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.
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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.