The Cowboys are now last in the NFL in rushing and on pace to set franchise lows for attempts and yards.
“I hear that. I hear that,” offensive line coach Bill Callahan said Thursday at his weekly meeting with reporters at Valley Ranch.
So why is that?
Callahan said it’s because of the score of the games. As the Cowboys have fallen behind, they have given up chances to run as they go to the pass to try to come back.
“No. 1, I think there is about five or six games where we just haven’t had the number of rushing attempts that we would like to have, and I’ve always believed that your rush attempts and your completions really sets the tone for what you do in terms of your success formula,” he said. “So saying that, I look at the second half production, I look at how many runs we’ve attempted in the second half in some of these games, and they’re not very many. Those attempt numbers are down, and any good running attack that I’ve been around, the years that we’ve led the league in rushing at the various places I’ve been at, it’s basically kind of a war of attrition where you wear down an opponent and your attempts increase in the second half.
“But a lot of your production arises out of your second-half performance. So we start off the games, and we’re running it and you’re trying to get in your groove and rhythm. And then you’re kind of thrown out of kilter because you’re behind pretty quickly and you’re in a catch-up mode. So things change.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been inspired by the New York Giants’ championship run last year. Callahan apparently has, too.
“From a franchise perspective, being last in the league in rushing, I’ve never been there. We certainly don’t want to be there, but I look back at last year, and I look at the New York Giants – they were 32nd in the league in rushing and they won the Super Bowl,” he said. “It’s a function of what you’re doing. It’s circumstantial to a lot of respects, and it’s not for a lack of will and wanting to run the ball. I know we want to that. We’ve just been kind of thrown off of kilter in some of these games that we’ve been involved in, which really, if you have the low attempts, you’re obviously not going to have the production.”
-- Carlos Mendez