Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray says he will play “all 16 games” in 2013 after missing nine games combined during his first two seasons and getting labeled as injury prone.
Still, Murray has been sidelined so far in OTAs with a hamstring injury for precautionary reasons.
“That’s something I can’t control,” Murray said of the critics.
“I can’t control if anything happens. All I can do is go out there, play hard, play fast, play physical. Once I’m out there, I don’t think there’s any question about anything.”
And then came the prediction.
“I am going to play all 16 (games) this year, and I’m excited,” Murray said.
“It’s going to be a great year for us.”
After a 2012 season when the Cowboys rushed the fewest times and for the fewest yards in 16 games in team history, the team needs a big full season from Murray.
“I think it’ll be huge for us,” tight end Jason Witten said.
“He’s a guy that plays hard and runs hard. I think we’ll do a better job offensively running the ball. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on that.
“He’s a dynamic back who can create a lot of things for you. He’s got to be healthy and out there. He’s worked hard to get there, and hopefully we’ll get to see him here in these OTAs.”
There is no progress with defensive end Anthony Spencer in talks with the Cowboys of a long-term deal. He signed a $10.6 million franchise tag and is preparing to play on that if a deal can’t get done before the June 15 deadline.
Spencer said he wants a deal so he can continue his career in Dallas beyond this season. Because he is on a franchise tag for a second straight year, there is little chance he will be franchised in 2014, so without a deal he could likely be playing his last year in Dallas. But he is not going to worry about that or let it affect his play.
“I’m really not worried about it,” Spencer said.
“I come here, work and go home and relax. If it gets done, it gets done. It’s the same attitude I had last year and it ended up working out for me.”
Wide receiver Dez Bryant has signed a three-year endorsement deal with Jordan Brands, with a caveat. Bryant told NBA legend Michael Jordan to not pay him the first year of the deal outside of apparel, so he can prove to him that he is worthy of being one of his endorsers.
Bryant is banking on himself not to get in trouble, but also to continue developing on the field as one of the league’s top game breakers. Jordan obliged but also had some words of advice for Bryant: stay out of trouble.
“Whenever you represent a guy like Michael Jordan, you got to be right,” Bryant said.
“I don’t know one guy who doesn’t admire him. It’s very rare to be a part of that group (a Jordan Brand athlete endorser). Just to be blessed to be part of that group means a lot to me.
“Before I was even signed to the brand, all I rocked were Jordans. I’m blessed to be part of that. I’m going to stay focused and do my job and hold myself accountable with my actions.”
Bryant recalled meeting Jordan for the first time at his birthday party during the NBA All-Star Game in Houston and being nervous before getting a stern edict from his idol.
“The only thing he told me was ‘stay out of trouble,’” Bryant said.
“Hearing it from him, he is a strong voice. His opinion matters. It just adds fuel to trying to do things great at all times, that’s something you don’t want to mess up. Now, I do pay attention to that, just because of the fact of who he is and what he is about. Everybody knows Michael Jordan is about his business, so that make you want to be about yours.”