By Michael Burke
In the movie “Bull Durham” there is a classic scene where Crash Davis tells Nuke Laloosh that it is time for him to work on his cliches. “You’ve got to know them. They’re your friends.” The long and short of that is that athletes and coaches talk in Coach speak, meaning they rarely say what is really on their minds because it can easily be taken the wrong way. This last week we saw a perfect example of this principle from the now departed DeMarco Murray.
Don’t “Show me the money”???
In Murray’s introductory Press Conference he said, “It isn’t about money.” Let me be succinct here, it is always about the money. Especially when you don’t pass up more of it to sign somewhere for less. Murray took the biggest offer on the table and in my opinion, the dumbest one too. That was evidenced by his next cliche statement. “It’s about winning the Super Bowl.”
Excuse me for needing a new paragraph to comment on that, but I needed time away to laugh about that one. The Philadelphia Eagles and Super Bowl do not work together. Never have. Maybe never will. If Murray wanted to win a Super Bowl he would have stayed in Dallas. That’s right, I said it, and I meant it. Dallas has a shot at a Super Bowl, Philly does not.
Just the facts
Let’s simply look at the evidence here. First of all, which team finished 12-4 last year and was a fumble away from playing for a shot at the Super Bowl? Which team missed the playoffs? Which team has an arrow pointing up? Which team will be a favorite to win it this year? The answers are Dallas, Philly, Dallas, and Dallas.
Now let’s get things straight here. Murray was a huge reason why the Cowboys were 12-4. I loved the guy as our Running Back. Notice I used the past participle. I don’t love him any more. A lot of Cowboys fans are going to feel that way and he acknowledged it. DeMarco, I hate to tell you man, but in two years tops you will be one of the most hated Philadelphia Eagles of all time, and I do not mean by Cowboys fans. Eagles fans are going to hate you. It is what they do. Why will they hate you? Because their team paid way too much and it isn’t going to work.
The fact of the matter is Murray took a pay raise to work for a lesser company. The two teams are headed in opposite directions. Dallas is headed up, and Philly, thanks to their Head Coach are headed down. I will be shocked if they are better than 3rd in the NFC East this year. That is how bad I think this decision Murray made was.
I am going to be brutally honest. I wanted Murray back more than any other option Dallas has. If it were up to me I would have paid him the money he wanted. My reason is simple. He’s a great guy who is a proven part of the Dallas system. I will also tell you this, at no time have I ever thought he was a better Running Back than LeSean McCoy. In other words, I don’t think Philly got an upgrade here. I don’t say that to disrespect Murray who I think is a great player. But I am honest, McCoy is the player in Philly that every team had to stop. Not just as a runner, but as a receiver too.
Murray, had one season better than McCoy in the time both have been in the NFL, and it was last year. I realize the NFL is a Johnny Come Lately business, but the fact of the matter is McCoy in Dallas would have meant Murray was a backup. I flat out do not think Chip Kelly has a clue how badly his moves this off season are going to blow up in the faces of the city of Philadelphia. If he lasts two more years I will be shocked.
Green vs Blue, not even close
Let’s talk about Chip Kelly and compare him to Jason Garrett for a moment. Chip Kelly doesn’t have a Championship resume or pedigree. He had some college success, but it never included a fictional National Championship. His successor got closer to the real one than he ever got to the fictional one that existed before last year when the NCAA finally had a Division I Championship tournament to choose the Champion. He got his pedigree from Mike Bellotti.
Jason Garrett, on the other hand does have a Championship pedigree. He has 2 Super Bowl rings as a backup on the Dallas Cowboys, where he learned under Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, and later under Tom Coughlin and Nick Saban. I’m sorry, but look at the rings comparison at both levels of football and there is no comparison. In simple mathematical terms as it pertains to pedigree, Jason Garrett > Chip Kelly. They are 2-2 against each so far. Jason Garrett’s Cowboys will sweep Kelly’s Eagles in 2015, and the rivalry will never be close again. I am calling my shot now.