City Sports Report

Dez Bryant vs DeMarco Murray Is An Easy Choice For Jerry Jones

Dez throwing up the Roc for Roc Nation Sports after a touchdown (photo courtesy of

The feeling around the NFL before the 2014 season was that the Cowboys were in for another rough season. The defense lost their best two players (Sean Lee was tore his ACL before the season and Demarcus Ware left for Denver after he was released by the team) and the offense was too dependent on the talents of quarterback Tony Romo. Many believed they would not even make it to 8-8 again. And after the first game, many felt that 8-8 may not even be a possibility. But the Cowboys instead took that loss and turned it into a rallying cry for the team. The Cowboys would go on to win the NFC East and make the playoffs with a 12-4 record, including a stellar 8-0 record on the road. But after a controversial win over the Detroit Lions in the playoffs, the Cowboys fell to the Packers on the heels of a controversial play. The run is over for the Cowboys, but the decisions going forward only get tougher. The first order of business has already been handled. Head coach Jason Garrett agreed to a new five-year deal to stay with the team while defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli decided to sign a three-year deal to stay with the team. And while they lost a key cog of their offensive coaching staff, Bill Callahan, to the rival Redskins, the coaching staff is pretty stable. But then there is the matter of the offense. Wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray are up for new contracts. And recently, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has admitted that he cannot sign both of them. So, the choice has been laid out there. But honestly, the choice is very easy. The Cowboys should sign Dez first and foremost.

Bryant was drafted to be a number one receiver by the Cowboys in the 2010 draft. And progressively over time, he has lived up to that expectation. He has put up three straight seasons of 1200+ yards receiving and double-digit touchdown receptions. And he has been doing this for the past few years despite the double-coverage that he has received. Without him in their offense, the Cowboys would not have a passing attack that struck fear in people. Jason Witten, although still effective, is not the player he once was and is nearing the end of his career. Terrance Williams is a good secondary receiver, but he does what he does based off the coverage being geared toward Bryant. The passing game revolves around him, so if the Cowboys allow him to leave in free agency, they could seriously regress. DeMarco Murray is definitely a huge weapon in this offense, but he is not as needed as it would seem. The real success came from the offensive line that he had in front of him. And you could really say that Murray benefited from having a great offensive line. With Murray gone, the Cowboys could either get a lower-priced free agent, draft another running back or go with one of the younger backs in their system already. In essence, the Murray loss would nothing but a blip on the radar screen if he is to sign somewhere else.

Another reason Dez would be the better signing is his durability. Ever since the Cowboys drafted Bryant, he has only missed five games in his career due to injury. But for the most part, healthy or not, the Cowboys have been able to count on Bryant being on the field every game. And when you are going to give someone a big contract, you want to ensure that the player is on the field. Dez Bryant has proven that he will be out there with or without the money. In the case of DeMarco Murray, the same cannot be said. He has been injured for the majority of his young career. He had a career year, but this was also the first year he was able to stay healthy. And with a running back, you don’t want to put all your money into a guy that stays injured. And also another thing to think about with Murray is his age. He is only 26, but as he creeps closer to 30, his body will wear down even more than it already has. Think about how bad a shape he could be in when he has already missed eight games in only four seasons. The risk you also have to weigh with giving Murray a big deal to stay is the career-year factor. It was his contract year and this is the first time he actually made it through an entire year. The Cowboys have to think whether that is coincidence or if that is his new norm once he receives his money. More than likely, it was just Murray in a contact year.

With the salary cap in the NFL and the need for not wasting money, the obvious answer for Jerry Jones is to keep Dez Bryant. There is no replacing a dominating #1 wide receiver. But there is a way to replace a running back like DeMarco Murray. The offensive line, no matter who is running the football, will make holes for whoever is back there and make them look great as well. The choice is yours Jerry but this one should be easy for you.

For more sports talk, feel free to check me contact me via Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .


  1. ASR

    January 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I’d sign Dez, running backs are easier to find than #1 wr’s. IMO

  2. Lee Love

    January 17, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Good write up and I’m in agreement Cowboys should sign Dez first.

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