DeMarco Murray is ending his NFL run.
The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year announced Friday on ESPN he’s retiring at the age of 30.
“I’m very blessed to have had the coaching staff and the players and teammates that I’ve been fortunate to play with the last seven years of my career,” Murray said. “It’s been a long time thinking the last year or two physically, mentally, emotionally. I think it’s time for me to hang it out there. As hard as it is, like I said the fans have been great. I had a lot of great games and a lot of great teammates. It’s bittersweet, but I think for me it’s the right timing for myself and my family moving forward.”
A third-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2011 out of Oklahoma, Murray walks away having compiled 7,174 rushing yards on 1,604 carries with 49 running TDs. He made three Pro Bowls in his seven seasons.
No player has had more rushing touchdowns than Murray in the last four NFL seasons, and only one player had more rushing yards (LeSean McCoy), per NFL Research. Murray was the only player with 4,000-plus rushing yards and 30-plus rushing touchdowns since 2014.
Murray will be most remembered for his OPY season in 2014 during which he galloped for a league-high 1,845 yards (almost 500 more than the next closest back). The Cowboys rode Murray hard that season to the tune of a whopping 392 carries and a career-high 57 receptions. The 392 totes in a single season is tied for seventh-most all-time, per Pro Football Reference.
The heavy usage in 2014 led to struggles when Murray signed with the Philadelphia Eagles the following year. The wear on his legs coupled with bizarre usage by then-coach Chip Kelly led to a dismal 2015 campaign for Murray in which he averaged 3.6 yards per carry and just 702 rushing yards.
Murray bounced back in 2016 after joining the Tennessee Titans. The veteran displayed more juice, going for 1,287 yards and nine TDs in his first season in Nashville. Injuries, however, cropped back up in 2017. The nagging issues once again relegated Murray to a plodding back. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry and a career-low 659 yards in 15 games last year. He was released earlier this offseason.
The 30-year-old back told ESPN’s Adam Schefter earlier this week he had spoken to “four or five teams” about possibly playing. In the end, the seven-year pro decided it was time to walk away.
“I think you just wake up. I’ve always heard the saying when you know, you know and one day that day will come,” Murray said when asked how he knew it was time to retire. “And for me it was the last year or two. Like I said I’ve been constantly thinking about this. Working out still, in great shape, feel great and like I said it’s time. It’s time for me. I just woke up a couple weeks ago and it started to burn and burn and trigger and it got deeper so this morning I decided to call it a career.”
SOURCE: NFL.com – Kevin Patra