OXNARD, Calif. – Don't expect to see a new deal for DeMarco Murray during the 2014 season, according to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones.
The Cowboys have looming contract negotiations on hand for three of their key offensive pieces – Tyron Smith, Dez Bryant and Murray. But Jones said Sunday the team doesn't expect to have those conversations with their starting running back in the immediate future.
"I don't think so. I think we'll see kind of how his year goes, and we'll go from there," Jones said. "He's the type of player we want on our team. He's young and he had a good year last year, but I think he's betting that he's going to have a great year, too, and I hope he does."
That's not a huge surprise, given Murray's history since entering the league in 2011. His 1,121-yard, nine-touchdown effort in 2013 earned him his first trip to the Pro Bowl, but he has yet to play a 16-game season in his career. He missed three games as a rookie, six in 2012 and a knee injury forced him out of two games last fall.
On top of that, there's the much-discussed topic of the decreasing value of running backs in the NFL. Chiefs running backs Jamaal Charles just signed a two-year, $18 million extension in Kansas City. But the fact remains: only three running backs in the NFL make more than $9 million per year.
"That's kind of evolved in this league, and it's tough for running backs [embedded_ad]
to have a lot of longevity," Jones said. "But there are ones that do, and DeMarco is a leader, he takes good care of himself and I think his best football is ahead of him."
If Murray turns in another Pro Bowl-caliber season, he could be a hot commodity when free agency opens in 2015. Jones said the Cowboys will have on the situation as 2014 goes along.
"I just think things evolve and you make decisions, each one is on an individual basis. We'll continue to monitor DeMarco's situation," he said. "He's the type of player we want on our football team. I think he's a winner, I think he's a competitor, I think he's a hell of a football player."