Murray, the 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year scared off a few teams interested in offering him a big deal after a career-high 392 regular season carries. Murray finished with a career high in yards, 1,845, and touchdowns, 13, as well. Now he'll be the between-the-tackles runner that Kelly wanted LeSean McCoy to be. And Kelly didn't seem to mind Murray's workload last season.
"I don't think it's a concern," Kelly said at a news conference Thursday. "But I also for us think it's also part of having Ryan here, is that I would hope DeMarco doesn't have to carry the ball 392 times this year. If he does we're running it 692 times."
He wanted a running back in Murray's prototype bad enough that he paid Murray handsomely, a total that was nearly identical to McCoy's five-year, $40 million Bills deal with $26.05 million guaranteed.
Early indications had him returning to Dallas and nestling behind the division's nastiest offensive line, which led to a breakout season in Texas last year. Clearly, teams around the league credited that offensive line with a lot of Murray's success. And as free agency began to surge, it became apparent that Murray and Jerry Jones had grown a little distant.
Jones just didn't know he'd end up in the division.
So it goes for a Cowboys team that simply needed to pay other stars and allocate funds elsewhere. Murray was the lifeblood of their offense in 2014 and expected to be paid like it the following year.
While some teams have taken the time this offseason to show appreciation for their power backs, like Seattle has done with Marshawn Lynch, Dallas was comfortable enough letting him slip away.