DeMarco Murray will be leaving the Dallas Cowboys for the division rival Philadelphia Eagles, after his best season as a pro. His deal per Field Yates, is worth 40.5 Million over 5 seasons. Murray will receive $21 million guaranteed. LeSean McCoy‘s deal will pay him less over the life of the contract, but will pay him $5.55 million more in guaranteed money.
LeSean McCoy extension with Bills: 5-years, $40.05M, $26.55M guaranteed. DeMarco Murray deal with Eagles: 5-years, $42M, $21M guaranteed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 12, 2015
With the Cowboys last season, Murray finally put together the season some thought he could. He was able to play all 16 games for Dallas, after missing time in his three previous seasons. And boy did he produce in those 16 games. He rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 57 passes for 416 yards.
For the upcoming season, a few things would have me concerned to take Murray as early as I will likely have to. He had 449 touches last season. That kind of workload on a running back who has missed time in previous seasons would give me pause. But it was that workload that made DeMarco Murray a fantasy monster last season. In Philadelphia last season, LeSean McCoy had 80 less carries than Murray did in Dallas, as well as 29 fewer catches. Assuming Darren Sproles retains a similar role to last season, which many project, 109 fewer touches for Murray could be an issue for fantasy purposes. His rushing yards would drop from 1,845 yards to 1,466. With the unpredictable nature of touchdowns, expecting Murray to be in double digits seems unreasonable.
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He is also leaving an extremely talented offensive line that opened massive holes for Murray. Football Outsiders ranked the offensive lines for run blocking purposes. The Dallas Cowboys ranked number 1 among all 32 teams, while the Eagles were ranked 30th. The use adjusted line yards which uses a formula based upon where the running back is contacted, yards per attempt among others. The breakdown the formula on their website. The Cowboys get the second most yards per carry on the second level, where the Eagles hit sneak in the top 10.
The Dallas Cowboys will have to turn their attention towards another running back either through free agency or the NFL Draft. The Adrian Peterson rumor mill will start swirling. There are a couple of guys in the draft that could make a ton of sense, especially behind their offensive line. Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon could be sitting there when Dallas comes on the board at pick 27. Jay Ajayi, David Cobb, and Tevin Coleman could be options as the draft progresses.
This news also means, Ryan Mathews will be elsewhere next season. While he agreed to a deal with the Eagles, he wasn’t going to make it official until he knew what Murray was doing. Mathews could head to Dallas and take the spot vacated by Murray. The Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders could be among the teams that kick the tire with Mathews.