Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT

Why The Cowboys Should Use DeMarco Murray More, But Won't


January 26, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Team Rice running back DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys (29) is defended by cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals (21) on a touchdown run in the final minute during the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Did anyone watch the Pro Bowl? I did, and I saw DeMarco Murray catch a bubble screen and fight his way for a touchdown. It was everything that we as Dallas Cowboy fans have seen and not seen out of DeMarco. This season most fans were yelling that the Dallas Cowboys didn’t use their run game or DeMarco enough. Going into the offseason there were many who were hopeful that Jason Garrett and staff had learned their lesson – to use Murray more.

DeMarco isn’t going to wow you with his speed and run past everyone without a hope of being caught. He won’t run over some 260 pound linebacker and haul four guys on his back either.

He is going to make people miss, bust through arm tackles, and make cuts that leave the defense chasing themselves. He is fast enough to tear off a 40 yard run, and shifty enough to turn a 2 yard gain into a 7 yard gain.

They have to use him more, right?

Not so fast. The Dallas Cowboys have hired Scott Linehan as passing game coach. The real interesting thing will be whether he is also the playcaller. Linehan isn’t known for his rushing attacks at any of the locations he has coached. He is a very pass-happy kind of coach. If he is in fact the playcaller, I would expect more of the same from the Dallas Cowboys. We all know Jason Garrett is a pass first guy, as is Bill Callahan. Adding Linehan just puts another pass-first coach on the staff.

Jerry Jones is certainly not the guy to change the way the coaches are coaching. He believes in the passing attack, and the fact that Peyton Manning is in the Super Bowl only strengthens Jerry Jones and the coaching staff’s pass first approach. Nevermind the fact, Tony Romo is not Peyton Manning.

Now I could be wrong, maybe Jason Garrett has learned a few things this offseason. Maybe Bill Callahan was watching DeMarco Murray in the Pro Bowl and thought, “Hey, that guy is on my offense, I should use him more.” Maybe Scott Linehan just didn’t have a run game in Detroit and thought in Dallas, he would have a balance he didn’t have in Detroit.

And maybe, just maybe Jerry Jones saw DeMarco run and went back and said, “Hey, we need to use this Murray guy more.” All signs point to the Cowboys being a pass first team.

It will be interesting who the Cowboys take this draft and in free agency. If they get a guard or two, I would look for the Cowboys to run more. If there are no real upgrades on the OL, then I would say expect more passing. But for one play in the Pro Bowl Cowboy fans could smile at DeMarco Murray being used properly.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray

  • Earl Robertson

    The problem with Murrary and I think this is what the coaches are thinking if you use him more he probably will get hurt

    • JoeDaBeast

      Agreed, but if they are worried about him wearing down, get some other RBs that can pound the rock too.

  • Jack Farguson

    I think that a Pass happy team is much more explosive than one that runs a lot. Quit complaining about our pass happy offense that averaged 27 points per game. The highest average they have had in ten years or better. I am not saying lose the run, but they should compliment each other. The pass should help open up the run by moving the Safeties back into coverage, and the run should open up plays like play action and bubble screens. Bubble screens are what I would like to see more of. We used to run then a lot but have gotten away from them. All in All fixing the Defense is the key to winning. We need some studs and some good depth at DE, DT, Safety, and Linebacker. Add a good player or two to the offense for depth would be great

    • n0ble

      I am saying they need to use him more. I am not saying they need to get away from the pass, but there were many times this year when they should have handed the ball to Murray and let him do his thing. The run opens the pass and the opposite is true as well. Screens are a part of the run game in my opinion, and there are not really enough of those either. Sigh…

      If you read my other articles, I am all in for fixing the defense as much as possible this offseason. We shall see what Jerry and the staff of confusion have come up with.

  • SmartThinking

    Quietly and dependably, Murray broke the 1,000 yard mark last season while still missing three games. When he’s healthy, Murray is a bulldozer running downhill.

    And that’s his problem. He’s quiet.

    Jones likes spectacle. Jones likes whim wham, thank you ma’am scoring and crowd on their feet yelling. You get the spectacle with a passing game that features Bryant fighting off two guys and dragging them for eight, nine yards.

    The game’s changed to a 70-80% quick score passing attack. Driving the ball for a score takes too long. And Romo has always been hesitant to give the ball to someone else. Yet, who does this team go to when they must have the first down?

    Murray raised some eyebrows in the Pro Bowl. It should be interesting to see if he doesn’t get the ball more during this next season. Probably not unless he improves his catching.