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More Running Easier Said Than Done

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Every Cowboys loss is followed by suggestions of what the team can do better in their next game to avoid winding up on the wrong side of the final score. 

    One of this week's suggestions comes right from the team's website. Jonathan Auping argues that the team needs a stronger commitment to the running game if they are going to be a successful offense this season. Auping believes the Cowboys gave up on the run game too soon against the Bears, a decision that helped them sink to a 34-18 loss. 

    It's a sound theory because offenses tend to be most successful when they have a strong balance between running and passing. It doesn't really hold up in this particular case, though. 

    Before the Cowboys went behind by 17 points on Lance Briggs' interception return for a touchdown, the Cowboys had called runs 11 times and passes 27 times with one play's intent unclear because Tony Romo fumbled a shotgun snap.

    That seems out of whack, until you realize that the Cowboys passed on nine straight plays on their way to a touchdown just before haltime. The balance isn't 50-50 if you remove that drive from the equation, but it's about as close as you can really expect to find in the current NFL for a team with a potent passing attack. 

    Once the Cowboys fell so far behind, they had little choice but to put the ball up in the air at every opportunity because that was the only way they were going to put up enough points to get back into the game. Perhaps it would have been different if the run game was thriving, but that brings us to the second issue with the idea of becoming more run heavy. 

    That's the offensive line, obviously. If the Cowboys were finding much success with the run, you can bet that you'd be seeing more of it on a weekly basis. DeMarco Murray isn't finding holes to run through, though, and that makes it hard to keep pounding away on the ground even if your brain keeps telling you that the team needs a more balanced approach to the game. 

    There's a perfect world where the Cowboys run the ball early, often and well. There's also a real world where the Cowboys fall way behind teams and need to go to the things most likely to bring them back in a hurry.