Jerry Jones and his Dallas Cowboys have two big free agent situations to address this offseason: Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. That is, it says here, the order in which to approach the contract situation for these two offensive juggernauts.
DeMarco is coming off the best season for a running back in Cowboys’ history, if you go by sheer yardage gained from scrimmage. Emmitt Smith ran for 1,773 yards in 1995. Murray demolished that Cowboys’ single-season rushing record, going for 1,845 yards in 2014. That performance was a key element in propelling a team predicted by many to be sub-.500 to a 12-4 record and a NFC East division championship.
Meanwhile, Dez Bryant was, well…Dez Bryant. He amassed 1,320 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns. He also added to his career highlight reel with one spectacular grab after another. Often double-teamed and always one opposing coaching staffs had to account for, Dez was one of the real impact players in the Cowboys’ magical 2014 run.
In today’s NFL, with platoon running back strategies and increased importance placed on the passing game, and with the expected lifespan and inevitable problem of diminishing returns of a running back in the brutal league, conventional wisdom says Dez should be the one to think longterm contract with and DeMarco should be franchised to retain his services another year. Murray did, after all, carry the ball 392 times. That has to take a toll.
Dez first makes sense. He is more likely to stay productive throughout the life of a longterm deal. And he is a freak like no other.
Word on the street is that the Cowboys have offered DeMarco Murray a four-year deal worth $16 million. Coming off the year DeMarco had, that could be construed as an insult.
Jerry Jones has also indicated that he will use the franchise tag, if necessary, to retain the services of Dez Bryant. If that is the case, and if Murray is not about to accept the Cowboys’ offer, that leaves the question of where the Cowboys turn to maintain a strong running game.
Enter Adrian Peterson.
Remember the overheard phone call between Jones and Peterson last offseason? Peterson saying he wanted to play for the Cowboys?
Don’t think for a minute that Jerry Jones wouldn’t entertain that possibility. After all, he is all about the “wow” factor. He wanted Johnny Manziel. Imagine the things Big-Top Jerry envisioned with all the Johnny “Football” gear. He thought that would make the Cowboys “relative for the next ten years,” not to mention make him even filthier, stinking rich.
Jerry, you see, suffers from a special brand of ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder. He can’t get enough attention to satisfy his craving. He doesn’t want to be the talk of the town, or the talk of the NFL. he wants to be the talk of the universe. Even negative attention is better, in Jerry’s mind, than no attention at all.
Jerry, it seems, subscribes to Socrates’ assertion that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He wants his life examined and reexamined and celebrated and toasted and debated and…
So, replacing Murray with A.D. (Adrian Peterson’s nick-name, which stands for “All Day”) may be a way to maintain a salty running game and medicate Jerry’s A.D.D.
So what if Peterson suffered a season marked by suspension and terrible press? That’s attention!
Just a thought, but I bet I wasn’t the first to think it.
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