DeMarco Murray vs Cam Newton: Who Really Deserves to Be the Rookie of the Year

Ryan DuncanContributor IIINovember 24, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 20:  London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins tries to tackle  DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at FedExField on November 20, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Cam Newton had an unprecedented start to his NFL career.  With back-to-back 400 yard passing games to start the season, he quickly became the talk of the NFL.  Newton is what everyone in Carolina hoped he would be.  Amazing work ethic, great attitude, and he can flat out play.  Until recently, most people were ready to just hand him the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.  That is, until DeMarco Murray started making a little noise.

The Cowboys drafted Murray in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft, with a pick that many Cowboys' fans felt should have gone towards the offensive line.  Murray started his NFL career in a back-up role behind Felix Jones, and was expected to have a rotational role.  As the Cowboys stumbled out of the blocks to a 2-3 record, Murray finally got his chance against the St. Louis Rams, rushing for 253 yards and a score.  Fantasy football owners everyone frantically tried to pick the kid from Oklahoma up on their teams, I know, I did too.

Since receiving his opportunity to start, Murray has set the NFL on fire, averaging 157 yards from scrimmage per game.  Most importantly, since named the starter, the Cowboys have gone 4-1, and now seem poised to win their division after a disappointing 2010 season.

DeMarco Murray is far and away the most impressive rookie running back in the NFL this season, but he's No. 9 among all running backs in the NFL.  He leads the NFL with a staggering 6.0 yards per carry.