Oct 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Texans 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The good folks over at Sportrac.com did an excellent article about the subject that I encourage all of our readers to check out. Basically once you weigh in his age, other comparable NFL running back salaries, his overall production and his injury history, Sportrac estimates Murray’s worth at an amount of $31 million over four years, with $14 million guaranteed.
That’s a yearly amount of $7.75 million, which would make DeMarco Murray the fifth highest paid running back in the NFL. That’s just behind Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles, Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy and Houston’s Arian Foster in average salary per contract year.
Whether the Cowboys can afford such an amount is really up to Dallas’ front office. And that’s regardless of their salary cap situation. In the past, the team has cut players and restructured existing contracts to make cap room in order to sign free agents. For them, it’s only a question of getting the right player at the right price. And that fact was clearly illustrated by the Cowboys front office this offseason when they released veteran Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware after he refused to restructure his bloated contract.
On Monday, Cowboys chief operating officer and vice president Stephen Jones voiced his commitment to Murray during a radio interview.
"“Historically, I don’t comment on negotiations until they’re over,” Jones said told 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “I’ve been consistent in saying that we want to keep our good football players on our team. And I’ve been consistent in saying DeMarco Murray is one of those guys that we want to keep around. Not only is he a good football player, but better than that, he’s a top notch individual…We’ll do anything and everything we can to keep him. It’s got to make business sense for him. It’s got to make business sense for us…It’s the full body of work at the end of the day… a lot of things that go into how ultimately you figure out how a player gets paid, and we’ll be looking at all of those dynamics.””"
Worst case scenario, the Cowboys could elect to franchise tag either Murray or Bryant next season. The exact amounts required for those tags are not determined by the NFL until the offseason. But based on this year’s amounts, Murray would cost Dallas somewhere around $9.54 million in 2015. While Bryant would cost them an estimated $12.312 million to franchise tag next season.
Bottom line: It is unlikely either player will be wearing anything but The Star on their helmets any time soon.