Stop rolling your eyes. Resist the urge to be smug and crack a joke. Maybe the Cowboys really will run the ball more this season. Maybe the reasons are finally too numerous and compelling to ignore. Maybe you should believe it. DeMarco Murray will believe it when he sees it. “Yeah,’’ he responded. He thinks about saying something else, but doesn’t. “Like I said, yeah,’’ the running back concluded. The skepticism is understandable. The Cowboys have not ranked in the top half of the league in rushing with Jason Garrett as head coach. Only 36 percent of all plays from scrimmage last season were runs, and that actually represents a slight improvement over the previous season. And guess what? In the last two training camps, Garrett and others spoke about the need to run the ball more in the upcoming season. Why is this season any different? A rapidly improving offensive line that now sports three first-round picks. A rushing attack that gained traction in the second half of last season. A 34-year-old quarterback coming off two back surgeries and a battered defense trying to recover from a season in which it sunk to historic depths. Evidence mounts to suggest this season will be different. Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ chief operating officer, took it one step further with this declaration early in camp. “We will be running the ball more,’’ Jones said. The rushing attack also was in decline in 2009. Then head coach Wade Phillips stated in camp that the team’s goal was to finish in the top 10 in rushing. Only six teams ran for more yards than the Cowboys that season. The team went on to win the NFC East and a playoff game. Jones wants to see the same commitment and production in the ground game this season. “Yes, I’d like to see us in the top 10 in terms of our rushing attack,’’ Jones said. “I think that’s a good recipe in terms of us winning.’’ The Cowboys averaged 94 yards on the ground last season to rank No. 24 in the league. But their average of 4.5 yards a carry was one of the league’s best.
Three things suggest Cowboys will run more, but pardon DeMarco Murray's skepticism
Dallas Morning News | Aug 3