Skip to main content


Presented by

Mailbag: Why Did Run Game Stall vs. Washington?


Hard to complain when you're winning, but the running game continues to be ineffective. It was red-hot for five or six games in 2021 and has since gone into hiding. They were unable to chew up any clock at all last Sunday, leaving all the work to the defense. Any thoughts on why they cannot run? Is it bad blocking? – KURT ECKERT / BEAVERTON, OR

Rob: I hear you, Kurt, but this feels a little like recency bias. They did not have much success at all in the run game against Washington (29 carries for 62 yards) but ranked 11th in rushing and averaged 4.7 yards per carry through the first three games. Give credit to Washington for winning the line of scrimmage. There were some tough snaps for everybody across the line, not just Connor McGovern in his first game back from the high ankle sprain. But the 29 carries were important because it meant play-action was still part of the offense. It's something they still need to emphasize when Dak Prescott returns from injury.

Patrik: I have to disagree that's it been continually ineffective, considering it was a large reason the Cowboys defeated the Bengals and then the Giants. I will say it definitely fell flat against the Commanders, but that wasn't by accident considering Washington has one of the best interior defensive lines in all of football (DaRon Payne + Jonathan Allen). That said, when/if Jason Peters is fully unleashed as LG1, that will truly take the rushing attack to another level – plus not many NFL teams have a virtually impenetrable iDL to throw at Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.

Related Content