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Mailbag: Why Isn't Dunbar Getting More Carries?

Posted Nov 1, 2013


DEDRICK EPPS
ROUND ROCK, TX

I understand the concern about holding on to the ball, but why is Dunbar not getting more touches? His quickness could help in the passing and running game.
 
Rowan: We’re eight weeks in, and for eight weeks I’ve had no idea. If there was a chance for him to get going, it was last week against the Lions. I thought particularly at the end when the Cowboys utilized more shotgun that he would be the best back for that scenario. We’re long past his brief spree of turnovers, yet he’s still yet to get the opportunity many of us thought he would. If DeMarco Murray does return this week, I don’t know that we’ll ever really see what Dunbar is capable of this year.
 
David: Whether it’s a lack of trust or an inability to work him into the gameplan, the Cowboys just don’t appear interested in incorporating their roleplayers into the action. Dunbar is averaging 1.5 carries per game this year, which is a nice way of saying he’s rushed the ball just 12 times. He has just one reception this season. It’s awfully weird to carry so many running backs when you only intend to use one of them, with Joseph Randle playing a role while DeMarco Murray is injured. I don’t really understand it.
 
A KAPLAN
NEW YORK, NY
 
In the second half forecast, all of you except for one predict an 8-8 record (and division title). If that's the case, should Jason Garrett keep his job after a
third straight 8-8 season (without a deep playoff run)?
 
Rowan: That’s the million dollar question. I think it depends on the rest of the circumstances. I think 8-8 gets the Cowboys into the playoffs this year. You mentioned without a deep playoff run, but if they win that first game and he wins the division, I think his job might be safe. If he doesn’t make the playoffs and the team is mediocre again, that could be it.  
 
David: Jerry Jones has said many times this year that the goal is to reach the tournament – all you have to do is make the playoffs and anything is possible. With that in mind, I think 8-8 secures Garrett’s job, assuming it’s enough to win the NFC East – which I think it is. If they finish 8-8 and it isn’t good enough for the postseason, then I’d guess you’ll be following a coaching search in the near future. I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if the Cowboys reached the postseason, lost in the first round and Garrett was fired. But I think a playoff appearance could be enough.
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