Cowboys likely to let DeMarco Murray test free agency

The Dallas Cowboys have one franchise tag to use on March 2, and Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones made clear Saturday that tag will be used on wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Jones described talks with unrestricted free agent running back DeMarco Murray’s agents as "slow" up to this point.

"[Murray] is probably going to, you know, get some peace and see what’s out in the market and then we’ll talk and see. I do believe deep down he’d love to stay in Dallas."

Last season, Murray led the league in rushing with 1.845 yards and broke Emmitt Smith’s franchise record for most yards in a season. Dallas finished 12-4, went undefeated in December, and won their second playoff game since 1997. Murray’s performance on the field and leadership in the locker room were integral to this success.

If Murray hits the free agent market, Jones isn’t worried about the fourth-year running back going elsewhere.

"We’ve had some really good football players go into free agency: Jay Novacek and Darren Woodson and, you know, they still sign with the Cowboys. So, just because you’re a free agent doesn’t mean you’re not necessarily going to end up back in Dallas."

Teams can begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents on March 7, and teams and players can begin signing contracts on March 10.

"We’d love to keep him in Dallas; just see how things play out," Jones said.

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