COMMENTARY| When Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray went down with a knee injury against the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys running game went with him. The Cowboys will struggle to win games without running the ball, and they have not run well without Murray in the backfield.
Murray sprained a ligament in his left knee against Washington. The injury caused him to miss the Cowboys' 17-3 victory over Philadelphia. It is uncertain how many more games he will miss.
Injuries are nothing new for Murray. He sat out 13 games during his first two seasons in the league due to injuries. That was after a college career in which he did not play a complete seasons in three of his four seasons at Oklahoma.
Murray is simply an injury-prone football player. The Cowboys tried to account with this fact with their selection of running back Joseph Randle in fifth round of the 2013 draft.
Randle has been a disappointment and is currently listed as fourth on the depth chart. With Murray and backup Lance Dunbar out, the running game falls to Randle and Phillip Tanner.
The Cowboys averaged only 2.8 yards per carry against the Philadelphia Eagles during their 17-3 victory. They are currently sitting atop the NFC East with a 4-3 record.
In the NFL if you want to win games you need to be able to run the ball and stop the run. The Cowboys have proven over the past three seasons that they cannot run the ball without Murray.
The Cowboys are averaging 4.2 yards rushing per play in 2013. If you take away Murray's totals, The team is only averaging 2.6 yards per carry.
Without the threat of Murray running the ball, the Cowboys will have to rely on quarterback Tony Romo's arm to win games. It is very hard to win in the NFL when you are a one-dimensional offense.
In the Cowboys four wins in 2013 they average 24 rushing attempts per game. In their three losses they only average 15 rushing attempts per game.
The more they lean on Tony Romo to win games, the less they win. Romo is completing 70 percent of his passes in 2013 and had a quarterback rating of 108, yet the Cowboys are only 4-3.
There are rumors that the Cowboys are looking to trade Murray. They need to take a serious look at what they have on the roster behind him before they make a trade.
Difference-makers at the running back position in the NFL are hard to find. It is doubtful that any general manager in the NFL would trade a productive running back for Murray.
The Cowboys are going to have to hope Murray gets healthy because the struggle to run the ball when he is on the bench. They will not make the playoffs if Murray is sitting on the bench for an extended period of time.
Michael Taglienti lives in Dallas, and has been covering all levels of football for five years. His articles have been featured on CNN and numerous other websites.
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