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Jerry Jones: DeMarco Murray would be a Cowboy if not for salary cap

Jerry Jones indicates he would have used his massive fortune to keep DeMarco Murray if NFL rules allowed it

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a net worth of $4.2 billion. The NFL's salary cap for 2015 is $141.8 million.

The gap of more than $4 billion between the two figures is why star running back DeMarco Murray is no longer a member of the Cowboys. At least that's what Jones thinks.

"If there was no salary cap in place, DeMarco would be a Cowboy," Jones said in a statement Thursday after Murray agreed to a five-year, $42-million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. "This came down to an allocation of dollars within the management of the salary cap."

The Cowboys were in a tight spot this season, with two of their key players -- Murray and Dez Bryant -- set to become free agents. The team chose to use its franchise tag on Bryant, which will keep the receiver in Dallas another year but cost the organization $12.8 million.

That didn't leave a whole lot left for Murray if the Cowboys were going to take care of other necessary personnel issues. They made an offer to the reigning NFL rushing champion that was reportedly in the neighborhood of $5 million a season.

“Obviously there is emotion involved in these decisions, but it is critical that there be must be discipline involved as well. If it were a question of having an open checkbook with no salary cap constraints, we all know things would have worked out differently."

Do we?

“It wasn't about financial security,” Murray said Thursday about his decision to leave the Cowboys. “I felt this was a great opportunity for us to win a Super Bowl. Obviously, you want something that you deserve and that's respectful. I felt that those two things were important to me and I was able to accomplish that here.”

Well, we all know that in the NFL, respect equals money. So while Dallas' offer would have provided some financial security, Philly's more lucrative offer was deemed more respectful.

In other words, maybe Jones is right. If it weren't for that darn salary cap, he could have thrown plenty more respect Murray's way. And things might have ended differently.

Twitter: @chewkiii

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