Prior to his breakout game last week against the St. Louis Rams, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray had only 14 carries in his rookie season - not really enough on which to base a scouting report. But even before Murray's 25-carry, 253-yard record setting day, there's one Eagle who knows plenty about what Murray can do on the football field; former Oklahoma teammate Keenan Clayton.
Clayton and Murray were Sooners together for three seasons and remain good friends. In fact, during the Eagles' bye week, Clayton went back to his home in Silver Springs, TX., and was able to catch up with the Cowboys running back.
"I wish him the best, hope he stays healthy," said Clayton, "but I told him, 'At the end of the day, we're trying to beat y'all. In between the lines, we're not friends.'"
Clayton, meanwhile, wasn't surprised to see Murray run roughshod over the Rams defense, setting a franchise record for rushing yards in one game.
"DeMarco is a good back," Clayton said. "I've known him for four years now, growing up with him in college, watching him in college. His style of play has changed a little bit. He was more of a scatback when he first came to school, but now he's a little heavier guy, still has his speed. He'll run away from you. He'll make you miss and he'll give you contact too.
"Just watch the tape, that says enough for itself. He's making people miss. He's running away from people in the secondary. There are a lot of things you have to ask for out of a back and he's doing it."
Because of Murray's performance last week, there's no way the Eagles will look past the third-round pick. But as part of an offense that features receivers like Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten, Murray could be given some room to roam.
"You can't forget about a running back because he's going to be their go-to guy," Clayton said. "But he can hurt you if you're so worried about the guys on the outside. If they get him in the ball in space, he's elusive, he can make you miss. We're going to have our hands full with him. This won't be just a walk in the park."
And that's why Clayton's willing to pull out all the stops to throw Murray off-track. The Eagles' second-year linebacker plans to provide his teammates with some college memories as material for some friendly trash talk.
"I might have to dig in the bad and see what I can find on DeMarco," Clayton said with a smile. "I'm pretty sure I can find some good stuff, some good college memories to make somebody get him out of his game."