- Should the Cowboys consider extending DeMarco Murray's contract?
In my mind, this has an appearance of a no brainer. The problem this front office has had is that in recent history, those extensions have been expensive and the production level has not matched the level of commitment.
There is no question of how well Murray played in 2013, and what he meant to this offense not only carrying the ball but as a receiver and blitz pickup back. In scout's terms, Murray is a complete back and in this day and age, is one of those guys that never comes off the field. What is working against Murray is that the view of how the position is used and how it is now compensated has changed drastically over the last three seasons.
We have seen plenty of examples of highly compensated running backs, released to only be replaced by cheaper options or more than one man to handle the job. Where Murray and the Cowboys need to be smart is to find a common ground where both parties can live with the agreement. Murray would be wise to take a page out of Doug Free's book by getting a real grasp of what the market for his position might be and work from there.
Free was more than willing to work with the club and he was able to grab two nice seasons of money for his services. I believe that Murray can work a deal with the Cowboys, but he is going to have to be realistic about the number of years and the potential money available.
- We know this team has five receivers but if they kept six, who would that guy be?
Right now, I believe that guy would be LaRon Byrd for the simple reason of his special teams value. What you have to remember about his game is that he played both offensive and special teams snaps for the Cardinals.
When we have had the opportunity to watch these OTA practices, he has been one of the first receivers off the bench behind Bryant, Williams and Beasley. So there appears to be a plan in place to see how he can handle that load going forward. Another receiver that might be in that mix for the same role would be L'Damian Washington once he is healthy and ready to go. I have seen Washington myself cover punts in Missouri's game against Georgia game and make tackles.
In the same game, he made a wrap up tackle on an interception, so he is not afraid to stick his nose in the middle of the action. Whatever direction this front office decides to go, that sixth receiver is going to have to do more than just be a player taking up a roster spot.
- Who is taking advantage of other players being out with injury during these OTAs?
In my opinion, this has been an outstanding three weeks for DeMarcus Lawrence in the opening stages of his development. With projected starter Jeremy Mincey nursing an injury, Lawrence has taken full advantage of the situation getting valuable snaps against Tyron Smith.
With no Matt Johnson on the field, Jakar Hamilton has been running with the second defense and [embedded_ad]
to his credit has been turning heads with his play. There have been several snaps where he has been in perfect position to knock balls down in coverage. With no Nick Hayden, Ken Bishop has been getting plenty of work with the first defense. Matter of fact, Bishop has been working with Terrell McClain inside and both have done a quality job of handling things in the middle.
McClain has been filling in for Henry Melton, who will be back for training camp. Brandon Weeden has been more than efficient running the offense in the absence of Tony Romo. With Kyle Orton deciding to sit these camps out, it has given Weeden even more snaps with the first offense which has allowed him to knock some rust off his game.