IRVING, Texas - With so many expected free agents, including two of the best offensive players in football, the Cowboys have plenty of questions to answer here this offseason.
Some of them will be answered here before the start of the free-agent signing period on March 10. Others might take a few more weeks, and perhaps after the draft.
For now, DallasCowboys.com has come up with 10 pressing questions the Cowboys are facing this offseason and writers Bryan Broaddus, David Helman and Nick Eatman will try their best to answer them, giving a forecast of what could happen here in what should be an entertaining offseason.
Today's question focuses on the biggest question the Cowboys must face heading into next week:
What's going to happen with DeMarco Murray?
Bryan: As a former member of the Dallas Cowboys front office, I was always grateful that we had great cap guys to figure out what these players deserve on their contracts. I felt like it was my job to find the players and let guys with the business smarts do their jobs signing them. Now that I am involved in the media, being a cap guy is also part of my job. In talking to some guys around the league about the Murray contract, the feeling I get is that he will most likely get between $6-7 million a year. The fact that we have seen the Bills not touch the McCoy deal, the Vikings still interested in keeping Peterson at his current number as are the Bears with Forte, it just makes sense that a team will see value in having a back like Murray that never comes off the field and will pay him. What the Cowboys need to worry about is that if a team does blow Murray away with an offer and it never gets back to Dallas -- then they will have a problem.
Nick:All along, from last year to even now, I've not been able to imagine the Cowboys letting DeMarco Murray walk. Star players, especially ones that sell jerseys, typically stick around here. But as we get closer and closer to free agency, it's starting to look more and more like Murray will get to test the market. But I just still don't see him playing on another team. I think he wants to be here and he's building a great relationship with Romo and Witten. For me, him playing with another team in 2015 falls under the "I'll believe when I see it" category. The sad part of this whole thing is that Dallas never got a long-term deal done with Dez. Everyone knows he's not going anywhere but yet for some reason, that hasn't happened. That's what shocks me more than anything. A new deal for Dez would've given the Cowboys much more flexibility to re-sign Murray. Who knows maybe it'll happen still but it's not looking likely to get a deal done before Wednesday, much less two. It's hard to trust that Murray will get a deal and let the Cowboys match but considering how much he wants to be here, that really could happen.
David:For the longest time, I was certain that DeMarco Murray would be lining up elsewhere in 2015. He still might be, but I no longer feel that certainty when I discuss this situation. I think Murray means it when he says he'd like to stay here, and I know the Cowboys mean it when they say they'd like to keep him. It really and truly comes down to what the rest of the league thinks of this guy. I think Dallas is prepared to offer him as much as $7 million – but I can't see them going a lot higher. Is that going to be enough to keep him? It's hard to say. The Eagles just dealt their Pro Bowl running back for one player, and the Seahawks just re-signed their Pro Bowl running back for a deal that will reportedly pay him $12 million in 2015. Murray falls somewhere in between on that extreme spectrum. I think the Cowboys are going to make concerted effort to keep him, but there are far too many teams out there with the cap space and the desire to make a big splash. I can't help but feel like someone else will offer the All-Pro one or two million more than the Cowboys can afford. But we'll find out for sure soon.