philosophized, "we'll be all right on Sunday."
But to be all right, the Cowboys need to score touchdowns. An offense producing one touchdown in each of the first two games just ain't going to cut it, and certainly not against this high-powered bunch. No matter how good your defense might be, it's not going to hold these NFL offenses without a touchdown every week as it had for three straight regular-season games before this past Sunday.
And to me, to score the necessary number of touchdowns the Cowboys have to run the ball more effectively. And I didn't say more times, I said more effectively, because when you finish a game rushing for 36 yards on 20 carries as the Cowboys did in the 27-20 loss to Chicago, why the heck would you want to run more? Please. And to put further perspective on just how poorly the Cowboys ran the ball against the Bears, consider on four straight running plays in the first quarter the Cowboys gained 7, 7, 8 and three yards. That's 25 yards, meaning on the Cowboys' other 16 carries in the game they totaled 11 yards. Eleven!
Who in their right mind would have run the ball more that day?
"We're not running the ball well, and that's part of it," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said when addressing the run-pass disparity.
Says quarterback Tony Romo, "I think when you run the ball and run successfully it makes everything a lot easier - everything - whether it's your red zone offense, or whether it's staying on the field, or minimizing mistakes or minimizing what the defense can do defensively. But if you're not getting the production out of it, then you are banging your head against the wall, too, to just keep doing it."
Come on, the Cowboys have run the ball 42 times so far, and the longest run is 12 yards. This past game, they had five carries for negative yards and three more for one yard each. That came to eight carries for minus-8. Huh, run this.
And the biggest problem seems to be running the ball between the guards, their erstwhile bread and butter real estate. Why, the Cowboys have run the ball 23 times essentially up the middle for a grand total of 54 yards. That's 2.3 yards a carry. Not good, and one of the main reasons why the NFL's No. 4 total offense (395 a game) is now tied for 26th in scoring, and only thanks to Dez Bryant's 62-yard punt return for a touchdown. Otherwise, this offense is producing 10 points a game, or tied for 29th.
One other thing about this run-more stuff: The Cowboys were second-and-4 at the Chicago five, if you remember, and three straight Barber runs netted four yards, leaving them at second-and-goal at the one when Romo hit rookie Chris Gronkowski for a touchdown. They ran it, but couldn't run it, and after two games are one of just nine teams without a rushing touchdown.
Oh, by the way, for those who worry about run-pass disparity, I see where last Sunday the undefeated Texans ran the ball 24 times and threw the ball 52 times. You know why? Because they could gain only 58 yards rushing but were able to pass for 468, and since they won, then it's like, what disparity?
Only in a loss does offensive disparity exist.
"We need to get more out of what we're trying to do," Romo said.
I'll say. How about like a 20-yard touchdown run? That's allowed. How about a 39-yard touchdown pass? Think I saw one of those this past Sunday. How about that first takeaway or maybe that third sack ... at least?
Outside of Bryant's 62-yard punt return for a touchdown, and I thought this would be the jolt they badly needed, the Cowboys haven't produced any juice, as if they have been operating under this suffocating cloud of despair. Come on, go get you something - anything to get excited about and cut out all this grinding, grinding, grinding.
Time to let it hang out. Gimme something ... now.
Otherwise, hanging it up will be right around the corner.