Don’t Be Fooled, Dallas Cowboys Need A Powerful RB


Nov 9, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) scores on a 40-yard touchdown run against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Dallas Cowboys had the best running game, best offensive line, and boasted the NFL’s leading rusher with DeMarco Murray. Who happened to be one of the best running backs in the NFL. With Murray running his way to 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns, the Cowboys rode him like a Genie on a magical rug to an overall 13-5 record and one game short of the NFC Championship game.

En route to a successful season, Murray started with eight straight games rushing over 100 yards. Breaking the previous record by two games. Murray did it behind the Cowboys massive offensive line. His powerful running kept the Cowboys mediocre defense off the field and wore out opposing defenses.

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This was evident when the Cowboys went on a surprise six game winning streak. Beating the then defending Super Bowl Champs Seattle Seahawks in their own stadium. And their 12th man.

Murray ran for 115 yards on 28 carries and rushed for a touchdown.

Not only did the Cowboys beat the Seahawks in convincing fashion (although they should have won by more), their offense dominated the Seahawks’ top rated defense that day. Especially against the run. But one of the major reasons the Cowboys dominated so effectively was because of Murray’s beating down the defense. His powerful running style wiped out the Seahawks defense that Sunday afternoon and every team thereafter.

Because the Cowboys have the best offensive line in the NFL, football analysts and everyone with an opinion, especially CowboysNation, believe you can put any RB behind that massive offensive line and they will duplicate what Murray did. They believe any RB will run for 2,000 yards and shatter Eric Dickerson‘s single season rushing record. They believe he’ll rush for 100 yards in 16 straight games and score 40 touchdowns. Yeah, that’s what a lot of you all believe. Me included, to some extent.

But we’re all wrong.

Everyone can’t do what Murray did behind that great offensive line. It takes more than that. Here is why.

Murray is a powerful runner. A powerful RB that likes to run over opposing defenses. He lowers his helmet and shoulder like a raging bull looking at a red flag and charges. He welcomes the contact of five or six defenders bringing him to the ground. That explains his fumbling problem. If your honest with yourself, that’s where the majority of his fumbles occurred because he kept fighting for yards.

Face it, most RB’s aren’t going to do that except for Adrian Peterson. And I don’t know if the Cowboys will get him or not. If they do, then this conversation is a moot point.

Murray’s powerful running style had defenses picking their poison. Stack the box and watch Dez Bryant put on a clinic like he did against the Philadelphia Eagles. Or double team Bryant in Dime Coverage and watch Murray run for 500 yards. Or watch Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams eat your alive. Either way you were trapped. 

Teams respected Murray because of his power. And how he beat down defenses. So which RB will do that for the Cowboys next season?

I’ve heard the RB by committee approach. I’ve heard how Darren McFadden has never played behind an offensive line this talented, so now he’ll run like a wild horse, similar to what he did at Arkansas. Hell, neither has the other 31 starting RB’s in the NFL. That doesn’t mean they’ll bring the power like Murray or receive the attention from opposing defenses .

Will it be Joseph Randle? Who is very talented and when he touches the ball, good things happen. Like long touchdown runs. But Randle only had 51 touches last year and when he got his carries, the defenses were beaten down or worn out because of Murray’s punishment. I’m aware of Randle’s 6.7 average.

Which is good. Would love to see if Randle can carry the rock 25 to 30 times a game.

The same with Ryan Williams. Who I believe has the power the Cowboys need at RB. And he’s the Dark Horse of the group. But then again, he’s been on the practice squad forever. And Lance Dunbar is a third down specialist. 

So the Cowboys have a veteran RB who has only played one full, non-injury season since he joined the league in 2008. Another who averages 6.7 yards a carry and scores long touchdowns when he’s not breaking the law. A practice squad player. And a quick, reliable third down specialist.

They have RB’s who all do something different. But will they get the respect of opposing defenses? Will someone emerge as the ace of the group? Someone defenses better watch out for because of speed, power or a combination of both.

Lets’ hope so because Mr. Murray has joined the enemy. Although we won’t miss his fumbling ways or the money he demanded, we will miss his power and the affect he had on opposing defenses.

And when it comes to power, I’ve never seen a Pony or Donkey win the Kentucky Derby.

It’s always a Thoroughbred.

Just saying.