NFL free agency begins a month from today.
As much as he believes it and despite how much you want it, DeMarco Murray won’t be a Dallas Cowboy next season. The countdown to the end of his career in Dallas is on.
It’s not an easy decision for the Cowboys, but a simple one. Based on this: More than they can’t afford to lose the NFL’s leading rusher, they more so can’t afford to bring him back.
Since the Cowboys will wisely put the franchise tag on receiver Dez Bryant, that means they can’t use it to retain Murray.
Even if they could, would a one-year deal for a whopping $11 million make common and/or financial sense when we’re talking about a running back? Franchising Murray would likely cost you a shot at re-signing co-free agents like Rolando McClain, Bruce Carter and Dwayne Harris.
I know Joseph Randle is a knucklehead and Lance Dunbar isn’t an every-down back and who knows what Ryan Williams has left in his tank. But you really think – after just one superlative season – that Murray should be the third highest-paid back behind Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy?
I know the Cowboys’ run to the playoffs wouldn’t have been possible without Murray’s record-setting season. But I’ll say it again, I think it was as much a result of a dominating offensive line as it was a suddenly elite runner.
Which is more likely to be a one-hit wonder: Murray? Or an offensive line made up of three first-round draft picks?
Running backs are declining in importance in the NFL. Only three backs – throw in Arian Foster – are among the league’s 100 highest-paid players.
In a way – at least for Cowboys fans – Murray picked a bad time to have a great season. Because, if they stick to being fiscally responsible, I don’t see a way that Murray wears a star on his helmet next season.
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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.