Earlier in the month, I wrote about how DeMarco Murray will be the key to how far the Dallas Cowboys go in 2013. If he could avoid injuries, he has the capability to be one of the NFL‘s best rushers and a Pro Bowl back that could spearhead the Cowboys back to the playoffs.
So far on the health front, he hasn’t gotten off to a great start.
Early in OTAs, Murray sustained a hamstring injury that head Coach Jason Garrett termed as “minor”. But with Murray, “minor” doesn’t really apply. Injuries have been a concern his entire football career, and the Cowboys need to be worried.
In college as an Oklahoma Sooner, Murray dealt with a dislocated kneecap in 2007, a hamstring in 2008, and in his final season at Oklahoma he played through knee issues.
The Cowboys can ill afford to have Murray sidelined at all this upcoming season. The offensive line is still a big question mark, especially the interior, and Murray’s ability to break tackles and provide big plays is needed. Countless times throughout his short Cowboy career he has broken tackles that would have been minimal yardage plays and gotten positive yards for the offense.
Not to mention, he’s the only back on the roster with substantial in-game experience at the NFL level.
Rookie Joseph Randle will be a good player, but asking a late round pick to carry the load while your star is injured might be a little bit of a stretch right from the jump.
Lance Dunbar has been primarily a returner, and Phillip Tanner, while effective when he’s been playing, has seen limited regular season action.
One way to look at it is that it’s only OTAs and that Murray has more than enough time to correct his hamstring tweak and get healthy for the regular season.
The other way to look at it though, is that Murray, oft-injured in his football career, will be a constant injury concern.
Hopefully for the Cowboys, the outlook and outcome is the former and not the latter.