Emmitt Smith: Cowboys have to be committed to run game
JUL 03, 2014 9:40p ET
Over the last three seasons, no team has fewer rushing attempts than the Dallas Cowboys. As you can imagine, that doesn't sit well with the NFL's all-time leading rusher.
Ask Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith how to get his former team out of its 8-8 slump and he'll tell you to put a bigger emphasis on the run game.
Needless to say, Smith was on board with Dallas drafting Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin in the first round this year.
"I think that was a positive step," Smith said last week during an interview to raise awareness about gout management. "I think they understand now that in order to help our defense, No. 1 we cannot turn the football over and put our defense in a bad position because our defense is not as good as we want it to be. No. 2, we have to protect our quarterback, Tony Romo, who is coming off back surgery, so therefore we have to improve our offensive line.
"No. 3, if we can improve our offensive line, maybe we can get a running game going and take some of the pressure off of Tony, and maybe we can get back to that balance that we need to have in order to maximize the talent that we currently have on our roster.
"Those are the signs that I've been looking for. Now, the only thing left for them to do is to be committed. When I say committed, I mean be committed through the entire season no matter who is the running back. That philosophy, to me, will put our team in the right direction."
When the Cowboys have had a fourth-quarter lead and turned to DeMarco Murray to finish off an opponent, the results have been in their favor. When the fourth-year running back has rushed at least 20 times in a game, the Cowboys are 11-0 over the last three seasons.
During Smith's first three seasons in Dallas, the Cowboys were 29-1 (including the postseason) when he carried at least 20 times in a game.