Everything is bigger in Texas. That includes expectations for any Dallas Cowboys draft pick who exhibits early signs of brilliance.
Running back DeMarco Murray was better and faster than anyone expected last season. He showed a better ability to avoid contact than he did in college and an ability to run between the tackles. He looked like a "cornerstone back," to use the phrasing of Greg Cosell of NFL Films. And that's exactly what the Cowboys expect out of Murray now.
"There are those in the Cowboys' organization who believe Murray has a chance to be one of the great ones, like (Emmitt) Smith and Tony Dorsett," Clarence E. Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes.
Yeah, those are pretty lofty expectations. Murray displays a willingness to work extra, show maturity, and always practice hard. Murray ran over cornerback Teddy Williams at a recent practice, and the defender had to be checked for a concussion.
"Just playing football," Murray said. "I'm just trying to set the tempo right now."
Felix Jones will be a useful backup if he can stay healthy. But this is Murray's backfield now. Dez Bryant gets all the attention, but Murray's ability to live up to these newfound expectations could matter more for the 2012 Cowboys.