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Worry Warts

by Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice went for no more than one yard. NO MORE. Why 78 of those carries even belonged to Big Banger Barber. 

To me, 28.88 percent is a lot of times gaining one yard, no yards or negative yards. To me, that's a lot of second-and-longs or third-and-longs, forcing offensive coordinator to lose play-calling balance if you are not consistently going somewhere running the football. 

So if you want to worry about something, worry about the Cowboys' ability to effectively run the football, not if they can complete those pretty, 50-yard rainbow passes. Worry more about Barber hitting the hole with authority instead of trying to pop the ball outside as if he's Felix Jones, which he definitely is not. 

Look, in the first half alone with Barber and Jones totaling 15 of the 17 carries, the Cowboys gained no more than two yards on eight of those runs (although two were one-yard touchdown runs). That's 47 percent of the runs against a team primarily playing a Cover 2, with little safety help up front, for no more than two yards. And even if you take away the two one-yard TD runs, that's 35-percent of the carries for no more than two yards. Plus, of the other nine carries in the first half, three were for all of three yards. 

Starting to get my drift? 

Averaging just 3.6 yards rushing in two preseason games is more concerning than the longest pass play not traveling more than a couple of yards in the air to Felix Jones being just 30 yards. Funny how everyone screams run more, but if you don't run for more than that, what's an offensive coordinator to do? 

The Cowboys have more money invested in their offensive linemen and running backs than they do their wide receivers, and there is no better way to produce a quarterback-friendly offense than to run the ball efficiently. That pulls defenses out of their cozy zone defenses, forcing them to bring a safety up to stop the run, thus giving the quarterback some shots down the field and some single coverage on his two power-forward tight ends. 

So if you just have to worry about something two preseason games in, here, worry about this more than rainbow deep balls and raising video boards. Hey, they have 30-foot Monsters in baseball, and 280-foot porches. Nobody says lower the wall or push back the fences. They have snow in Buffalo and sub-zero weather in Green Bay that something should be done about, yet that's considered home-field advantage. 

Well, in Arlington, they now have a 600-ton conversation piece. Deal with it. Don't hit the thing. It's simple, really. 

Maybe more so than the Cowboys figuring out how to efficiently run the football.       

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