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November 18, 2009

Just CHILL: The Cowboys didn't abandon the run but the running game has not been good lately

Clarence Hill


Watch the game, please.

Those who are criticizing the Cowboys for supposedly abandoning the run in the 17-7 loss to the Packers clearly weren't watching the game. They simply looked at the final lopsided pass-run numbers and concluded it was a case of abandoning the run.
The numbers don't tell the whole story. Many of the passes came on the final two drives when the Cowboys were behind and had to throw every down.
Before that they simply didn't have the ball enough to get anything going because the Packers were dominating time of possession and when they did have the ball they didn't do anything with it.

The Cowboys ran only 21 plays in the first half and notched just three first downs. One was a 42-yard pass and fumble by receiver Roy Williams.

They had the ball just twice in the third quarter. The opening drive of the quarter began with Marion Barber being dropped for a loss and Romo being sacked.

There was no chance to run there.

The next drive featured a second and 10 run by Tashard Choice out of the Wildcat offense that netted 11 yards. 15 more yards were tacked because of a face mask penalty.

Of course the Cowboys then began to self destruct with Romo fumbling a snap, Williams dropping a pass and a 22-yard pass to Choice being negated by a pass interference penalty on tight end Jason Witten.

That drive was over. So again, I asked, was this a case of abandoning the run or the Cowboys simply making mistakes and not executing?

They opened the first drive of the fourth quarter with a 20-yard pass to Williams and a Felix Jones run for four yards. Of course, Charles Woodson came through on the next play for the infamous sack and forced fumble on Romo.

Now down 17-0 and in desperation mode, the Cowboys ended the game with 27 straight passes.

No doubt, the Cowboys didn't run the ball often. But they didn't abandon the run either.

What's also true is the Cowboys are not running the ball well and haven't for a while. Their running attempts and yards have a diminished dramatically since the start of the season.

That is a more of a product of Marion Barber and Felix Jones being injured. Neither has had the same burst since returning to the lineup. Barber missed one game. Jones missed two.

Barber has started to look more like his old self of late. But Jones looks uncomfortable and tentative. He has not been a game-breaking threat.

Consider that he has had only two runs longer than 10 yards the last four games since returning from the sprained knee and they were just 12 and 11 yards each. He has not had a run longer than four yards against the Eagles and Packers the past two weeks.

Jones needs to be game-breaking good for the Cowboys to be truly special on offense.

He hasn’t been that lately.

There are those calling for the Cowboys to put the ball back in the hands of the three-headed monster at running back. If that monster is not a beast in more then that won’t work either.

Clarence E. Hill Jr.


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No, but running earlier in the game could have provided for more separation and big pass plays like the play in which Roy fumbled.

How many times were the Cowboys receivers open? If the WR aren't as good as advertised, you'd think that Garrett would find a way to help them out a bit. That is what an OC is supposed to do, right?

Garrett also doesn't adapt within the game once defensive coordinators figure him out. Good coaches make in-game adjustments, and Garrett just does not do that.

Blaming an entire game on a fumble and a dropped pass is equivalent to blaming a game on the refs.

In the end, you shouldn't have been in a position where one or two plays mattered in the first place.

I understand what establishing the run. But if you watched this game, the loss was not the result of abandoning the run or poor play calling. It was the result of mistakes, turnovers and poor execution by the players. Should they not have thrown the 42-yard pass to Roy Williams down the middle of the field in the second quarter? Since Williams fumbled the ball en route to the end zone, I supposed a four-yard run would have been better. Bottom line, that was on Williams.
Clarence Hill

What we witnessed against Green Bay last week was either a failure of the "Want To" mindset, or, a failure of the "Football Mind" of all the Players and Coaches on Team Cowboyz. Or both? Catastrophic. Why? Why didn't anybody on the entire team either know how to win or desire to win against that ugly used-diaper-yellow and puke-green team? We may never know.

Is it because the players hate the fans? Maybe. Why we fans have the gaul to tell you players/coaches the truth about what we think of your efforts after we wasted our hard-earned money witnessing a collective sad-sack performance against a mediocre GB team. Sure! I know, GB is a "purty good NFL team", "..Dey could beat anybody, so why not us..." Somebody please drive a nail under my fingernail!

The players don't like being yelled at by non-players they think don't know football from page 8? Tough cowpie!! I pay my money and you take my money so I'm gonna let you guys know what I think of your non-effort. Heck! In fact I would like my money back! When you guys play like that, I think you should issue refunds to the fans who paid to go up to the frozen tundra to see your slop! (Hurt players exempted)

If you don't want us to complain about a faulty product, then don't charge us to watch it!! Simple enough? When I put out a product that doesn't live up to the billing I gave it, or is defective in some way, or is missing one or more promoted features, I have to refund my customers their money. Whether or not I got hurt designing and building the product.

But the Plowboys? Shoot! We're supposed to be deliriously happy just be able to sit in uncomfortable chairs and fork over unlimited bucks just to watch you lounge around on your heated benches drinking Mi Ti's between plays.

Sure, you guys get hurt playing, and your careers could end at anytime, but, all I ask is that you go off the field having given a "NON-PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING" mouth-smack to a team, who, by the way, gave you guys that same mouth smack! They smack you in the first half, have the common decency to smack them back in the second half! By "mouth-smack" I mean drilling that DOGGONE ROCK into their DOGGONE HOUSE!! DOGGONE IT!!!


You obviously lack the understanding of what "establishing the run" is.

"Establishing the run" doesn't always mean you have to be successful. It means that defenses must respect the running game. Those 1 and 2 yard gains are actually OK. They turn into 20-30 yard runs later, sets up playaction, controls the clock, and wears down defenses in the long run.

It is obvious, and has been for a long time, that defenses do not respect the running game of the Cowboys. Garrett is completely predictable. Why don't you go back through each game in the last two years and see how many times Garrett ran the ball twice in a row in the first 3 quarters.

Even Dom Capers said the Cowboys became one-dimensional.

Do you remember the Cowboys 41-35 victory over the Skins in 1999? The Cowboys came back in that game (down 21 in 4th) by running the football and setting up playaction.


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