Thursday, November 17, 2011
Five-star: Keep expectations realistic for run game
By Tim MacMahon
Five-star question: Will the Cowboys hit their average of 177.0 yards rushing per game since DeMarco Murray became the starter?
I’m as caught up in Murray-mania as the next guy, but let’s try to keep expectations realistic.
That average of 177.0 rushing yards per game with Murray as the lead horse is skewed by a once-in-franchise-history performance against the raggedy St. Louis Rams, whose run defense ranks last in the NFL. The Cowboys ran for 163 yards in each of the last two games – very impressive totals but still more than a first down short of that four-game average.
The Redskins’ run defense is mediocre, ranking 18th in the NFL. But Washington has only allowed two teams to rush for more than 138 yards this season.
Cam Newton had 59 of Carolina’s 175 rushing yards against the Redskins. Michael Vick had 54 of Philadelphia’s 192 rushing yards against the Redskins. Considering that Tony Romo has rushed for a grand total of 47 yards all season, don’t expect that kind of bonus ground production from the Cowboys’ quarterback.
Pencil in the Murray-Felix Jones tandem for about 150 rushing yards, which will be more than enough to beat the Redskins.