I had a few minutes to talk to Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, who returned from his foot injury to play a major role in the win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Here is what he had to say.
This interview was sponsored by PepsiAnthems.com. You can check out Kelly Clarkson's Cowboys Anthem "Get Up" and the video of her photo shoot with DeMarco Murray by going to the PepsiAnthems.com site. All songs are free to download.
Thanks to the other writers for suggesting some good questions. All transcription errors are mine.
BTB: Good Morning, DeMarco
DeMarco Murray: How ya' doing.
BTB: Good. Did you have fun doing the photo shoot with Kelly Clarkson for the Cowboys Anthem?
DM: I did, it was a great time, I got a chance to meet her. I got to spend a little time with her, get a chance to know her a little. It was a fun day.
BTB: Did you have a lot of fun getting back on the field, because we sure did have a lot of fun seeing you get back there.
DM: Definitely, it was part of a long process, about six weeks, and was glad to able to get back and contribute, to help the team get the win. It's definitely been hard, but I'm glad to be back out there with my teammates.
BTB: How is your foot doing?
DM: It's going good, it's doing good.
BTB: Did you feel that you were out there during the game a little longer than you needed to be, or did you feel that they kept you out about the right time?
DM: I don't think that at all, I wanted to stay out there even longer. I felt that I was playing a little less than I should have, but they were being a little conservative at times, which was understandable with my being out the time that I was out. It was a good day.
BTB: Well, it certainly worked out well for the team. Do you think you could have gone back on Thanksgiving, or do think it was right to wait until this last game?
DM: I probably could have. I don't know the impact that would have had. But just being that short week, I chose, after talking to the trainers, that it wouldn't be a good idea, that it would be best to hold off for the following week.
BTB: I know that you have not been alone in having to wait on the sidelines. How is the spirit for all the guys that are out on IR or having to wait to get back in? How are you keeping yourselves up?
DM: It hard, it's hard when it first happens. You have to understand that things could definitely be worse, in life let alone in football. With injuries and stuff like that, it's part of football, you definitely can't control that. God does everything for a reason, and we're very blessed and fortunate to do what we do. So we try to be able to play and not have negative thoughts show. As a person, it's hard to be positive every day, especially when you're not out there with your teammates. That's when your teammates come in and they rally around you. They check on you throughout the week to be there for you.
BTB: The SNF announcers were talking about you seeming to have a little limp. How close are you to 100% right now?
DM: I'm definitely not 100%. I still feel it. There's still pain there. I just have to try and overcome the pain. It's getting better and you know the pain's there and you play through it.
BTB: Your first play you came out of the box and went I think for 14 yards and a first down, so you looked really good. You think you're going to be able to carry that out for the rest of the season?
DM: That's my intention. You have to run the ball hard to support your teammates and the great job their doing.
BTB: How's the team feel right now. You've gotten back to 6-6, you've got four games to play. How's everybody looking forwards to this?
DM: We're good. We know we can help to control our own destiny if we continue to play the way we're capable of playing. We just take it one game at a time, one week at a time. The focus is on Cincinnati and we'll just see what happens.
BTB: As a second year player, what part of your game do you want to see improve the most?
DM: Understanding everybody's role. Understanding the defense, there's all kind of defenses out there. Just getting a better pre-snap read and knowing the defense a little better.
BTB: You do a lot of film study on that?
BTB: When you study film, do you primarily look just at the run defense?
DM: No, you have to look at how the other teams line up, what do they like to do, do they play a type of coverage. And what runs work best against this team. And what runs don't. So you look at what's best for each team.
BTB: Just to go off on the side for a little bit, of course, they had the terrible tragedy up in Kansas City. How are you guys as a team reacting to that kind of thing?
DM: Oh, definitely, our hearts go out to the families, It's a tragedy, a hard deal, and it's not in my place to speak about that. I don't know either one of them, so I don't know what was going on. Only God knows what was going on with those families.
BTB: Sometimes we forget that football players have all the regular pains of life just like everybody else does. Do you know people on the team that you have to try and go over and help take care of stuff, to try and get through it?
DM: Yeah, people go through things as football players, you'll have sick family, sick kids, or family members going through this or that. As football players you'll have all that and more to go through. That's when you have a strong locker room, a strong family. We're part of the Cowboys, we have a strong locker room, we're tight-knit. We have help, we have people here to talk to about family, about work, about anything you're going through. You should never feel like you're going through it alone. We have to help people out.
BTB: I know that Coach Garrett talked about making sure you knew you had all the help you needed.
DM: Yeah, definitely, Coach Garrett does a great job. He shows you that he cares about you, and that's why we play so hard for him. He's a tremendous coach, a smart coach, He puts us in a great position to succeed, on the field and off the field. One of those guys you want to fight for.
BTB: You are into Mixed Martial Arts training, aren't you? Are you still doing that?
DM: That's right. But I don't do that during the season.
BTB: Is that your offseason routine?
BTB: How has that helped you as a player?
DM: It helps with hand/eye coordination, which as a player is huge, and it gives you another aspect of training where you are not always doing the same thing. It keeps you fresh mentally and physically and able to do different things.
BTB: You also have a high Yards After Contact number. You're one of the better players at keeping going after you get hit. Does your MMA background play into that, or is that just a part of your game?
DM: No, I have no idea. I just try to run hard when I get the ball and try to make things happen.
BTB: Do you have other running backs you admire and kind of look to see how they do stuff?
BTB: Well, speaking of watching, and the fact that I'm an Aggie, you looking forward to the Cotton Bowl? (Texas A&M plays Oklahoma, DeMarco's alma mater.)
DM: (Laughs.) Sure, I'm hoping my Sooners can pull it out.
BTB: You're kind of going from a must win to a must win every week. Does that put a little extra pressure on you guys?
DM: No, like I said before, we are just worrying about playing it one week at time.
BTB: Has everyone wanting to know everything about DeMarco Murray been a big change in your life?
DM: A little bit, it's a little weird, but it comes with the territory of being put in the position that I am.
BTB: Do you ever think about your privacy when you try to go out and people recognize you?
DM: I keep a low profile. I try to keep my private life private, and not get out there. It's about where you go.
BTB: Well, I'd like to thank you, and PepsiAnthems.com for setting this up. I really appreciate you talking to me, and I hope you guys get to play, oh, about seven or eight games more.
DM: Thanks a lot.