"I think we'll kind of see how his year goes and we'll go from there," chief operating officer Stephen Jones told the Dallas Morning News. "He's the type of player we want on our team. He's young and he had a good year last year, but I think he's betting that he's going to have a great year, and I hope he does."
Murray, 26, is scheduled to make $1.4 million in base salary after a Pro Bowl season in which he rushed for 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He said he's not going to get distracted by his contract status.
"I'm going to continue to play like I've played and come here like I have been," Murray said. "I don't worry about that, and it really doesn't matter to me, to be honest with you."
Murray ran 217 times in 14 games last year, the biggest workload of his three-year career. If he stays healthy, he's a lock to approach 250 carries. Play caller Scott Linehan is in love with the passing game but has said he'll lean on Murray in 2014.
For his part, Murray said he's learning how to stay healthy -- and stay on the field.
"You just have to take care of your body and know when to go and fight for that extra yard or inch and know when not to," he said. "That's something about just being a smarter football player in general and knowing when you're helping your team and when you're hurting your team."
Despite his track record as a pass-heavy coordinator, new
Dallas is 11-0 when Murray gets 20 or more carries. The paper expects Lance Dunbar to complement Murray as a receiving threat out of the backfield.
But ESPN thinks Murray, so long as he's healthy, will dominate the playing time. The Cowboys have never lost a game when Murray gets at least 20 carries (11-0).
"This is a great young front," Linehan told the paper. "It was already an offensive line that was really meshing and playing well. We don’t have to have this certain look to run the ball. We feel like we can line up and say, ‘Hey, if they’re going to drop guys into the box, we still feel like we’ve got the guys that can get it done.’ And then that helps everything. That opens everything on the outside of the field."
The Cowboys spent three first-round picks in the last four years on offensive linemen.
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