had a surprising 6 receptions for 74 yards, leading his new team.
Dallas now goes to 3-3 on the season, after scoring more points in today’s game then they have all season. The Cowboys will face the division rival Philadelphia Eagles next week.