Today I continue the “A Season In Review” series with DeMarco Murray. The ex-Oklahoma Sooner stayed healthy for most of the season. In the past, injuries have sidelined Murray and his potential. Remember Cowboy fans, this is the guy that broke all of the records at Oklahoma. Running backs nowadays are really expandable. When they enter the league, the timer immediately starts. It has been projected that running backs retire before any other position. It will be interesting to see if the Dallas Cowboys re-sign Murray after his contract is up, even with all of their cap problems.
Luckily for the Cowboys, Murray only had to sit out two games in 2013. Although he lacks speed, Murray has great vision and he is a vicious runner. I believe the Cowboys should give the ball to Murray late in games because he has potential to be a good burner back. Let’s take a look at some of Murray’s numbers in 2013 (all stats courtesy of NFL.com):
- 217 carries
- 1,121 rushing yards
- 5.2 yards per rush
- 9 touchdowns
- 53 receptions
- 350 receiving yards
- 3 fumbles in total
Like much of Tony Romo‘s production, both had much better years in 2013 because of their offensive line. Because of his numbers, Murray earned his first trip to Hawaii to play in the Pro Bowl. Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Tyron Smith joined the running back there. When healthy, Murray is a top-flight back in this league.
Perhaps one of the most underrated things that Murray does well is his pass blocking.
Murray is not afraid to a pack-a-punch once in awhile to opposing blitzers. Murray is also a decent option out of the backfield for Romo. In fact, Romo throws a lot to Murray as a backup plan. There were reports late in the season that Romo and Murray had a stingy relationship. But still, the two were crucial playmakers for the Cowboys in 2013.
It is really crucial to the Dallas’ future to have a healthy DeMarco Murray. The third-year veteran fills a role for the Cowboys that is at a premium in today’s league. While he may not be locked up long-term, Murray plays with a chip on his shoulder. If he goes down, the Cowboys will have to rely on the likes of Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar. DeMarco Murray is one of the most talented players on this roster. If he gets his opportunities, there is no reason why Murray can’t be one of the best rushers in the NFL.
Final Grade: A-
While he didn’t play two games for the Cowboys, Murray was extremely productive when he suited up. The Cowboys have a special player in Murray that could be a game-changer. I would really love to see the Cowboys give the ball to Murray more in late-game scenarios.
To check out my previous piece in the “A Season In Review” series, check out my article on Tony Romo here.