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Monday, September 16, 2013
DeMarco Murray wants to run the ball more

By Calvin Watkins

KANSAS CITY -- When you look at all the negative things from the Cowboys' 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the running game sticks out.

And it seems starting running back DeMarco Murray, just two games into the season, is tired of it.

The Cowboys rushed for just 37 yards on 16 carries total, and this includes Tony Romo's two runs and a lateral to Terrance Williams. Murray rushed for 25 yards on 12 carries; backup Lance Dunbar had 12 rushing yards but also lost a fumble on a pass play.

"To be honest, I don’t know how many carries we had in the second half. We didn’t run it enough; we kinda go to the pass," Murray said. "It's something (the) coaches are going to have to talk about and discuss."

The Cowboys ran the ball with Murray and Dunbar five times in the second half, zero in the fourth quarter of a close game. Romo did scramble for 4 yards in the fourth quarter.

After two weeks, the Cowboys are averaging 3.2 yards per carry on 39 rushing attempts. Murray leads the team with 111 yards on 32 carries.

There were some running lanes on Sunday against the Chiefs' 3-4 defense, but Murray and the line just couldn't take advantage of it enough to take pressure off the passing game.

Romo attempted 42 passes on Sunday. In Dallas' Week 1 win against the New York Giants, he attempted 49 passes, which was considered too high, but the Cowboys' coaches will tell you a bulk of those throws were short (Murray had eight catches, and that's almost like a run).

"We'll have to go back and look at it," coach Jason Garrett said. "We haven't run the ball well enough and we haven't ran the ball enough. We want to have more balance on our offense. We just have to do better. We'll do that as coaches and as players and hopefully get better next week."

Romo was off with some of his throws in the fourth quarter Sunday and said his bruised rib had nothing to do with it. But if the Cowboys had established a stronger running game, maybe Romo would made fewer passing attempts.

"Yes, it's hard, but at the same time, if I get a couple of touches here and there, I could be able to get a good groove in," Murray said. "But I didn’t feel it (Sunday). I don’t know how many times I ran it. We got to control the line of scrimmage and it all starts with the run game."

The Cowboys tried to get the run game going, but with the offensive line as it is, chemistry is lacking. On Sunday, left guard Ronald Leary was making his second career start, while the team used a rookie center, Travis Frederick, and a rotation at right guard of Mackenzy Bernadeau and Brian Waters.

"Once again, it's about the game we're playing in that day," Romo said. "We have more possessions, we're going to run the ball more. If we have a lead in the fourth quarter, we run the ball more. I don't know if there's a magic number. More than anything, we need to run it a little bit better if we want to run it more. We need to get it going a little bit."

Said Murray: "You got to be a balanced offense to win games."