Eddie MurrayFootball Player, 1976-2000
Coach Larry Smith recruited Eddie Murray from Canada in 1976, launching a college career in which he shattered nearly every Tulane record for place kicking. That led to a remarkable 19 seasons in the NFL, distinguishing Murray as one of the few 44-year olds to don the uniform.
Murray was a key player in Smith’s rebuilding program, advancing from 2-9 in 1976 to an 8-3 regular-season record and a Liberty Bowl invitation in 1979. His 54-yard field goal in 1978 sparked a 24-21 win over Memphis and tied the record for the longest in Green Wave history, set by Mark Olivari in 1975.
Murray still shares the single-season record for PAT percentage, a perfect 35-for-35 in that 1979 season. He made 84-of-86 career PATs, and was 45-of-73 on field goal attempts.
In the 1979 Liberty Bowl on a rainy, sloppy field in Memphis, Murray booted two 26-yard field goals to take the Wave from a 6-0 deficit to a 6-6 tie against Penn State. But the Nittany Lions pulled it out on a last-minute field goal of their own.
Murray’s consistent performance earned him recognition from the media as a first-team, All-South Independent pick all four years. He was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press in 1978 and 1979 and earned honorable mention All-America honors from The Sporting News in 1979. Murray was named first team All-Louisiana in 1979 and honorable mention on the same team in 1976 and 1977. Murray was honored by his alma mater when he was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.
His remarkable career in the NFL began as a seventh-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 1980. He spent his first 12 years with the Lions. Murray also played for Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Dallas (twice), Philadelphia, Minnesota and Washington (twice).
Murray topped 100 points scored in five seasons (1980, ’81, ’85, ’93 and ’95) with a career-high 122 for Dallas in ’93. When he suited up for the Redskins in 2000, he became the sixth-oldest player to wear an NFL uniform (at age 44), and the oldest since Steve DeBerg played for the Atlanta Falcons in 1998.