It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are facing a tough decision when it comes to running back DeMarco Murray.
Murray is universally loved by his teammates, coaches and the men in the front office, such as executive vice president Stephen Jones. He is also coming off a season in which he led the NFL in rushing by a wide margin and set a new franchise record with 1,845 rushing yards.
But, having seen countless runners across the league look unstoppable one year only to decline sharply the next, we live in the age of devalued running backs.
"It's difficult," Jones said, per ESPN Dallas. "He's a great player. He's, in my opinion, a better man off the field in terms of the way he goes about his business, and so all of those things are difficult. As we all know running backs are a difficult position in terms of how [they] are valued. So there's a lot of things we'll have to evaluate as we make the ultimate decision as to what our number can be with DeMarco versus what somebody else's number may be. At some point he'll have to make a business decision, which no one will respect more than us. I mean Jerry and myself have nothing but the greatest respect for what he's been as a person and player in our organization."
Faced with this inarguably tough decision, the Cowboys have been poring over all the data they can to make an informed decision.
"Everything comes into play: what backs historically do, how many backs go on and play well after they're 27, which ones consistently do it from start to finish," Jones said. "I mean obviously the day Emmitt [Smith] walked in the league he was at the top of the rung. ... He consistently did it. He consistently did it after his second contract and he kept on. So those are the things you've got to weigh.
"There's no easy answer on those things, but we'll put it all together and make a good decision."
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