Yes we have all heard it before that Dallas neglected to run the ball at appropriate times last season. Yes we can all place blame on head coach Jason Garrett now, as it should be; especially with reports coming out that Garrett had been calling the plays most of last year. Now in Garrett’s defense, you can’t run the ball all the time but a more savvy head coach knows that running the ball wears down a defense and opens up the deep ball threat.
The Dallas Cowboys in 2014 need to make this the year of the run. Not only do they need to make it the year of the run they need to focus on running the ball more appropriately. If you think about it, how many leads were blown by the Cowboys this year where running the ball would have given our depleted defense time to rest up and come out to stop the opposing teams? It was too many times. Selfishly as fans, we want to see more than just an average season. If you take a look at the top teams, besides having a good coaching staff, they also ran the ball efficiently and had a great defense.
Now those who like to dabble into Dallas’ facts and statistics here are some facts to chew over. The Cowboys as a team were ranked 24th in the league in rushing. However, if you look closely at the running backs we used this season the statistics will actually surprise you. While only playing 14 games, running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 1121 yards on 217 attempts and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. Now to compare this, the league leading rusher, LeSean McCoy rushed for 1607 yards in 314 attempts and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. McCoy also played 16 games this season. Compared to this, Murray’s stats are not too shabby. Murray is a hard-nose almost old schooled running back and giving him the ball in almost any situation can potentially be dangerous.
If we look a little more in depth at the back-up running backs, Lance Dunbar, before his injury played 9 games and rushed for 150 yards in 30 attempts and averaged 5 yards per carry. Joseph Randle in his rookie season rushed for 164 yards in 54 attempts and averaged 3 yards per carry. Again, these numbers are not terrible numbers especially when you are focusing on how many yards per carry each of our running backs achieved. We, as fans, must give props to the offensive line that held up and allowed for these running backs to do their job.
If you look at the numbers and you compare, it’s a shame that Dallas’ coaching staff decided to abandon the run in so many games. Imagine if they ran a more balanced offense under Garrett; imagine what it would feel like to be better than 8-8. In 2014, Garrett and his coaching staff must make it the year of the run! Focusing on adding a little more run game into their game play will benefit the entire team as a whole. Perhaps the new supposed change in offensive play-calling and planning will allow for the Cowboys to incorporate Murray and company into the game and perhaps we can hope to be a bit better than 8-8. Well, we as fans can dream can’t we?