Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says the team’s running game is better than it was last season, despite losing NFL rushing leader and All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray in free agency.
The Cowboys had the league’s second-ranked rushing offense last season and had two offensive lineman earn AP All-Pro first-team honors, which helped Murray lead the NFL and set a franchise single-season record with 1,845 rushing yards.
“We’re better,” Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “Murray certainly is in that thought, but what we’ve got a chance to do with our depth, what we’ve got a chance to do with the talent, the competition that we have, and I’m assuming that we can protect [Tony] Romo, which standing here last year, the concerns about his surgeries were more so than today.”
Murray, the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, signed a 5-year, $42 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in March. The Cowboys have Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams on the roster at running back and could add more before the season starts.
“They’re competing right now, and it’s going to be a great competition," quarterback Tony Romo said on a Dallas radio station. "One thing you love to have is competition on your football team. It just brings the best players to the front."
Romo, who led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per passing attempt and quarterback rating, says it's possible that the team will use multiple players to fill the role at running back after Murray's departure.
"It’ll be fun to watch these guys get after it and compete," he said. "Someone will win that job and they’ll have a good year."
- Scooby Axson