clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DeMarco Murray has been really good at one specific thing for the Eagles

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarco Murray has not been good for the Philadelphia Eagles this season. The $40 million running back ranks tied for 29th in average yards per carry at 3.6. He often looks slow. Murray's struggles have led the Eagles to decrease his snaps in recent weeks. Murray received the third most carries of any running back in the Eagles-Patriots game before only receiving the second most in the Eagles-Bills game. The truth is that the Eagles are probably better without using Murray in their rushing attack.

However, for as much as Murray has struggled, he's been completely perfect in one area: third down conversions. On 15 third down runs this season, Murray has converted every single one for a first down. He's rushed for 91 yards on those 15 attempts, which is an impressive 6.1 average. Murray also converted his one run on fourth down, which brings him to 15 for 15 on third/fourth and short. Only one of his third down runs wasn't from third/fourth and short.

Murray's success on short-yardage conversion isn't limited to this small sample size. He converted 41 first downs on 57 third/fourth and short attempts during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. The 6-0, 217 pound Murray has been able to effectively use his size and strength to his advantage.

All of this isn't to say Kelly can justify the money he spent on Murray, because he can't. It wasn't a good decision. Moving forward, though, Kelly needs to figure out how Murray fits in, and right now that's not as an every down back. Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and even Kenjon Barner have been more efficient runners. They deserve more carries than Murray does. But when it comes to short-yardage situations, Murray is clearly the guy who should be getting the ball.

(hat tip to r/Eagles for noticing this trend)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bleeding Green Nation Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Philadelphia Eagles news from Bleeding Green Nation