Cowboys' run defense improves

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
11:30
AM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It didn't matter who it was up against, the Dallas Cowboys' run defense needed to do something positive against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.

After allowing over 400 rushing yards the previous two games, the Cowboys held the Raiders, the NFL's fourth-leading rushing attack, to just 50 yards.

"It's just techniques, fits and guys in the right place where they’re supposed to be at, that's all it is," defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said. "We just going to keep doing it in this scheme and keep playing hard. This scheme is kinda coming together for us."

Coming into the game, the Cowboys allowed a league-worst 5.1 yards per rush, including 3.4 yards before contact per rush, 31st in the NFL.

But Oakland had seven rushes that didn't gain a yard and averaged just 2.0 yards per carry, the second-lowest average allowed by the Cowboys since a Week 2 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Watching them on film, (assistant) coach Tony Sparano believes in running the ball," Hatcher said. "We were able to shut them down and we did an awesome job and hopefully we can keep doing it. That's been our nemesis all year. We've been getting gashed. Hopefully we found something in the run game."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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