IRVING, Texas – This week's three questions for football analyst Bryan Broaddus focus on the running game problems, rotating left guards and the confidence the Cowboys have in kicker Dan Bailey.
Do you think the lack of running game falls more on the offensive line, DeMarco Murray or somewhere in between?
Broaddus: I feel it is totally unfair to put the lack of a running game on just one person here. It's nice and easy to pin it on Murray and pile on him because he is the starter but there are clearly other issues here. Is it Murray's fault when the opening play of the Kansas City game, they call a zone run to the right and Doug Free completely misses his block? Or when Brian Waters can't cut the linebacker off on the second level and he is there to meet Murray in the hole? I am not here to say that Murray does not have his own faults and he will admit them to you. There has been a carry or two where Murray didn't make the right cut and it has hurt the play but this has been a collective effort and I would even include the coaches here. Not one person deserves the blame here but it's going to take more than one person to make this work.
Assuming Waters is ready to play, do you think it's better to keep Leary at left guard or play Bernadeau or maybe rotate them?
Broaddus:The one thing this offensive staff has not been afraid of is to rotate offensive linemen during a game. They did it with Doug Free and Jermey Parnell last season and in the Kansas City game with Waters and Bernadeau. I know as a group, they really like Leary and what he was been able to do these last two weeks. Leary will remain at left guard and should be the starter. With all that being said, I do believe you will see them work Bernadeau some at left guard to keep him sharp in case something were to happen with either Waters or [embedded_ad] Leary.
A lot of focus is on the negative stuff, but just where would this team be without the consistent play of Dan Bailey each week?
Broaddus: I remember sitting in the press box while in Kansas City watching Dan Bailey trot onto the field to attempt his first field goal of the day. The distance was 51 yards and a thought came over me that Jason Garrett should have considered punting the ball at that point. The Chiefs had just taken the ball and driven down the defense's throat and to give them the ball near mid field down seven was not a smart decision. Bailey drilled that field goal and two others in the game which reminded me why I am not an NFL head coach. On a squad that can be wildly inconsistent, Bailey is the most consistent thing they have going. For this coaching staff, it has to be a comfortable feeling knowing how good or bad things might go doing a game that Bailey will not let them down. In what Dan Bailey does for this team is just as important as what you see from Dez Bryant and DeMarcus Ware, he is that good.