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Mailbag: Why Not Stick With The Running Game?


Zeke looked good from his first carry against the Bucs. He was averaging over five yards per carry the entire game. Why, with such a compromised receiving corps, did we not run the ball? I figured we would lean on our defense and let Zeke and Tony Pollard carry the load. — RALPH GRUENDEL/ BLOOMFIELD, NJ

Nick: I do agree the Cowboys probably could've run the ball more. But I don't really think they were having huge success either. Yes, Zeke's average per carry is good, but they had too many times in which they were behind the chains and couldn't afford to run. Penalties hurt them once again Sunday night and led to the down-and-distance being unfavorable to run. But when you look back at how Dak played, how the receivers played and what the offensive line was doing against the pass-rush compared to its run blocking, I think I would've focused on running the ball a little more. And especially now moving forward, they have to slow the game down, run the ball and rely on the defense to keep them in the games.

Rob: I'm not going to argue with anybody about the importance of the run game, especially now with Dak out for a few weeks. They've got to lean on the run, and it looks like they have linemen and tight ends who can create lanes. One thing I'll add about the numbers from Sunday night: if you're looking for one reason why they went away from the run, their penalties did them no favors from a down-and-distance standpoint. If you look at their next three series after the opening field goal, they had a penalty on every drive that created a second-and-8, a first-and-20, and a first-and-15. The offense was great at getting out of those holes last year. Right now, with the injuries they've got, that's asking a lot.

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