DeMarco Murray signs with Philadelphia Eagles

DeMarco Murray got the money he wanted from his former team's biggest rival.

The All-Pro running back agreed Thursday to a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Murray's deal was valued at $42 million, with $21 million guaranteed, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because terms weren't disclosed.

Wearing a gray suit, white shirt and black tie, Murray arrived at team headquarters with his fiancee, Heidi Mueller, on Thursday afternoon.

Less than two hours later, the Eagles confirmed they had reached agreement on a three-year contract with former San Diego running back Ryan Mathews.

The tandem joins Darren Sproles and Chris Polk in a crowded backfield.

Murray helped the Cowboys win the NFC East title last season while rushing for a franchise-record 1,845 yards. He broke the Dallas record held by NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith and also set a league mark with eight straight 100-yard games to start the season.

Murray tweeted Tuesday night, "Words can't express my gratitude towards the Cowboys organization,teammates,coaches, and fans!Forever grateful for the past 4 years! ThankU!"

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo told reporters at Rangers spring training in Arizona that he was still trying to process the loss of Murray.

"All the way up until today, I was still thinking we'd be able to keep DeMarco. Obviously, it's not an ideal situation. I'm losing a close friend, too, so that hurts. We have to trust in the process and the people making the decisions," Romo said.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant tweeted at Murray, "I wish you would have stayed but I understand your decision... Congrats bro you deserve it."

Fan reaction from Cowboys fans was mixed online, with some upset Dallas let such a big part of the offense leave. Others praised Cowboys ownership for not overpaying to keep Murray.

One fan posted a Vine video burning his Murray jersey on Thursday afternoon.

Jerry Jones released the following statement regarding Murray's move to the Eagles:

"We are very grateful to DeMarco Murray for his contributions to the Dallas Cowboys.  He is a quality person, a very good football player, and a player that we wanted to keep. 

We have great appreciation for his skills, and if there was no salary cap in place, DeMarco would be a Cowboy.  This came down to an allocation of dollars within the management of the salary cap.

Obviously there is emotion involved in these decisions, but it is critical that there be must be discipline involved as well.  If it were a question of having an open checkbook with no salary cap constraints, we all know things would have worked out differently.

We have recently made significant commitments to top players who are currently on the team, specifically at key positions such as quarterback, left tackle and wide receiver, and we were comfortable with the offer that we made to DeMarco to include him in that structure. 

These are difficult decisions that are part of the NFL.  They are decisions that take into account the entire team, the current economic structure of the team, and the financial concerns for the short and long term future of the team.

At the end of the day, this is about finding the best way to collectively fit all of the individual pieces together, in terms of talent, offensive players, defensive players and dollars—under the salary cap structure—that gives you the best chance to have a championship team."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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