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DeMarco Murray leaves Cowboys to join Eagles

DeMarco Murray (29) of the Dallas Cowboys stands

DeMarco Murray (29) of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the sideline during the game against the Green Bay Packers during the 2015 NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on Jan. 11, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. Credit: Getty Images / Mike McGinnis

Chip Kelly's stunning makeover of the Eagles' backfield continued Thursday, as the team signed Cowboys free-agent running back DeMarco Murray to a five-year deal worth a reported $42 million.

Kelly reached out to Murray on Wednesday, and the sides worked out an agreement the next day.

"It was never about the money in any situation,'' Murray texted's Todd Archer Thursday, shortly after agreeing to join the Cowboys' NFC East rival. "If it was the money, I could've taken that a long time ago on a very high deal. It's about winning a Super Bowl and being fair.''

The Eagles also signed former Chargers running back Ryan Mathews to a three-year, $11.5-million contract.

Murray will take over for LeSean McCoy, who went to the Bills last week in a stunning deal that brought linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Eagles. Kelly had offered a contract to 49ers free-agent running back Frank Gore, who had second thoughts and signed with the Colts.

That left a vacancy in Philadelphia that was filled by the 6-foot, 217-pound Murray, who had a career-best 1,845 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing yards per game (115.3) and was named The Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year.

Murray, 27, had expressed a preference to remain with the Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones was reluctant to meet his asking price.

Mathews, 27, is a talented running back with a history of injuries. During five seasons with San Diego, he played all 16 games only once. Last year, Mathews was slowed by knee problems and played in only eight games, rushing for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He had his best year in 2013, running for 1,255 yards and six TDs.

It's uncertain what the Cowboys will do to replace Murray, but they have been linked to Adrian Peterson, who remains on the commissioner's exempt list in connection with child-abuse charges from last season. The Vikings have indicated they intend to welcome back Peterson once he is reinstated, but it's still possible they will trade the three-time All-Pro.

New York Sports