There is something I was thinking a few days ago and after watching the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday night, and I think it is the truth; the Cowboys offense will go as far as DeMarco Murray’s legs will take them.
That’s right, the Cowboys offense rests on how good DeMarco Murray is, not Tony Romo. Of course if they struggle the blame will be put on Romo regardless but I think Murray maybe the more important player on offense. I know, I know, it sounds odd but it appears to be true.
Since Murray became the main runner for the Cowboys he’s had over 20 carries just six times in a game, want to guess what Dallas’ record is in those games? Try 6-0. I know it’s a small sample size but the point is when the Cowboys give him the ball, they win. If you can remember in the middle of the season last year when the Cowboys got on a role, it was when Murray had taken over the lead back. When Murray was lost for the last 4 games of last year, the Cowboys went 1-3. Coincidence, I think not.
With Murray getting the ball consistently, it allows Tony Romo to be in a little more control of the game and he’s at his best when he doesn’t have to do everything for the Cowboys to win. Remember, it took Terrell Davis for John Elway to win two Super Bowls. I’m not suggesting that Murray is at Davis’ level, or Romo at Elway’s, but the point is Romo needs help. He’s a better quarterback than people like to give him credit for but he’s not the guy who can do it on his own. That’s when he presses and tends to make mistakes.
The Cowboys spent $30 million dollars on thicker guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, not only to get Romo more protection but also to help them be more physical in the running game. It paid dividends on Wednesday night; it was in the second half where Murray did the most damage, 12 carries for 111 yards. Even without the breaking the long run down the sideline Murray was hitting his rhythm and gaining good yards. The Cowboys were the more physical team at the line of scrimmage and Murray is a great fit for that style of running.
In training camp I kept reading how quick Murray looked, how strong he was and how he finished runs, which is exactly what we saw against the New York Giants. A powerful runner who can run inside the tackles, has the speed to get outside and wears down the defense.
DeMarco Murray is the best running the Dallas Cowboys have had since Emmitt Smith. We’ve seen some flashes of greatness from some of the other backs they’ve had since Smith, I remember Julius Jones having a monster run during a three game span in 2006 and Marion Barber finishing off games with his power in 2007. Murray combines the speed of Jones and the pwoer of Barber. He’s not perfect, he does have a history of injuries but the Cowboys have themselves one heck of a running back.
If you think I’m nuts saying Murray will be the key to the success of the Cowboys offense, think about this; if both Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray got hurt, who would you feel more confident in, Kyle Orton or Felix Jones? You are kidding yourself if you say Jones, he has proven he’s not a feature back.
The truth is they both need each other to play at a high level for the Cowboys offense to be elite, but DeMarco Murray’s legs must play a bigger role than Tony Romo’s arm.
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