IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys rushed for 19 yards on 17 carries Sunday afternoon in the loss to the New York Giants. Felix Jones averaged just 1.5 yards per carry and Phillip Tanner didn't gain any yards on two carries.
Coach Jason Garrett said he wanted to run more, but the Giants focused on stopping it. With the run game stagnated, the Cowboys were forced to pass more, as evident by Tony Romo's career-high 62 pass attempts. Garrett didn't have a problem calling pass plays because he had three players topping 100 receiving yards in tight end Jason Witten (career-high 167), Miles Austin (133) and Dez Bryant (career-high 110).
So it gave him confidence to call for more pass plays.
What about the run game? Did he lose confidence in that?
"Well, they did a good job being committed to the line of scrimmage," Garrett said of the Giants defense. "They tried to play a single-high defense against us. Certainly it worked out well in the passing game because we were able to throw the ball really to any of our guys at any time we wanted to. They made a commitment and tried to do that and it worked for them. They had a lot of guys around the line of scrimmage. Their front is outstanding. Their defensive line across the board is really, really good. They have a front four and then rotate guys in. They're around the line of scrimmage and didn’t want us to run the football. We threw the ball and threw it well throughout the game."
Jones replaced an injured DeMarco Murray (foot) in the starting lineup and struggled. He fumbled with 6:40 to play in the fourth quarter at the Giants 49, which led to a field goal. The score pushed the Giants' lead to 29-24. On the fumble, it seemed Jones carried the ball low as he was heading into a pile before it hit the butt of center Ryan Cook, coming loose.
"Clearly it looked like an awkward play," Garrett said of Jones' fumble. "The lineman was thrust back into him. Having said that, you’ve got to secure the football. You have to hold it high and tight and get a second hand on the ball. you can’t let the ball come out."
Jones has struggled this season. He's rushed for 168 yards on 49 carries and despite a team-leading two touchdowns, he's averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
"We never shake our head and say it’s going to keep continuing and it’s out of our control," Garrett said of Jones' struggles. "We’re going to find a way to stop it, because it impacts the ballgame. We’ll do that with Felix. We’ll do that with everyone on our team."