IRVING — After missing significant time with injuries in each of his first two seasons — out a total of nine of 32 games — Cowboys running back Demarco Murray takes the off-season seriously.
"I'm just trying to make sure I'm ready: Physically in shape, mentally and emotionally in shape, and ready to tackle this season," he said.
Murray and his teammates are working out at Valley Ranch preparing for organized team activities in a couple of weeks. He's got an interesting mindset this time of year.
You know the old phrase "accentuate the positive"? When Murray gets ready for the season, he does exactly the opposite.
"All the positive things, I tend to flush those out," he said. "As far as the negative things I didn't do so well, I tend to keep those in mind and try to translate it in a positive direction moving forward."
Among the things he needs most work on? "Ball security," says Murray.
"I think I had two lost fumbles last year," he said. "That's not something I'm accustomed to doing is putting the ball on the ground."
There's something bigger, though Murray mentioned it as an improvement area for the entire team. It came up four times in an eight-minute conversation.
"The number one thing is being on the same page," Murray said.
You've heard it before; it seems innocuous. But Murray gets more specific, and it sounds a lot like the "little things" quarterback Tony Romo has mentioned before.
"There was times when we had pre-snap penalties... guys running the wrong route, guys picking up the wrong guy," Murray said. "I think, as a whole, we need to be on the same page across the board."
May not sound like much, but with all the sunshine normally pumped out of Valley Ranch, accentuating the negative is a refreshing change.