I’ve recently spoken at length about the importance of really riding the shoulders of running back DeMarco Murray in 2014. The Dallas Cowboys have a very talented running back in Murray, at least when he’s healthy.
But the Cowboys probably only have one more season with Murray.
Murray becomes an unrestricted free agent following next season and it’s unlikely that owner and general manager Jerry Jones will shell out the money necessary to keep the former Oklahoma Sooners star in town. Frankly, Dallas can’t afford to gamble on a running back with Murray’s injury history when other options are so plentiful.
Yes, the running back position is experiencing a period of fundamental change, at least for the time being. Running is still the most fundamental aspect of moving the football, but the way many teams do that differs. Some teams want yardage from their quarterback and others want a committee of backs churning out rushing yards as needed. Other teams prefer throwing more to their backs than handing off.
One constant, however, concerning running backs, is the desire for elite speed.
Enter Dri Archer, easily the fastest player at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. The Kent State running back ran a blistering 40-yard dash in just 4.26 seconds. By comparison, free agent running back Chris Johnson gained huge attention with his 4.24 second surge at the 2008 combine. The Tennessee Titans might be done with Johnson now, but they’ve been pretty happy with this selection for numerous years now.