Big Decision: Jason Garrett must commit to the run

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
9:00
AM ET
The most important decision Jason Garrett makes Sunday against Baltimore concerns his ego.

Does he control it? Or does it control him?

Garrett must fight his tendency to eschew the running game on the road -- even if it's not producing much yardage -- because it will allow the Cowboys to limit the number of possessions, reduce the opportunities for Tony Romo to make a mistake and allow the offensive line to establish a rhythm.

Besides, the other approach doesn't work.

The Cowboys are 7-7 on the road under Garrett. In their seven wins, the pass-run differential has been greater than seven just twice. In their seven losses, the pass-run differential has been less than 10 just once.

Got it?

Maintain offensive balance and odds are the Cowboys will win. If the Cowboys become one-dimensional odds are Dallas will lose.

It won't be easy because the Cowboys have struggled to run the ball. DeMarco Murray has just 104 yards on his last 41 carries and has been dropped for a loss 11 times.

The interior offensive line has been suspect and Derrick Dockery has taken some first-team repetitions this week, an indication Garrett is losing patience with Mackenzie Bernadeau.

This game starts a difficult stretch for the Cowboys with four of their next five games on the road.

If Garrett commits to the running game today, it gives the Cowboys their best chance to beat Baltimore for the first time in franchise history.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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