Dallas Cowboys: Cadillac Williams

Five-star: DeMarco Murray won't run free

October, 27, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarco Murray gain 100 yards against Philadelphia' 23rd-ranked run defense?

This does not mean DeMarco Murray will be a one-hit wonder, but he will not reach the century mark Sunday at Philadelphia a week after setting the franchise record for rushing yards in a game with 253 against St. Louis.

Philadelphia is allowing 4.8 yards per carry and is allowing 123.8 yards a game on the ground. Atlanta’s Michael Turner (114), San Francisco’s Frank Gore (127) and Buffalo’s Fred Jackson (111) put up more than 100 yards against the Eagles. St. Louis Cadillac Williams had 91 yards.

Leaky does not begin to describe the run defense.

But Washington’s leading rusher was Ryan Torain, who had 22 yards on 10 carries, in Philadelphia’s last game. Maybe, just maybe the Eagles are beginning to figure out how to play this “wide nine” scheme, although they did not practice during the bye week.

Murray was amazing against the Rams and I don’t care that the Rams had the worst-ranked run defense. That many yards in any game against any team in any league is a terrific feat. He deserves all of the accolades he has received.

But this is a road game and the Cowboys have had one 100-yard rusher in their last 18 road games. Tashard Choice had 100 yards against Indianapolis last year. They did not have a 100-yard rusher away from home in 2009.

I’m sensing a trend, which is why Murray will not reach 100 yards Sunday.

Abram Elam comes up big early, late

October, 24, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- When Sunday’s game against St. Louis was still a game, Abram Elam turned in perhaps the most important play.

With the score 7-0, the Cowboys strong safety forced a Cadillac Williams’ fumble after a 17-yard pick up to the Dallas 37 by the Rams running back and scooped up the loose ball for the turnover. Tackle Jason Smith was hurt on the play and the Rams elected to challenge the call, believing Elam was out of bounds when he recovered the fumble.

“I knew I had re-established myself,” Elam said.

Sunday was Elam’s best game of the season. He was credited with a team-high eight tackles and had three tackles for loss.

While his forced fumble was an important play, the most prideful play might have been on the Cowboys’ final defense snap. On fourth and 1 from the Dallas 1, the Rams tried to run Steven Jackson to the right for a meaningless touchdown but Elam shot the gap and brought down the big running back for a 5-yard loss.

Even up 27 points the Cowboys did not want to give up a touchdown.

“I’m happy about the win,” Elam said. “Those are plays within the game that help us get the win. I’m pleased with my performance. There are some things I know we’ll get corrected but we’re on the right track.”