Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Running back DeMarco Murray has been great for the Dallas Cowboys when he has been on the field. The problem is that he has missed a significant amount of time in his three-year career, averaging just over 12 games per season.
Murray is a great all-around back, and last season may have been a preview of great things to come for the 26-year-old. He had 1,471 total yards and 10 combined touchdowns in 14 games last season, a season in which he averaged 5.2 yards per carry and caught 53 passes.
Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated him the eighth-best running back in the league last season, and he got there by rating positively in all aspects of his game. He was also among the league leaders in yards after contact per carry.
Was 2013 a harbinger or an aberration? We will certainly find out in 2014. Unfortunately, it may not matter.
The running back position has taken quite a tumble in value, as we saw this past offseason, when the best running back in free agency—Ben Tate—got a measly two-year, $6.2 million deal. Things can change dramatically from one year to the next, but Murray may be headed for a hostile market.
It won't help if he misses more time this season, adding to his reputation as a bit of a fragile back.