Witten: It's 'silly' to think Murray is easily replaceable

Jason Witten is sticking up for his running back, and making a great point while he's at it.

"We've got good running backs," the Cowboys tight end said Thursday when asked about DeMarco Murray. "Joe Randle took advantage of every opportunity he got. I think (Lance) Dunbar's got a great future ahead of him. Obviously the O-line, but I think it would be silly to not give (Murray) the credit for what he did.

"It's not easy to do that and I think coach (Jason) Garrett said it a few weeks back that he created a mindset for our team and that's not easy to do," Witten continued. "He deserves a lot of that credit, DeMarco does, and so that's why you want a guy like that back, because he stands for everything you want in your football team."

Perhaps this isn't a nod to owner Jerry Jones, who has made it clear that bringing back Murray and star wideout Dez Bryant won't be easy. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that a four-year, $16 million offer is on the table, but it's obviously nowhere near worthy of a running back that carried the ball more than 400 times. His combination of decisiveness, speed and power were crucial to taking advantage of a strengthened offensive line.

But Witten probably realizes, like many others, that Murray cannot simply be replaced in that offense. While Jones has some difficult decisions to make, he'll need to try and find room for the lifeblood of his 2014 playoff team.

It's true that spending money on running backs is often ill-advised, but just look at the teams like Seattle. At one point, a divorce between the Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch seemed inevitable, but once it became clear that Lynch's skillset was irreplaceable, talk of a split died down a bit.

As a tight end that can benefit from such a dominant running game, Witten knows that better than most.

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