Dallas Cowboys: Running game gives team the spark they needed
On Sunday Night, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins in the preseason opening Hall of Fame Game. While Tony Romo did not play in that game, it was the rushing attack that shined the most. With DeMarco Murray not playing in the game it opened the door for the other running backs on the team to make a name for themselves, and make a name they did. Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar played well as they combined for a total of 81 yards on the ground but it was fifth round pick out of Oklahoma St. Joseph Randle who led the team with 70 rushing yards.
Randle rushed for 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns for Oklahoma State in 2012 and really carried the Cowboys in last night’s game. Overall, the Cowboys looked like a completely different team out there than what we have seen from them in the past. As we know Jason Garrett was stripped of his play calling duties to focus more on being a head coach, and Bill Callahan now calls the plays in Dallas. Monte Kiffin was brought in to coach the defense that was able to get to the quarterback three times and even had a pick six.
Now while Dallas did struggle late as Miami almost completed a comeback, the running game is going to be key moving forward. The past two seasons, the Cowboys have had to rely upon Tony Romo in big week seventeen games. In 2011, they lost to the future Super Bowl Champions New York Giants and last year lost to a newly revived Washington Redskins team. Considering both were go or go home games, this shows you how close they have been from making the playoffs. It has come down to essentially a game or two that you can look back on and say, one game cost us the division and a playoff spot.
With DeMarco Murray healthy, and a big change of pace back in Randle, the Cowboys can finally take some pressure off Tony Romo. Romo no longer be the guy that will be often criticized for choking in high pressure situations. Many questioned Jerry Jones giving Romo a big contract earlier in the off-season. Many questioned why they took Wisconsin Center Travis Frederick at the bottom of round one when so many other teams had given him a third round grade. Last night it seemed Jerry knew what he was doing when he took Frederick with the 31st pick as the offensive line opened up holes for the rushing attack to do some damage to the Miami Dolphins defense.
Tony Romo had to be sitting on the sideline breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing that the offensive line looks better and that he now as two running backs he can rely on and hand the ball off to knowing there is a great chance of them going the distance. While it was only one game, this could be a preview of the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2013, and if so, Cowboys fans may just be able to enjoy another January playoff game in Dallas.
Mike Presley is a Division Leader for The Penalty Flag. He hosts “The Front Seven Podcast” on Youtube. Mike writes for the racing website www.hardcoreracefans.com during the NASCAR Season. Mike can be contacted on Twitter @mikepresley64 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.