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Kyler Murray joins Cam Newton in exclusive dual-threat quarterback club

Ben Weinrib
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Everyone knew that Kyler Murray had a chance to turn the NFL on its head as the next great dual-threat quarterback when the Arizona Cardinals drafted him first overall in April.

He hasn’t done so immediately, but he still joined an exclusive club on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams by surpassing 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards on the season.

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Murray becomes just the sixth quarterback to accomplish the feat and the second rookie after Cam Newton (2011). Joining them are Randall Cunningham (1998), Daunte Culpepper (2002), Russell Wilson (2015, ’17) and Deshaun Watson (2018). Newton also accomplished the feat in 2012 and his MVP ’15 season.

The 22-year-old entered the game with 3,397 passing yards and 544 rushing yards. He broke the 3,500-yard milestone just before halftime. Fittingly, he found Larry Fitzgerald on a 12-yard pass to the right side, and he picked up 33 more yards to net a field goal in the closing seconds.

Murray still has plenty of time to tell his NFL story, and he has years to wrest away the best dual-threat QB crown from Lamar Jackson. He’s not one to initiate contact like Newton, so perhaps he can avoid the injuries that have recently plagued the former MVP.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has shown off his arm and legs this season. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Will this be enough for Murray to win Rookie of the Year?

Of course, it should be noted that 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards are fairly arbitrary endpoints for an exclusive group, and he still falls short of Newton’s 4,051-706 rookie campaign. Additionally, it’s not even as round as the 1,000-1,000 club that Christian McCaffrey just joined.

Still, it goes to illustrate how talented Murray is and how few other quarterbacks have his skills, especially for his age.

Perhaps the biggest question coming out of this game is whether Murray has done enough to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. No voter will be basing their vote off a 3,500-500 club, but his solid numbers all season long paint an impressive picture.

Murray’s biggest boon to his case may be something that’s out of his control. Oakland Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs missed his third game in four contests this week, which leaves him at 1,150 rushing yards on the season. With no runaway winner, Murray’s durability — which some questioned coming into the season — and unique skills may win him some hardware.

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