- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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On "NFL Live," Tim Hasselbeck and Darren Woodson debated the question: Which player is more important to the 2013 success of the Dallas Cowboys? Wide receiver Dez Bryant or running back DeMarco Murray? Both of them picked Murray, and I think I agree.
As you know if you read me regularly, I think Bryant is coming into his own as an absolute monster and will continue to develop as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. I think he'll continue to be Tony Romo's favorite target and put up huge numbers in the Cowboys' passing game. But as Tim and Darren both assert in the clip there, a healthy and productive Murray would help everyone else on the offense. He'd help the offensive line. He'd help Romo. He'd probably help Bryant be even more fantastic than he was over the second half of last season.
Can the Cowboys score points if Murray is in and out of the lineup again due to injury? Sure. Romo and his passing-game weapons are enough for the Cowboys to score plenty of points. But there's little doubt that a healthy Murray would make the offense run more efficiently and reduce the pressure on Romo and those around him. The Cowboys would suffer for the loss of Bryant, but between Miles Austin, Jason Witten and the new guys they brought in via the draft, Romo could figure that out. Without Murray, they trend too predictable and don't offer enough variety.