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(Sunday, October 23rd)
Final Score: Dallas 34, St. Louis 7
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Filling in for an injured Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray erupted for a franchise-best 253 yards rushing as Dallas dispatched St. Louis, 34-7, at Cowboys Stadium.
Murray eclipsed the old single-game mark of 237, set by Emmitt Smith on a rainy October 31, 1993 in Philadelphia. He also set a new rookie record for yards on the ground in one contest, snapping Tony Dorsett's previously-held record of 206 yards, accomplished on December 4, 1977 -- also in Philly.
In addition, his 91-yard first-quarter touchdown run was the second longest in team annals, next to Dorsett's memorable 99-yard scoring dash at Minnesota on January 3, 1983.
"I think he played awfully well," deadpanned Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett of Murray's performance. "He's a runner, and the more he gets the ball, he gets into more of a rhythm. We saw some good things in camp, but he was just behind. He didn't really play until the last preseason game. So now we're seeing things that were there a little bit from last week. The offensive line played well, no question, and it helped him a ton."
It took the pressure off Tony Romo, who threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns on just 14-of-24 completions for the Cowboys (3-3), whose season-high in points helped snap a two-game skid.
Subbing for injured starter Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley finished 20-of-33 for 196 yards and an interception for the Rams (0-6), who have dropped nine of their last 10 dating back to last December.
Steven Jackson posted 70 yards -- including his team's lone score -- on 18 carries. Brandon Lloyd clocked in with 74 yards on six catches in defeat.
"I'm very frustrated," said Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo. "I thought we had made some gains last week. When we're down as many players as we are then lose some more, it's very, very difficult to overcome it. But nobody's feeling sorry for us, so we have to get back to work."
Murray's record-setting day got going on the Cowboys' fourth play from scrimmage. Facing a 1st-and-19 from the nine after a holding penalty, the Oklahoma product broke loose up the middle and outran his pursuers for a 7-0 Dallas edge.
Late in the first, Abram Elam recovered a Cadillac Williams fumble, a play which was upheld by review. On the following drive which spilled over into the second period, Romo hit Jason Witten in the back of the end zone on a one-yard strike to make it 14-0.
On the ensuing series, Jackson's 40-yard run to the Dallas six on a 3rd-and-3 set up his own TD run on the next play, and the Rams cut into their deficit with 7:58 remaining in the half.
Feeley was later picked off by Mike Jenkins at the Rams' 30, and after Dallas moved just 18 yards in eight plays, Dan Bailey hit a 30-yarder for a 17-7 game at halftime.
Bailey connected from a career-long 51 yards away late in the third quarter, and Phillip Tanner posted his first career TD run, a six-yard scamper early in the fourth.
Dez Bryant put the capper on the rout thanks a 20-yard TD reception with 4:07 to play.
One final St. Louis drive was halted when Jackson was stuffed for a five-yard loss on 4th-and-goal from the one inside the final two minutes.
Herschel Walker's 84-yard TD scamper on December 14, 1986 against the Eagles and a Dorsett 84-yarder in that 1977 tilt had been tied for the second-longest in franchise history until Sunday...Bryant ended with 90 yards on five catches...Rams offensive lineman Jason Smith left the game with an apparent head/neck injury late in the first quarter, and defensive tackle Darell Scott also left with a head injury in the second half...Dallas travels to Philadelphia next Sunday night, while the Rams look to prevent an 0-7 start for the second time in three years by hosting New Orleans next Sunday afternoon.
10/23 21:11:35 ET