The Dallas Cowboys have some major decisions to make in free agency with DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant this offseason, as Jerry Jones may only be able to sign one player and if that happens, a trade with Marshawn Lynch or signing Adrian Peterson if he is released could be potential options, as the Cowboys will need a solid running back if Murray is gone.
Murray has said that he wants to stay with the Cowboys, but he also admitted that he understands that football is a business. According to ESPN Dallas, the Cowboys want to try and sign both players, but Bryant is the priority over Murray in free agency. The team reportedly offered Murray a deal worth over $16 million for four years, but after rushing for nearly 1900 yards last season, he will be looking for a bigger deal. Murray touched the ball over 400 times last season and that could make the Cowboys wary of signing him long term with his past injury issues.
Murray did not have any problems with major injuries last season, but the Cowboys know he has that in the past and that the RB position is one of the most punishing in football. Murray is in a tough spot, as his numbers last season were fantastic, but he was worked so much -- touching the ball 393 times on the ground and 57 times in the air -- that he could be on his way to some regression next year. Andrew Brandt at the MMQB has mentioned multiple times on Twitter and has written articles about this, saying that Murray's production could be what stops him from signing long term with anyone, let alone the Cowboys.
Murray is going to get signed, as teams like the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns all have money to spend, while the Colts and Bills could be potential surprises. Murray rushed for 1845 yards last season with 13 touchdowns and 57 receptions while playing in all 16 games for the first time in his career, Murray won offensive player of the year and now he is expecting to get paid like one. Bryant comes in after another great season as well with 16 TD catches and his dominance makes his signing a major priority for the Cowboys, especially with Tony Romo getting older.
Lynch and Peterson are players to watch for the Cowboys, as they both are potential targets to get released by their teams as salary cap moves this offseason. Peterson is up in the air with his suspension, while Lynch's future in Seattle has been up in the air since the beginning of this season. The Super Bowl did not make anything more clear for Lynch, as he was not used in what turned out to be the biggest spot of the entire game.
The Cowboys finished last season 12-4 on the year and winners of the NFC East and now they come back looking to get to the playoffs again. The team lost on a heartbreaking play to the Packers on that Dez Bryant catch and they come in after ranking second in the league in rushing yards per game behind Murray. Jones will have to be crafty to sign both players, as he also has to maneuver around Romo's contract.