Grading The Dallas Cowboys Running Backs

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DeMarco Murray

Last week I began taking a look at the 2013 Dallas Cowboys from the perspective of grading their efforts and prospects. This week I’ll continue the exercise with the focus this week being upon the Running Backs. Next week we’ll tackle the Wide Receivers.

When talking about the Cowboys RBs it begins with Demarco Murray. For the third straight season Murray was our primary starting RB and for the 3rd straight season he missed games with injuries. To his credit in 2013 it was only 2 games missed and he still managed to eclipse the 1000 yard mark on the season, finishing the season with 1124 yards rushing. This was good enough for 10th best in the NFL, only 4 yards behind Frank Gore for 9th place and Gore did not miss any games.

Murray’s per game average of 80.3 yards was good enough for 5th best in the NFL. His 5.2 yards per carry was the 4th best in the NFL for players rushing more than 100 attempts. He also added 9 touchdowns, more than doubling his previous best season last year. That was tied for 6th best in the NFL on the ground.

He also had 53 receptions in 2013 for another 350 yards, and a very critical receiving TD on 4th down that sealed an amazing come from behind win for the Cowboys. He fumbled 2 times, losing 1 of them. He became the 6th Dallas Cowboys RB to have a 1000 yard season, the first since Julius Jones did it in 2006. You have to go all the way back to the year 2000 to find a Cowboys RB who gained more yards than Murray did this year. That RB of course is the incredible Emmitt Smith, who in that season racked up 1203 yards.

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  • SmartThinking

    Murray’s numbers were impressive for any running back. It’s his continued injury history that has me wondering how long he’ll last. Dunbar as well. His potential in special match ups is what keeps me hoping he’ll break through. But, like Murray, his injury history makes him a long- term liability.

    As for Tanner, I don’t see his need if Klutts make the squad next season. He’s continually been a disappointment, in my opinion.

    The acquisition of Klutts is particularly mystifying to me. If the change to a two TE set was supposed to be where Dallas was heading, at least at the beginning of the season through three quarters of the season, then, either that change hasn’t worked or the head coach and general manager lost faith in the system they installed. Or both.

    Two TE’s were supposed to eliminate the need for a FB. Then, out of nowhere, Klutts shows up. One catch and one fumble from our newly acquired FB isn’t a very good way to make an impression on the coaches or fans.

    So, now what does Dallas do? Two TE system plus a FB? A very expensive roster position that has shown very little results. And the more important question: what is this team’s running back and TE philosophy moving forward?

  • GoalLineStan

    I could never figure out why Klutts was brought in. It just made no sense.