Born: February 12, 1988
Birthplace: Las Vegas, NV
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Career and Life
DeMarco Murray is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 7 seasons. A three-time Pro Bowl selection and one-time first team All-Pro, he was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 when he led the NFL in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Murray played college football at Oklahoma and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. After four seasons with the Cowboys, he played for the Philadelphia Eagles for one year and then the Tennessee Titans for two years. He currently serves as running backs coach at the University of Arizona.
Murray attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he played football, basketball, and ran track. In football, he was an All-conference pick three consecutive years. During his time at Gorman, his team was three-time Conference Champions. As a senior in 2005, he rushed for 1,947 yards and 27 touchdowns and also caught 22 passes for 624 yards and seven more touchdowns, earning him All-state honors and the 2005 Sunset Region Offensive Player of the Year award. He also played basketball at Gorman, averaging 6.9 points per game and led his high school basketball team to a 2005 state title. He was considered a top-30 basketball recruit in the state as well. In track & field, Murray ran the 100-meter dash and was a member of the 4x100-meter relay squad.
Considered one of the top running backs of his class, Murray drew offers from Miami (FL), Penn State, and Texas A&M, among several others. He chose Oklahoma over Southern California at the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Murray attended and played college football for the Oklahoma Sooners from 2006–2010.
Murray redshirted the 2006 NCAA football season. In his first game for the Oklahoma Sooners on September 1, 2007 against the North Texas Mean Green, Murray rushed for 87 yards and five touchdowns, becoming the first player in school history to score four touchdowns in a half in his debut. On September 15, 2007 against Utah State University, Murray set a Sooner record when he had a touchdown run of 92 yards, which is the third longest in Oklahoma football history. In the game against Tulsa, he added two more rushing touchdowns and a kick return touchdow. In the annual rivalry game against Texas, he finished with 128 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. On November 10, against Baylor, he had 95 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, and a kick return touchdown. Overall, he finished with 764 rushing yards and tied Adrian Peterson's freshman touchdown record in 2007 with 15. He logged a 4.40 (team best) 40 time and a 36.5-inch vertical jump during the 2007 winter testing.
Murray started off the 2008 season with 124 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against the Chattanooga Mocs. On September 12, against Washington, he had 100 rushing yards in the victory. On October 4, against Baylor, he had 96 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. On October 18, against Kansas, he had 83 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. In the next game against Kansas State, he had 104 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 63 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns. In the next game, against Nebraska, he added two more rushing touchdowns and one more receiving touchdown to his season total. In the game against Texas A&M, he had 123 rushing yards, 63 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown. On November 22, he had 125 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Texas Tech. In the annual rivalry game against Oklahoma State, he had 73 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to go along with seven kick returns for 196 net yards. Overall, he finished the 2008 season with 1,002 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 31 receptions, 395 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns.
In the second game of the Sooners' 2009 season, Murray had 101 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Idaho State. On October 10, against Baylor, he had 107 rushing yards on 24 carries. In the next game, against Texas, he had eight receptions for 116 yards in the loss. In the following game, he had 62 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 28 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown against Kansas State. On November 14, against Texas A&M, he had a stellar performance with 80 rushing yards, five receptions, 140 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns. On November 28, against Oklahoma State, he had 72 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Overall, in the 2009 season, he finished with 705 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns, 41 receptions, 522 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns.
Murray started the 2010 season off with a strong performance of 208 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Utah State. In the next game against Florida State, he had 51 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. In the following game against Air Force, he recorded 110 rushing yards and his third consecutive game with two rushing touchdowns. In addition, he had five receptions for 38 yards and a receiving touchdown. After posting 67 rushing yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati in the following game, he had 115 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Texas. On October 16, 2010, with 112 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Iowa State, Murray passed running back Steve Owens as the all-time touchdown leader at the University of Oklahoma with 58 touchdowns. On November 20, against Baylor, he had 62 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, six receptions, 120 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. In his final collegiate game, he had 93 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown against Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. He finished his last season with the Sooners with 1,214 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns, 71 receptions, 594 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns. He ended his college career with 65 touchdowns, becoming only the fifth player in Big 12 conference history to score at least 60 career touchdowns.
Murray had 3,685 career rushing yards (4.86 average) with 50 touchdowns, 157 career catches with 13 touchdowns, and 1,462 kickoff return yards with two touchdowns.
Murray was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree during his career and graduated from Oklahoma with a degree in communications and a double minor in business and African American studies.
Murray was selected in the third round (71st overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Murray was the sixth running back chosen in the 2011 draft. Murray signed a four-year contract with the Cowboys worth $2.97 million including a signing bonus worth $622,000 on July 29, 2011.
Murray started his rookie season as the third string running back on the team behind starter Felix Jones and second string running back Tashard Choice. From Week 1 to Week 4, Murray had 14 carries for 39 rushing yards (2.78 average) and added three receptions for 16 receiving yards. On October 16, the Cowboys traveled to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots. Felix Jones went down with a high-ankle sprain, which increased the amount of opportunities for Murray. Murray finished the day with 11 carries for 34 yards and added 1 reception for 7 yards.
With the Cowboys owning a record of 2-3, the Cowboys faced the St. Louis Rams in Week 7. Felix Jones was declared out for the game due to the high ankle sprain injury sustained the week before. The team declared Tashard Choice as the starter for the game and Murray as the second string running back. Murray ran for 253 yards on 25 carries against the St. Louis Rams breaking Emmitt Smith's single game rushing record for a Cowboys running back of 237 yards (set at Philadelphia against the Eagles on October 31, 1993). The record total included a first-quarter 91-yard touchdown run that was the longest rush of the 2011 season and was second longest in Cowboys history, after a NFL-record 99-yard run by Tony Dorsett in January 1983. Among the other records he set during this game were a rookie rushing record for a game in club history, previously held by Tony Dorsett (206 yards in 1977). His 10.1 yards-per-carry is the highest rushing average with 20-or-more attempts for a game in club history, previously held by Tony Dorsett (8.96 in 1977), the 10th most rushing yards in a game in league history, the second-most rushing yards in a game by a rookie in league history, second-longest touchdown run on a player’s first career rushing touchdown in league history, and the most rushing yards by a running back in one game ever allowed by the Rams in club history (Los Angeles and St. Louis). Murray earned the Rookie of the Week award and FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week for his game against the Rams. After the St. Louis Rams' game, Tashard Choice was released leaving the team with only two healthy running backs, rookie Phillip Tanner and Murray, with Felix Jones still sidelined with an injury.
Murray followed his record-breaking game by getting the first start of his career against the Eagles in Week 8. In Weeks 8–9, Murray totaled 30 carries for 213 rushing yards (7.1 average) and 5 receptions for 45 yards. With his second 100+ yard rushing game of the season, Murray became the first Cowboy since Julius Jones in 2004 to post multiple 100+ yard rushing games as a rookie. With 466 rushing yards over the last three games, Murray tied Eric Dickerson for the fifth-highest total all-time by an NFL rookie during a three-game span. The record is 577 set by Mike Anderson of the Denver Broncos in 2000. The 466 rushing yards in the three game span is the most ever by any Cowboys player, surpassing 446 yards by Emmitt Smith during his MVP season of 1993.
From week ten to week thirteen, Murray had a total of 79 carries for 333 rushing yards (4.21 rushing average) and added 16 receptions for 109 receiving yards and one rushing touchdown as the Cowboys went 3-1 during this stretch. In week ten against the Buffalo Bills, Murray fumbled the ball for the first time in his professional career, although the fumble was recovered by Murray himself. In week fourteen vs. the New York Giants, Murray carried the ball 5 times for 25 yards and added one reception for 6 yards before suffering a fractured right ankle and high ankle sprain that ended his rookie season. Murray was named NFL Rookie of the Month for the month of November.
At the end of the 2011 season, Murray led all NFL rookie players (with 40 or more carries) in average per carry (5.5 per carry), yards per game (69.0 yards) and rushing yards (897 yards) on 164 carries (second most among rookie players, Daniel Thomas had 165 carries). Murray tied for third among rookie players for rushing touchdowns with 2; Carolina Panthers' quarterback and 2011 Rookie of the Year Cam Newton led all rookie players with 14 rushing touchdowns. Murray also was 14th in receptions among all rookie players and 2nd among rookie running backs with 26 receptions. He was also 4th in receiving yards among rookie running backs with 183. Among all NFL running backs, Murray with 7 starts in 12 games, tied for the second highest average per carry for a running back with 80 or more carries trailing only Darren Sproles' 6.9 yards per carry on 63 attempts. Murray's 897 rushing yards ranked 22nd among all NFL running backs and 9th in the NFC. The Cowboys went 5-0 for the season when Murray received 20+ touches in the game and 2-5 when he did not. In the five games where Murray got 20 or more touches, starting quarterback Tony Romo averaged a passer rating of 112.10, 246.6 yards per game, along with 12 combined touchdown passes with 2 interceptions and a 66.99% pass completion rate.
Murray started the 2012 season off strong with 131 rushing yards in a 24–17 victory over the New York Giants. During Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens, Murray rushed for 93-yards on 14 carries before suffering a sprained foot. He missed six games as a result of the injury.
In Week 13, after returning from his injury, Murray rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In Week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Murray recorded his third touchdown of the year while rushing for only 53 yards on 21 attempts. This marked the eighth straight game where the Cowboys have won with Murray rushing the ball 20 or more times as the starting running back.
Despite playing in just 10 games, Murray finished the season with 161 carries for 663 yards and a career-low average of 4.1 yards per carry. He also had 251 receiving yards on 35 receptions. He had four touchdowns in the 2012 season.
Murray started off the 2013 season with 86 yards against the New York Giants in the season opener and 25 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. In Week 3, the second time Murray played the St. Louis Rams in his 3-year career, he totaled 203 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. Murray recorded 175 yards on 26 carries and 28 from 3 catches. This marked the second time in as many games he ran for over 175 yards against the St. Louis defense.
In Week 6 game against their NFC East divisional rival Washington Redskins, Murray suffered a sprained MCL, and missed the next two games. Rookie Joseph Randle took Murray's place, because second string running back Lance Dunbar was also battling an injury of his own.
Returning from injury in week 9, he carried only 4 times for 31 yards as the Dallas coaching staff abandoned the running game completely. Although he didn't have many opportunities in this game, Murray really got things going from here on, as 61% of his rushing yards came from the second half of the season.
After the last game of the season, Murray was fined $21,000 for violating the crown-of-the-helmet rule on a collision with Eagles' defensive lineman Damion Square.
Murray finished the productive season ranked 11th in total yards from scrimmage with 1,471, while missing 2 games due to injury. He had 217 carries for 1,121 yards and 9 touchdowns, all career highs and ranking (T)17th, 10th and (T)6th respectively among running backs. His 5.2 yards per attempt was the most in the league among players with 150 or more attempts. He also recorded 53 catches for 350 yards and one touchdown, ranking 11th, 14th and (T)16th among backs.
Murray replaced an injured Frank Gore to play in the 2014 Pro Bowl, after Gore got injured during the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks. This marked his first Pro Bowl since joining the league in 2011. He had four rushes for 25 yards and caught four passes for another 37 yards as he scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on a 20-yard reception from Kansas City's Alex Smith to give Team Rice the 22-21 win. He was ranked 87th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2014.
In 2014, the Cowboys entered the year with many questions and doubts about its future. In the 2014 season, Murray and an improved offensive line helped the team find a new identity.
In the first eight games, Murray broke Jim Brown's 1958 NFL rushing record for most consecutive 100-yard games to start a season. Given his previous injury history, the team considered limiting some of his workload, but he was such an integral part of the offense success, that the Cowboys could not cut back on his playing time.
In Week 1, Murray had 118 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers. He followed that up with 167 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the next game. In the next game, against the St. Louis Rams, he had 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the 34–31 victory. In Week 4, against the New Orleans Saints, he had 149 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns for his fourth straight game finding the endzone. In the next game, against the Houston Texans, he had 136 rushing yards in the 20–17 victory. In the following game, a 30–23 victory over the defending Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks, he had 115 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. In the next game, against the NFC East divisional rival New York Giants, he had 128 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the 31–21 victory. In the next game, the Cowboys' win streak ended as the Washington Redskins defeated them 20–17. In the loss, Murray had 141 rushing yards and 80 receiving yards. In the follow game, a 28–17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, he had 79 rushing yards was held to under 100 rushing yards for the first time in the 2014 season. In the next three games, he bounced back with 100 rushing yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 121 rushing yards against the New York Giants, and 73 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. On December 4, in a 41–28 victory over the Chicago Bears, he had a season-high 179 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
In Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles, he suffered a broken left hand that required surgery the following day. Heavily bandaged, he did not miss any time and played the following week against the Indianapolis Colts. In Week 17, with his hand still bandaged, he rushed for 100 yards to pass Emmitt Smith's Cowboys franchise single season rushing record with 1,845 yards. Although he experienced great success and was in the league's MVP conversation, he battled fumbling problems, which included a key fumble in the divisional playoff loss against the Green Bay Packers. Murray earned the NFL's Offensive Player of The Year award at the end of the season.
Murray set the franchise single season rushing record with 12 games rushing 100+ yards and passed Walt Garrison for seventh on the Cowboys all-time rushing yards list. He also finished the season as the league's top rusher. He was named as a First Team All-Pro and to his second Pro Bowl, while having his second straight 1,000 yard season. He was ranked fourth by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015 list.
On March 9, 2015, it was reported in the media that Frank Gore had agreed in principle to a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to replace LeSean McCoy, who was recently traded to the Buffalo Bills. However, the following day, Gore had second thoughts and signed instead with the Indianapolis Colts.
Following this setback, the team reached an agreement with Ryan Mathews for a three-year deal. However, the Eagles quickly turned their attention into also signing the NFL rushing champion Murray, who was still available in free agency. On March 12, he agreed to a five-year $42 million contract, joining his former college teammate, quarterback Sam Bradford.
In his first game with the Eagles, Murray scored two touchdowns, an eight-yard run, and a five-yard reception. He received criticism because he rushed eight times for only nine yards, while catching four passes for 11 yards. In Week 2 against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, he was held up again, rushing for two yards on 13 carries and catching five passes for 53 yards in a 20-10 loss. Murray's Week 2 performance marked the fewest rushing yards through the first two games for a defending rushing champion since Doug Russell of the Chicago Cardinals in 1936.
Murray missed Week 3 due to a hamstring injury, while Mathews ran for 108 yards and Darren Sproles scored 2 touchdowns. Despite Mathews' success, Murray was named the starter in a divisional matchup with the Washington Redskins. He had a 30-yard run in the first quarter, but finished the game with 8 carries for 36 yards. On October 19, in a 27-7 win over the New York Giants, Murray rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, which turned out to be his only 100-yard game of the season.
As the weeks progressed, Murray grew increasingly frustrated, with the offensive line not generating the running lanes needed, being required to frequently run laterally instead of downhill and not being seen as a good fit in the team's offensive system, which always ran in the shotgun.
In the Week 13 game against the New England Patriots, he was demoted because the team decided the smaller, quicker Darren Sproles would be more effective. Murray registered 8 carries for 24 yards in the game, while Sproles recorded 66 rushing yards on 15 carries, and 34 yards on 4 catches. Murray reportedly had a conversation with owner Jeffrey Lurie over his role in the offense during the flight back to Philadelphia. Murray struggled to get touches after the return of Ryan Mathews who started the remaining 4 games. Murray finished third on the team in rushing in the next 2 games, behind Sproles and Mathews, posting only eight snaps with two rushing attempts against the Arizona Cardinals. He led the team in carries and rushes in a Week 16 matchup against the Redskins (5 carries for 27 yards and a touchdown), he fumbled a pitch that was returned for a touchdown just when the Eagles started to make a comeback.
Going into the final game of the season, head coach Chip Kelly was fired and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur became the interim head coach. Murray rushed for a 54-yard touchdown on his first carry and finished the game with a 5.8 yards per carry average, his highest of the year. Murray finished the year with only 702 rushing yards, and had only two games with over 20 carries, his lowest output since 2012.
On March 9, 2016, Murray was traded to the Tennessee Titans along with the Eagles' 2016 fourth round draft pick, in exchange for the Titans' 2016 fourth round draft pick. In the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, he had 42 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns in the 25–16 loss. In Week 3 against the Oakland Raiders, Murray had 114 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. In the following game against the Houston Texans, Murray had 95 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. In the next game against the Miami Dolphins, he had 121 rushing yards. Following the Dolphins game, Murray had 6 straight games with a touchdown and went over 100 rushing yards in 3 of them. Murray posted 1,287 rushing yards on 293 carries in his first year with the Titans. His 12 total touchdowns, of which 9 were rushing and 3 were receiving, ranked sixth among NFL running backs in 2016. Additionally, on November 13, 2016, he threw a touchdown pass to Delanie Walker. He was named to his third career Pro Bowl on December 20, 2016 as a result of his successful season with the Titans. He was ranked 33rd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
Murray split carries with Heisman-winning second-year running back Derrick Henry and run-oriented quarterback Marcus Mariota, reaching 15 rush attempts just once through Week 10. Despite the limited touches, he had 115 rushing yards and a 75-yard rushing touchdown in Week 3 against Seattle, and two rushing touchdowns along with the game-winning receiving touchdown in Week 10 against Cincinnati. He made his final appearance of the regular season in Week 16 against the Los Angeles Rams. He had 15 carries for 48 yards and a rushing touchdown and 11 receiving yards in the 27–23 defeat. He missed the final game of the regular season due to a knee injury. Overall, he finished the 2017 season with a career-low 659 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, 39 receptions, 266 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown.
On March 8, 2018, Murray was released by the Titans.
On July 13, 2018, Murray announced his retirement from the NFL.
In August 2018, one month after his retirement, Murray was added as a college football commentator for Fox Sports.
On January 2, 2019, Murray joined Kevin Sumlin's staff at the Arizona Wildcats football team as the running backs coach.
On June 20, 2013, actress Heidi Mueller gave birth to Murray's first child, a daughter, Savanna June. The couple announced their engagement on January 19, 2015. Murray and Heidi also have a son, Parker Ray. Murray started the DeMarco Murray Foundation with the mission to provide families with seriously and chronically ill kids with daily encouragement and life-changing experiences.