The entire football world is buzzing about Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray's performance on Sunday -- a team record 253 yards and the second-most ever by a rookie in league history.
But a new buzz is beginning to be heard; should that one game win Murray the starting job?
Murray was only on the field because starter Felix Jones is out with a high ankle sprain. Murray was actually the team's third-string halfback behind Jones and Tashard Choice, who got the start on Sunday before Murray came in on Dallas' fifth play and took the ball 91 yards for a touchdown.
Murray has clearly jumped over Choice as the number two back. Choice has looked good at times in his limited action during four seasons with the Cowboys, but he has never come close to what Murray did on Sunday.
Frankly, Jones has never looked that good, either. Jones was a first-round draft choice in 2008 and impressed early with his explosiveness as Marion Barber's backup. He averaged 8.9 yards per carry in a rookie year that lasted only six games due to injury. In 2009 he led the league with 5.9 yards per attempt.
But handed the starting job midway through the 2010 season, Jones did not look like the same player who could burst through the line during his first two seasons. He rushed for 800 yards, averaging a pedestrian 4.3 yards per carry.
Through his first five games this season Jones has rushed for an underwhelming 255 yards.
Jones's injury will likely keep him out for at least the next couple of games. Murray will certainly start those games over Choice. No one is expecting him to rush for 253 yards again, but if he performs well, I think he deserves to keep the starting job when Jones comes back.
I agree it is not fair to lose your job because of injury. However in this case, Jones was faltering even before he got hurt and if Murray proves to be more effective than Jones, the job should be his.