Last week Bryan Broaddus reported that he “heard through the walls” at Valley Ranch the Cowboys were looking at a contract extension for Demarco Murray. With all the comings and goings around Valley Ranch and talk of contract extensions for Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith, Murray has become the forgotten man.
If you think about it, this wouldn’t be the first time Murray would play the role of the forgotten man. Just go back and look at the first half of last season or seasons passed to see that Murray getting the ball wasn’t top priority. But for now, we’ll let that be a topic for a different day.
Murray put up career high numbers this past season in all categories
He rushed for over 1,121 yards on just 217 attempts which averaged out to just over five yards a pop. And on top of that he scored 9 touchdowns. Oh, one more thing – out of the back field he caught 53 passes for 350 yards and a TD.
Murray is an excellent running back. He’s big, strong, and has good speed and vision. And one part of his game that gets overlooked is his pass protection; he’s an excellent pass blocker which is a very important attribute to have in the Cowboys’ pass-happy offense.
Looking at those numbers and seeing the skill-set you would wonder what the Cowboys were waiting on, right? Well, let’s take a look at one more career high number Murray put up last season.
Murray played in 14 games last season. Since coming into the league 13 games played was his career high, and he achieved that his rookie season. Everyone that keeps up with the Cowboys knows Murray has trouble staying healthy for an entire season.
Since his rookie year he’s had a broken ankle that caused him to miss the last three games in 2011. In 2012 he had a sprained right foot that kept him out of 6 games. And at the start of 2013 he had a pulled muscle that kept him out of some of the teams off-season program or (OTA’S). But his injury problems didn’t stop there; Murray had a knee injury which caused him to miss two games of the 2013 season.
If Murray wouldn’t have put up the numbers he did, including games played in ’13, there would be no question that the Cowboys should let him walk. But here’s the thing – he did – and did it very well.
We have a very talented 26-year-old running back who just came off a career year (And some could argue he wasn’t fully utilized and still put up those numbers). However, he just can’t find a way to stay on the field for an entire season… yet.
These kinds of decisions have become the norm around Valley Ranch these days, and Murray isn’t the first Cowboy who’s been dubbed high risk – high reward as of late. For example, recently acquired Defensive tackle Henry Melton, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, and let’s throw Romo’s name in there as well.
Jerry Jones isn’t afraid to take a chance on a player.