Tony Dorsett can finally relax.
The former Dallas Cowboys star fumbled the football more than any other National Football League running back not named Franco Harris. (Dorsett and Harris are tied with 90 fumbles each in their careers.)
Dorsett surely hates owning that record, but it appears eminent that DeMarco Murray will eclipse him.
Murray fumbled in his first two games this season, and coughed up the rock again in the first quarter of yesterday’s game. The St. Louis Rams offense quickly drove for a touchdown, controlled the momentum, and took a 21-0 lead.
Even Brett Favre sees a glimmer of hope now. Quarterbacks are the most fumble prone of all. The Top 20 fumblers in football are all quarterbacks, led by Favre with 166.
This season Murrary is averaging a fumble a game. Let’s do the math: If he plays 10 more years, that’s 16 games a year multiplied by 10 years for a total of 160 fumbles. Add that to Murray’s 10 career fumbles already, and that’s 170 fumbles.
I pretended to call Favre for a quote and he said, “I like your math; well, as much as anybody educated in Mississippi can like math. But at least I don’t use semi-colons in sentences.”
Interesting note: Roger Staubach (1969-1979) and Tony Romo (2004-2014) both have 10 years in the league. They are currently tied on the career fumbles list with 55 each.
As for Murray, he’s not even a good fumbler. Some running backs are blessed by Fingerlina, the patron saint of fumblers. They cough up the ball but always seem to get a lucky bound and get it back, or a teammate lands on it. Three of Murray’s four fumbles this year have gone to the enemy.
“This season is being fumbled away,” a recurring voice in my head said. “The Cowboys are toast. Speaking of toast, let’s eat. Any of that leftover barbecue in the fridge?” (This particular voice in my head solves every problem by eating. The voice in my head that starves away problems went silent long, long ago.)
Confession: I’m exaggerating my concern about Murray’s fumbling to build up the tension and high drama you’ve come to expect when reading this award-winning sports column (note: no awards actually won). The truth is, Murray storms the field like a man possessed after each fumble and runs like he’s trying to redeem himself. He’s the best runner in football after three weeks, with 75 carries for 385 yards and three touchdowns. He’s averaging better than five yards a carry. He’s a hard worker, a team player, and a good character guy. He helped pull the Cowboys from a 21-point hole to beat the Rams 34-31.
But let’s not get too excited about the victory — it was the Rams after all, not the Seahawks. Slobbering all over the Cowboys for coming from behind to beat the Rams is kind of like congratulating the bully for recovering from a lucky punch before pummeling the school nerd into a bloody pulp.