ABOVE PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
By Rob Maaddi
All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray will visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, a person familiar with the meeting said.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because the Eagles haven’t announced the visit. Philadelphia agreed to a three-year contract with running back Ryan Mathews earlier in the day, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.
It’s a no-lose situation for the Eagles. If they don’t get Murray, they’re helping drive up his price for the rival Dallas Cowboys.
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.
New Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is hoping to convince his former Oklahoma teammate to join him in Philly.
“I’ve been trying my hardest,” Bradford said. “I called him. I’ve texted him. I’ve done everything. We’ve been in communication and I think if we could somehow land DeMarco, it would be a great pickup.
“Not only is he a great player, but he’s a great person. He’s a really great friend of mine, too. I really think that he could help this ballclub.”
Even reigning AL MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, a lifelong Eagles fan, lobbied Murray to come to Philadelphia via Twitter.
Trout wrote: “Come to Philly @DeMarcoMurray !!! #EaglesNation”
The Eagles have sought a running back since trading two-time All-Pro LeSean McCoy to Buffalo last week for linebacker Kiko Alonso. They agreed to a deal with Frank Gore on Sunday before he changed his mind and signed with Indianapolis.
The 27-year-old Murray turned down a four-year, $16 million offer from the Cowboys last fall and went on to become the AP Offensive Player of the Year. He played 16 games for the first time in 2014 after missing games with injuries in each of his first three years.
Murray played the final four games last season, including the playoffs, after breaking his left hand in a win at Philadelphia. He tied Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch for the NFL lead with 13 touchdowns rushing. Murray has been to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons. He had 1,121 yards rushing and nine TDs in 14 games in 2013.