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October 10, 2012

Cowboys struggling to run the ball, especially on first down

The Cowboys have struggled to run the ball on any down, but their first-down runs have gotten them in holes.

Dallas has had 102 first-and-10 play calls. Jason Garrett called for a run 43 times, but the Cowboys gained only 99 yards on those 43 runs. The Cowboys' 2.30 rushing average per carry on first-and-10 is the second worst in the league next to Arizona (69 carries, 149 yards, 2.16 average).

"It affects everything," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "It’s really important that our players undestand that, and it’s a point of emphasis that we make all the time is every play matters. How many possessions do you get in a game? 10? 11? 12? And if one of those is negatively affected by some kind of a penalty or a minus run or a minus play, you just start to limit your opportunity. You’re trying to survive the drive instead of thriving, attacking. So we have to do a better job of that. We’ve done good things on offense this year. We’ve done a good job managing those situations. We’ve got to do better. That’s an area of improvement we’ve got to make."

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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