DeMarco Murray is arguably the hottest running back in the league.
Only three starts into his NFL career, the 23-year-old third-round pick out of Oklahoma has 539 rushing yards (466 since becoming a starter in Week 7). It’s the fastest start by a running back in Cowboys history, which is saying a lot in Dallas, where the most prolific back in NFL history used to reside.
Murray has already emerged as the most productive rookie running back in the league, and it’s not even close. Considering that he’s also playing in the football capital of the world, it’s not surprising that he’s already being praised heavily.
It starts, of course, with his boss. In a radio appearance yesterday, Jerry Jones didn’t think twice before comparing Murray to Eric Dickerson. The Cowboys owners was obviously comparing their styles, not their accolades, but the mere fact that he mentioned Murray in the same sentence as Dickerson exacerbates the hype.
I’m sorry, but I’ve seen far too many backs burst onto the scene before fading into the abyss. Mysterious running backs aren’t easy to prepare for, which is why so many rookies have succeeded before disappearing in years past. What separates Murray from former boom-then-bust backs such as Mike Anderson, Steve Slaton, Anthony Thomas, Kevin Jones, Joseph Addai, Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown and Dallas’ own Julius Jones?
And it’s not like Murray hasn’t been in the right places at the right times. He’s been at home and against weak run defenses two of the last three weeks.
It’s tempting to anoint Murray, mainly because we want to feel as though we’re experiencing the beginning of something big. But it’d be smart to wait. Don’t get fooled again.