Nov 142011

Tony Romo has a new best friend. Or, he should have, anyway.

DeMarco Murray, rookie running back out of Oklahoma, has given the Dallas Cowboys’ offense what it has lacked since Emmitt Smith left for the Arizona desert: A legitimate threat at the halfback position. And that has made Tony Romo a more effective quarterback.

Romo completed 23 of 26 passes on Sunday for 270 yards, including three touchdowns and excluding any and all interceptions. It was one of his most dominating and impressive performances.

After the game, Romo reminded everyone that it helped that he was actually healthy. He wore no flak jacket on Sunday. He felt good throwing the ball.

Good health was probably key to Romo’s success. So was DeMarco Murray’s 135 rushing yards on 20 carries. When the opponent’s safeties and linebackers have to respect the threat of a break-away run, it makes stretching the field with the downfield pass more doable.

It is no accident that since Murray has taken over running duties for the injured Felix Jones, the Cowboys are 3—1. During this stretch, Murray has run for 601 yards on 75 carries. That is a whopping 8.01 yards per carry.

DeMarco Murray may be the team’s most valuable player right now. The rookie running back has made Romo a better quarterback, Jason Garrett a smarter coach and Rob Ryan’s defense a more effective unit. He takes pressure off Romo, gives Garrett options and gives the Dallas D a chance to catch its collective breath between battles.

Mark it down. Right now, DeMarco is the man…and Tony Romo’s new best friend.