Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Dallas Cowboys Give DeMarco Murray an Extension?

Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) carries the ball as Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) attempts to make the tackle in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As recently reported by DCNation, Bryan Broaddus mentioned a few weeks ago that the Cowboys were quietly discussing a contract extension for DeMarco Murray. Very little has been heard since then but the DeMarco Murray situation continues to be a cause for concern to many. Some are concerned the Cowboys will let a talented RB like Murray get away for nothing while others are concerned the Cowboys will pay an injury-prone RB like Murray too much.

Whichever side of the fence you are on (or if you’re uncomfortably straddling the fence) how the Cowboys handle DeMarco Murray is an interesting storyline to follow. So the question we ask today is, Should the Dallas Cowboys give DeMarco Murray and extension?

DeMarco Murray’s value is a difficult appraisal to make. Nearly every complement paid to Murray seems to require a “but”.

DeMarco Murray is a star. He posted career numbers last season rushing 217 times for 1,121 yards averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He even caught 53 passes for 350 yards averaging 6.6 yards per catch. Combined he scored 10 TDs in 2013. He’s getting better and better.


DeMarco Murray is injury prone. He has missed valuable time every season he’s been in the league. He’s never been used as workhorse and gives no indication he can successfully carry the full load without increased injury. He’s streaky. One game he will be a game-breaker and an unstoppable force, other games he will be completely irrelevant.

Fair or unfair, DeMarco Murray cannot escape those “buts”. And those “buts” are exactly what is standing in the way of a possible contract extension. This much is true, ability alone says Murray is an every-down back. He can break off a long run, break tackles in the back field or open field, pass-block, and catch passes. His short yardage running isn’t great but that’s more a product of poor run-blocking than anything. How many backs in the NFL can do all of that?

Not many.

But the durability needs to be considered, doesn’t it? Is it worth it to pay him $5M a season to only play 13 games?  He averaged 15 carries per game last season. Can he handle more than 15 carries or will that just lead to more injuries?

If the answer was clear we wouldn’t need to debate this.

What do you think? Should the Cowboys extend Murray or not? Is he replaceable or irreplaceable? If he’s an underutilized weapon would he be worth a big-money extension if the Cowboys once again failed to use him enough?

The next couple days we will look at the Running Back Situation in Dallas. We will look at DeMarco and the RBs behind him on the depth chart. We will look at it from a Salary Cap perspective and a talent perspective.

Later today: Is DeMarco Murray Really Injury Prone?

Tuesday: Smart Business: Extending RBs?

Wednesday: The Dallas Cowboys RB Depth Chart

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray

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