Whose To Blame For Dallas Running Woes

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Third Quarter

Ninth run:14:32- 1st and 10 on own 32

Very slow developing play and RG Brian Waters is unable to pull all the way to the left shoulder of Tryon Smith. Yet again a LB has a free shot at Murray and is able to bring him down with help. Result: No gain. Blame: Coaching (play had no chance at success from beginning)

Tenth run: 12:08- 1st and 10 on KC 44

Line has a great push and opens up a HUGE hole on the right. Murray does not see the opening and he lowers his shoulder and runs into a pile for a short gain. If he sees the hole, all he has to do is out run a LB and he is running for days. The WRs downfield had solid blocks and he could have busted off a 15+ yard run, instead… Result: 3 yards. Blame: Murray.

Eleventh run: 11:22- 2nd and 7 on KC 41

Shotgun formation. Murray receives hand off and runs through a HUGE hole again. Bernadeau is trying to reach the second level to block KC Safety Eric Berry who is playing at the LB level. Bernadeau trips over another offensive lineman and never reaches Berry. If he is able to stay on his feet, Murray would have been one–on–one with a safety for a potential huge gain. Instead, Berry is able to reach Murray. He and the other safety are able to gang tackle Murray. Result: 4 yards. Blame: None.

Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar (25) carries the ball against the Miami Dolphins in the 2013 Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Twelfth run: 10:10- 1st and 10 on KC 17

RB Lance Dunbar gets his first and last carry (he did have a catch that he fumbled, but this was the only rushing attempt). This is also the first and last misdirection by Dallas of the game. Dallas runs a counter where Dunbar starts right and the line stretches right. TE James Hanna comes from his H-Back spot lined up behind Witten on the right to crack block the unblocked OLB. Beautiful run by Dunbar breaking a couple tackles in the process. Result: 12 yards. Blame: None.

Thirteenth run: 2:15- 2nd and 1 on own 41

Line gets good intial push and Murray slams through a DL and LB to get just enough for the first. The play only yields a yard or two but that was the design. Result: First down. Blame: None

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Topics: Bill Callahan, DeMarco Murray, Travis Frederick

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  • BradAustin

    Lack of correct personnel to run a multi-TE offense as your base and only option. All 3 guys are receiving TE’s. Witten can’t make the jump in the backfield to lead block on short-yardage for strategy reasons. Hannah and Escobar are not even average blockers on the line, much less for lead blocking. So where is the guy? Nowhere.

    In the multi-TE design, you’re not dropping the FB altogether, you’re just re-assigning a TE to handle his job when the formation calls for it. Not a one of these guys can remotely function as a FB. They knew it. They were hoping Rosario could handle it. He couldn’t so they just said “oh well, let’s go as is”. Guess what, our running game blows again. Wonder why. They know why, they ignored it and continue to do so hoping it will improve AS IS. Same old, same old.

    • Damon Bailey Smith

      Lack of a FB is definitely hurting them. I hated when last year they got rid of Tony Fiametta because of te chemistry him and Murray had. This was more of an assessment of what went wrong during the game and not making poor personnel decisions but I completely agree. Much of the problem stems from not having the right personnel aka a true FB

  • BradAustin

    It related to the specific game by limiting options in short-yardage and redzone play-calling. The series where we ended with with a 3rd and 8 quick swing pass to Terrance Williams that had no shot. With the right personnel that series would’ve had a FB set on 1st and 2nd down. However, with the sets we are running to our lack of power blocker, our offense is highly predictable. Defenses can focus on pass coverage much more as they know the front 7 will handle the run by themselves.

    I agree, we were more than able financially to keep Fiametta and still add the cute draft pics JJ wanted. Eliminating the FB spot without knowing who could handle lead blocking was jumping the gun and the effects showed against the Chiefs. The only real shot you have against a power defensive front 7 like that is to have a lead blocker that can pound open a lane. We don’t and it will show up time and again in each individual game.

    Nice article, btw. Enjoy your day.

    • Damon Bailey Smith

      Thanks for the insightful comments. It’s just crazy to think that a few years ago Garrett was so committed to having a FB they drafted Chapas and now they have completely eliminated the position. I would like to go get John Conner. Watching hard knocks proved how great of a lead blocker he is and like you pointed out, that’s what dallas needs. A hard nose mauler to run in front of murray

  • ctcowboy1968

    Really nice analysis. Need to run more. Less stretch plays. More traps. Get the interior 3 to develop an attitude and bull straight ahead (though this is best done with a FB). Personally are not being used right give the situation on the field. Williams is not a red zone guy. Red zone is for proven players. Dez, Miles, Witten and maybe Escobar since he was drafted for the red zone.

    • Damon Bailey Smith

      Dez should get at least one jump each time the cowboys are in a goal-to-go situation and they way he was abusing Flowers they shoulda thrown a jump ball on first second and third down that series. Te screen to Williams was sickening with talent like Dez, Miles and Witten
      Running the ball more effectively down there would be nice too

  • Jack

    Regards run 5, OG Arkin#62, Was Inactive Vs KC. He Played Very Well Preseason, Fast, Smart And Strong. Maybe The Running Game Would Be Better If He Started.

    • Damon Bailey Smith

      My apologies. After looking at it again I thought it was 62 when it was actually 67 OC Phil Costa. Thanks for the correction

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