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Dallas Cowboys News And Notes: Happy Birthday To DeMarco Murray!

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All the news that's fit to link. Today's top storylines: DeMarco Murray continues to be awesome; free agency forecasts; draft profiles; Prime Time Grime.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It seems about the only newsworthy item out there is DeMarco Murray. But that's okay, since Thursday was his birthday. So, we start off today with a pair of stories on the newly-minted 27-year-old.

Maybe DeMarco Murray's birthday isn't coming at a bad time - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Archer graces our inboxes with an insightful piece that puts the "backs fall off after 400-touch seasons" meme in perspective, especially as it pertains to Sean Alexander and Larry Johnson, the last two backs to bust on big contracts signed after high-output seasons. I'll let Todd speak for himself:

In his first four years, Murray has 934 carries for 4,526 yards and 28 touchdowns. Shaun Alexander had 994 carries for 4,241 yards and 46 touchdowns in his first four seasons. In the next three seasons he gained 4,472 yards and scored 50 touchdowns....

...Like Murray, Larry Johnson did not record a 1,000-yard season until his third season. Like Murray, he had a hard time staying healthy early, missing 16 of his first 32 games. He put up back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons in 2005 and ’06 with 752 carries before cashing in and, evidently, cashing out.

But Johnson had 11 games in which he had 30 or more carries in those years. In his back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Murray had three games in which he carried it at least 30 times.

Murray touched by show of support by coaches, teammates ahead of free agency - David Helman, The Mothership

"Tiny Jim" points out that ever since the Cowboys’ season-ending loss to Green Bay on Jan. 11, both Tony  Romo and Jason Garrett have gone out of their way to state Murray’s case for remaining with the team. The question is whether or not any of the Jones boys are within earshot. Well, there's this:

Romo told ESPN Radio that he is "consistently" badgering team owner/general manager Jerry Jones about re-signing both Murray and Bryant.

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Cowboys free-agency debate: Rolando McClain - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Archer's series on the myriad unsigned Cowboys continues. Here, he opines on Number 55's future in Dallas:

It is difficult to come up with a comparison for McClain to figure out the right price because of his time away from the game. As good as he was in 2014, he did not play well in his time with the Raiders. Would a team be willing to pay a huge price for him based on the 12 starts in 2014 or be wary of doing it based on the full body of work? There are quirks that come with McClain that should help the Cowboys keep him because they know him best and Jason Garrett has the Nick Saban seal of approval....A shorter-term deal with incentives to give the club some protection might be the best way to go.

Cowboys free-agency debate: Lance Dunbar - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

And Todzilla's verdict on Dunbar:

As an undrafted free agent, he is looking at the low tender worth $1.5 million, which would not net the Cowboys any compensation if he were to leave, but why would a team come after him? There is a thought that the Cowboys might not tender him at all and give him a smaller one-year deal....But with the uncertainty at the position with Murray’s impending free agency and Randle’s off-field troubles, they might want to make sure they keep [Dunbar] around for another year as insurance.

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2015 draft profile: what I see in Hau'oli Kakaha, LB, Washington - Bob Sturm, DMN

The Sturminator's draft profile series continues with a look at the Huskies explosive edge rusher. Here's the good:

He has played in 27 games in the last 2 seasons and accumulated 32 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss.  Those 72.5 explosive plays are so productive in 2 seasons in a major conference it makes one take notice of what he is capable of.  He causes chaos behind the line of scrimmage on a regular and routine basis.

and the not-as-good:

it seems he might not hold up well against the run if you try to play him at DE and therefore his scheme destination is going to be key.  He may not be a guy who can play ever down and therefore, if you add his limited role to his questionable medical history, now you see why people are trying to figure out where he fits in this big conversation.

That ridiculous production sure is intriguing...

Defensive ends in this year's draft who could improve Cowboys' pass rush - Jon Machota, DMN

Machota's offseason series on potential draftees continues with a look at pass rushers. Here's a name we've heard before, and are likely to keep on hearing until draft day:

1. Bud Dupree, Kentucky. In 47 career games, the 6-4, 264-pound end recorded 23.5 sacks and 247 tackles. He had a sack and 15 tackles in a November loss to Tennessee.

Expert’s take: "Dupree was a tight end conversion in college and just looks like that type of electric player who should get you very excited to join your side. I wonder if his Senior Bowl opt out might get him intoDallas’ neighborhood. If so, that is an exciting possibility to consider, opposite DeMarcus Lawrence." – Bob Sturm, SportsDayDFW.com

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The Miseducation of Deion Sanders - Calen Hannan, Deadspin.com

In a detailed longform piece, Hannan regales us with the sordid tale of Sander's failed Prime Prep, and the man's general, well, fakeness. Here, Hannan was asked to back up and ask a fake question again, for Prime's show on the Oprah Network:

The guy who swears everyone has the wrong impression of him based on the image they get from TV; who dreamed up that image and was then responsible for its maintenance for decades; and who swears his show is different because it isn't staged now has a proxy asking me to return to my mark and tighten up my questions so that they can advance the plot. Of his show. Which isn't staged.

Talented dude, that Prime. Not much real about him, though...never was.