IRVING, Texas – DeMarco Murray hopes this is the year he can fulfill his promise.
The Cowboys' running back said prior to last season he'd play in all 16 games in 2013. That's obviously impossible to predict, and Murray would go on to play the most games of his career, but it was only 14.
Murray's set a similar goal for himself this season. He said on NFL Network's "NFL AM" to get into the conversation as one of the league's top running backs, in a group that includes Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy, he just needs to play the whole year.
"I think I've just got to play all 16 [games]," Murray said. "[They are] two great running backs. I have a lot of respect for both of those guys. I'm going to continue to get better, work hard, and see where it is at the end of the year."
Despite missing two games, Murray put together a career year with his first 1,000-yard season in 2013. He rushed for 1,121 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry as the Cowboys' top back, and scoring a career-high nine rushing touchdowns. [embedded_ad]
Only McCoy and Jamaal Charles ran for more than 1,300 yards last year. It's possible if Murray stayed healthy he'd have put together at least a 1,300-yard season, and he said his health is great right now as the Cowboys prepare for training camp in a week.
"I've been working out for a while," Murray said. "I'm ready to get back to football and get around my teammates and get back acclimated with the offense and things like that, so I'm excited."
Everyone will keep an eye out to see if Murray can compile his first complete season, but the majority of eyes early on at training camp will be on the player handing Murray the ball.
Murray said he thinks Tony Romo, who's expected to be ready for camp, is looking great right now.
"He's been working hard," Murray said. "He's been grinding. He's itching to get back on the field. I can't wait for training camp to have him back out there. He missed OTAs but we're excited to have him back."