When Demarco Murray committed to the Oklahoma Sooners at the 2006 Army All-America Game, OU fans dreamt of a dynamic playmaker who would thrive at the collegiate level and represent the school in the NFL. Twelve years, six months, multiple school records and an NFL rushing title later, Murray has announced his retirement from the game.
Breaking: DeMarco Murray, the league's former Offensive Player of the Year, is retiring from football at the age of 30. pic.twitter.com/PZ6H1CnaZw— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 13, 2018
Murray, who announced his retirement Friday afternoon on ESPN2’s NFL Live, rushed for 3,685 yards and 50 touchdowns at Oklahoma from 2007-2010. Additionally, he recorded 10 touchdown receptions and three kickoff return TDs, giving him a school-record 64 all-purpose TDs. He also holds the school records for all-purpose yards (6,498) and receiving yards by a running back (1,512). However, Murray is remembered less for his milestones and more for his proclivity to captivate a stadium with electrifying plays — the most memorable of which was his hurdle during the 2007 Red River Shootout win over Texas.
I think I speak for a lot of Oklahoma fans when I say that he’s one of my favorites to ever don the Crimson & Cream.
Following his career in Norman, Murray was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft and rushed for 897 yards as a rookie. In his third NFL season, he broke out with 1,121 yards and a 5.2 average per carry. However, Murray’s lack of carries (15.2 per game) caused many to scratch their heads. In 2014, the Cowboys took advantage of his skills, handing him the rock 24.5 times per game behind an elite offensive line. The result was a franchise-record 1,845-yard season, an NFL rushing title and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award.
In 2015, Murray signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, joining former OU teammate Sam Bradford in the process. Unfortunately, Murray wasn’t a fit in Chip Kelly’s offense and was traded to the Tennessee Titans after only one season.
Murray bounced back onto the scene with the Titans, rushing for 1,287 yards in 2016, but after rushing for 659 yards on only 3.6 yards per carry this past season, he was released.
It appears that Murray saw the writing on the wall this summer, but making it to the age of 30 as a running back in the NFL is nothing to sneeze at. He ends his career with 7,174 yards, 49 rushing touchdowns, 2,165 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns.
Murray accomplished a lot during his career, and he did so with class at every turn. Enjoy your retirement, DeMarco. You’ve earned it!