Last December, DeMarco Murray rushed the ball for 81 yards and two touchdowns during a primetime game at Lincoln Financial Field, helping to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 38-27 victory over the Eagles. The late-season victory helped propel Dallas to an NFC East championship, and left the Eagles as an outsider looking in come the NFL playoffs in January.
Just five months later, Murray finds himself wearing midnight green as the key addition of the Eagles' unpredictable offseason. Since signing with the Eagles in March, Murray has had a few months to let the change sink in. But back in December, Murray wouldn't have foreseen that he would trade in his star for a set of wings.
"I wouldn't have believed it, but I'm happy to be here," Murray said following Thursday's Organized Team Activity. "I've definitely moved on and past all of that. I'm happy to be here and my family is happy to be here as well."
Murray led the league in rushing last season, piling up 1,845 yards. He also led the NFL in carries with 392 during the regular season and another 44 during the playoffs. Despite those gaudy numbers, Murray's potential "replacement" in Dallas made waves this week by saying that Murray "left some meat on the bone" in the Cowboys' run game.
Rather than scoff, Murray took the high road when asked about his former teammate's comments.
"Hopefully he can taste some of that meat this year, but they're a good team so hopefully he can get a chance to run behind the line and do some good things," Murray said. "But I'm not worried about it. I never heard about it until now, but I'm not worried about it."
Meanwhile, the high mileage from last season has led some to question how much wear and tear Murray can handle in 2015. But the Eagles' new running back quickly put those thoughts to rest on Thursday.
"I feel stronger than I've ever felt and I feel faster than I've ever felt, and hopefully it's going to be a good year for us," Murray said. "I've been here for a little more than two months now, and I've got some good workouts in here during the Offseason Workout Program. I've been out here for three days with the team and things are going well. I'm excited about the future and we'll see how it goes."
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While working out and conditioning has played a big role in Murray's sky-high confidence, the help that he'll have around him this season, including running back mates Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, also plays an important part.
"There are a lot of playmakers on the outside and the offensive line is great," Murray said. "We've got a lot of individual playmakers, where once the ball gets inside their hands, they can make special things happen. I'm excited just to be around this good group of guys and see where it goes.
"Whenever you have a lot of playmakers like we have, it's going to be tough for the defense to key in on one guy, so that's going to be beneficial to all of us."
Just how much success can Murray have in the Eagles offense? According to him, it's too early to tell. Right now, the focus remains on attacking each day of training and continuing to build each and every day.
"This is a good team, a young team, and we had a great first week, but we've got a long way to go," Murray said. "You've got to build a foundation, and I think we started that a couple of weeks ago with the workouts and we're building on that now. We're learning every day and trying to work hard and compete at a high level … We've got a lot of great players and coaches on this team and we're building something special." !