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Fair or Not, DeMarco Murray Needs to Prove a Lot for the Dallas Cowboys

Often-Injured Running Back Facing Pressure in 2013

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COMMENTARY | Does being a running back for the Dallas Cowboys come with a curse?

It seems that way. Actually, it'd seem that way for the last decade. But there comes good news with the hope that DeMarco Murray becomes the back that he's meant to be.

Yet the reality of hoping for news comes off as contradicting. The hope is that Murray can use his third season to finally crack the 1,000-yard plateau. The news is he's fragile right now.

The pressure is on him this year. And it doesn't seem fair, but it's true.

This isn't doubting Murray's skills. For the Cowboys to steal him in the third round in 2011 and for him to solidify the starting running back spot is impressive. But Dallas knew what it was getting into with Murray: All the talent in the world, but willing to get hurt.

Picking up Joseph Randle in the fifth round of the NFL draft back in April was a strategic move to prepare for the chance that Murray goes down again. It's good to have almost the same kind of player at your position to pick up the slack.

But can Murray afford that to happen to him?

Pick your poison as to Dallas' demise in 2012 (as we so often do), and one of the top cases was that the Cowboys didn't have a running game. With Murray out for six games last year, that's easily understandable. Dallas went 3-3 with him out of the lineup, and those three losses were by one possession.

Is it more so the fact that the pressure is on him to perform or to start thinking of his replacement?

He needs to have a great season in 2013, and he's vowed to do that after rushing for 1,560 yards in two combined seasons, missing nine games in two years (2011 is a squash because he didn't see the field until he ran all over the Rams).

Murray even went as far as to say he's capable of a 2,000-yard season. First thing's first: Get 1,000 yards in a season, then we'll talk.

It seems he's put more pressure on himself heading into this year, and he'll need to perform now that he's let the words out. Murray isn't a cocky player, and he's as humble as they come. If he doesn't perform this year, it'll come back to bite him.

And if it does, the curse will continue. It's not fair, but that's reality.

Danny Webster is a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys. You can reach him by going on Twitter and following @DannyWebster21.

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