Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Is The Running Back Position Dead?


I find it interesting that most people think that the running back is a dying position.

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray’s contract is set to expire in the coming year and there seems to be no signs of the Cowboys attempting to re-sign him.

And why would you?

Receiver Dez Bryant’s contract is about up, and the Cowboys recently exercised a fifth year option on tackle Tyron Smith meaning that he too does not have much time left in Dallas at the moment.

Most would agree that both Bryant and Smith are vital cogs to the success of the Dallas Cowboys.

But is not Murray as well?

Let’s flash back to the post running back Emmitt Smith era for a second. Do names like Troy Hambrick or Julius Jones ring a bell? Shortly after quarterback Troy Aikman retired in 2000, Emmitt Smith left for greener pastures. My thoughts are that the next seven years the Cowboys, as well as fans, would be so invested in the search for a replacement for Aikman, that a replacement for Smith would fall by the wayside.

In later years, the Cowboys would pass on the likes of a Steven Jackson, among others, only to come up empty handed for so long. Minus a decent season by Julius Jones, and a good, yet short career from Marion Barber, the Cowboys have not had consistency from the running back position since Smith.

People will continue to say the running back position is all but extinct. Let’s just ask the Seahawks if they thought Marshawn Lynch had anything to do with their Super Bowl run, or ask the Broncos if it was difficult letting Knowshon Moreno go?

Perhaps the running back isn’t as important to the game as it was ten years ago, but all I can say is that if the Cowboys had run just a few more times this season the outcome probably could have been very different.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray Emmitt Smith Troy Aikman

  • SmartThinking

    I think many teams have decided to eliminate their Fullbacks in favor of running a two Tight End set but I can’t envision any team today eliminating their Running Backs as well. Even pass-happy teams find the need to grind it out occasionally.

    And just as soon as somebody creates an all receiver offense and six or seven teams revert to it, then, along will come a Pittsburgh or Giants or Chicago or New Orleans and run down everyone’s throat.

    We can argue the merits, or, in my opinion, foolishness, of picking up an RB every year or so and not investing in the position. But a gifted, hard-running back, just as Murray has shown, can be an awesome tool for a QB to use now that defensive backfields are expecting the pass on nearly every down.

  • Guy Smith

    Just look at the Super Bowl champs and the Beast..Look at ancient history when We were good, always a great running game.

  • baronmwd

    I think it’s more likely we won’t bring back Murray due to the money he is going to want after his rookie contract is up then the position of RB being dead. If he has another good season in 2014 like last season he is going to want a pretty big raise. I think they can draft a RB in mid rounds each year for cheap and find one to come close to matching Murray ‘ s production at about 1/8 the cost of re-signing him.

  • californy

    The last 2 SB winner had balance and had an offense that was 16, and 26th rated in the NFL. Yup Passing games dont win championships, you can ask the NFL number 1 pass attack in Denver just that

  • californy

    In 2012 their was 4 team that where in the top 10 in offense, NO, Dallas, Oakland and Detroit and neither team was play off bound. What part of offense don’t win championship that people don’t understand.

  • californy

    You weaken the Offensive line when you remove the FB, and you have player using their arm to block. Freddy success has been by putting his body on another player and moving him. This is such a basic concept of real Football, at 5 man sled and 1 man sled can help a player achieve this type of blocking. Real blocking power come in the legs not the arms. Larry Allen was the exception to this rule.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Priorities have to be set. Murray is a very good do it all back. He needs to get the ball more. He is a young talented player that is part of Dallas’ future core. That stated, Dez and Tyron are must re-sign players that are must have core players for the future.