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Eatman: When You Have No Balance, You Fall


SEATTLE – Last year, Dak Prescott came within just one yard of Tony Romo's single-season passing record for 4,903 yards.

Romo set that mark in 2012 – an 8-8 season in which the Cowboys missed the playoffs. A year ago, that's exactly how the Cowboys finished – 8-8 an out of the playoffs.

And here we go again, after three games of this season, Dak Prescott is on a historic pace to not only become the first Cowboys passer to go over 5,000 yards, but he's actually on a pace that would put him near the 6,000-yard mark.

We do realize that this is a very bad thing?

Sunday's game in Seattle was yet another prime example how "less is more" needs to be the approach with the Cowboys' offense.

Dak set new career highs on Sunday in both attempts (57) and passing yards (472). But it wasn't enough.

Plain and simple – he is throwing the ball way too much and the Cowboys can't continue to win this way. Sure, you might love it for your fantasy team, but those numbers aren't going to get this team where it wants to go.

Just like in real life – if you don't have balance – you're eventually going to fall.

The Cowboys need to find a much more balanced attack than this. It doesn't need to be 50-50 because, to be honest, the Cowboys are no longer built that way.

They were just a couple of years ago – but they aren't anymore. This isn't a smash-mouth team that will run over you. Perhaps, if and when Tyron Smith and La'el Collins return to the tackle spot, the Cowboys can find that balance again.

But on Sunday, the Cowboys didn't have the ability to mix it up. Ezekiel Elliott only rushed for 34 yards and when they really needed to run the ball they either couldn't do it or wouldn't do it.

Hey, I'm not putting this on Dak Prescott at all. The Cowboys had to figure out a way to score points and get themselves back in the game. Passing the ball all around the yard was the only way to do it.

But in the end, it wasn't enough because there was no balance.

I thought the most critical part of the entire game occurred around the 4:00 minute of the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys had a first down at the Seattle 21, trailing 30-28 and looking to score and perhaps eat up some precious time on the clock.

For whatever reason – maybe because it was the only thing really working all day – the Cowboys opted to pass the ball three straight times. The one pass that was caught ended up out of bounds to stop the clock.

The Cowboys eventually got that field goal they were looking for to take the lead, but only 16 seconds were taken off the clock in three plays.

Sure, the Seahawks were down 31-30 but still had over four minutes to play and only needed a field goal – although it was enough time to get a game-clinching touchdown.

The problem still goes back to the possession before. The Cowboys weren't even trying to run the ball up front.

Not exactly blaming them for that because they were trying to score. But again, that's my problem with this whole thing – trying to score doesn't involve running the ball with Zeke. And that's where this offense has changed so much in so little time.

We're seeing the lack of size and strength up front and it was a problem on Sunday. Too many times did we see the Seahawks just walking the lineman back into Dak's face. The Cowboys had enough problems just keeping the pocket from collapsing. When that's the case, you can almost always forget pushing the pile the other way.

And that just never happened.

Maybe this team really does need a true fullback. Maybe the Cowboys do need that veteran guard they worked out last week – or someone equivalent. Maybe there needs to be a lot more shuffling on this offensive line – simply to get more horses up front that can push people back.

But somehow, some way, this team needs to find a way to get that balance back in the running game.

If not, they will continue to fall – just like they did Sunday.


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