DeMarco Murray isn’t known for his touchdown dances. He scores a lot — the Dallas Cowboys running back had 10 end zone romps last season — but afterward, Murray normally isn’t busting out the Choppa City Juke. However…now? He might have a few tricks up his sleeve.
Recently, I headed out to Los Angeles to be on set as Murray teamed up with adidas and Champs Sports to film some Instagram shorts for their new adicolorTV campaign. In one version, Murray introduced a breakdancer, then watched him perform one show-stopping move after another. While that might’ve given him some ideas, when I caught up with the guy who rushed for 1,121 yards last season (a 5.2 yards per rush average), we never talked dance moves. We talked about adicolorTV, his pre-snap reads at the line of scrimmage, and what makes him original off the football field.
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What does it mean to be original?
DeMarco Murray: It feels great. It’s definitely an honor. I grew up wearing the Originals and to be sponsored by adidas and to have them choose me to be in this shoot wearing adidas and representing their brand is awesome.
What type of stuff are you doing today?
DM: Yeah, I’m going to shoot with some Originals. They have me dressed up with a creative wardrobe. They got a great wardrobe for me. I’m just going out there to have fun. They got Von [Miller], RG3, and Lil’ Jon, minus the East Side Boyz [laughs] so it’ll just be us three just having fun, taking some pictures and some video.
Talk about your favorite adidas sneakers that you’ve had?
DM: It’s hard. I’ve had so many (laughs). That’s all I wear. Actually, the last time I was here, maybe a month ago, they gave us a new adidas shoe: gray with white bottoms, the Boost running shoes. They are the most comfortable shoes — like running shoes, straight ahead — they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn in my life. Von actually has them on today.
Do you have a lot of sneakers?
DM: I wouldn’t say I have a lot of sneakers. I’d say I have a lot of adidas.
Last year was sort of your breakout year. Was there anything that changed?
DM: Yeah. I think obviously you get better as a player and you get more comfortable with the offensive team. As you continue to mature and get older, you get more familiar with certain things in the NFL like the speed and the mentality. I thought offensively we had a good year. We could’ve done a lot better but it was a good stepping-stone to get better.
Dallas has never lost a game when you’ve gotten 20 carries. What do you think that says about what your role should be this year?
DM: Nah, we don’t waste too much of our time on statistics. It’s about executing and coming up with a great gameplan to put us in position to win games. I’ve heard that stat but… we’ve won multiple games too without me getting that many touches. It just depends on how we play.
At the snap, what are you looking for in your pre-snap reads?
DM: It depends on the type of play. If it’s a run play, I’m definitely looking at the front seven, getting a pre-snap read on where the ball could go. But you never want to predetermine your read so you gotta feel it out.
If it’s a passing situation, I’m definitely checking the linebackers and secondary to see if there’s any pressure coming so I gotta get a good pre-snap read.
And that’s always changing.
DM: Yeah, yeah. It’s down and distance. What type of personnel are they in? Is it base defense? Nickel defense? It all depends on what part of the field we’re at.
This summer, what type of training do you do?
DM: I try to incorporate some of the same stuff that I felt gets me in great shape and gets me better. Definitely UFC, I just trained out there in Vegas for a week. I do that for a week and give my legs a rest as far as running and then I come back. I do a little Crossfit to get my strength back up and get the cardio pushing a little bit more. Then I start bringing in the football work so there are three phases that I tend to workout.
Do you study other running backs or running backs that came before you?
DM: I did. I studied a lot of running backs growing up and in college, but at this point, I study the running back who just played the opposition. So if I’m watching film on the Eagles and Adrian Peterson is playing them, I’ll watch that game and I’ll watch what he did to have success and watch what he did when they got him. It just depends on who’s playing at that position at the time.
You guys start camp in a couple of weeks, right?
DM: Yeah, July 22. [Until then] I’m just training, man. Just training back in Dallas. I got a couple more travel obligations but just training and getting ready for the season.
What type of stuff do you like to get into during the summer besides football?
DM: I do a lot of travels with obviously adidas and my foundation. I’m a homebody so I’m always busy and might be traveling sponsored but if I’m not doing that work with them, I’m just hanging out with my daughter and my fiancé, and eat a lot (laughs).
What type of food?
DM: She makes great lasagna, turkey tacos, she makes a great pot roast so she makes a little bit of everything.
Is there a place that you haven’t been before that you’d really want to go to?
DM: I really want to go to Italy. I’ve never been there. We went to Aspen and Hawaii this year so Italy is on the forecast, hopefully next year if we get a little bit more downtime. But that’s definitely a place where I want to go.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever had?
DM: It’s probably Aspen this past year. I went to Aspen and got a chance to snowmobile and hangout with some good friends. It was just beautiful up there. It was great. The food was amazing.
What’s something you get to do in the summer that you don’t have time to do during the season?
DM: I get to read. I’m always busy but I try to read at least one or two books a year. That’s probably not good (laughs) but I try, you know, with the downtime with traveling and having some downtime with myself.
What type of books?
DM: Anything. I’m reading a Dan Brown book right now, Inferno. It’s pretty good, I’m halfway through it so I should finish it before camp.
That’s a long book right?
DM: It is. It is. It’s about 105 or 106 chapters and I’m only on chapter 38 so I got quite some time to go (laughs).
Have you always been a big reader?
DM: When I can. Growing up, I wasn’t. I had to with school but it wasn’t something that I enjoyed. But I think as you get older, you find certain things that you like a little bit more than when you were younger. I’m not a big reader. I wouldn’t say I’ve read 100 books. I read maybe one book when I can.
What’s the best book that you’ve ever read?
DM: Probably Calico Joe, John Grisham. That’s probably one of my favorite books. It’s about a baseball player. I’m actually having my little nephew read it right now but he has to let me know what he read. Basically, it’s just about a family. The dad played in Major League Baseball. He was a pitcher. He was an alright pitcher. There was this kid, this up-and-coming star named Calico Joe and he had like 30 straight hits. It was unheard of. He was going against the dad and boom, he homers off the dad. Then the dad got mad and boom, the next thing you know the dad threw a pitch and hit him in the face and cracked his skull and he was never able to play again. Later on down the road, the dad ended up getting cancer and everyone hated his dad, so the family kind of dispersed. Everybody went their own ways, a lot of hatred and whatnot.
Calico Joe went to the dad and the dad apologized — he was dying of cancer — so they all made up in the end. It was a pretty good book.
Is that fiction?
DM: No, it was a true story. I think it was. I could be wrong. I think it’s based on true events but I’m not sure. It’s been a while since I read it. I can’t remember.
Do you read whatever catches your eye?
DM: Yeah. I don’t have taste. It’s whatever — something that’s getting a lot of noise and praise, maybe I’ll pick it up. After a couple of chapters, if you like it, keep reading it. If not, toss it away (laughs).
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