It was just four years ago when then Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. That season, he had a league-leading 392 rush attempts (the most attempts of any player since 2000) for 1845 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Now today, after just seven seasons of playing in the NFL, Murray is hanging up the cleats and retiring from the game. The former Dallas Cowboys, Philadephia Eagles and Tennesssee Titans running back announced on NFL Live that he is leaving the game for good.
“I think it’s time for me to hang it up, as hard as it is,” Murray said. “It’s bittersweet, but I think for me, it’s the right time for myself and my family moving forward.”
Murray entered the NFL as a third round draft pick out of the Oklahoma Sooners. Entering the league, scouts saw the young back as an explosive athlete who could add an extra gear if he wanted to take it to the end zone for a touchdown. On third down, he can be a force with his high cut frame.
Throughout his career, Murray was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. After being traded to the Titans from the Eagles, DeMarco had a great season with the team, rushing for 1287 yards and nine touchdowns.
But this past season, injuries started to pile up for the tailback. He had a career low 659 yards and was still rehabbing from a horrible torn MCL that sidelined him for much of the season. Murray definitely saw his productivity decline, averaging 3.6 yards per carry in 15 games.
When a running back hits 30 years old, retirement is often heavily considered. In a game that takes such a physical toll and with recent revelations of former players suffering from the impact of CTE due to multiple concussions, maybe it is a good idea that Murray retires. Why risk playing more years and sustaining injuries, which will negatively impact your physical and mental health after football?
The running back may not have had the longevity of his counterparts in the past, but he certainly will be remembered for being an offensive threat in his prime.