Question: Are Two Running Backs Better Than One?


Offensive coordinators in the NFL are increasingly turning to the dual back system. The Dallas Cowboys have had decent success with running two backs but it is still a bit fuzzy if the strategy actually helps teams win.

But if you recall, the Cowboys greatest success wasn’t with a two halfback system. It was with a powerhorse runner (Emmitt Smith) and a great blocking fullback (Darryl Johnston).

The Cowboys would not have drafted Arkansas back Felix Jones with its first pick if the coaches were not planning to use the two halfback system again with Marion Barber. The idea is that a rested runner is a better runner.

The Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints, come to mind quickly as three teams likely to test the two-back system again. One can look to the Kansas City Chiefs as an example of what overworking a running back can do to a team. Larry Johnson’s absence last year was the main factor in the team’s dismal performance last season.

The jury is still out obviously on Felix Jones. We saw on Hard Knocks that he lacks blocking talent because he’s just not a huge back.

The two-back system almost seemed to slow the Cowboys down last year, chiefly because Julius Jones was so awful. The Cowboys always had big second halfs because Marion Barber was in the backfield and Jones was on the bench. I think that is when a two-back system can hurt a team. But on the other side of the argument, we saw in the Giants playoff game last year how either Barber tired out or the offensive line just sputtered. Will Jones bring the Cowboys more success with the two-back system? Is the two-back system even good for NFL teams?

So, I lay the question upon you:

Who wins Sunday night in New York? The Cowboys or The Jets?

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Darryl Johnston Emmitt Smith Felix Jones NFL Two Back Offense Two Halfbacks Offense

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