IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.
Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.
As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.
With five days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today's question centers on the running backs.
5) Can A Cowboys Running Back Rush For At Least Five Touchdowns This Year?
No Cowboys running back has rushed for five touchdowns in a season in any of the last three years.
It's somewhat hard to believe that the 2009 season, when Marion Barber rushed for seven touchdowns, was the last time a back in Dallas topped the five touchdown mark.
Barber led all backs with four rushing touchdowns in 2010, followed by DeMarco Murray with two in 2011 and Murray again last season with four. Felix Jones had five total touchdowns last year, but only three rushing touchdowns.
The line had just as much to do with the low touchdown total as the players in the backfield, and it's very likely Murray would have surpassed the five rushing touchdown mark if he stayed healthy last season. Staying on the field's been one of the few issues for Murray early in his career, and he's vowed to play in all 16 games this season, although that's tough to guarantee at this point of the year. [embedded_ad]
Even with the struggling rushing attack and line problems the last couple years, a 16-game season should mean more than five rushing touchdowns for Murray, based on his talent level alone. Adding Joseph Randle to the mix provides another player with a nose for the end zone who could break the recent scoring skids the Cowboys' backs have found themselves in for the last few years.
The Eagles, who finished 4-12 last year, were the only other NFC East team without a running back totaling at least five rushing touchdowns in 2012. The Redskins and Cowboys are the only NFC East teams since 2010 to go consecutive seasons without a running back rushing for five touchdowns.
Washington reversed that trend with the emergence of Alfred Morris, and Dallas will hope to do the same in 2013.
Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let's take a closer look at the number five:
- Kicker Dan Bailey currently wears the No. 5. He missed just two field goal attempts last season and was perfect on kicks from fewer than 50 yards out.
- The Cowboys have had three picks at No. 5 overall in the NFL Draft in their history, using them on quarterback Craig Morton, guard John Niland and cornerback Terence Newman. Morton was on the Cowboys' roster from 1965-74, Niland made multiple Pro Bowls as a mainstay on the line and Newman was a versatile two-time Pro Bowler.
- The Cowboys have five Super Bowl wins in their franchise history, with the most recent occurring in the 1995 season.
- Week 5 was the Cowboys' bye week last season. That won't occur until Week 11 this year.