The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff understands that they are a run first team, although at times it seems they prefer to air it out far too often.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is a former NFL quarterback. Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is also a former quarterback. Yet, they both command one of the league’s best run-first offenses.
When Garrett took command of the Cowboys as it’s interim head coach midway through the 2010 regular season, and in the years that have followed, Dallas has at times been criticized for being a very pass heavy team. After three seasons of 8-8 mediocrity without a playoff appearance, the Cowboys finally broke through in 2014 behind the league’s leading rusher, running back DeMarco Murray.
And after an injury plagued 2015, Dallas once again had a terrific season behind the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, running back Ezekiel Elliott, who also lead the league in rushing yardage.
With all of this success Dallas has had in recent years running the ball, you’d think the Cowboys coaching staff would have learned their lesson by now. But there are still times when Dallas seems dead set on passing the ball, even in the red zone where their slew of talented offensive lineman and premier running back have the advantage.
Sometimes the Cowboys coaching staff attempts to get a little too cute in their playcalling. But Garrett ultimately knows the gasoline that powers the team’s offensive motor is their rushing attack. Even though they seem to forget that fact at times.
"“When we can come out and run the ball like that, it makes everything work,” Garrett told NFL.com columnist Michael Silver following Sunday’s big win over the Niners. “We throw it better. We can get Dak on the move. The defense plays better. It’s just better.”"
The Cowboys are coming off a 40-10 blowout win over the San Francisco 49ers in which the team rushed for more yardage (265) than it gained through the air (236). And both Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott combined for a whopping seven touchdowns.
As former quarterbacks themselves, is it any wonder why both Garrett and Linehan want to pass the ball more. But they should learn from the lessons of their past. Running the ball has brought the team the most success in recent years. And they should rely on their ground game more then they currently do.