DeMarco Murray Inspires Memories of Great Dallas Cowboy RB’s


Dallas Cowboy fans know, perhaps better than followers of any other NFL franchise, just how important it is to have a great running back.

All of the great Cowboy teams were built around elite running backs. As Cowboy fans, we are pretty lucky to have 2 Hall of Fame RB’s. Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett graced the Cowboy backfield for 24 years between them. Other notables to play the position in Dallas: Herschel Walker, Calvin Hill, Duane Thomas, Don Perkins and Dan Reeves. I doubt that any other NFL franchise can boast such excellence and stability at the RB position.

When I was in grade 3, you could not buy NFL memorabilia easily in my town. My older brother was a Steeler fan. You want to talk about ‘homers’? He still gets drunk about blabs about the Iron Curtain. He is a homer enough to be PROUD of the Immaculate Reception. He is such a homer he thinks Big Ben is a nice guy! He gloats about the Super Bowls of the 70s, and he blames Neil O’Donnell for the loss in the 90s.  He refuses to accept that James Harrison is always making illegal hits.  Every Steeler loss is due to poor officiating or a league-wide anti-Steeler conspiracy.

When I was in grade 3, I begged my parents for a jersey (I thought that I could at least beat him by having a Dorsett jersey; I dreamed about taunting him, “Where’s your Franco Harris jersey, dumbass?”) For the record, anytime I taunted him, I got whooped, but it was worth it. Go Cowboys!

Anyway, my parents eventually bought a white mesh jersey and got dark blue 33 decals on the front and back with DORSETT sewn on the back. It was the best x-mas ever. I was the coolest kid in grade 3, even my teacher wanted to date me. All the boys in my class (having seen its power with the girls AND Ms. Sadowski) begged to borrow the shirt.  I taunted them about their favorite NFL teams; if they didn’t have a favorite team, I belittled their ignorance and chastised them for not loving the Cowboys. And my brother, well, I think he just got pissed off about not having a jersey; he gave me a pretty serious pounding. But, it was worth it. Go Cowboys!

I still have that shirt.  (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Go Cowboys!

My favorite players have always been RB’s. I once insisted that I be permitted to pick Emmitt Smith in an NHL hockey pool. He didn’t score any goals on the ice, but he was a Super Bowl MVP. It was worth it. Go Cowboys!

I remember when the Cowboys (post-Aikman)were terrible, but Emmitt was still running like a God. I remember thinking, “If Emmitt runs for 1200 yards and we beat the Redskins twice, that is almost the same as a Super Bowl.” Take that Washington, and, Go Cowboys!

I truly believe that Emmitt should be the Supreme Ruler of the entire universe, so no one can ever replace him, but I do dream about someone who seems at least a little bit ‘Emmitt-like’.

When they drafted Julius Jones, I was hopeful, but he was never more than adequate.

When Barber started running like the Barbarian, I started to have some belief, but he is gone.

When they drafted Felix Jones my hope was rekindled. Despite all his problems, I still have some hope that he can be effective in limited situations.

But DeMarco Murray seems like he may be different than anyone who has played here since Emmitt.

Do I dare say it? Murray may be “special”.

I think that I, like many Cowboy fans, ache for the days when we have an elite RB that can win games.

It seems like Cowboy fans are being very cautious about getting overly excited about Murray’s return this season.  (The concerns about the interior OL are reasonable.)

If Murray can be anywhere near as good as he was as a starter last season, the Cowboys offense will be much better.  Even a legitimate threat of a decent running game will make the offense’s job so much easier.  A decent running game will slow down the pass-rush, allow Garrett to call a more balanced game, run more time of the clock allowing the defense to rest, allow for more effective play-action,  open up the field for the receivers by drawing defenders into run support, and avoid so many 3-and-longs.

When I think about DeMarco Murray, I immediately notice that I have not been nearly this excited about a young Cowboy player in a long time.

When was the last time you were excited about a young Cowboy on the offense?

  • When they drafted Dez Bryant, perhaps when he returned those punts for TD’s?
  • When they drafted Felix Jones, maybe when he returned kick-offs for TD’s?
  • When they drafted Quincy Carter and you thought he would be a play-maker?
  • When Marion looked like a beast; remember that run when he broke like 6 tackles in the endzone?
  • When Romo became the starter?
  • When they drafted Tyron Smith and he started to look like a future LT? 
  • When Emmitt was drafted?
  • Some other time?

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