DeMarco Murray caused a stir on Tuesday when he deleted any mention of the Dallas Cowboys from his Twitter account, sparking conjecture that he would leave the team in free agency. Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller has emerged as a possible replacement, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Twitter detective @CowboysNation notes DeMarco Murray removed all Cowboy mentions from his Twitter profile. Ominous. Watch CJ Spiller there
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2015
Murray rushed for a team-record 1,845 yards along with 13 touchdowns, in the best season of his career. The 27-year-old was the NFL’s leading rusher and started the 2014 season by rushing for at least 100 yards in eight straight games. Murray is a hard-charging back who makes clean cuts and is able to break tackles. He carried the ball a league-most 392 times and averaged 4.7 yards per attempt.
After trading LeSean McCoy and losing out on Frank Gore, the Philadelphia Eagles are considered a possible destination for a top rusher like Murray. With Murray seeking a highly lucrative new contract, the Cowboys may be outpriced by other teams like the Eagles, as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders.
Spiller, 27, could provide the Cowboys with a valuable rushing threat in case of Murray's exit. Spiller is regarded as a dangerous open-field rusher with excellent speed. Over his five-year career, he has averaged an impressive 5.0 per carry behind a Bills offensive line that has not had a Pro Bowl offensive lineman in quite some time. In 2014, the Cowboys had three Pro Bowl offensive linemen.
Spiller averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in a 2014 season that was cut short to nine games due to shoulder injury. In his first four seasons, he missed a total of three games. Spiller's best season was in 2012, when he averaged 6.0 yards a carry and rushed for 1,244 yards.
One personnel evaluator told ESPN Insider that Spiller "has shown flashes and could put it all together." The Cowboys may consider overlooking Spiller's injury history and take a chance on a low-cost free agent.
Murray has had his share of injuries prior to last season. The 2014 season was the first time in his four-year career in which he played all 16 games. In his first three seasons, he played 13, 10 and 14 games while rushing for 897, 663 and 1,121 yards, respectively.