Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wants his teams’ commitment to running the ball more to start showing up in games.
Two games into the season, the Cowboys have thrown 91 passes and just 39 runs. The ratio was especially broad in Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Chiefs when Dallas attempted 42 passes for just 16 rushes.
Starting running back DeMarco Murray got just 12 carries on Sunday.
“We simply have to re-commit to running the football and make sure we practice it and make sure we take it to the game,” Garrett said during his Monday news conference.
“We’ve been played our best offensive football around here when he (Murray) has been a big part of what we’re doing. So we’ve just got to get it going.”
Of course, it’s easy to stop doing something that isn’t working. The Cowboys managed just 2.3 yards per rush against the Chiefs.
“You have to be committed to doing it, but you also have to have some success doing it,” Garrett said. “It’s our job as coaches to find things that are good. It’s the players’ jobs to execute those things and then you just have to be persistent throughout the game.”
One thing that could improve the running game is the addition of a fullback to be a lead blocker. However, Garrett said it’s not as easy as signing a guy off the street to play fullback.
“There aren’t that many fullbacks available that we think could upgrade our football team right now,” Garrett said. “We don’t think that’s really the most prominent issue. We just have to execute better.”
For all the talk during training camp about committing to the running game, quarterback Tony Romo has thrown more than 40 passes in each game so far. The Cowboys didn’t trail significantly in either game, which is when teams typically abandon the running the game.
Garrett handed over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan in the off-season and Romo has been given a bigger role in determining the game plan. Yet the Cowboys have so far fallen back into the habit of letting game’s ride on Romo’s arm.
“I don’t know that there’s a minimum number (of running plays) but there needs to be more than there’s been,” Garrett said. “Nobody disputes that at all. We’ve just got to do a better job of making sure that gets done.”