Jerry Jones: DeMarco Murray could have reduced workload if he returns

0:49 | NFL
Jerry Jones: DeMarco Murray could have reduced workload if he returns
Sunday February 22nd, 2015

DeMarco Murray may not bear the workload the running back carried for the Cowboys during the 2014 season if he returns to the team next year, Dallas owner and general manager Jerry Jones said, according to Todd Archer of

"I don't think we would go into a season now with Murray thinking that he was going to have the load that he had last year," Jones said. "I don't believe we would."

Murray set a record for Dallas with 392 rushes and 1,845 yards last season, leading the league with almost 500 yards more than runner-up Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He tied with Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch for a league-best 13 rushing touchdowns.

DeMarco Murray, Mark Ingram headline free-agent running backs

Murray's 2014 numbers also exceeded his previous career bests of 217 carries and 1,121 yards, set in 2013.  The 27-year-old carried 44 times for 198 yards in the Cowboys' two postseason games.

Jones has admitted that re-signing Murray will be expensive, saying that bringing back both Murray and wide receiver Dez Bryant might be financially unreasonable.

The Dallas owner reasoned that reducing the workload of a player as expensive Murray might have long-term benefits.

"...[You] want to point to playoffs and you have a back like that, OK would you like to maybe saving for some playoff runs?" Jones said. "Down near the end of the season, you're saving for some playoffs. Let's lighten his load a little bit. Does that make any sense? Of course it does."

Murray, in his fourth year last season, rushed 24 times or more in nine of Dallas' 18 games. In those games, the Cowboys were 8-1, the only loss coming against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional round.

Last year, Murray earned his first appearance in the Pro Bowl, was named a first team AP All-Pro and won NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Report: Cam Newton, Panthers talking contract extension

Murray said earlier this month that he wanted to stay in Dallas and would re-sign if he felt the Cowboys gave him the opportunity to win a championship.

- Christopher Woody
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.