Cowboys: Murray May Leave Philly, But Not For Dallas


The Dallas Cowboys would jump at the opportunity to grab DeMarco Murray if he leaves the Philadelphia Eagles, but Chip Kelly will send him elsewhere.

It’s old news that DeMarco Murray took more money to leave the Dallas Cowboys for the Philadelphia Eagles last spring during the free agent signing period. This transaction has ended up proving that more money isn’t necessarily better.

I spoke earlier this week of the buyer’s remorse now felt by Philadelphia after they’ve apparently downgraded Murray’s status to a mere backup, possibly as low as a fourth running back. Murray has gone so far as to corner Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to express his frustration over these recent developments.

One thing is all but certain at this point: Murray’s days wearing pine green and white are numbered.

But this in no way suggests that he’s heading back to the Cowboys, unfortunately.

It would be surprising to see Murray shipped out of Philly after just one season, but there’s no other option that I can see. While it may seem like the Eagles hold all the cards in this game, the opposite is actually true.

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If the Eagles were a bona fide contender for anything or anywhere other than quite possibly the worst division in the NFL, perhaps Eagles head coach Chip Kelly would have more leverage, at least for a short time.

The reality, however, is that the Eagles are not a realistic contender during a period of strange personnel moves made by Kelly which began in the offseason – the strangest possibly being the mere acquisition of Murray.

Since this is true, Murray and his representatives are fully aware that he makes too much money to simply carry the ball eight or fewer times per game beginning in 2016 and beyond. The Eagles, and especially Kelly, cannot afford that kind of allocation of money to a backup player, at least so long as Murray remains in that role.

It’s said that Murray is a poor fit in Kelly’s offensive scheme and, to this point, that much is true. Also a fact is that the Eagles don’t have the same offensive line that the Cowboys still have. The result is a lackluster season for both the Eagles and Murray that probably has both sides quite certain that this was not a good idea at all.

On top of Kelly’s failure to accommodate the only true workhorse running back on his roster, there’s also recent comments from Kelly which indicate a degree of sympathy – or remorse – for the way Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was unceremoniously traded away earlier this year. This was arguably the move that paved the way for Murray to land in Philly in the first place.

No, Kelly is not saying that he regrets trading McCoy, however, it sends a rather awkward message to all parties concerned in the wake of Murray’s reduced playing time just ahead of Philadelphia’s meeting with – wait for it – the Bills on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

There’s little doubt that the pressure is beginning to heat up for Kelly. After having won the NFC East during his first season with the franchise in 2013, his team fell apart late last season and looks like a team in partial rebuilding mode this season. His quarterback position is highly unstable and the decision to bring in quarterback Sam Bradford and his illustrious injury history to play in front of a new corpse of running backs is curious in the extreme.

How long can Kelly play ‘keep away’ from the Cowboys at the price he’s paying while not fielding much of a winner?

Not very long.

In fact, simply releasing Murray won’t happen due to the financial realities surrounding Murray’s guaranteed money. It matters not that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones might very well take on that contract at this point.

Understand this much: Kelly will not trade Murray to the Cowboys.

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Look for Kelly, absent some kind of unexpected resolution to this issue, to trade Murray to anybody other than the Cowboys. It’s probably a good bet that Murray ends up somewhere in the AFC or any other place where Kelly’s not as likely to have to issue more fake apologies or face retribution from another former NFL rushing champion that he’s screwed with as he’s wrecking an Eagles franchise that certainly deserves it.

But under no circumstances whatsoever will Kelly allow Murray to ride off into the sunset wearing a navy blue baseball cap with a matching star embroidered on the front.