Everyone knows in order for a team’s offense to excel in the NFL, it is imperative to have a balanced attack. When mixing in different variations of passing or running on offense, the probability of the opposing defenses becoming confused as to what will come their way next greatly increases, thus, resulting in greater chances for the offense to reach the red zone.
In order to achieve an efficient and consistent offense in a game, a team needs to have an equal balance of both the pass and the run. Teams cannot commit to only one offensive direction, because otherwise, defenses will understand how to beat a one-dimensional team on offense. This is exactly what is wrong with the Dallas Cowboys.
Sure, the Cowboys can pass the football with Tony Romo at helm, everybody knows that. However, what the Cowboys fail to understand is it takes two to tango. You need someone to complement your quarterback and to levitate some of the pressure off his shoulders. For some odd reason, the Cowboys are creating an obstacle for themselves to maneuver around by not utilizing running back DeMarco Murray to his full capacity.
The Cowboys sit not too comfortably in first place in the NFC East, with an underwhelming 2-2 record. In games where Dallas has over 20 rushing attempts, they are 2-0. In games where Dallas has 16 or less rushing attempts, they are 0-2. In both of the Cowboys’ victories, Murray has garnered 261 rushing yards, including his explosion in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams where he rushed for 175 yards.
Even in the defeats the Cowboys had, it was not as if they had to completely abandon the run because they were facing a large deficit. In the fourth quarter of Week 2′s loss against the Kansas City Chiefs the Cowboys were only down by four, but they had only one rushing attempt from a Romo four-yard scramble. Last week against the San Diego Chargers, the Cowboys only ran it twice when they were down by just two points in the fourth quarter.
In both losses, the Cowboys opted to throw 27 times compared to only three rushing attempts when facing a slim margin of points to overcome. When the Cowboys have a running back in Murray, who is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and who ranks third in the league in rushing yards, it is completely mind-boggling that they do not run the ball even more.
It’s not a secret what the Cowboys must do in order to succeed and to win the NFC East. The facts are here. Stats never lie.
Ryan Neiman writes for Rant Sports covering Dallas Cowboys Football. You could follow him on Twitter @RyanNAnthony or @FantasyUSports