The latest setback involves starting running back DeMarco Murray, who has been ruled out of the team’s Week 7 matchup with the Carolina Panthers due to a significant foot injury.
A Monday MRI is expected to reveal ligament damage to Murray’s foot, although it appears that the sophomore runner has avoided a fracture or season-ending Lisfranc injury.
Coming out of college, Murray was considered an injury liability after suffering from numerous health issues throughout his career at Oklahoma. Considering that he fell to a season-ending ankle fracture during his 2011 rookie season, this latest setback has highlighted his continued inability to stay on the field.
Through the Cowboys first five games, Murray has racked up 330 yards and one touchdown on 75 carries while showing an explosive ability to break tackles and pick up yards after contact. He has also proven to be an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield, hauling in 17 passes for 118 yards.
If Murray misses an extended amount of playing time, the Cowboys will be forced to lean on an inconsistent Felix Jones to carry the load in the running game.
Jones has had a lackluster 2012 season, looking lost through Week 5 before showing some game-breaking potential in Dallas’ latest contest. While he managed only 13 yards through the Cowboys’ first four games, the fifth-year runner broke out for 92 yards and scored his only touchdown of the season after Murray’s injury in Week 6.
If Jones fails to fill the void, the Cowboys could look to fellow backups Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar to help shoulder the workload. It’s also a possibility that Dallas could look to the free agent market to help alleviate the pains felt from the loss of Murray.
It’s already been a long season for the Cowboys, who have mustered a measly 2-3 record to land them at the bottom of the NFC East. With Murray now out of the picture indefinitely, it won’t get any easier from here on out.