DeMarco Murray is staying in the NFC East. Just not with the Dallas Cowboys.
The NFL’s 2014 rushing champion reached agreement in principle on a five-year, $42-million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, a person familiar with the agreement told USA TODAY Sports.
That person spoke on the condition of anonymity since the team has yet to announce a deal.
Persuading Murray to leave the Cowboys, where he played behind arguably the league’s most dominant run-blocking offensive line is a huge coup for Eagles personnel czar/coach Chip Kelly, who had been under fire for trading 2013 rushing leader LeSean McCoy last week to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
One of the few signature free agents available, the signing of Murray weakens Philadelphia’s division rival. The Cowboys had hoped to retain Murray but only at a comfortable price point. The Cowboys were hamstrung at $3 million under the $143.2 million salary-cap due to previous restructures and committing $12.8 million to the franchise tag for receiver Dez Bryant.
Murray, who rushed for a Dallas franchise record 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns on 392 carries last year, becomes the first defending rushing champion to change teams since “Bullett” Bill Dudley in 1947.