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Cowboys Suddenly Thin At Running Back

Felix Jones is what's left of the Cowboys running backs.
Felix Jones is what's left of the Cowboys running backs.

Against the Giants, Rookie DeMarco Murray suffered a fractured ankle and a high ankle sprain that will likely keep him out of action long after the season is over.

In his now injury-marred first season, the 2011 third-round pick has accumulated 164 carries for 897 yards and two touchdowns as well as 183 receiving yards on 26 receptions. Murray was easily on pace to become the first Cowboys RB to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Julius Jones did it in 2005.

With Phillip Tanner on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, the Cowboys currently have Felix Jones as the only back on their 53-man roster. And while Jones looked impressive overall against the Giants (22 touches, 137 yards, 6.6 ypc, one lost fumble) the Cowboys will have to make a move at running back.

The Cowboys signed Chauncey Washington to their practice squad on Nov. 30, and he may be a candidate to be join the active roster. He was drafted by Jacksonville in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and spent a large part of the 2009 season with the Cowboys, both on the active roster and the practice squad from where he was signed away by the Jets.

However, the Cowboys may also look outside for help at running back.

Lonyae Miller could be one option. Miller spent 2010 with the Cowboys before being released during final roster cuts in September this year. He was signed by the Raiders on Wednesday last week, and the Cowboys could claim him off the Raiders' practice squad.

The Cowboys worked out running backs Aaron Brown and Jalen Parmele a little over a month ago. Brown has since been re-signed by the Lions, but Parmele remains available, although the Cowboys probably looked at him more as a kick returner.

Another running back who's spent time with the Cowboys is Herb Donaldson, who spent 2009 on the Cowboys' practice squad and could be signed off the Titans' practice squad.

Of course, if these names don't tickle your fancy, you can always go to the December NFL free agent scrap heap, where you'll find some over the hill guys with some remaining name recognition, among them Julius Jones, Brian Westbrook and Clinton Portis.

Let's just hope and pray that the Cowboys come up with a better solution than I did with with a 5-minute google search.

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