Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrates with running back DeMarco Murray (29) after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Can the Dallas Cowboys afford to re-sign both wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray? It’s now a viable question. And it’s Murray’s recent high level of play that has made it one, as he currently leads the NFL in rushing with 670 yards in the season’s first five games. But what’s the answer? DallasCowboys.com analyst Bryan Broddous summed it up the best:
Exactly. It depends on how much DeMarco Murray wants, not Bryant. The Cowboys are already committed to Dez not matter the cost. If not yet on paper, certainly mentally. Their collective minds are made up when it comes to their promising wide receiver.
Both players have expiring contracts that end after this season. But for Murray, it comes down to the amount of money that will determine if he is re-signed. And that figure could change drastically between now and the end of the year. But there are rumors circulating that the Cowboys organization and Murray’s representative have recently been discussing a long term deal, even if they are simply preliminary talks.
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Sunday morning during the NFL Network program NFL GameDay Morning, the ‘Boys have already offered Murray a four-year contract that would pay him more than any free-agent running back earned in 2014, per team sources.
The biggest free agent running back per year deal over the offseason was by the New York Jets for Chris Johnson, which was a two-year, $8 million contract. The biggest contracts in total for free agents in the devalued position of half back was $10.5 million over three years. The Jacksonville Jaguars paid this amount for Toby Gerhart, and the San Diego Chargers did the same for Donald Brown.
“We’ll do anything and everything we can to keep him” – Stephen Jones on DeMarco Murray
This is actually a pretty big step considering the Cowboys seemed unwilling to even consider re-signing Murray to a long-term deal before the start of the season. No doubt, Murray’s injury history played a big part in that.
Murray has yet to play an entire season in Dallas. Injuries have stolen 11 total games from the 26-year old’s professional career. And investing millions into a player with that kind of history is trepidatious. Just ask Dallas about middle linebacker Sean Lee, who is currently sitting on the sidelines due to a season-ending injury after signing a monster seven-year, $42.63 million contract last August.
But exactly how much is Murray worth?