The Dallas Cowboys for several weeks have faced rumors that they will part ways with impending free agent DeMarco Murray, but one league expert thinks the running back might actually be able to come back to the team at a discount.
The Cowboys are facing an offseason quandary, with both Murray and wide receiver Dez Bryant hitting free agency at the same time. Conventional wisdom said that the Cowboys would only be able to afford one of them, with most indications pointing toward signing Bryant and letting Murray walk.
But MMQB writer Andrew Brandt, a former Packers vice president and player agent, believes that DeMarco Murray may have actually driven his own value down by having such a productive season. Brandt said Murray will likely find lower interest for his services than previously thought, which could pave the way for a return to Dallas.
“DeMarco Murray, after shopping his services to a lukewarm marketplace, returns to the Cowboys for a team-friendly contract. As I have often noted, Murray’s strong production may have actually hurt his contract value, with teams more focused on future rather than past performance. Indeed, free-agent running backs with fewer carries may actually procure better contracts. As for the Cowboys, they have clearly prioritized Dez Bryant ahead of Murray all along.”
Some other rumors surrounding the Dallas Cowboys may point to a return for Murray. The team was reportedly interested in bringing Texas native Adrian Peterson over to replace Murray, but it now seems increasingly likely that Peterson stays in Minnesota.
The Vikings’ new chief operating officer, Kevin Warren, said the team wants Peterson back as an important part of the team going forward.
“I think I’ve made it very clear how I personally feel about Adrian, how our organization feels about him,” Warren said this week.
“(Vikings president) Mark Wilf made it very clear yesterday… Last year was a complicated year, at various levels, but once Adrian gets all of his items resolved with the NFL, is free to play again and rejoin our franchise, I think it’s good for Adrian. It’d be good for us, it’d be good for all the Vikings fans, it’d be good for our community and it’d be good for the NFL.”
The Dallas Cowboys may also try to lock DeMarco Murray down before he even hits free agency. Both Murray and the Cowboys have expressed commitment to making a deal, but the clock is now ticking. Barring a contract extension, Murray would hit free agency on March 10.