OXNARD, Calif. -- To say the Cowboys had a bad rushing attack in 2012 is an understatement.
The Cowboys finished 31st in the NFL with a 79.1 yards per game average. The 355 team carries also ranked 31st, marking the first time the Cowboys had fewer than 400 rushing attempts in a season since 1990.
That season, the Cowboys had 393 carries and finished 7-9.
Coach Jason Garrett commands it.
"We just have to run the ball better," Garrett said Saturday. "We didn't run the ball well enough last year and everybody understands that, and we understand that as a coaching staff and as an organization. We have to run it better; we have to run it more. When you run the ball well, so many things open up for you. It's amazing how you run the ball well, the opportunities to throw the ball will present themselves. The opportunity to play better defense presents itself. You're better in the red zone. You tend to take care of the ball better -- all of those things. We understand that, and we made a huge emphasis on it in the offseason and we'll continue to make that emphasis here in training camp."
What can also help the run game is health. Last season, the Cowboys started three different centers, starter DeMarco Murray missed six games with a foot injury and backup Felix Jones also played hurt.
The Cowboys trailed big in several games during the course of the season, including 10-0 at Seattle, 24-7 against Chicago, 23-0 to the New York Giants and 28-3 to Washington, which also prompted Garrett to call more running plays.
"The impact of the running game on your football team is significant," Garrett said. "We just have to do it better, and there will be a huge focus on it every day in camp."