Whose To Blame For Dallas Running Woes

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I wanted to figure out who was to ultimately blame for the poor rushing performance for the Dallas Cowboys this season: Coaching, Offensive Line play, or RB DeMarco Murray. So I decided to catalog every run for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. I watched each run numerous times, breaking and analyzing each run frame by frame. Here is each of the 13 runs by Dallas on Sunday.

First Quarter

First run: 8:13- 1st and 10 on own 20

A stretch play (where the lineman slant to one side) to the right with the lineman. RT Doug Free stretches too far right allowing the KC LB to shoot the gap and take Murray down. Result: –3 yards. Blame: Offensive Line (OL)

Second run: 7:07- 1st and 10 on KC 29

Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is pushed out of bounds by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) during the second half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

A stretch left this time. Center Travis Frederick engages the NT initially with RG Mackenzy Bernadeau coming to double. Frederick stays with the double for a half-second too long preventing him to get to the second level and block the LB. The LB is able to hit Murray in the backfield. Result: 1 yard. Blame: OL

Third run: 3:56- 1st and 10 on own 45

The line establishes the line of scrimmage (LOS), and Murray is able to hit the hole. Result: 5 yards. Blame: None

Fourth run: 3:25- 2nd and 5 on the 50

With a run off tackle, LT Tyron Smith and LG Ron Leary are asked to swing outside which both do beautifully. Murray breaks an arm tackle. Result: 5 yards. Blame: None

Fifth run: 1:27- 2nd and Goal on KC 1

Goal line formation with OG David Arkin lined up in the backfield playing FB. Interior of line gets beat right of the snap, but Arkin is able to set the edge on the right. Murray decides to take the ball inside instead of following Arkin’s block on the outside and he gets stuffed. If Murray followed Arkin, it would have been a walk in TD. Only thing film does not show is play design. It could be Murray’s fault for not bouncing it outside, or it could be Arkin’s fault for not knowing his assignment because of the unfamiliarity with the position. Result: -1 yard. Blame: Murray (needs to see play development better).

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