If you think the Cleveland Browns have a tough choice to make with Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, the Dallas Cowboys have a pretty tough one as well with Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray.
Bryant, 26, is on pace for yet another 90-catch, 1,200-yard, 12-touchdown season, while Murray, also 26, rushed for 100 yards in eight straight games, thereby breaking Jim Brown’s 56-year-old record. Murray is on pace to become the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards.
Both Bryant and Murray, who are in contract years, deserve a ton of cash.
“Yeah, they do – and that’s a problem,” The Ticket in Dallas radio host Corby Davidson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Probably only one of them is going to get it as far as anything long-term, and that’s probably going to end up being Dez. In this day and age, I’m not sure how how smart it is to give a running back four years and $56 million or whatever it’s going to command. What’a going to happen is Murray, who is the unquestioned MVP of the team – and probably the league right now – probably is going to end up getting franchised, which sucks. You hate seeing that for guys that put out like he has this year and produced the way he has. But it’s probably what’s going to happen.”
While Bryant might get a better long-term deal than Murray, both players figure to be in Dallas for years to come.
“The future is bright here in Dallas for the first time in what feels like 75 years, so they’re not going to let these guys go,” Davidson said. “It’s just not going to happen. They got two or three more good years with Romo, I think, barring disaster with the back. The guys are going to be at the table one way or the other.”
Murray is more of a silent assassin, while Bryant, as we all know, is prone to emotional outbursts.
“If you think about it, every single good receiver is walking up and down the sideline, bitching and moaning to quarterbacks or offensive coordinators,” Davidson said. “They’re the only people in sports that think that they are open or that they deserve a shot on every fricking play. It’s the nature of the beast. It’s the way they grew up – and they probably were open on every play from the age of 6 to 21, but in the NFL it’s probably not the case.
“But that dude, he’s great,” Davidson continued. “And I always said – and I said it for his first couple years here – it would end badly here in Dallas. One way or another, he would screw up and things wouldn’t end well. But he has grown up. It’s taken a while, but the kid seems like he’s got his head (somewhat) screwed on straight now. I think the Cowboys are willing to risk that with some big guaranteed money.”
While the Cowboys are probably still a little concerned, Bryant isn’t anywhere close to, say, Michael Irvin.
“Way worse,” Davidson said of Irvin. “Way, way worse. (Bryant) doesn’t have a proclivity for cocaine and strippers, which is a good thing. He’s avoided both cocaine and strippers. If Michael Irvin was playing today, he wouldn’t have made it in the league. He would have been cut. With the way social media is and everybody with camera phones, can you imagine? He got busted as it was, but can you imagine a guy like that (today) playing that fast and loose? They would be so dead.”
Indeed, Irvin was no Dirk Nowitzki, who is a beloved figure in Dallas. Nowitzki has played for the Mavericks since 1998, he won an NBA title against LeBron James and he’s taken pay cuts in the later stages of his career so the team could remain competitive, if not elite.
“Dirk is so beyond legendary in this town, it’s not even funny,” Davidson said. “He’s No.1 in my books.”