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DeMarco Murray could challenge for big role right away

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Dallas’ pick of Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray in the third round took a lot of people by surprise.

It was earlier than some draftniks thought he should go. More importantly, Dallas appeared to have bigger needs.   Now that Murray is in the fold, however, it’s clear the Cowboys think very highly of him.

So does Jacques-Jean Taylor of the Dallas Morning News, who thinks Murray could wind up starting for Dallas.  Right away.

“DeMarco Murray will challenge Felix Jones for the starting running back position, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t expect to win the job. Jones has been a disappointment, and the Cowboys have provided a catalyst for him to play his best football,” Taylor writes.

Marion Barber should get the boot once the lockout ends.  We’ve always wanted to see what Tashard Choice could do in a bigger role, but that probably won’t happen now unless Jones or Murray get hurt.  (A decent bet.)

Coach Jason Garrett has said this offseason that Jones proved he could handle a bigger role at the end of last season and he put up good numbers.

We still expect Felix Jones to be the team’s starter, but it sounds like he may not have a long leash on the job.  It sounds like a new running back has caught Jerry Jones’ eye.

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36 Responses to “DeMarco Murray could challenge for big role right away”
  1. kc4life7 says: May 5, 2011 10:52 AM

    DeMarco is a stud. This may have been a reach, but nonetheless a solid pick up. I think he will do well in the NFL.

  2. oldbyrd says: May 5, 2011 10:59 AM

    The boys are a far cry from what they used to be.

  3. dccowboy says: May 5, 2011 11:04 AM

    kc4life7 says: May 5, 2011 10:52 AM

    DeMarco is a stud. This may have been a reach, but nonetheless a solid pick up. I think he will do well in the NFL.

    ====================

    A ‘stud’ RB is a reach in the 3rd round? Where should ‘stud’ RBs be taken, the 6th?

  4. dclogicatlast says: May 5, 2011 11:04 AM

    Cowboys are idiots. Murray is injury prone, and they already have plenty of backs.

  5. phillycheez says: May 5, 2011 11:06 AM

    Jason Garrett will play whoever Jerry Jones tells him to play.

  6. jw731 says: May 5, 2011 11:07 AM

    But………but…….but……..I thought i heard Cowgirls fans say on this site for the last 3 years, that the trio of Barber, Jones and Choice was the stuff every other team should be jealous of……What happened?……….I guess this is just another stud, they are burdended to get the ball to……

  7. ninerdynasty says: May 5, 2011 11:08 AM

    I really like this guy, i was hoping the niners would snag him on the 4th but i guess that didnt workout. The only thing is that that i don’t get why the cowboys need another rb, they already have 3 potential starters there, and to think that one may not make the roster. Keep drafting like that cowboys, im sure your division opponents love it.

  8. kc4life7 says: May 5, 2011 11:16 AM

    A ‘stud’ RB is a reach in the 3rd round? Where should ‘stud’ RBs be taken, the 6th?

    __________________________________

    Runningbacks have been taken later and later every year. Just because I think he’s going to be a player doesn’t mean he should get drafted really high.

    Priest Holmes was undrafted. I think he did alright for himself.

  9. dclogicatlast says: May 5, 2011 11:17 AM

    Jerry Jones is one of the 10 worst GMs in football. There is a reason owners shouldn’t crown themselves GMs.

  10. captainwisdom8888 says: May 5, 2011 11:17 AM

    I am a diehard Eagles fan, but every time I watch Tashard Choice tote the rock I ask the same question…Why do the boys’ refrain from giving him the ball ALOT more often? Murray may be a stud, but there’s a handful of teams out there that would give anything to have a 1-2 punch like Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. I simply think the cowboys are enamored with drafting skill position players…

  11. jw731 says: May 5, 2011 11:21 AM

    Has jerrah told the ginger how many times he can carry the ball this year?

  12. dccowboy says: May 5, 2011 11:21 AM

    kc4life7 says: May 5, 2011 11:16 AM

    A ‘stud’ RB is a reach in the 3rd round? Where should ‘stud’ RBs be taken, the 6th?

    __________________________________

    Runningbacks have been taken later and later every year. Just because I think he’s going to be a player doesn’t mean he should get drafted really high.

    Priest Holmes was undrafted. I think he did alright for himself.
    ==========

    Still doesn’t explain why you think a Stud RB is a reach. There are always exceptions – are you suggesting that, since Tom Brady lasted til the 6th rd that stud QBs taken earlier than that are a reach?

  13. Mike Tomlin says: May 5, 2011 11:21 AM

    The Cowboys use of their stable of runningbacks over the past 3 years has been embarassing.

    Heres an idea- pick a guy, give him the ball 20 times a game and see what happens.

  14. bringbacktheflex says: May 5, 2011 11:26 AM

    I remember when Dallas got Hershel Walker. They had Tony Dorsett and Timmy Newsome in the backfield already. Landry found a way to get all three backs in the game at the same time. The only reason they didn’t keep doing it was Dorsett’s ego.

    I remember against the Giants, their linebackers were wetting themselves – full house backfield – what are they going to do? Hand-off? To which Heisman winner? Are they going to pass? Deep? Dump off? Screen?

    I remember watching Carson and Taylor waving at their defensive coaches because they didn’t know what to do. It was GLORIOUS.

    Now if an old man like Landry could figure it out why can’t Garrett figure out how to use ALL the backs.

  15. burntorangehorn says: May 5, 2011 11:26 AM

    Murray’s an extremely talented back. I didn’t think much of him for the longest time, partially because he’s an Okie, partially because he wasn’t actually performing up to the hype, and also because he was always injured. But he pulled it together for two great seasons, and was a steal in the third–draftniks be damned.

  16. supashug says: May 5, 2011 11:31 AM

    QB is the need in Dallas

  17. ronswansonsdinner says: May 5, 2011 11:33 AM

    Could challenge for big role right away? Every player on an NFL roster can challenge for a big role right away.

  18. goawayeverybody says: May 5, 2011 11:36 AM

    DeMarco Murray has a very similar body type to Adrian Peterson and they both played for Oklahoma. Could he possibly follow in AP’s footsteps and be a lead running back?

  19. MichaelEdits says: May 5, 2011 11:45 AM

    It’s certain they won’t sign Tiki

  20. favrefan says: May 5, 2011 11:48 AM

    Murray is a puss who’s always hurt. Jerry doesn’t get it at all.

  21. markdamack says: May 5, 2011 11:53 AM

    Ask any Cowboys fan and they’ll tell you… “Jacques-Jean Taylor” is an idiot.

    He’s the only person who think Felix Jones is the problem. We all know, and the team knows, that our runblocking is absolutely horrible.

    I have to say, 5.8 YPA for his career (despite atrocious run blocking) is FAR from horrible. Not to mention the 48 catches out of the back field. Yeah…he’s real horrible.

    That being said, it’s Choice and Barber that need to be worried. I like Choice, but Barber is as good as gone.

    The Cowboys now have two similar running backs instead of three different ones (which tips your hand in formation)

  22. squabguy says: May 5, 2011 11:54 AM

    ‘Jones has been a disappointment, and the Cowboys have provided a catalyst for him to play his best football,” Taylor writes.’

    Really Taylor, you write that even after your many articles ranting about a pourous O-line? A “decent” O-line would have provided a better catalyst, but to say he had the opportunity for his BEST FOOTBALL with our ailments up front that caused a QB to be lost as a well as countless poundings in the backfield when the d-line presumably was given one of the many season passes to our backfield?

    Say he just didn’t get it done (Felix), but to imply he was alone and a reason for our poor ground game is off-base a bit.

  23. therageofthemenace says: May 5, 2011 11:57 AM

    He’ll have to learn how to pick up a blitz if he want’s to see time on the field…

  24. kc4life7 says: May 5, 2011 12:23 PM

    Still doesn’t explain why you think a Stud RB is a reach. There are always exceptions – are you suggesting that, since Tom Brady lasted til the 6th rd that stud QBs taken earlier than that are a reach?

    ____________________________________

    No, because it’s a lot harder to find a stud QB than a RB. Like I said, Priest Holmes was found as an undrafted free agent.

    Tom Brady is a super rare case. There are several cases of runningbacks making solid impacts on teams that were either undrafted or taken very late in the draft.

    Just because I said DeMarco is a stud doesn’t mean I think he’ll have a Tom Brady impact on his team. That’s streching my words a bit there, but I know what you mean.

  25. burntorangehorn says: May 5, 2011 12:35 PM

    goawayeverybody says:
    May 5, 2011 11:36 AM
    DeMarco Murray has a very similar body type to Adrian Peterson and they both played for Oklahoma. Could he possibly follow in AP’s footsteps and be a lead running back?
    ============================
    You’d be hard-pressed to find two running backs more different from each other than Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray.

    What they have in common:
    1. Successful starting at RB for Oklahoma
    2. Spent more time than average injured in college
    3. Came out of college needing to work on blitz pickups (actually, Peterson still does)

    Other than that, very different. Murray, for example, is almost more of a threat catching passes as he was in running, while AP was really not a threat at that at all.

  26. 1bigtex says: May 5, 2011 12:52 PM

    First of all, most of the projections for Murray had him in the late second to late third and had him somewhere between the third to fifth best RB. Don’t know that you can call him a reach where he went. Secondly, Marion Barber is likely done. That running style takes its toll on both the defense and the ball carrier. Go back and check the career of Okoye. Similar running styles. Similar stats. Similar durations. Thirdly, while I expected Dallas to draft a RB (given Barber’s health), I anticipated more of a short yardage specialist in the late rounds. Murray is an all-around back who is a solid blocker and good receiver. He’ll have a good chance to contribute as both a RB and a KR.

  27. bhindenemylines says: May 5, 2011 1:00 PM

    markdamack says:
    May 5, 2011 11:53 AM
    Ask any Cowboys fan and they’ll tell you… “Jacques-Jean Taylor” is an idiot.

    Amen to that!!!

    JJT is as anti-Cowboy as any fan of NYG, Washington, or Philly.

  28. thefiesty1 says: May 5, 2011 2:31 PM

    Only if Jerry says so. The CowBabies already have three good backs. Murray was another wasted pick. He would have started at say, San Diego or elsewhere.

  29. gregjennings85 says: May 5, 2011 3:07 PM

    I hate to say it, mainly because the Cowboys are one of my least favorite teams, but this kid was the best RB in the draft.

  30. stevecmh says: May 5, 2011 3:35 PM

    Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker had a brief overlap with the Cowboys. Walker played for the Cowboys in ’86, ’87, ’88 and part of ’89. Dorsett was in Dallas from 1977-87.

    They did play in the same backfield in 1986 and I do recall a couple of great dual performances that year but by mid-1987, Walker took over as the starter.

    By the time Walker got to Dallas, Tony’s career was already winding down. Walker’s emergence had nothing to do with Dorsett’s ego. That was never a problem in either Pitt or Dallas. Dorsett only had 1200 yards combined in his last two years in Dallas before wrapping up his career in Denver with 703 yards in 1988.

    Walker dominated the 1988 season in Dallas with 1514 yards, earning his trade value to the Vikings.

    There’s no need to trash Jason Garrett on how he plans to rotate his RBs in 2011 before the team has even played one game.

    Garrett deserves credit for turning around the season for a Dallas team that had fallen apart last year after he took over for Wade Phillips, who was clearly asleep at the wheel. I have a great deal of confidence in Garrett as a coach, and the evidence is clear that Jerry Jones does too.

    Garrett will the one who decides the starting line-up and rotation in the backfield. And no, that will not include a rotation at QB. True Cowboy fans know we have a top-10 NFL QB, even if Martellus Bennett doesn’t agree.

    In the final analysis, I expect Garrett to go down as the second-best coach in Dallas history, tied with Jimmy Johnson.

  31. bringbacktheflex says: May 5, 2011 5:32 PM

    stevecmh –

    I agree that TD’s career was winding down, but he couldn’t admit that. That is why he went to Denver – because he was no longer the ‘featured’ back at Dallas. TD’s ego got in the way of what could have been an excellent backfield AND extended his career by several years.

    Trashing Garrett: He had complete control of the offense BEFORE Phillips was fired. He could have been rotating the RBs or scaring defenses with imaginitive formations. Interesting how he suddenly discovered the running game after he got Phillips fired, I mean, after he became head coach.

    Landry will always be the best HC Dallas ever had. Johnson is second. Landry took the heat and produced a consistent winner for most of his 29 years. Johnson quit as soon as his ego was hurt. In fact, Johnson has never stayed any longer than 5 years at ANY coaching position.

  32. 1bigtex says: May 5, 2011 8:05 PM

    @thefiesty1

    MBIII is owed a bunch of money and has lost his explosion. Unless he can turn back the clock three years, it’s doubtful that he will be back.

  33. stevecmh says: May 5, 2011 10:35 PM

    Many, many players end their careers at teams other than their original NFL teams. I will cite one Cowboys’ example and leave it there–Emmitt Smith. Does Emmitt’s departure to Arizona mean he had an ego problem as his career winded down? I think not. There’s no evidence to consider Dorsett’s departure any differently.

    It is not unusual that a player goes elsewhere after his first team cuts him. They have a variety of reasons for doing so…from money to not accepting the fact that their career is over. It is certainly not a definitive sign that an ego problem exists.

    The fact that TD got only 703 yards in Denver in his last year supports the idea he had no more gas in his tank. If he had so much to offer, why did his career end the year after he left Dallas? The idea ghe would have carried on for several years in a combo-backfield with Walker is a pipe-dream.

    Wade Phillips was the head coach before Garrett took over last year. Only Phillips and Jerry Jones know how much control Garrett had prior to taking command. BUT, considering the changes Garrett made in 2010, it’s clear to me that he had a different approach that Phillips. If he had the power earlier, why didn’t he make the changes he made after taking over? To me, it suggests he was not permitted to make all of the changes he wanted to implement before he was made head coach. What other resonable interpretation can be made???

    I will easily admit my disappointment in the Cowboy’s offensive creativity since the mid-80’s. They have been far to comfortable lining up and expecting their execution would overcome the lack of deception in their offensive schemes. Considering Landry’s fantastic offensive innovations from the 60’s through the 80’s, that has not been up to Cowboy standards.

    On the other hand, I will happily stipulate that Tom Landry is the Cowboy’s best coach all-time, as I already wrote earlier.

  34. melonnhead says: May 6, 2011 7:46 AM

    Now if an old man like Landry could figure it out why can’t Garrett figure out how to use ALL the backs.

    ——————————————————

    Tom Landry was one of the best football minds the game has ever seen. He invented the multiple offense, then he invented the 4-3 defense to solve the multiple offense after the entire league adopted it. Then virtually the entire league adopted his 4-3 D. Let’s not talk about him like he was just some “old man” that just anybody should be able to emulate. That’s like saying “Old man Einstein discovered the law of photoelectric effect, why couldn’t Pierre Curie do the same”?

  35. stevecmh says: May 6, 2011 11:06 AM

    Well said, melonhead! Let’s remember all of Tom Landry’s innovations including:

    -creating the 4-3 defense as Giants defensive coordinator prior to becoming Dallas’ first head coach.

    -inventing the use of keys (analyzing offensive tendencies) to determine what the offense might do.

    -developing the flex defense by moving 2 of the 4 linemen off the line of scrimmage one yard and varying which linemen did this based on where he thought the offense might run.

    -reviving the man-in-motion and later, the shotgun formation with Roger Staubach.

    -using “pre-shifting” where the offense would shift from one formation to another before the snap of the ball. This helped to break the keys the defense used to determine what the play would be.

    -having offensive linemen get in their squatted pre-stance, stand up while the running backs shifted, and then go back down into their “hand down” stance. The purpose was to make it more difficult for the defense to see where the backs were shifting and cut down on recognition time.

    -recruiting bigger, taller offensive lineman than other teams such as Rayfield Wright and Ralph Neely.

    -drafting taller, leaner defensive lineman such as George Andrie, Jethro Pugh, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones whose long arms allow for increased leverage in the pass rush,

    -initiating strength and speed programs with specialized coaches,

    -searching outside the traditional college football pipeline for talent. He recruited soccer players from Latin America and Europe, such as Efren Herrera, Raphael Septien and Toni Fritsch. Landry looked to track and field for speedy players such as Bob Hayes, Olympic gold medal winner. From college basketball, he recruited CB/S Cornell Green.

    -employing a quality control coach to analyze game films and chart tendencies of opponents so Landry knew what to expect during the game.

    Simply put, Tom Landry was a football genius!

  36. bringbacktheflex says: May 6, 2011 1:39 PM

    My reference to Tom Landry as an “old man” was intended as a slight to Garrett and the other “boy geniuses” that owners are hiring (and firing) so quickly today. I have the highest regard for Landry. I even talked to him for about 15 minutes at one of their training camps in Thousand Oaks. One of the highlights of my football life.

    You talk about Landry to newer football fans (and likely the new owners as well) and they would probably think of him as outdated.

    My point was many fold :

    – Landry had two high quality backs and he was able to develop plays and schemes to utilize both at the same time. Garrett can’t even get two of his three backs in the same huddle at the same time.

    – Landry was innovative and never stood pat with his offensive schemes. And NEVER abandoned the run after two failed rushes as Garrett so often does. Garrett’s offense has been repeatedly called predictable by opponents.

    – Garrett didn’t change up the offensive tempo and commit to the run until Phillips was fired. That strongly implies that Garrett (who was completely in charge of the offense) was complicit in getting Phillips fired.

    Tom Landry was the consumate professional and so far ahead of his time that the NFL is still catching up.

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