Darren McFadden probably isn’t the lone answer. Maybe it’ll be Melvin Gordon or Todd Gurley in the draft. Or perhaps Joseph Randle or Lance Dunbar or Ryan Williams improving from within.
I do know this: DeMarco Murray at $8.2 million per season certainly wasn’t the solution to the Cowboys’ running game either.
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Because I’m convinced Murray peaked in 2014. For the first time in his career he stayed healthy, and he ran behind an elite line and played in an offense that softened defenses thanks to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. It was a magical, record-breaking season. And I’m betting it won’t happen again.
History is on my side. And against Murray.
The Eagles are either gambling on Murray rushing for 1,842 yards again, or way overpaying him to be a part of their running back committee that features Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. Whichever, I’d rather have the Cowboys’ backfield – and bankroll.
Since 1990 the wear-and-tear and immediate downsizing of results in the year after an NFL running back carries the ball 390+ times is significant. In fact of the six backs who rushed 390+ times, none of them gained 1,000 yards the following season and only one remained healthy enough to play in at least 10+ games.
A look at the NFL’s recent history of seasons after runners were ran ragged:
Yr Player Gms Yds
93 Barry Foster 9 711
99 Terrell Davis 4 211
99 Jamal Anderson 2 59
01 Eddie George 16 939
05 Ricky Williams 2 743
07 Larry Johnson 8 559
15 DeMarco Murray ? ???
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.