TE MARTELLUS BENNETT / FB TONY FIAMMETTA
The season was 2011-12 and the Dallas Cowboys rushing attack ranked 18th of 32 teams (112.9 ypg, 4.4 ypc). Blocking TE Martellus Bennett and FB Tony Fiammetta were 2 crucial cogs to leading the path.
In the 2012 offseason, both left Dallas without the team making any effort to retain their services. Bennett left for New York in free agency and Fiammetta was released.
Without them in 2012, the Cowboys’ run game plummeted to 31st in the league (79.1 ypg, 3.8 ypc). What’s the reason for the inept running attack that’s still lacking today?
Management and coaching in Dallas continues to believe they can run the ball without EITHER a powerful blocking TE or solid FB on the roster. In a shocking move they did add a decent FB to the roster this week.
It’s a crying shame it took the Cowboys 12 games to realize the brutally obvious. Assuming a serviceable OL, a team will likely be productive running from a “12” package with a solid blocking TE. Dallas acquired none.
Also with a decent OL, a team should rush effectively with a quality, experienced FB. The Cowboys removed that position altogether.
These guys went into the season with neither position remotely solidified in the blocking department. What did they assume would happen? Expecting to run the ball better with 3 receiving TE’s and no FB? Come on, Man!
The bad news is the Bears (no pun intended) aren’t running game illiterate, and snagged both Bennett and Fiammetta to power their ground attack. The results have them tied for 7th at 4.4 ypc, Dallas is 18th at 4.1 ypc.
Chicago is 19th in rush ypg (109.8), while Dallas is looking up from their 27th spot (85.1). That’s what a blocking TE and solid FB will do for your run game, Cowboys.