DeMarco Murray aims for winning over records
PHILADELPHIA (AP) DeMarco Murray's critics are everywhere.
The guy he replaced says he's not that great. One of the players trying to replace him says he should've been better during a record-setting season. Some analysts say his 2014 performance was a fluke.
The All-Pro running back ignores it all.
''If you're doing something good, there's always going to be critics,'' Murray said. ''I don't look at it as hatred or someone saying anything bad. I just really don't pay attention to it whether it's good or negative. I just work hard and try to improve as much as I can.''
Murray is ready to make his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night at Atlanta. He is coming off an outstanding season in Dallas in which he helped the Cowboys win the NFC East title, broke Emmitt Smith's franchise record with a league-leading 1,845 yards rushing, and also set an NFL record with eight straight 100-yard games to open the season.
But the Cowboys didn't reward him with a deal he wanted so the Eagles lured him away with a $42 million, five-year contract in free agency. The Eagles already had signed 2011 Pro Bowl pick Ryan Mathews and had the versatile Darren Sproles when Murray decided to join a crowded backfield.
''It's all about winning,'' Murray said. ''At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how you get it accomplished. For me, it's always been about winning, whether it's high school, college or the pro level.
''Obviously you're a competitor and you want to go out there and lead the group and you want to work as hard as you can work, but the only thing that matters is wins, not yards, not records, none of that stuff.''
Murray doesn't have to carry the workload the way he did in Dallas. Murray, Mathews and Sproles give Chip Kelly plenty of options in his up-tempo offense. LeSean McCoy had his best season playing for Kelly in 2013 when he set a franchise-record for yards rushing. But Kelly traded McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso. McCoy still isn't over it.
''I think Murray's good, but I don't see him as competition as far as the best backs,'' McCoy said in an interview with GQ Magazine.
Murray's response: ''At some point, you've got to move on with your life and career.''
Joseph Randle, Murray's backup in Dallas, said he should have had more yards rushing but left ''meat on the bone.'' Others say Murray was a product of an excellent offensive line and his production will decline in Philadelphia. Some point to his 497 touches last year and anticipate a major drop-off.
Not Murray's college coach.
''He's always in great condition and shape,'' Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. ''He works really hard in the offseason and he's stronger and more physical than people give him credit for. He's as strong and physical as anybody I've ever coached and people have now seen that the last couple years.''
Murray is one of Stoops' favorite players. He's a quiet, humble and very private person. In many ways, he's the opposite of the outspoken and flashy McCoy. It's no secret Kelly prefers guys like Murray on his team.
''He's still incredibly confident and he's an incredibly bright person,'' Stoops said. ''He was a great student. He knows what he wants in his life and he knows what matters. He goes about his business very professionally. Even as a younger kid, he did. That's just his makeup.''
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