By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Tribune News Service
After a season of downplaying his individual accomplishments and saying it's all about winning, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray finally admits breaking Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith's single-season team rushing record would be something special.
Again, not just for him, but the entire offense, especially the members of the offensive line who have paved the way for his success, which includes opening the season with eight consecutive 100-yard games, an NFL record.
Murray has all but clinched the NFL rushing title with 1,745 yards and is on the brink of history, needing just 29 yards in today's regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins to surpass Smith's club record of 1,773, set in 1995.
"It's definitely a humbling experience," Murray said. "I think we all have a piece of that in the O-line, coaches, receivers, tight ends, fullbacks ... whenever you get have the chance to do something special like that, you want to share it and share it with the guys on this team and the people in this organization. So it definitely will mean a lot to us."
"You've got to cherish the moment and move on and really know what's important, and that's obviously winning games."
Smith was at last week's game against Indianapolis at AT&T Stadium in hopes of congratulating Murray if he had broken the club record then.
The NFL's all-time leading rusher won't be in Washington to share the moment with Murray -- owner Jerry Jones jokingly noted that the Redskins probably won't stop the game -- but he has already given his blessings.
"I got it from the man last weekend," Jones said on his KRLD/105.3 FM radio show Friday morning. "He is rooting for him. I'm talking about Emmitt Smith is rooting for DeMarco Murray. I know he is at peace with it."
Murray didn't get it against the Indianapolis Colts, rushing for 58 yards on 22 carries in a 42-7 blowout victory and only six days removed from surgery to repair a fractured bone in his left hand.
He missed practice Thursday with the flu, but returned Friday.
In trying to break Smith's record, Murray is on the verge of shattering his injury-prone reputation.
Playing against the Redskins will mark the first time in his career that he has played all 16 games in a season. Murray missed 11 games in his first three seasons combined.
"I wasn't going to let a hand take me out of the game no matter what," Murray said.