More than a year and a half has passed since running back DeMarco Murray left the Dallas Cowboys in free agency to take a huge contract offer from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboysâ€™ official website broke the news on March 12, 2015, so right around a year and eight months since the move that nearly shook up the NFC East and the entire NFL.
Just one season removed from breaking the teamâ€™s single-season rushing record, the Cowboys chose to let Murray walk. He accepted a five-year, $42 million deal with more than $21 million guaranteed. Now, itâ€™s safe to say that the Cowboys made the right move.
Actually, things are working out pretty excellent for both sides. For the Cowboys, itâ€™s the world where rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is dominating everything from headlines to opposing defenses. The 21-year-old back is leading the league in rushing with 891 yards, ahead of, you guessed it, Murray himself. The former Cowboy has 807 yards, and thereâ€™s no reason why any Cowboys fan should have any ill-will toward him.
The Cowboys made the right move choosing not to match the huge contract offer that Murray was handed, while Murray was fortunate enough to be traded out of Philadelphia after one season, and is now rolling for the Tennessee Titans. But why now, after a season and a half of actual football,Â is it the time when the Cowboys can officially say they made the right move? As opposed to when they drafted Elliott, or after his first 100-yard rushing game?
Itâ€™s because Elliott is not only a star, but heâ€™s consistent and reliable as well. Heâ€™s the future, and if the Cowboys had chosen to sign on to keep Murray, then theyâ€™d have to begin looking for another back in the next season or two.
For many positions in the NFL, age is just a number. For running backs, age is often the only number that matters. In February, Murray will turn 29, which means he has one more season before hitting that dreaded age of 30. Now, instead of having to plan for the future, Dallas has a two-headed rookie monster in their backfield, complete with Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. Most importantly, Elliott has proven to be one of the most consistent runners in the league, totaling those 891 yards in just eight games, while averaging five yards per carry as well.
Murrayâ€™s been great, Elliottâ€™s been a bit better, and the Cowboys are poised for an incredibly bright future. Itâ€™s hard to deny that while fans hated to see Murray leave, especially when he left for the Eagles, things are turning out just fine for the team. The Cowboys have a star whoâ€™s only 21Â but is running wild against opposing defenses like a three or four-year veteran would do.
Lastly, letâ€™s not forget that Dallas is also 7-1 currently and look a whole lot like the class of the NFC. If not for the addition of Elliott, itâ€™s unknown if anything would be going like it has. Maybe Prescott wouldnâ€™t have this same level of success, and the Cowboys wouldnâ€™t be 7-1. Thatâ€™s all irrelevant, though, because the future for the Cowboys is now, and itâ€™s a bright one.