Murray, who has 1,687 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns through 14 games, broke the fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand in the closing minutes of Dallas' 38-27 road win Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas (10-4) has won four of its last five games and used Sunday's win to wrestle the top spot in the NFC East from Philadelphia.
Although Murray is right-handed, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett expressed confidence in his running back in his Monday press conference.
"The biggest question we have to ask ourselves is, is he functional do do his job? Can he hold the football? Can he carry it under duress? Can he block? Can he do the things necessary to play the position? He is as strong-willed and determined an individual that I've ever been around. If anybody has a chance to come back, he does."
After the surgery, ESPN's Ed Werder tweeted that the Cowboys believe Murray will suit up Dec. 21 against the Indianapolis Colts (10-4).
Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith had the same injury in 1999, but missed one game. With two games remaining, Murray's chances of rushing for 2,000 yards are now slim, but the 26-year old needs just 87 yards to break Smith's single-season team record of 1,773 yards
If Murray doesn't play, the Cowboys should give carries to Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar. Murray has missed 11 games in his professional career.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told a Dallas radio station that he expects Murray to be a game-time decision.
More Jerry on @1053thefan: Expect DeMarco Murray to be a gametime decision.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) December 16, 2014
The Cowboys are 3-4 at home this year, while the Colts are 4-2 on the road and have won four consecutive games. The Cowboys could clinch the NFC East with a win and an Eagles loss against Washington. With a loss, the Cowboys would need the Eagles to lose to the New York Giants in week 17 and a combination of losses from the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, or Green Bay Packers.