Looking Away From Murray: Ryan Williams - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Looking Away From Murray: Ryan Williams



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    ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 16: Ryan Williams #34 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks the tackle attempt by Derrick Hopkins #78 of the Baltimore Ravens in the second half of their preseason game at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/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.

    But what if Murray's replacement is already on the Cowboys' roster? And no, we aren't talking Joseph Randle or Lance Dunbar — neither of whom are everydown backs in the NFL.

    We're talking about Ryan Williams, who was signed to the Cowboys' practice squad out of training camp despite having a really good showing in Oxnard and a nice showing in the preseason. The veteran would've required a bigger contract and was left on the practice squad, but Williams has a history as a pretty good back at Virginia Tech before coming to the Arizona Cardinals and dealing with injuries.

    Williams has five NFL games under his belt (all in 2012 as a rookie) and rushed for 164 yards. He's a powerful back with good speed, and while he'd be a complete darkhorse candidate, it'd be foolish to completely rule the idea out.