Arizona Cardinals need to make Kyler Murray earn his position back

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Arizona Cardinals rightfully are turning to Colt McCoy this week to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City. 

This is an article Kyler Murray backers are not going to like. But until the fourth-year quarterback learns how to be more consistent, he should ride the bench. Murray, who reminds me of former NFL quarterback Jeff George in many aspects, will miss his second straight game because of a hamstring injury.

And if McCoy once again makes the Cardinals offense look alive, this time against arguably the NFL’s best defense, then head coach Kliff Kingsbury needs to make the right decision and keep the longtime backup at number one on the depth chart. And no, this is not a quarterback controversy, nor should it be.

But sooner than later, someone needs to light a fire within Murray, so benching him in favor of a 36-year-old career backup who methodically runs the offense might give Murray the jolt he needs. Because though most Murray backers don’t want to admit it, the Cardinals offense has, at best, been stagnant with Murray in charge, scoring over 27 offensive points just once this season with the former top pick at the helm.

Arizona Cardinals must keep Colt McCoy in the driver’s seat

Many will argue against the fact that Murray’s career looks more and more like Jeff George’s. George, the top pick in 1990, isn’t exactly a bust. But he also underachieved, pointed fingers, and ended up as a journeyman passer.

Also like Murray, George had some career accolades, having led the NFL in passing yards in 1997, and in 1990, he was also a member of the PFWA All-Rookie Team. George even wore #1 for a portion of his career.

Meanwhile, McCoy, to some degree reminds me of Kelly Holcomb, who came in and performed admirably during the 2002 season for an injured Tim Couch. Holcomb ultimately supplanted Couch in 2003, which led to Couch ending his career unceremoniously in 2004 while Holcomb proved what he had always been – a backup. But he also proved that Couch was finished by 2003.

What to make of Murray?

Personally, I’d like to see the Cardinals trade Murray in the offseason while his value is still high, and someone like Houston will be more than willing to swap a first to gobble up that contract. Realistically, Murray will remain in the desert, and when that’s the case, I’d like to see Murray not go in the same way as Couch and definitely not in the same way as George, as the latter carved out a respectable career.

But at the same time, Murray cannot by any means have the job handed back to him. To that degree, I would be pulling for Murray since I’d rather not see a controversy develop that ends with McCoy or a similar talent taking the reins from Murray in 2023, which would only set the franchise back.

Some might say, “well, just give Murray the job back.” So he can keep underperforming and stagnate the offense again? Know what would happen if that were the case? You can say hello to both Colt McCoy (again) and to a quarterback controversy that will last until when. 

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Long story short, keep the hot hand in the driver’s seat. And if that’s McCoy, then keep him there until Murray proves he can move the offense better than his backup. Until then, keep Murray on the bench where he deserves to be, even after his hamstring is healed.

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Article Source: Cardinals QB Colt McCoy set to start vs. 49ers as Kyler Murray continues to deal with hamstring injury by Kevin Patra