With just one year of work, DeMarco Murray has all cowboys fans salivating about the potential of him running in our back field for years to come. He was drafted last year out of Oklahoma and provided some toughness to our Running back Corp. He is a big back (6’1, 227 lbs) who runs with purpose. He had 897 yards rushing last year in what was really 12 games. He showed speed, power, and illusiveness. This year, Murray should be the starter. What does DeMarco Murray bring to the table?
Murray averaged 5.5 yards a carry last year. This is the best out of all NFL running backs. Only the sensational and electrifying Cam Newton had more. So one would think that it would be logical for him to have more carries then. When DeMarco Murray had 20 touchs or more, the Cowboys are 5-0. When he didn’t, they were 2-5. So yes, he needs to be an intricial part of our Offense.
On one side, you look at todays NFL. In a passing league, can you really have a back that you can depend on and give him a fair amount a touches a game? Of course. Five of the top Eight rushers in the NFL last year came from Playoff teams. (Ray Rice, Michael Turner, Arian Foster, Frank Gore, and Willis McGahee)
What are the benefits of having a good Running Game? A running game can keep the Defense honest by limiting double teams to your WRS. The more you run the ball the more a Defense is forced to put more players in the box, this creates favorable matches for your WR. If you run the ball a higher number of times the Defense will tire and weaken. Another reason to run the ball is to create opportunities for play action. And lastly, what if you have a lead in a game? Running the ball takes more time off the clock. DeMarco getting more rushes will help our entire offense be more potent and successful.
DeMarco is also coming off an injury. How will this affect him this year? If anything this will motivate him and he will come back ready to go. Any proof in this? Take what he did at Oklahoma. After the 2007 season, Murray had to have surgery to repair a broken knee cap. So this was not the first time he has had to rehab. What did he do the next season? He rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 14 TDS. He forgot his injury in a sense that he did not allow it to hinder his performance going forward. He went on to become OUs all time leader in Touch downs, all purpose yards, and receiving yards for a RB.
I think he will have a good year this year. Having an offseason to get healthy was good for him, and now he can go through OTAs and Training Camp and learn how to be the running back that the Cowboys want him to be. He can go through videos of what he did well and wrong and then he can see what the opposing defenses will do to stop him. Looking at the interviews and reports thus far, he seems hungry and focused to return this year and prove that he is one of the best backs in the NFL.
This is alot for a second year running back. Is he capable of doing such things. Sure, the game against St. Louis last year was the stuff of Legend. Cowboys rookie record, NFL game average record, 10 best rushing performance in NFL history. But that was just one game. Including that game, he only rushed for two touchdowns the entire year. This should improve. I do not have any projections as to what Murray will do, especially splitting time with Felix Jones. But I do look for some good things from him.
What are the two biggest challenges headed into the 2012 year? Durability and consistency. He will have to prove that he can handle the workload that the Cowboys staff will put on him, and then play well each week. Get better from game to game and maintain his momentum as the season goes along.
The Cowboys have their work cut out for them. Their is alot of expectations to go around, and DeMarco Murray sure has his share.