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Despite 51/9 Ratio; Garrett Strives For Run/Pass Balance
IRVING, Texas – The word “balance” has been uttered by coach Jason Garrett in just about every press conference since training camp began.
As the head coach and former offensive coordinator and play-caller, he still officially oversees the entire game plan for all three phases.
While Garrett has said numerous times that an even 50-50 split in terms of run and pass isn’t always likely, he knows it’s got to be different than what happened in Sunday’s 27-23 win over the Vikings.
The Cowboys ran 60 plays on offense. There were 51 passes and nine runs.
Garrett didn’t sugarcoat it on Monday, simply stating that discrepancy has to change.
“Yeah, we just didn’t get it done. We have to be more balanced. We have to give the running game more of an opportunity to get going,” Garrett said after viewing the film. “We have to run it better. We weren’t as efficient as we needed to be, too many tackles for loss in a limited number of opportunities. But we have to be more patient with it. We have to strive for balance.”
Despite the difference in runs vs. pass, Garrett praised offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, who has taken over the play-calling duties this year.
“I thought Bill did a good job finding different things in the passing game to get the ball moving for us in that big drive coming out in the second half and in that drive at the end of the ballgame,” Garrett said. “We just have to do a better job being more balanced. It will help our football team. It will help our linemen. It will help our quarterback. It will help our defense. It will help our team in general.”
Currently, the Cowboys rank 27th in the NFL in rushing, averaging 75.7 yards per game. On the flip side, they’re ninth in the league in passing at 267.1 per outing.
While the Cowboys have yet to have their bye week, Romo leads the NFL in pass attempts with 346.
On average through nine games, the Cowboys’ average pass-run ratio is 38.4 passes per game to 20.3 rushes a game.
Sunday, the Cowboys tied a franchise-low with nine attempts, including just four for DeMarco Murray, who made his first game back after a two-game absence with a sprained knee. Murray’s four attempts were the fewest for him in any game he’s started and finished since his rookie year in 2011.
On Monday, Murray was asked if the low amount of carries actually felt as minimum as they were.
“Yeah, they did,” Murray said with an honest chuckle. “I can’t worry about things I can’t control. Romo did a great job throwing the ball around. And we won the game, which is more important. Obviously I want to get more opportunities but I’ll be patient and wait for my number to be called.”
While the Cowboys have a tendency to get away from the run if it’s not working, Garrett reiterated Monday they have to stick with it, no matter what.
“You have to be persistent,” he said. “We all know that. I know that. Bill knows that. Everybody knows that. You just have to keep banging away at it. At the same time, you don’t want a whole lot of wasted plays. There aren’t that many plays in a ballgame. You don’t want to waste too many of them and you want to find things you’re good at and you want to migrate to those things. But having said that, we just need to be more balanced.”