Oct 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) watches the game from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
2. DeMarco Murray, Running back
I’ll confess. DeMarco Murray has until this year deeply infuriated me. I knew he had talent. That much was evident. A bullish running back with power, speed and brains. But his recurrent injuries persistently held him back and when returning he was often found heading for the sidelines rather than making that extra burst forward.
But what do I know? Here we are in 2014 with Murray sitting top of the rushing chart with 1354 yards. A massive 403 yards more than second placed Le’Veon Bell. He’s averaging a league leading 123.1 yards per game and has had 100+ rushing in in all bar one game this season. In short, he’s been pretty darn good.
With Tony Romo coming off of back surgery, the Cowboys were keen to lighten the load placed upon the veteran quarterback. And new offensive play caller Scott Linehan has done just that. The team are handing the ball off to Murray more and the results are showing. When he broke the NFL record of consecutive 100+ running games he said:
"“I’m blessed to play for this great organization and run behind one of the best offensive lines in this league. I’ve got to give credit to those guys, the whole organization, and all the coaches, they put a lot of work into this.”"
There is a downside to Murray performing so well, and it’s a financial one. His contract is up for renewal alongside receiver Dez Bryant‘s and it seems for the Cowboys it’s time for them to pick their poison. With little negotiation space in their salary cap, and both Murray and Bryant requiring massive deals my instinct is the Cowboys settle with Dez. Leaving the running back to test the free agent market.