Looking Away From Murray: Duke Johnson | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Looking Away From Murray: Duke Johnson

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 01: Duke Johnson #8 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates a touchdown during a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Sun Life Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    One of the biggest offseason questions facing the Dallas Cowboys after their 13-5 season, and one that will need to be answered sooner rather than later, is whether they bring back running back DeMarco Murray on the heels of his record-setting season.

    Emotion and sentiment says it's a no-brainer, but logic might say otherwise.

    So what if the Cowboys let Murray walk after the greatest season in franchise history for a running back? Where could the Cowboys go as an alternative? There's talk of the Cowboys looking to the draft to replace Murray, which would likely require a first-round pick (No. 27) and definitely no later than their second-round selection. There's also the possibility they look at the free agent or trade market for a guy like Mark Ingram, or even Adrian Peterson.

    From the draft angle, who about we take a look at Miami's Duke Johnson.

    He's the Hurricanes' all-time leading rusher, something he accomplished in three seasons by rushing for 3,519 yards. This last season, Johnson rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 10 touchdowns while exhibiting an Emmitt Smith-ish style simply because of his stature (5-9, 206 pounds).

    Unlike Emmitt, he has blazing, breakaway speed, also unlike Emmitt, he's not an accomplished pass protector, which could push him into a shared role, but he's a special talent who could eventually become a capable all-around back.