IRVING, Texas – It doesn't matter who it is, if they're involved in the offense, they're getting asked about the running game.
Jason Garrett says they need to run it more. Tony Romo agreed and so did offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.
Even tight end Jason Witten, who probably wouldn't mind seeing a few more passes thrown his way, said the Cowboys need to run the ball better and he expects more of a focus on the ground attack this week against the Rams. [embedded_ad]
"We've got to run it better than we have," Witten said Thursday. "We know that. I think we'll make some improvement there. There has to be a little more (commitment) than we've had. If we can run the ball, everything else is going to be successful."
Of course, Witten also agreed that it's hard to stick with the run when it's not effective.
"There's been a lot of talk about more attempts and more runs," Witten said. "For us as players, we have to be better when we do have them. We can't start of the game with a minus-run. It's not just about big-hitters, it's setting the tempo for your team. We have to stay away from negative runs."
Two of the more intense players in the league will be matched up against each other quite a bit Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan should have quite a battle with Dez Bryant all day.
Finnegan has a reputation of getting into game-long scuffles with receivers – his most memorable was a helmet-off fistfight with Texans All-Pro Andre Johnson in 2010.
Bryant, who has been limited this week with a back injury, is expected to play when Finnegan and the Rams come to town.
"He's a good football players and sometimes he gets attention for the other things he does," said coach Jason Garrett. "We have a great deal of respect for him – how he plays from the snap to the whistle. You have to focus on your job and the task at hand and don't think anything distract you from that. Getting into jawing matches or shoving matches with anybody on defense. You just have to be focused on the next play."
Finnegan and the Titans played against Bryant in his rookie season of 2010. Tennessee won that game in Arlington, 34-27.
The Cowboys took a closer look at free agent defensive tackle Drake Nevis on Thursday with a workout following the team's practice at Valley Ranch.
Nevis, a former third-round pick of the Colts in 2011, was cut by Indy in September, claimed off waivers by the Chargers, who then cut him earlier this week. The former LSU standout seemed pleased with his workout in front of coaches, scouts and front-office personnel.
"I got some good drills in. I'm definitely confident in the ability God gave me," Nevis said. "So you just never know what the plan is or how the number system works or what's the need. I've got to keep working."
The Cowboys likely won't sign Nevis or any player to the 53-man roster this week but could have a plan to bring him back in the near future.