Dallas run game lacks production

September, 9, 2013
9/09/13
8:45
AM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cowboys offensive coordinator/playcaller Bill Callahan declined to comment about his work during Sunday night's 36-31 victory over the New York Giants.

Callahan
There was a belief Callahan would have called more run plays than the previous playcaller, coach Jason Garrett. Callahan called 21 run plays, some out of the pistol formation, and it generated just 3.8 yards per carry. Quarterback Tony Romo attempted 49 passes. In the past two seasons, plus the season opener, Romo attempted 40 or more throws 11 times. His win-loss mark when he does that is 4-7.

"We always want to have balance and they have a stout defensive line," Garrett said. "You look at those defensive tackles they have and they have a lot of veteran players they brought in here and they're big, strong guys. We wanted to be persistent running the football. We felt we were able to move the ball by throwing it outside."

With the Cowboys' trying to seal the game late, there was some disappointment.

After the Giants cut into the Cowboys' lead to make it 30-24 with 8:47 to play, Callahan called six consecutive pass plays. One play was broken after Romo appeared to do a play-action pass to running back DeMarco Murray. But Murray went the wrong way, forcing Romo to fake to nobody and throw the ball into the ground. Romo was able to get a pass-interference penalty on a throw to wide receiver Dez Bryant, but he also was sacked twice, ending the drive.

After the Giants punted on the ensuing possession, the Cowboys did call three consecutive run plays to Murray. On a third-and-4 from the Cowboys' 34, Romo threw a short pass to Bryant for 2 yards with 2:49 to play.

"As a running back, and I know the guys up front feel the same way, whenever you run the ball it gives you that physical presence," said Murray, who finished with 86 yards on 20 carries. "That's how you can control the game and control the line of scrimmage. It was a good deal for us."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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