These things very much go hand-in-hand, but alongside the better running game the Cowboys displayed on Sunday, their struggles in the red zone also cleared up a bit.
Coming into the came with a red zone touchdown rate of just 33 percent, among the worst in the league, the Cowboys converted three of their four opportunities from inside the 20-yard line into seven points.
On a third-and-goal from the Ram's 1-yard line, Tony Romo found Jason Witten open in the back of the end zone to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. Running back Phillip Tanner powered in on a first down run from the Rams' 6-yard line for the second red zone touchdown. A little over five minutes later, Romo hit Dez Bryant on a play from exactly the 20-yard line to cap the scoring.
The lone missed opportunity came with under a minute to go in the first half, when Bryant dropped what likely would've been a touchdown on second down, then let cornerback Al Harris break up another potential score before Dan Bailey came out for a field goal.
"I know he wants one or two of those back," Romo said of Bryant. "He's going to be fine. He doesn't drop very many passes. I suspect he got his quota out of the way for the year."
It's worth noting, of course, that the Rams defense isn't the '85 Bears in the red zone, allowing touchdowns 59 percent of the time, tied for 23rd in the NFL.
But after entering the game at 6-for-18 in the red zone chances, the Cowboys are now 9-for-22 on the season, 41 percent. That ranking is still only 27th in the league, and it'll take a while to climb the charts, but for one day at least, the Cowboys were better.
"It was an important thing to us," Jerry Jones said. "We were actually disappointed there when we didn't get it in early and had to settle for a field goal. I think that overall, the blocking that we had and the running game will give us a better chance to have success in the red zone. Teams have to recognize that we can run the ball."