"I think it will be a competitive situation," Del Rio said.
Del Rio likes Richardson's potential.
"What I saw when we brought him in and talked to him was a young man that was hungry to kind of leave that portion of his career behind him and start fresh," Del Rio said. "My challenge to him was, 'Look, I don't want you to worry about anything other than coming in here and competing your butt off every day. Come in here and be a great teammate. Come in here and find a role on special teams. Come in here and just grind every day with the hunger you had as a freshman at Alabama.'"
We fully expect Murray to win the job, though it is concerning that the Raiders aggressively pursued DeMarco Murray. It indicates that they aren't fully ready to move forward with Latavius Murray, even though he rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. We don't see Richardson as much of a threat, but teams have force-fed him before. Roy Helu is also in the mix, so if the Raiders don't commit to Murray, this could devolve into an ugly committee.
This is actually good news for Latavius Murray, since Richardson isn't a real threat to Murray's chances of winning the RB1 job in Oakland. The team went hard after DeMarco Murray but ended up with T-Rich. There's an opportunity for a joke here, but we're going to let it pass. The team also signed Roy Helu, who should serve as the third down back.
It's reportedly a 3-year, $12M deal. Philadelphia would have been a good landing spot for Mathews before the team agreed to terms with DeMarco Murray. The Eagles ran the ball a lot more than the Chargers did, but they'll be hard-pressed to find enough carries for Mathews to allow him to maintain his RB2 value from his days in San Diego. The signing is also a downgrade for Murray, whose workload is surely to take a hit from the 449 touches he saw in 2014.
Murray will get $42 million over five years, including $21 million in guaranteed money, per reports.
Although the Cowboys said they wanted Murray to return, they never came close to meeting his contract demands, citing the diminished value of the running back and the decline in production as they get older.
Murray had a career year in his fourth season, racking up 2,261 total yards and 13 touchdowns on 449 touches. He should get plenty of work in Philadelphia, though the signing of Ryan Mathews and the presence of Darren Sproles indicate that he won’t approach 450 touches in 2015. LeSean McCoy averaged 353 touches over the past two seasons, so that’s probably Murray’s best-case scenario if everyone stays healthy. He’ll hold low-end RB1 value, though the presence of Mathews and Sproles may make that a stretch.
Dallas Cowboys running back and Wichita native Joseph Randle was arrested in Wichita early this morning, police said. Randle was arrested after police responded to a domestic violence call in the 700 block of South Main at about 3:00 a.m.
Police said a 22-year-old woman reported she and Randle were arguing in a hotel room. Officers found marijuana in the room, and arrested Randle on a drug charge.
Randle's offseason is not off to a good start. There was an outside chance that he would take over as the starter in Dallas if the team couldn't come to terms with DeMarco Murray, but that's looking like a serious long shot after this arrest.
"The knee is close to 100 percent," Bell said. "I'm probably about 85-90 percent, been able to run on it a little bit. So I'm getting back to work out a little."
Bell was the #2 RB (behind DeMarco Murray) in 2014, and held the #3 PPG in standard formats. He was #1 in both categories in PPR formats. He's a shoo-in to have a first round ADP in 2015 fantasy drafts.
Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:47pm
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 19. Murray accounted for 55% of his team’s touches versus Detroit last week. He accounted for 53.7% of the Cowboys’ touches during the season, so it doesn’t appear that the hand is limiting his workload at all.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray hasn’t suffered any setbacks with his surgically-repaired left hand. The NFL’s rushing leader doesn’t expect to do anything different when he prepares for Sunday’s game in Green Bay. He’ll use the same padded glove he’s used the previous three games.
“It’s been good,” Murray said Thursday. “It’s a lot better than any other injury I’ve had. It’s not bad. I’m blessed.”
“I’ve worn the same thing, because it feels comfortable for me. I haven’t changed anything. I’m not going to change anything now, because it’s working for me.”
Has Murray’s hand been a factor in terms of his workload the last couple of weeks?
“No, it really hasn’t,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said. “If practice is any indicator of how the game is going to get played out, he’s certainly proven that. When he goes to practice he’s catching it, he’s running it, he’s doing everything he needs to do as a back, so I don’t think there’s any hesitancy whatsoever on our part or his part, putting him in there whether it’s protection or whether it’s in the passing game as a receiver, or we’re just running the ball.”
Murray saw 22 touches against the Lions in the Wild Card round, which accounted for 55 percent of his team's touches. On the season, he has handled 53.7 percent of the Cowboys' total touches. Even though his raw touches were down against Detroit, that was more about the opponent than how OC Scott Linehan was calling the game. Expect another big workload against Green Bay this week.
Friday, January 2, 2015, 5:04pm
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 18. It’s a tough matchup, but Murray should be a good start due to his league-leading 28.1 touches per game.
Ndamukong Suh won his appeal; now allowed to play vs. Dallas.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand, illness, probable) returned to take full practice reps Friday after missing practice Thursday and is probable for Week 17. Murray may play a lot against Washington on Sunday. Both Jerry Jones and HC Jason Garrett have made it clear that they intend to play to win the game, though Jones did leave the door open to rest starters as the game wears on.
Running back Mark Ingram is wrapping up the final year of his contract with the team and preparing to head into free agency after his best NFL season. Ingram missed three games early in the season, but has since held up well under a heavy workload caused by injuries other backs. Ingram has set career highs in attempts, yards, receptions and touchdowns and thinks he’s sold himself well in the process.
“Yeah, I think that’s a good thing, seeing that I could carry the ball and be out there doing whatever they ask me to do for a stretch of time and be healthy,” Ingram said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Running backs have not found a friendly market in free agency in recent years, so Ingram will have to buck that trend to land a big contract. That will be tough in a year when DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, C.J. Spiller and Frank Gore are also set to make up a crowded free agent market at the position, but coming off his best pro season shouldn’t hurt when it comes time for Ingram to talk contract.
Ingram's 75.6 rushing yards per game are the 7th-highest this season. He's not going to land a big contract due to how the position has been devalued in recent years, but he should be able to match the three-year, $10.5 million that Toby Gerhart got in Jacksonville. If Ingram leaves, Khiry Robinson figures to take over the role as the team's primary between-the-tackles runner. Robinson is signed through the 2015 season.
"When you know your team is going a different direction and the thought is that it's going to be better for the football team, it's easy to buy into that but as the season unfolds there's tough times in there," Witten said. "You don't have as many opportunities. You take on a different role. You embrace that and buy into that. You still play a critical role in doing things, setting the edge in the run game, and being a complete tight end but at different times, it is hard."
In the last two weeks Witten has been a focal point through the air. He has caught 14 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. He had a season-high 90 yards on seven catches against the Colts that included a 25-yard touchdown. On the opposite end of that, Witten has five games with two or fewer catches this season. The last time he had that many came in 2005, his third year in the league. His 14-catch run in the last two games is his best two-game total since Week 12-13 in 2012 when he caught 15 passes for 182 yards against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
DeMarco Murray's workload may be limited somewhat to avoid hits on that left hand. He should be able to run to the right effectively, though his stiff-arm in either direction may not be available. When he runs to the left, he may have to carry the ball in his right hand, increasing the likelihood of a fumble. The defense will certainly be aware of his injury and try to force a fumble. The Cowboys would be wise to utilize Joseph Randle a bit more in the running game and especially Lance Dunbar in the passing game since Murray's ability to catch the ball may be somewhat limited. But if he's active, he's pretty much a must-start given his production this season and the favorable matchup against Indianapolis (#21 in RB aFPA).
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