Because of the Dallas Cowboys’ salary cap problems and the impending free agency of 23 players in 2014, which include high-profile guys as in the cases of wide receiver Dez Bryant and left tackle Tyron Smith, there hasn’t been much talk about re-signing running back DeMarco Murray.
However, due to the current running backs’ market value, this may be the perfect time for the Cowboys to try and work something out with Murray, and DallasCowboys.com writer and former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus hinted on Twitter that the Cowboys might be doing just that.
Murray is coming off of his first Pro Bowl season after rushing for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns, and catching 35 passes for 350 yards and a touchdown; however, he did miss two games due to injury. In the final six games of the season, Murray averaged 95.5 rushing yards per game, but before I flat out say, “yes, re-sign Murray,” let me tell you about a little nugget that Football Outsiders call their “Adjusted Line Yards.”
In that formula, Football Outsiders try to separate credit among the offensive line and the running back for positive and negative rushing plays. In their analysis, they determined that the Cowboys offensive line ranked fourth in the NFL and accounted for 4.23 yards per rush. That number, however, does make me wonder if the Cowboys even need Murray to be successful at rushing the ball; even more, why they didn’t run the ball more often, but I’ll save that for another day.
So far, the three best free agent deals have gone to Donald Brown, Toby Gerhart and Rashad Jennings; Gerhart and Brown signed three-year, $10.5 million deals and Jennings signed a four-year, $10 million deal. So, given the state that the running back’s market is in, if the Cowboys could work something out in that three-to-four year, $10 million range, I wouldn’t be opposed to keeping Murray on the team.