News: DC.COM: Camp Preview: Murray Now Front & Center At RB Position

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Nick Eatman Staff Writer

    With training camp right around the corner, is taking a look at the outlook of each position group for the home team in a seven-part series, continuing Tuesday with the Running Backs.

    Big Issue: There isn’t much of a question in terms of personnel or the depth chart after the emergence of DeMarco Murray[​IMG] last season and his overtaking of the starting job from Felix Jones[​IMG]. The biggest question now centers on Murray and his ability to take his game to that next level. Is he a good running back who has the ability to produce a big game here and there, or is he ready to become one of the NFL’s next great tailbacks? That will likely hinge on Murray staying healthy, which was another question mark for him when he entered the league last year. In fact, it’s still a concern after he started the 2011 season with a hamstring injury and then missed the last month of the schedule with a broken ankle. In between those two injuries, Murray was just short of phenomenal, even setting the Cowboys’ single-game rushing record with 253 yards against the Rams. Murray also did a nice job of closing games out with tough running yards against Miami and Washington.

    Scouting Department
    This is a different offense with DeMarco Murray as the starter as opposed to Felix Jones. Murray doesn’t have the burst of Jones but he has better vision and feel for how to get through holes when plays are not blocked clean. Last season Murray was paired with fullback Tony Fiammetta, who is a much different player than Lawrence Vickers[​IMG], his lead blocker now. Vickers is more of a track blocker where Fiammetta was able to adjust better when there was a breakdown in the blocking scheme up front. Vickers will run his path and hurt who is in that path. Murray and Fiammetta were a good team together because they saw the play develop the same and were able to adjust. Will be interesting to see how quickly Murray and Vickers work together. As far as Felix Jones, who is in his last year of his contract, the question I have is would the front office release Jones if they felt comfortable with Phillip Tanner[​IMG] as the backup and, say, Lance Dunbar[​IMG] as the third? Right now, the third spot is Tanner’s, although the only question I would have about Dunbar is his height as a blitz pick up guy. He gives effort for the job and is not afraid, but will he show enough in camp to make their decision tougher to release him? -Bryan Broaddus

    Read the roster breakdown:
  2. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    What a bunch of stupidity - there is no way in the world we release Felix just to put Tanner at #2 RB and Dunbar at #3. Felix is a great talent and I anticipate him taking a large number of the snaps next year at RB.

    You have to remember that in the games where they both played Felix's production was much higher than Murray's. I really do think that Felix would have done quite well playing behind Fiammetta during that run he went on over about 5 games in the middle of the season.
  3. 28 Joker

    28 Joker 28 Joker

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    First, Felix Jones has "outstanding vision" according to former NFL scout Bucky Brooks ( Lawrence Vickers has pointed out how Jones' vision helps him jump from gap to gap. Furthermore, Jones is a lethal jump cutter, and he can make multiple types of cuts on any given run (jump cut, running cut, and rounded running cut). Felix cuts at one speed, real fast. Felix may be bouncing from side to side, but he is coming dead at you, real fast.

    Second, Felix Jones is an elite space player, and Jones is one of the most elusive running backs in the NFL. That includes tight space, space, and the open field. Jones uses his great speed and quickness and his elite acceleration through the hole and his lethal cutting ability and his outstanding vision and great instincts and underrated power to elude defenders and eat up yards.

    Third, Felix Jones just needs a crack or a little bit of room in order to operate. I think Jim Brown or Emmitt Smith needed that, too. The play sure doesn't have to be blocked perfectly for Felix. That's absurd. I guess the extremely biased Broaddus missed Jones' 233-1250 (5.4 YPT) in 2010, and I guess he doesn't remember Davis, Colombo, and Gurode getting released after that season. He obviously will not acknowledge the huge impact that Tyron Smith had in the running game. Tyron re-opened the entire football field, including both edges. Smith is an elite run blocker.

    Fourth, Felix Jones' most explosive plays in Dallas have come against heavily stacked fronts and crowded lines of scrimmage. Heavy run sets have been used.

    Fifth, Felix Jones has been very successful when running out of 2 back and 1 back sets. The Cowboys 2010 FB was released, too. Deon Anderson certainly wasn't "the glue to Dallas' running game" as Broaddus deemed Fiammetta last year, but Anderson was a pretty decent FB. He did a nice job. John Phillips is a pretty decent F-back, too. (See Felix torch the Giants without the fullback, and watch Felix destroy Tampa Bay by running behind Tyron Smith (out of single back sets).

    The Cowboys should extend Felix Jones now, and they could use Jamaal Charles' contract as a framework to work from. The Cowboys should commit to giving Felix Jones his touches in the running game and passing game, and they should demonstrate that commitment by locking up the 25 year old running back now. Jones shouldn't have to deal with this garbage, however, he is mentally tough and extremely competitive. I'm sure that he is ready for the challenge. Jones is, by far, Dallas' most underrated player, and he's the best player from Dallas' 2008 draft class.

    Bucky Brooks gives you an unbiased analysis of Felix Jones:
  4. junk

    junk I've got moxie

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    Are you his agent or his mom?

    Either way, I am really glad you are not the team's GM.

    There is no way Felix should get a contract anywhere in the neighborhood of Charles. If he can get it elsewhere, more power to him.
  5. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Murray has already proven his game is at the next level already.
  6. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    Oh man. Flix does not get a 2nd contract here. No need to pay premium dollars to a backup player.

    Let him walk, and draft another RB.
  7. djmajestik

    djmajestik Well-Known Member

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    I was gonna say he was Felix himself LOL but yeah, agree on the contract thing! No way!!
  8. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    You've always been deeply entrenched in Camp Felix, so I appreciate your consistency.

    But 5 years and 32.5 mil to Felix would be crazy.

    I do thik Broaddus is nuts in suggesting we cut him this year though. He's very talented.
    If for some reason they wished to part ways, he is actually someone who could be traded vs the Cowboys getting nothing.
  9. bbailey423

    bbailey423 Well-Known Member

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    If Anthony Spencer is not worthy of another contract, If Jenkins and Felix, both first round picks in the same draft class are not worthy of another contract....if Dez continues with his spotty production and off the field issues...that would be 4 STRAIGHT 1st round picks who are not developing into the building blocks you need as Ratliff, Ware, Witten start to decline. This kind of drafting is exactly how you find yourself 5-11 3 straight years.
  10. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    Depressing indeed.

    All of these guys are decent to good players (and Dez could be great) so they were not total whiffs. But if you look each year at what could have been with those picks, it could drive you crazy.

    Of course, we know how hindsite works.
    Take a look at more than half the teams drafting near where we were and you'll find the success rate about the same.
    I mean sure, if we had to go RB/WR in 2008, many of us would have taken Chris Johnson (or Ray Rice, Matt Foret, etc) before Felix, and also Brandon Flowers or Antoine Cason before Jenkins.
    But it's not like the guys we picked we terrible.
  11. ABQcowboyJR

    ABQcowboyJR Well-Known Member

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    Felix isn't coming back unless its one helluva bargain contract. No sense in paying big money for a backup rb. I also agree with the mentality to not sign rb's to second contracts.
  12. bbailey423

    bbailey423 Well-Known Member

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    The guys we picked may not be terrible....but Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Matt Forte etc...they all played well enough to EARN a big payday...Flowers, Cason etc....their teams extended them because they EARNED it...Ware, Witten, Ratliff cannot play forever.....and if 4 straight first round picks don't make it...then the bridge from one era to the next is non existent! This makes me think back to the 90s....when we felt we were so good...we used #46 overall pick on a guy we PENCILED in as a backup (hello Sherman Williams)

    I know our drafting is not the worse...but missing on 4 straight first round picks may not show up immedaitly....especially when you hit before that on Ware, Rat, Witten, Romo etc....but again, it will eventually show up. I don't think many people understand how many sins Romo has covered up for this team. It will be a shame if an era of Dallas Cowboy football featuring a top 10 QB never seriously challenges for a Super Bowl.
  13. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    I was trying to be nice while making a point.
  14. bbailey423

    bbailey423 Well-Known Member

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    I hear you. I have been quiet this offseason. I am taking a wait and see approach. I have been dissapointed too many times to get too high or too low. Every year the pundits say we are talented. We are...but not nearly as much as they say we are. But there is enough talent to not do some of the things we giving up the biggest 4th quarter lead in franchise history like we did against the Jets...or going out to Arizona and just finding unimagineable ways to lose a game....of having the Giants down by 12 with 4+ mins to go in OUR stadium and losing (by the way, Manning has never lost in the new stadium)...and I will not even re-visit the Detroit game....but all all of those games we pretty much had in control...that is proof of our talent...but what is going to change to get us over the hump? That is what I need to see out of this group. I have always said it starts up front...Tyron Smith is the best OL we have drafted since Larry Allen. Free is more than serviceable at RT. Hopefully all of the guards we have signed/drafted produces better play than we got last year (hard to be any worse on the interior of the OL). CB play...getting rid of Newman is addition by subtraction...but adding Carr and Claiborne.....which should push the Alan Balls and Frank Walkers off the field...again, that is marked improvement.

    So again, we have upgraded the talent....but playing in the division with the defending Super Bowl going against the AFC throw in the Saints, Falcons...the schedule is daunting. Would I take a Super Bowl? Of course! But for the first time in years I would be happy with an OL that does not force Romo to run for his life and put on a magic act every week....I will take CBs that are agressive and make plays on the ball...I will take someone other than Ware providing pressure on the QB...throw in a playoff win or 2 with all of this and I will then have hope that we are no longer a gutless front running outfit!
  15. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    If things are not going well for the Cowboys by the time the trade deadline comes along, trade Felix and get something for him. I wonder about the draft pick that was offered for Choice last year at the trade deadline. IIRC it was a third. Dallas cut Choice a few days later and got nothing. It was a very stupid mistake by Jerry. It shouldn't be repeated with Felix.
  16. mmillman

    mmillman Well-Known Member

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    Felix will excel if they get him out in space. Draws, screens, flares, kickoffs, etc...........
  17. Dino

    Dino Benched

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    BINGO why pay big money for a average back

    there a dime a dozen

    we can find fast on the street

    Murray has already proven his game is at the next level already.

    for one year

    DeMarco Murray suffered an apparent left shoulder injury late in the first half of Sunday's game and went to the locker room

    broken anckle

    can he stay healthy

    and can he gain another 800 yds + every year lets say five years

    IMO every good RB should hit a 1000 yards

    In the current 16-game format, a running back only needs to average just 62.5 yards to reach the barrier

    No running back is worth giving a 2nd contract in todays NFL. They simply can’t live up to it after 5-6-7 years of abuse, and that 2nd contract becomes an anchor to his teams salary cap. You’re better off just drafting one per year (and not in the 1st round), riding them hard for 3 years, and then discarding them. I know it sounds cold as hell, but is near reality at this point

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