Jason Garrett, when asked about the need to run the ball at his introductory press conference as Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, 11/8/10:
"Well, the only thing I know to do is to continue to emphasize that. Emphasize it in meetings, emphasize it in practice, and you try to take that emphasis to the field on Sunday. At different times this year we have run the ball ok. We haven't run it consistently well enough, so we need to get back to doing that. We need to run the ball better and we need to defend the run better. We need to be more balanced on the offensive side of the ball and we need to do the things that contribute to winning. We turn the ball over too much and we haven't been physical enough in the running game to control the game enough. We need to continue to make that an emphasis, and hopefully it will show up on Sunday."
The offense cannot be less productive than it was for most of the game in Green Bay. The Cowboys tried to run the ball in the first few drives, but found very little success after Marion Barber's 7 yard carry to start the game. They ran a total of 13 plays from under center in this contest. And from those 13 different plays, they accumulated 14 yards.
They tried 6 run plays from under center. And those 6 plays accounted for 7 yards. Remember, Marion Barber opened the game with a 7 yard carry. That means the other 5 plays accounted for 0 yards.
We can debate how much they should have emphasized the run game on Sunday night, but it seemed whenever they were considering a run from under center, Charles Woodson, Dom Capers, and Clay Matthews were sitting on it. And the way this offensive line leaks, the demoralizing results were too much to take. Without question, the play that would categorize this game for the offense would have to be the 3rd and 1 midway through the 2nd Quarter from the 48 yard line. Matthews drills Marion Barber 3 yards behind the line and the game was pretty much over. We will look at that play in the video breakdown later today.
The Cowboys called a rather balanced game for their first 14 plays. But, 14 offensive snaps was all the Cowboys needed to find themselves down 28-0. At 28-0, the Cowboys ran their remaining 34 plays, with 33 of them in Shotgun. And because of 118 yards in the 4th Quarter, the Cowboys were able to get to 202 total yards. In the first 3 Quarters, the Cowboys ran 30 plays for a grand total of 84 yards.
Putrid work, really.
Let's look at the Data from the destruction at Lambeau:
|1st Down Run-Pass||6-15|
|2nd Down Avg Distance to Go||7.29|
|2nd Down Run-Pass||5-12|
|3rd Down Avg Distance to Go||7.8|
|3rd Down Run-Pass||3-7|
|3rd Down Conversions||4-10, 40%|
Drive Starters: I list these because many offensive NFL minds will tell you that you can see a lot from what the intent is of the OC by listing his first play of each drive. It is clear as the season has gone on that the play calling has been dictated more and more by the score. The Cowboys cannot stay in games anymore, and when you are down 20, you must pass.
Wk 1-At Washington: 10 Drives - 6 Run/4Pass
Wk 2-Chicago: 10 Drives - 3 Run/7 Pass
Wk 3-At Houston: 8 Drives - 8 Run/0 Pass
Wk 4-Tennessee: 12 Drives - 5 Run/7 Pass
Wk 5-At Minnesota: 11 Drives - 7 Run/4 Pass
Wk 6-New York: 14 Drives - 3 Run/11 Pass
Wk 7-Jacksonville: 11 Drives - 3 Run/8 Pass
Wk 8-Green Bay: 10 Drives - 3 Run/7 Pass
38 Run/48 Pass
Here is the breakdown by groupings:
Totals by Personnel Groups:
Just look at all of the running plays from non "Shotgun" personnel groups. No production whatsoever.
Totals by Personnel Groups on 3rd/4th Down:
Just when you thought the Cowboys offense could not get worse, they throw up a stinker like this and further lower the bar. It is not easy to offer suggestions any more because you are counting on a bad offensive line and a back-up QB to start making to defense respect you. With the Giants on the horizon, they really need Kitna to hit on a big throw or two as your only hope. Need to take a few shots, and then your QB cannot miss Austin running free by several yards.
For a more expanded definition of the Personnel Groups, click here.
Make sure you check use these numbers when you look at the video breakdowns that will be posted later today.
Bob Sturm is host of BaD Radio on The Ticket 1310 AM Mondays through Fridays at 12-3 p.m. He also hosts The Ticket's Cowboys pregame show. Follow Bob on Twitter at
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