(Running) Back to Basics

The Cowboys rank 30th in the NFL in rushing, averaging just 86.0 yards per game.

get into the second and third wave of defenders.  

All of that really hasn't happened consistently, but it has to change.  

So back to the hypothetical intercom page. The Cowboys need to call on Felix, Marion and yes, Tashard. I know Choice hasn't sniffed the ball in a few games here, but maybe that should change, too.  

I know I've said it a bunch of times lately that the Cowboys should stop worrying about getting touches for three backs and focus more on Marion and Felix, or Felix and Marion - whatever order you want.  

I think that all changes now, especially if they can truly establish a few long drives where Barber and Jones are getting two or three touches each. That's where Choice is needed.  

And actually, the Razorback formation has always seemed unnecessary and forced to me - until now. I don't like that play if you've got a top-notch quarterback. I don't see the Colts or Patriots using it or even the Packers or Chargers.  

But maybe they bring it back for a few snaps Sunday. If so, I just hope someone tells Choice that it's all right if he pitches or hands the ball off to Felix every now and then.  

Whatever the game plan is, it needs to involve a heavy dose of the backfield.  

That's not to say Kitna is Brad Johnson. He's not incapable of throwing the ball around, and in fact, I think we'll see a lot more deep balls, especially if teams stack the line to stop the run. That's where the one-on-one matchups will come into play with the option to attack teams deep with the vertical routes.  

But nothing will matter if this team can't run the ball.  

And it's not just the backs. It's that patched-up offensive line that will also make the difference. Phil Costa is probably going to start at left guard, with a converted-tackle, Sam Young, serving as the first backup at guard. 

That means the offensive line has a left tackle still with six career starts at his position, a third-team rookie guard who has worked mostly at center, a veteran center who isn't having his best season, a right guard who has already been benched and a right tackle who doesn't seem 100 percent after enduring a training camp knee injury, among other things.  

And we're asking for them to dominate up front.  

Won't be easy, not against the Jaguars, or any team remaining on this schedule.  

But for the Cowboys to succeed Sunday and at any point from here on, they've got to take the pressure off of Kitna and run the football. That means better play from the receivers to get open, better play from the line to block better, and better play from those tailbacks.  

It's a big week for the running backs. Let's see if they answer the call.            

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