In 2014, DeMarco Murray led the NFL in rushing wearing No. 29 for the Cowboys; in 2015, he fell flat wearing No. 29 for the Eagles; and in 2016 he'll try to turn things around wearing No. 29 for the Titans -- but it'll cost him a little.
Murray was traded from the Eagles to the Titans three weeks ago, but new teammate Perrish Cox wore No. 29 for Tennessee in 2015. Fortunately for Murray, who wanted to keep his number, the two have been friends for years, according to the Titans' website:
"Man, we have been buddies since we came out of high school,'' Cox said of Murray on Monday. "We played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game coming out, and that's when we first met each other. I went on a visit to OU, and we kind of talked about playing together before I went to Oklahoma State.
"So I am so pumped about getting DeMarco. He's a great pick-up. I know what type of player he is."
That doesn't mean Cox was going to give away his number for free -- even if he had never worn No. 29 in his previous NFL seasons with the Broncos, 49ers and Seahawks.
"I knew he was going to want that,'' Cox said with a smile.
The two worked things out, without a lot of problems.
But Cox admitted he didn't give it away.
"I won't get into the details. We talked about it, and it was about a five-minute conversation,'' Cox said. "I'm glad we worked it out. It's always been his number, and he is going to be a good teammate. As long as he can make that No. 29 look good, it's all good with me."
Murray will have some work to do to make it look good after running for only 702 yards and 3.6 per carry last season. The previous year, he led the NFL in rushing yards (1,845) and rushing TDs (13) and averaged 4.7 yards. He didn't like the way he was used by former Eagles coach Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, and the Eagles dealt him to the Titans for the bargain price of a simple swap of fourth-round picks.
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