The Dallas Cowboys have lost a primary asset to their explosive offense during the 2014 season. Demarco Murray, while we all know had an exceptional year, was looking for too much money that the Dallas Cowboys simply just didn’t have. Prior to the free agency (FA) market opening, the Cowboys front office staff informed Murray that they were not going to budge on their initial offer prior to the 2014 season, which averaged roughly $4mil a year. With that, they told Murray to shop the market and as FA opened, 3 teams seemed to be running for Murray; the Cowboys, the Raiders, and the Jaguars. However, once the Philadelphia Eagles picked up Sam Bradford, who happened to be Murray’s roommate and QB in college, his interest quickly stirred over to the Eagles.
Once this caught wind with Cowboys Nation, a massive attempt to get Demarco Murray to remain with the Cowboys became instant on twitter with the hashtag #StayMurray. Fans from all around the world spoke their voice in hopes Murray would stay but once word was received that he was going to sign with the Eagles, many fans turned on him. This is simply unbelievable because last I checked, being a Dallas Cowboys fan meant having class. It is what makes us Cowboys fans separate from the rest of the teams. Many “fans” turned into burning his jersey’s and calling him garbage because he only had one good season with a monster offensive line.
Let’s talk about that offensive line with Murray; while the line was exceptional and important to the success of Murray’s season, he also did a lot of things himself to get there. Several times throughout games, Murray waited patiently for the line to open holes, which is something that many RBs in today’s league don’t do. The exceptional eyes that Murray has in realizing that holes will not open, he quickly shifts direction to the other side of the field for gains that typically would result in losses for many other backs. Understanding the skills that Murray brings to the field is important in understanding why this is such a big loss to the team.
So where do the Cowboys go now in regards to the running back position? Well clearly we still have 5 total running backs on the team; Ryan Williams, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, Jasper Brinkley, and newly acquired Darren McFadden.
Darren McFadden is a low risk buy for the Cowboys because he brings some exceptional skill to the team but for a really low cost. This helps provide us a veteran back while we likely shop for a running back in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. With a young offensive line, drafting a new running back to help mold and grow with the offensive line. Back to McFadden, let’s take a look at his stats and see what we have acquired:
As we can see, he has missed quite a few games over recent years, just as Murray did for us and also just like Murray, finished his first full season in 2014. He knows how to run the ball and actually has a lot of similarities in regards to Murray. His ability to wait patiently will be key to the success that Murray had with the offensive line. I expect big things out of McFadden, as long as he stays healthy. I also expect to see a more well balanced running back corp.
So who should the Cowboys go after in the draft? Personally speaking, I think T.J. Yeldon would be a great fit, assuming Todd Gurley is not available. Yeldon has a lot of skill and is actually coming in under the radar due to this heavy RB class. Yeldon can perform well and if he loses some additional weight, he can pick up some more speed which will benefit the run game. The other plus side to Yeldon is his ability to run north and south, rather than most trying to use their speed to run east to west.
As we patiently wait for the NFL draft, I will begin to start updating more frequently as to stats and updates regarding the Cowboys. I wish Demarco Murray well with the Eagles and understand that he did what he did to cash in on a team that has the potential to get far into the playoffs.
I plan to begin a mock draft process once again after the free agency market cools down. Let’s go Cowboys!
Until next time.