You know the Cowboys need to run the ball. Every football pundit screaming his way through a segment on ESPN knows the Cowboys need to run the ball. Even Tony Romo knows that the Cowboys need to run the ball. Now it is just time for Jason Garrett to figure it out.
Or, more precisely, it is time for Wade Phillips to figure it out and actually make good on his repeated insistence that he has control over the entire team. If that's true, and we have some pretty severe doubts, he'd be forcing Garrett to call running plays early and often on Sunday because it will put his defense in a much better position to succeed.
If Garrett puts up a fight, and you know that he will, Phillips should just pop in a tape of the Texans' Week One victory against the Colts to explain why he's right. Garrett has long fancied himself as the guru of a Colts-style offense that dominates through the air and never has to do something as archaic as relying on a power running game to move the ball down the field. That makes for a swell Princeton thesis, but when it doesn't put up arcade numbers it fails in real life because it severely handicaps the defense.
Losing possession while passing a lot means that you don't eat any clock and that leads to the opposing offense having a much easier time remaining balanced because they are under no time pressure. If anything, it pushes them to run the ball themselves because it will wear down your defense bit by bit. If your defense relies on a fevered pass rush, like the Colts and Cowboys, all the better for your opponents because then you'll never see the obvious passing situations that make you look your best.
That's what sank the Colts in the season opener and it is why every fantasy team that took a flier on Arian Foster wound up dominating their league. The Texans just kept feeding Foster and the Colts couldn't put themselves in positions where they needed to throw the ball to keep their offense moving down the field. The Cowboys have a better run defense, but it won't do them much good if the Texans have a 10-12 minute edge in time of possession. Such a gap will wind up mitigating the Texans weakness at left tackle and limit the effectiveness of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer when the Cowboys need them to dominate to wind up with their first win of the season.
So running the ball this week will help the offense and it can help the defense. Is that enough to finally get Garrett on board and make it happen?
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