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Mailbag: Why Cowboys Didn't Sign Murray Earlier? What To Expect From McFadden?

Mark HodgesRoanoke, Va.

Do you blame the Cowboys for not signing Murray earlier in the season? Couldn't they have offered $6 million earlier and probably would've had him?

Nick: I think the Cowboys' probably could've landed Murray in mid-season had they offered him the $6 million per season with probably a lot less guaranteed than the $21 million he got from Philly. But that's the game you play. The Cowboys gambled on waiting for him and they lost. Simple as that. That's why you rarely see players get to unrestricted free agents when they're as accomplished as Murray or even Dez. But the Cowboys didn't get him signed because they still were trying to evaluate him because this was his first really good season in the NFL. But when you wait, you run the risk of him winning AP offensive Player of the Year, getting All-Pro honors, winning a rushing title and breaking Emmitt Smith's single-season record. Plus, you run the risk of other teams with way more cap space having the ability to outbid you. That's what happen. This free-agency thing is a gamble, and they lost on re-signing him. We'll see down the road how much they really lost out on this.

Bryan:No I don't blame them at all. You can't sit there and tell me that number would have got the deal done especially with what he signed for in Philadelphia. The Cowboys had their number and he has his – it was two ships in the night. This was just part of doing business in the NFL.   

Geoff MillerShawnee, Okla.

What can we expect from Darren McFadden? He's never been able to stay healthy but he seems like he's more dynamic than Murray, just maybe not as durable.

Nick:And you're right, although Murray wasn't really deemed durable until this year either. I think Murray is probably a tougher back, but he's not going to break off a lot of long runs. McFadden might not have the 4.31 speed he did in 2008 at the combine, but I'm sure he's got enough speed to take it to the house. Let's see how he does when the holes are wide open like Murray got this past year. McFadden could've taken more money to play with other teams but he's excited to be here in Dallas, and that can be a positive here. He's not the only answer to replacing Murray but he's a good start, in my opinion. And at about $6 million per season cheaper, you still have options to do other things defensively and this signing doesn't prevent the Cowboys from drafting a back, even as high as the first round.

Bryan:Let's not act like there weren't durability questions with Murray over the years. I am willing to wait and see what he can do with good players around him. I do agree with you on the dynamic side and that is what I am excited to see.   

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