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Without DeMarco Murray, Cowboys turning to defense

IRVING, Texas -- DeMarco Murray is leaving, but the Dallas Cowboys don't intend to find his replacement in free agency.

The intention is to improve the defense with the money they no longer will have to commit to Murray.

The Cowboys have needs all over the place and have lost linebackers Justin Durant and Bruce Carter and defensive tackle Henry Melton to free agency.

At linebacker, the Cowboys have had discussions with Rolando McClain's agent about a return, but nothing is imminent.

At cornerback, they have interest in Antonio Cromartie (Update: Cromartie agreed to terms Thursday with the Jets) and Patrick Robinson but nothing is imminent.

At defensive line, they have looked into Derrick Morgan, among others, but nothing is imminent. And they could see another defender leave in Anthony Spencer, who is scheduled to make a trip early next week.

But like with Murray, the Cowboys have their prices they are willing to pay.

The cap space that may have been reserved for Murray can now be spread around to the defensive side of the ball.

Last year’s offensive formula helped the Cowboys defense significantly. The offense dominated with the running game and the defense was kept off the field and played fewer snaps. With the running game changing following Murray's exit, the Cowboys are smart to look at the defense.