At 89.4 yards per game, the Dallas Cowboys are statistically the fifth worst team, in terms of running the football, in the NFL. According to offensive line coach Hudson Houck, the reason for the team’s newfound struggle is simple: his unit hasn’t done a good enough job of opening holes for the running backs.
“The issues are we’re not blocking very well,” Houck said, per ESPN Dallas. “Sometimes we don’t hit the hole, but particularly it’s the blocking. [It is] the timing of the run, the timing of the puller, all those things, just everybody working in concert at this particular point.”
Though it may not be reflected in the overall statistics just yet, the running game has improved under interim head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett has been decidedly tougher than was his predecessor Wade Phillips, scheduling full-pads practices mid-season for the first time in recent memory. Houck believes that this is no small factor in the upswing.
“I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Houck said. “That’s how it was here when Jimmy Johnson was here. That’s how it is with a lot of teams. Some teams don’t take the pads off the whole week. We’re not to that degree, but I think it does help. You can go faster and there’s no fear of getting hurt.”
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