Posted on September 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM
DeMarco Murray rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown two years after setting a franchise record against St. Louis as a rookie, and Tony Romo threw for three scores in a 31-7 victory Sunday.
The third-year back had 96 yards rushing to 18 for the entire the St. Louis offense at halftime. His 41-yard run two plays into the third quarter gave him his first 100-yard game in more than a year and set up a touchdown for a 24-0 lead.
Murray probably could have threatened the 253 yards he set against the Rams in 2011, but he was soaking up cheers from the crowd when the huge video board at the Cowboys' $1.2 billion showplace showed him relaxing on the sideline in the fourth quarter.
"When you get a runner like that going, you can feed on him," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He gets a little contagious for everybody. Everybody starts feeling it."
Sam Bradford, Murray's old college teammate at Oklahoma, was only feeling pressure.
The Cowboys (2-1) sacked him four times in the first half and had six in total after St. Louis (1-2) hadn't allowed a sack in four games dating to last season. It was the longest streak for the Rams since John Hadl was under center for a division champion in 1973.
DeMarcus Ware had two sacks and broke Harvey Martin's 30-year-old franchise record of 114. Then-coach Bill Parcells and owner Jerry Jones used to have fun throwing around bets how many sacks 2005 first-round pick Ware would get.
"I think of it every time I think of his number of sacks," Jones said. "I can't say that it is unexpected because of how hard he works, and his talent level, and his competitiveness."
Romo, who had 210 yards passing, went 2 yards to Dez Bryant for the first Dallas score. He had a pair of 24-yarders in the second half to rookie tight end Gavin Escobar and Dwayne Harris.
When the Rams finally started getting defenders around Murray at the line of scrimmage, Romo found him on the outside for a pair of catches on a drive that ended with a 2-yard run by Murray for a 17-0 lead.
Murray went around left end before extending the ball over the goal line right on the pylon, and there was no review. His last 100-yard game was the 2012 opener, and he was coming off a 25-yard performance in a loss at Kansas City.
"I don't know that there was anything that stood out to me, other than it was just the same commitment and drive and work ethic he's shown all year in the offseason and the first two games," Romo said of Murray, who declined to talk to reporters.