After the Dallas Cowboys lost in the second round to the Green Bay Packers, the team has to decide whether or not to re-sign running back DeMarco Murray or wideout Dez Bryant. While the NFL is a passing league, Murray would be the more valuable weapon to keep. The real reason the Cowboys fared so well this past season was because of their offensive line. They did a fantastic job protecting Tony Romo. As Colin Cowherd of ESPN pointed out on the radio, the offensive line should get the credit for the team's success and get paid. However, offensive linemen don't get paid as well as offensive weapons like receivers, quarterbacks, and running backs.
The Cowboys should re-sign Murray over Bryant because he makes the team better. The opposing team would have to respect both the running game and the passing game. If the other team tries to stop Murray, Romo can throw it downfield or use play action. The running game wears down defenses and takes crucial time off the clock when used effectively. In 2011, Murray's rookie season, the Cowboys were 5-0 when Murray had 20+ touches in a game and 2-5 when he did not.
A receiver's success ultimately depends on the ability of the quarterback. Bryant cannot help the team if he has to play with a terrible quarterback. On the other hand, a running back can create for himself and help an inexperienced quarterback. It's not a coincidence that the Cowboys finished 12-4, with Murray running for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns, Bryant receiving for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns, and Romo throwing for 34 touchdowns with just 9 interceptions. It was a balanced offense.
A good wide receiver is a luxury but not necessary. The New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks in recent years have had great success because they have a solid running game and a good quarterback. In addition, they all don't have an All-Pro wide receiver.
Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime. Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.