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Redskins Prepare For NFL's Leading Rusher


The Washington Redskins are on an unavoidable collision course with  the NFL's leading rusher in DeMarco Murray.

Now in his fourth-year in the league, Murray's status has grown from a rookie to watch to a player that becomes the center of a defense's gameplan who is even drawing comparisons to one of the best running backs the league has ever seen.

"He's still a guy who's considered a young back, but he's done it all to be considered a top-tier back in this league," Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson said. "He's still one of those physical, downhill runners who remind you of the guys in the past – Terrell Davis – those kinds of backs."

Leading the NFL with 913 yards rushing yards and seven scores, his seven 100-plus yard games to begin the season broke Jim Brown's 56-year old record. But that's not all: Murray is also on pace to challenge Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark.

Standing at 6-feet tall and weighing 217-pounds, the Oklahoma-product gets physical at the point of attack and doesn't mind contact.

"Great vision, really runs behind his pads well," outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said of Murray. "He's a one-cut guy and once he makes that cut, he's heading down hill and he's really physical."

Already this season, the Redskins have faced off against their fair share of top-level running backs, including Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy. Since Foster ran for 103 yards in Week 1, Washington has not allowed any of those other running backs to break the century mark.

After having success and shutting down some of the NFL's other high-quality rushing attacks, the Redskins are confident they can do the same on Monday Night Football.

"We've done a good job at stopping the run, and our goal going into this is holding him under 100 just like our goal is every week," linebacker Will Compton said. "We just got to take care of us and we'll be alright."

In front of every great running back, though, is an offensive line opening running lanes and creating a path to the end zone. The Cowboys' five-man front - highlighted by All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith - has done well enough to be rewarded with all new desktop computers from the running back this week.

"They're excellent," Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "With the addition of Martin, they just solidified their front as one of the better ones in the league.

"All the way across the board, they're about as good as you get."

Linebacker Adam Hayward certainly agrees with his coach.

"[Murray] runs hard, but he's behind a good offensive line," Hayward said. "Our defensive line, our front seven, our linebackers are going to have to fit in holes, and safeties are going to have to come down like we've been doing all year."

When asked if there's any particular key to stopping Murray and the Cowboys' running game, Haslett said that it's simply a numbers game.

"Do a great job tackling and make sure there's population around him because not too many people tackle him one-on-one," he said. "You need two to three people to bring him down."




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