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Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29 4

We are now full well in the middle of the first week of NFL Preseason action! Since all of the coaches, players, and other team officials use the preseason as a practice I have been deciding to do so as well.

I practiced grilling. I may or may not have set fire to my shoes, but that’s what practice is for. I also practiced my ritual of eating a minimum of four pounds of queso during the game and you know what, I feel fantastic!

With the real deal getting ready to go down in 29 days we all have some skill-sharpening to do. To help me with that I’m going to walk you further down our Countdown To Kickoff series, and today we are discussing the Greatest 29 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The Following Players Have All Worn 29 For The Dallas Cowboys:

  • Chris Akins, CB
  • Michael Bates, RB
  • Terry Billups, CB
  • Alundris Brice, CB
  • Woodrow Dantzler, RB
  • Keith Davis, S
  • Kenneth Gant, S
  • Alex Green, CB
  • Robert Lavette, RB
  • DeMarco Murray, RB
  • Adrian Murrell, RB
  • Greg Myers, FS

I pride myself on a few things in life. There’s my coin collection that my grandfather helped me start when I was about 12 years old, I’ve also got to count the perfect way that my hair parts, and then there’s what I consider to be my high level of objectivity.

That last one is going to come in handy today. Today’s featured player put together quite the resume in four years under the star before he traded it in for a pair of wings. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you… The Greatest 29 in Dallas Cowboys History.

DeMarco Murray

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29

The Oklahoma Sooner from Sin City made his way to Dallas during the 2011 NFL Draft. With Felix Jones on the roster the Cowboys needed to find the future at the running back position. In the third round the Cowboys called his number and a star was born.

2011: Rookie Wonder

Murray wasn’t just looking up the depth chart at Felix Jones, former fan favorite Tashard Choice was firmly entrenched in the second string role. When Felix went down against the New England Patriots, the door swung open for #29.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29 1

Tashard Choice was named the starting running back when the Cowboys squared off against the St. Louis Rams in Week 7. While that may technically be true, Murray stole the show. Early in the first quarter he busted loose 91 yards, the second longest run in franchise history, for the score… and caused my cousin Jeremy, whom I was playing that week in fantasy with Murray at my disposal, to utterly lose it.

He would go on to set the Dallas Cowboys single-game record for most rushing yards in a game with 253. Welcome to the NFL, kid.

Turning Into A Pro Bowler

2012 has been the least productive year of DeMarco Murray’s career to date. He only played in, and started, 10 games… accumulating just 663 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. He missed 6 games and began to develop an injury-prone persona.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29 2

The other trend that started to become known with Murray was that when he carried the ball 20+ times, the Cowboys won. This streak extended to eight games when the Cowboys beat the Bengals in Cincinnati in an emotional game following Jerry Brown’s death.

Murray did all he could to shed his injury-prone persona in 2013 when he played in 14 games. He topped a thousand yards for the first time in his career (rushing for 1,121) and took a trip to the Pro Bowl. He was firmly on his way.

NFL Offensive Player Of The Year

2014 was prosperous for the Dallas Cowboys and DeMarco Murray. While one of his first carries of the season actually resulted in a fumble, #29 was cooking with gas through last season.

DeMarco Murray eclipsed 100 yards in each of the first 8 games of the 2014 season, breaking the record that Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown set all the way back in 1958.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29 3

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys runs for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the first half at AT&T Stadium on September 28, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

In Week 17 DeMarco eclipsed another Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Cowboy legend, in Emmitt Smith. Murray surpassed Emmitt Smith’s single-season rushing record (1,773 yards in 1995) and ultimately rushed his way to a league-leading 1,845 yards.

The performance that DeMarco Murray put on running the ball in 2014 was one of the finer seasons that we have ever seen from any running back in NFL History. It culminated with his second selection to the Pro Bowl, a spot on the First-Team All-Pro Team, and the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year Award.

#29: DeMarco Murray

Football is a lot of wonderful things, but ultimately it is a business. In a business move, DeMarco Murray was allowed to test the market in free agency and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

This does not at all diminish what DeMarco Murray accomplished in four years during his time with the Cowboys. He served as one of the more productive running backs in that stretch and put together one of the finest seasons that the position has ever seen last year.

Thanks for the great times, DeMarco. You deserve the best. You are the Greatest 29 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 28 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

Want to share your opinions on who should be featured on our Countdown To Kickoff? Email me at or Tweet @rjochoa.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys CTK: DeMarco Murray Dominates #29" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Star Blog

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady



Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.

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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady



Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.

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