After the Game on Sunday, someone stated that it would be cool to go back to draft day and find some video and other things on DeMarco Murray and see what people were saying about him. Well, no one went back and did that, so I have taken it upon myself to take us back in time Pre-Rams and give us all a look at who DeMarco Murray is as a player. So who is DeMarco Murray? Let's find out.
First to get the obvious out of the way, DeMarco Murray is the current record holder for all-purpose yards AND career touchdowns for Oklahoma University. Just from that we can derive that he never was a one year wonder, but a consistent performer. What makes that even more unique, is that he has those records and came into the NFL Draft with people commonly stating this about him:
The fact that he was able to achieve those records with durability concerns is something of itself and tells you what kind of impact this guy has on the field. However, PFW is a little off in their analysis because all of his "durability concerns" were up until his senior season, where he played injury free for the entire year. A lot of that DeMarco credits to his new workout regime, which we shall discuss a little bit later.
Right now lets get to draft day and see what people were saying about him. So here is his NFL Films Draft Profile that you can find on NFL Network and will tell you what DeMarco Murray was expected to bring into the NFL. You will see some college highlights as well as a discussion of his performance at the NFL Combine.
Here you will be able to Relive the Dallas Cowboys 3rd Round Pick and what my favorite draft analyst, Mike Mayock has to say about DeMarco Murray after the selection was made. He will tell you how he fits in with the Cowboys system and what he should be able to provide.
Now for my favorite thing about DeMarco Murray. I discussed that prior to his Senior Season at OU, he engaged in a new training regimen. He wanted to get into this for more than one reason, but one of them was to help prevent injury and kind of see if he could erase that from the concerns from people. I would say it worked because he had a clean bill of health during his senior year. This new training regimen is MMA training. Murray has actually received many endorsements and support from the UFC. He actually even received support from the UFC to get be the cover athlete for NCAA Football 12. Now, many athletes in the NFL have actually started on this and you can see the segment from NFL Network here titled The MMA Way. You don't get much of a chance to see DeMarco in that video, however you do get to see some of the big name athletes that use the same training, like Clay Matthews, and what it does for them and that each workout is position specific. But now lets take a look at DeMarco Murray in the MMA Training environment here:
I think many of us have noticed exactly how huge this guy is without the pads on. This guy is practically solid muscle, well, now you know one of the reasons why. One of the most remarkable things to take from this video is the fact that Jay Glazer says that Murray is the first player to come in to train BEFORE the NFL Draft in preparation to enter the NFL. This would also explain probably why he is regarded as one of the best pass blocking backs to come out of college football. The guy may be an offensive player, but based on this, he knows how to deliver a knockout blow.
Now, we all saw him running over folks during the Rams game, and yes, it was the Rams. However, after watching all of these other videos, lets take a look at Murray's highlights vs. St. Louis. You will be able to see where some of that MMA training comes into play, especially when he runs over a guy at the 6:28 Mark when he runs over a rams defender and breaks his second 40+ yarder of the day. Although you will see that MMA training in action throughout the video.
So in closing, it is nice to know that we may actually have a featured back in our system. I have been saying for a while with this new trend in the NFL of having multiple running backs that you need to have a featured guy that can tote the rock for at least 20 carries a game. Definitely not this three back system with 10 carries for each back like we have been used to seeing. A back needs to be able to be comfortable in the backfield and develop some chemistry with his offensive line and know how to run behind them. So having a featured back is essential, then maybe 10 carries for your #2 guy and 5 for the 3rd guy, something along those lines. We shall see going forward how they divide the carries, but one guy needs to have a majority of the load.
All of that aside, I think we can answer the question that was asked at the beginning of this post. Who is DeMarco Murray? A beast? You could probably say that. A hero? Let's not jump the gun yet after one game, but if he continues to perform in a way that makes our running attack dangerous and take pressure off of Romo, he very well could be labeled that in the future. So what exactly is DeMarco Murray? Well, most of all, he is a Cowboy, a Dallas Cowboy. That is who DeMarco Murray is. And we are all glad that he is, especially if he can remain consistent and continue to have the kind of production that we have seen from him so far.