Run, Cowboys, Run
There has been a great deal of time and effort this off-season discussing the Cowboys defense, and rightly so, but lets not forget the offense isn’t without flaws either. Jeric did a great job talking about the Cowboys offensive line the other day and I completely agree that Kevin Kowalski and Bill Nagy should definitely get a long look in training camp. However, I’m going to talk about another position that needs drastic improvement if the Cowboys want to get better this season, the running backs.
Did you know the Cowboys only had five rushing touchdowns last year? Five! One of those was from Tony Romo on a quarterback sneak, so the Cowboys running backs accounted for a total of four rushing touchdowns in 2011. That, folks, is pathetic. How pathetic? Try 24 NFL players single handily had more rushing TD’s than Dallas did as a team. That number, five, ranked them tied for 30th with Kansas City, just ahead of the Cleveland Browns.
Want some more? The former Cowboy, Marion Barber, had six rushing touchdowns for the Bears last year, just to rub it in.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Cowboys though, they did rank 11th in the NFL in total offense so they could move the football. They just need to do a better job of running it in for scores in the red zone. If they can do that, Tony Romo will see more lanes near the end zone and the Cowboys should score more red zone touchdowns, also something they struggled at doing last season. DeMarco Murray becoming the featured back should increase their rushing touchdowns, especially when you think of last year when the Cowboys were missing that physical runner near the goal line. Felix Jones is a good running back but he is much better in space than he is near the end zone.
The NFL is a passing league now, there is little doubt about that but football is also a physical game. The Cowboys need to do a better job of being physical when they get inside the red zone. The run game needs to take some of the pressure off of Tony Romo and keep him from getting hit.
The Cowboys improved their offensive line, which was step one. Step two is improving their running game and being able to rush the ball into the end zone. Do that and the offense will be even better.