By: John Saltzman, KCOU Sports
Jim Brown, OJ, Simpson, and Jamal Lewis; such an exclusive list of former NFL greats is nothing to scoff at. Before this season DeMarco Murray, the running back for the Dallas Cowboys, would be laughed at if he were included on such a list.
However, Murray is on pace to have the greatest single season any running back has ever had. The aforementioned list is a collection of runners who accumulated games of one hundred yards rushing in his teams first five games of the season. The record is six one hundred yard games to start a season, set by Hall of Famer Jim Brown in 1958.
The Cowboys have recommitted to the smash mouth culture that Emmitt Smith and company made a staple of three Superbowl titles in the 90s, with Murray averaging 26 carries a game.
The heavy load placed on Murray’s shoulders has produced historic results in this early season landing Murray atop many MVP leaderboards.
Although speculation is nothing but a stab in the dark, one cannot overlook these numbers. Murray is on pace to rush for 2,144 yards which would eclipse the current NFL single season record of 2,105 yards set by Eric Dickerson back in 1984.
Murray is the first back in franchise history to rush for over one hundred yards in five consecutive games, which is impressive considering the all time leading rusher Emmitt Smith is included.
Murray has the fifth most rushing yards in league history through five games; only Simpson (twice), Brown, and Lewis have more.
The tremendous success achieved by Murray doesn’t end individually; the Cowboys have reaped the benefits of the ground game and jumped out to a 4-1 record. Tied with the Eagles for the NFC East division lead, for the first time in a long while the Cowboys look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
A four-game winning streak that includes a solid road win over the Tennessee Titans, an incredible 21 point second half comeback on the road over the St. Louis Rams, a dominating Sunday night win over the talented New Orleans Saints, and a gutsy overtime win over in-state rival Houston just last weekend.
The wins are impressive for two reasons other than Murray, yet because of Murray. Tony Romo is getting one on one coverage on the perimeter with his playmakers Dez Bryant and Terrence Williams because of teams loading the box to stop the run.
Thriving in attacking these coverages, Romo is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes which is a career high. In addition Romo’s QBR (Quarterback Rating) is 80.4 which is a career high as well and good for top ten in the NFL.
Murray’s success opens up the entire offense and adds a dimension to a Cowboys team that is finally putting the talented pieces together and looking a serious contender.
This astounding sample of stats on Murray is nothing to scoff at indeed and the historical implications of his start are truly something to marvel at.