The Dallas Cowboys could soon have DeMarco Murray back, with rumors swirling that the running back is unhappy with the Philadelphia Eagles and is angling for a trade.
Murray’s performance suffered a sharp drop in 2015, as he struggled in the Eagles’ offense and reportedly even sought out owner Jeffrey Laurie to air his grievances about coach Chip Kelly. Many believed that the move to fire Kelly was in part to placate Murray — and other players who had raised concerns privately — but now it appears that won’t be enough to keep Murray is Philadelphia.
Rumors circulated this week that DeMarco Murray is asking for a trade, and the Dallas Cowboys have emerged as one likely destination. The Cowboys were unable to replace Murray’s production with the tandem of Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden, and could look to strengthen their offense to make a title run within Tony Romo’s closing window as an upper-tier quarterback.
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) February 26, 2016
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 26, 2016
But there are some problems with the rumors. As CBS Sports noted, Philadelphia would have to take a $13 million dead money cap hit and would have to come to terms with a divisional rival on a deal where they most likely won’t come out ahead.
Pro Football Talk also questioned just how badly DeMarco Murray would want a trade, and whether he would be willing to lose money to return to the Dallas Cowboys.
“But the question is this: Just how unhappy is Murray? Unhappy enough that he’d take less money to play elsewhere? Because if he’s not that unhappy, a trade probably isn’t going to happen. The five-year,t $40 million contract Murray signed last year calls for him to make a $7 million base salary this season, which it may be hard to convince any team to pay. And trading Murray would give the Eagles a $13 million dead cap hit this season, which means the Eagles aren’t going to be eager to make a move.”
The rumors of a possible trade back to the Dallas Cowboys come just a few weeks after DeMarco Murray had publicly expressed his commitment to the Philadelphia Eagles. When asked if he was trying to find a way out of Philly, Murray was adamant that he was not.
“No. I’m signed there for the next four years. I don’t know where that story is coming from,” Murray said on PFT Live, via Philly.com. “It’s a little crazy. Every week I feel like there’s something new. It’s a little weird. I can’t worry about what people are saying. I’ll just continue to work hard. I’m signed for four years and I’m committed.”
Sources say the Eagles are now listening to offers for Murray, but it’s not clear yet what kind of return they may be seeking. Murray still has four years left on the $40 million deal he signed last year and is due a $7 million base salary in 2016.
Many think the chances are remote that Murray will end up on another team next year.
“Coming off a problematic campaign that saw the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year rush for just 702 yards — with a career-low 3.6 yards per carry — Murray won’t entice a team to swing a monster trade for his services,” Mark Sessler of NFL.com wrote. Anything could happen here, though, including Murray forced to play another year in Philly.
Whatever the Eagles decide, it may be up to Murray to make it happen. Ian Rapoport reported that the Eagles are leaving it up to Murray and his agent to facilitate a trade.
There are other rumors that point to the Dallas Cowboys. DeMarco Murray is building a home in the Dallas area, and the team, with its league-best offensive line, is a perfect fit for Murray’s strengths and his bruising running style.
[Picture by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]