Round 1 definitely went to the team he left behind, but DeMarco Murray has his chance for revenge Sunday afternoon.
Like you, I watched the Eagles’ opener Monday night against the Falcons with an eye on Murray. And, yeah, I was thoroughly satisfied with his underwhelming performance. He scored twice in Philadelphia’s loss, but his rushing total? How about nine yards. On eight carries.
The NFL’s leading rusher last season departed the Cowboys via free agency, leaving them with only a committee of backs to attempt to fill his void. In Philly he was supposed to run wild in head coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense. But last night was an absolute pratfall.
In the first half the Eagles ran the ball only seven times compared to 27 passes. Murray’s first-half rushing total was minus-9 yards. With the Cowboys last season he had at least 40 yards in the first half of every game.
I’m not saying Murray’s going to be a bust in Philly. He’ll almost certainly put up better numbers Sunday afternoon when the Cowboys visit. But as crazy as it seemed for the Eagles to overpay Murray in the summer, it seems even more ludicrous to hand him the ball only eight times in the opener.
With the Cowboys, Murray led the league. After one game with the Eagles, he's 62nd.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ committee did just fine without him. The combo of Joseph Randle-Darren McFadden-Lance Dunbar produced 81 yards on 22 carries and, even more impressive, caught 12 passes for another 131 yards. That’s 212 combined yards, otherwise known as “meat left on the bone.”
Without injured Dez Bryant for at least a month, the Cowboys’ running game will need to be better. And for Eagles’ fans not to revolt, Murray had best improve as well.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.