In the 2011 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected DeMarco Murray, University of Oklahoma running back standout in the third round. For a Cowboys fan, and when I say Cowboys, I mean both Dallas and Oklahoma State, this was not ideal. Kendall Hunter or even Roy Helu would have been preferred. In the game of football, for the fans, it is about passion which equates as love for your team and hate for the opponent or rival. It is sometimes difficult to separate yourself from the two emotions.
So, why bring up all this emotion for Murray playing for Dallas today? Because it is Bedlam week(OSU vs. OU) and this writer is calling a truce with the star rookie running back. The negative emotions subside, and now there is nothing but love for this Dallas Cowboy. For those not familiar with the Bedlam game, much like the Dallas Cowboys / Washington Redskins rivalry, this series is very lopsided. For the fans, rivalry games are about pride, they are personal, and one team has bragging rights for a year. Dallas fans can relate because the Cowboys lead the series against Washington 62-40-2, while the University of Oklahoma leads the Bedlam series 82-16-7. So, to repeat, for me, there was no loving bond formed when Murray joined Dallas.
At the start of the 2011 season, Murray was crowned the 3rd string running back behind Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. This fan had no problem with that decision. In games one through five, he ran a total of 73 yards, on 25 carries, plus 4 receptions for 23 yards; nothing to get excited about. Then just like life sometimes does, things took a different course. In the game against the St. Louis Rams, Jones joined the list of injured players with a high ankle sprain he had suffered against the New England Patriots. Choice got the start; Murray would come in as needed.
In Sooner-like fashion, Murray ran for 253 yards on 25 attempts and added his first Dallas Cowboys 91-yard touchdown to his resume. Finally that much needed running game came alive. In that moment, Murray went from enemy to friend. There was absolutely no denying that the Cowboys needed his skills. Since that game Murray has had some very impressive stats especially among rooking running backs.
Murray also leads the league (not just rookies) in yards per carry and is fifth in yards after contact (minimum 60 carries). What does this say exactly? It says a few things. It says that he is great at finding and hitting holes and breaking tackles once the running lanes close. It says that Murray stepped in when his teammate went down and has since put on a show. It says that Murray shows extreme promise. And finally, it says that this hater has to admit the man (despite being a Sooner Alum) can do the job. DeMarco Murray, despite it being Bedlam week in Oklahoma, I am calling