Dec 15, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is tackled by Green Bay Packers defensive end Josh Boyd (93) in the third quarter at AT

DeMarco Murray is One Step Away from Elite

It was a career year for DeMarco Murray, who had his best season yet. It’s his third season and he posted his first 1,000 yard season.  The future looks bright for the young Cowboys running back. This season he showed off his ability and talent and it looks like he’s just getting started. Murray had a good season, but I still think he can do better. If the stars align, the Cowboys have themselves a superstar in DeMarco Murray.

Let’s be honest, any running back can get a 1,000 yard season if they get enough carries for it. Peyton Hillis in 2010 had a 1,000 yard season and at the time he looked good. A few seasons later and he’s an irrelevant backup.  I’m not trying to take away from Murray’s season. Instead I want to point out that Murray managed to rush for 1,121 yards with only 217 carries. He managed to average an impressive 5.2 yards per carry. Murray was underutilized this season.  Out of all running backs with at least 150 carries, Murray has the highest yards per carry. Murray was an efficient runner beating out elite running backs such as LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Adrian Peterson. I’d be insane to say that Murray is just as good as those names, but the numbers don’t lie. Murray ran more efficiently than them.

To most sane football fans, no one would think Murray was as good as McCoy, Charles, or Peterson. My sanity is perfectly intact, and I realize that Murray is good but not elite. I do believe that Murray was very close to breaking out as an elite running back this season. There was one thing holding him back, the playcalling. Murray averages only 15.5 carries per game. This is good for seventeenth in the NFL, which is decent. However when you’re averaging 5.2 yards per carry, I think you deserve more carries. Murray was a top ten rusher this season, but he did not get the carries that a top ten running back would. I truly believe that if Murray gotten more carries, everyone would have noticed the amazing season he had.

If Murray had more carries, he would have been considered one of the best in the 2013 season. However he didn’t. There is also the chance that more carries would lead to more injury for Murray. Or that his yards per carry will go down. With the way Murray played, I think he deserved more chances. Next year, the Cowboys will really need to rethink how they will use Murray. While he may be injury prone, the Cowboys may have an elite running back on their hands.

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