Jerry Jones Says Cowboys Running Game ‘Has Improved’ Since Losing DeMarco Murray

By Jesse Reed

Jerry Jones is a bold man, and he’s never afraid to say what’s on his mind. Speaking with reporters at the team’s annual golf tournament, he said the running game of the Dallas Cowboys is actually better now, despite losing the league’s leading rusher a year ago in DeMarco Murray.

“We’re better,” Jones said (h/t Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News). “Murray certainly is in that thought, but what we’ve got a chance to do with our depth, what we’ve got a chance to do with the talent, the competition that we have…”

The depth Jones speaks of starts with Darren McFadden, who could potentially be in for a career year if he can stay healthy behind the mammoth (and talented) offensive line of the Cowboys. Joseph Randle is also in the mix as a potential starter. ESPN’s Todd Archer made the bold prediction that Randle will end up carrying the load this year. Then there’s Ryan Williams, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, who will certainly push for carries if he stays heathy.

Quarterback Tony Romo is also optimistic:

“One thing you love to have is competition on your football team. It just brings the best players to the front. I think that position is another great example. We’re going to get out there and these guys are going to figure out a way to see who is going to help us the most,” the veteran quarterback said. “I’m sure we’re going to play multiple guys. It’ll be fun to watch these guys get after it and compete. Someone will win that job and they’ll have a good year.”

Dallas’ offensive line is the catalyst, though.

Jones knows Dallas will find success on the ground this year, regardless of who is toting the pigskin. As many have quipped, it’s not unreasonable to assume an average American male could rush for 1,200 yards behind this offensive line.

Murray, who is now with the Philadelphia Eagles, gained 1,845 yards and scored 13 touchdowns behind this line. And with the addition of rookie La’el Collins, who will almost certainly be a Day 1 starter at left guard, the Cowboys very well could feature one of the best offensive lines in league history.

With this in mind, it isn’t hard to see why Jones is so upbeat about his team’s ability to pound the rock in 2015. But the other side of the coin is this: Wouldn’t the Cowboys be better off with Murray as the hammer instead of a stable of injury-prone running backs?

Jones isn’t wrong to put a positive spin on the whole thing, but saying Dallas is better off without Murray this year is a tough sell.

Photo: USA Today Sports