DeMarco Murray NFL Stats
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DeMarco Murray NFL Game Log
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(Compared to other RBs)
Free Agent Team Injury Report
Expectations were fairly low for Murray in Tennessee after a disastrous 2015 with Philadelphia, especially after the Titans used a second-round pick on Derrick Henry, but it turns out the problem was Chip Kelly's use of Murray and not any issue with the back himself. On a per-play basis his numbers looked very similar to his massive 2014 performance with Dallas, minus 100 touches or so, and he displayed his versatile skill set by producing top-10 finishes among running backs in such diverse areas as rushing yards, red-zone carries, targets, receptions and total yards after contact. Murray also stayed on the field for all 16 games for just the second time in his career, although having Henry on hand to ease Murray's workload certainly helped on that front. Heading into his seventh NFL season, he still has the burst and power to blow through holes, the balance and speed to pick up yards in the open field and the pass-catching ability to stay on the field in all situations -- a rare mix as the modern game increasingly trends towards specialization in the backfield. With Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense continuing to improve around him, Murray may see his touches reduced even further as offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie opens things up, but he should remain among the most productive backs in the league.
If you believe in running-back regression after a heavy workload, enjoy your victory lap on Murray. After a monster 2014 season with Dallas (where he led all backs in carries, an insane 392, along with rushing yards and rushing touchdowns), he crashed to a horrendous 2015 in Philadelphia. His YPC dropped by over a yard, and his volume disintegrated, too. Murray battled dings like any running back, but it wasn't a matter of missing action — he made it to 15 games. Perhaps we can make excuses for Murray — most of the Eagles were a horror show last year, especially on offense. Chip Kelly got fired for a reason. Philadelphia dealt Murray to the Titans in March, and his deal was quickly reworked. The plan is for Murray to take a stab at being Tennessee's bell cow, though the Titans also drafted rookie RB Derrick Henry in the second round. At his best, Murray can be a difference maker. He has the ability to run everything you want, inside and out, and he's an excellent receiver. And although he's been dinged for durability issues, he's made it through 31 of the last 32 games. The arrow on the Titans offense is pointed up. Marcus Mariota had an exciting, promising rookie year and could probably be used more as a running threat this year. No one is chasing Murray's monster 2014 season, but we know he's a much better player than we saw last year.
Everything came together last season for Murray, who led the league in rushing by nearly 500 yards over the next closest back. After missing 11 games his first three seasons due to various injuries, he played a full 16-game campaign last year, and the Cowboys' investment of three recent first-round picks on the offensive line translated into possibly the best run-blocking unit in the league. Murray's breakthrough wasn't just a product of better health and a better system, however. An excellent athlete with elite burst and great receiving skills, Murray took advantage of the holes being opened for him, and his 67 missed or broken tackles placed him second in the league behind only Marshawn Lynch, though that total was due as much to volume (an eye-popping 449 touches) as his own talent. In fact, the only blemish on Murray's 2014 ledger was his ongoing ball-security issues. He left Dallas in free agency, and while Philadelphia's offensive line doesn't have quite the draft pedigree of the Cowboys', it's still one of the league's top units. He'll have more competition for snaps than he did in Dallas, but Murray is still the unquestioned starter in a potent offense, and a less monstrous workload could even help him stay healthy for a second straight season.
The good news: Murray had his healthiest NFL campaign last year, setting career highs in practically every rushing and receiving category while posting the highest YPC (5.2) in the league among players with more than 200 carries. The bad news: He still missed two games with a knee ailment and has now sat out 11 games over his three seasons in the league.
That said, Murray did enter the offseason healthy, and there are currently no indications that the 6-foot, 219-pound bruiser – fifth in the league in broken tackles with 35 last year despite the missed time – will enter training camp in anything short of full health. So there's nothing aside from Murray's physical, high-risk running style to say that he won't play all 16 for the first time this year.
Murray's team context is a good one for fantasy owners – the Cowboys have a decent pass game (which targeted Murray 66 times last year), a much-improved offensive line (further boosted by the addition of first-round draftee Zack Martin) and no serious competition for carries either in the middle of the field or at the goal line. Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar certainly don't look like impact NFL players at this point, and the Cowboys seemed happy to give Murray 15 carries inside the five last year.
If Murray can stay on the field, he certainly has the strength and the straight-line speed to end up among the NFL's top five rushers.
Murray was derailed by injuries again last year, missing six games with a sprained foot. He's battled various maladies since his college days at Oklahoma and has now missed nine games in two NFL seasons – and missed most of May minicamp with a hamstring injury.
If Murray could stay healthy for a full season, the versatile back has the skills – a powerful, slashing running style, great speed (4.41 40) and good hands out of the backfield (35 receptions on 42 targets) – to be one of the position's top producers. His environment could use some improvement, however – the Cowboys had a below-average offensive line last season, and the defense often forced the team to play from behind. Moreover, Murray saw only eight carries from inside the 10 (33rd) and five from inside the five (T-29th).
Heading into 2013, Murray has the starting job all to himself – Felix Jones is in Philadelphia, leaving only rookie Joseph Randle as the primary backup.
Murray had an impressive rookie campaign, including a signature performance in Week 7, when he ran for 253 yards (the ninth most by anyone in NFL history and the second most by a rookie ever) against the Rams, including a season-high 91-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the game. Murray had totaled just 25 carries up until then, so he took full advantage of his first real opportunity. It started a six-game stretch in which he totaled a whopping 915 yards before his season ended due to a broken right ankle in Week 14. Murray finished with just two touchdowns, but he got an impressive 5.5 YPC and established himself as the team’s lead back over Felix Jones, who continues to prove he works best in a change-of-pace role. Murray is something of a risk, being so unproven and coming off a serious injury, but he’s displayed explosiveness and is in what projects to be a potent offense, with Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as weapons. As the lead back who’s a dangerous receiver and the team’s best option at the goal line, Murray has a lot of upside.
The Cowboys used their third-round pick to select Murray, who should immediately compete with Tashard Choice to back up Felix Jones. Murray ran an impressive 4.41 40 at the Combine, and his selection ended Marion Barber’s career in Dallas. Murray’s collegiate stats didn’t overwhelm at Oklahoma, but he could make an impact as a rookie if Felix Jones were to get hurt or show no improvement over his performance last season. The most likely outcome is a shared backfield in Dallas, and it may even become a three-headed monster, effectively ruining every back’s fantasy value.