TYS: Running game

Discussion in 'Overtime Zone' started by Rockport, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. kramskoi

    kramskoi Well-Known Member

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    I think there is a saying about statistics...not so much as what it says as what it also "hides"...The thing is, when you are rushing at over 6 ypc, everything works...the entire playbook is open. The defense just can't keep getting gashed, and they will have to commit the extra defender, or two to put out the fire. The Saints just could not match the execution of the Cowboys Sunday night. I think that sums it up...Dallas just executed better in both areas for long enough to get the Saints playing up-hill, where they are much less comfortable.

    That said, the real story is the emergence of what now looks to be a pretty good offensive line, barring injuries. When Romo is scampering for 21 yards, it is going pretty well.
  2. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    This, .. plus we are running the ball on the goal-line, and in short yardage, ie 3rd an 2, etc.

    I have a tear in my eye. I feared I would not see this again in Dallas.

    All hail Linehan.
  3. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    It is more of the long term effects that are the issue.

    Throwing the ball all of the time and winning 41-20 in the first half of the season is great and all, but it taxes your defense. They are on the field for longer. Historically, defensive players are more than twice than likely to get injured than an offensive player. So keeping them on the field for longer and more plays, even in blowout victories, means they are very likely to get injured.

    Come December, the defense is likely to be depleted. And then you have to worry about the offense and how it will play in bad weather games. Particularly when it gets windy as nothing stifles the passing game like the wind. And if you face a good running team with a good, healthy defense...you're in real trouble.

    The running game worked and that made life easy for Romo and the WR's against the Saints. But, there is going to come a time when the running game isn't working and the key will be to keep running the ball in hopes of keeping the defense honest to set up a big pass play and to continue to keep the Dallas defense off the field and fresh for the future.

    Chocolate Lab likes this.
  4. mrmojo

    mrmojo Well-Known Member

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    The game has always been won in the trenches and I always believed a good running game and defense was the purest and most beautiful form of football to watch. I for one hated how pass happy the NFL the past few years has become and i am hoping this brand of football that the Seahawks and now the Cowboys are playing will be back in vogue in the NFL. Last night was pure magic for me, I loved every minute of that game, took me back to the 90's dynasty brand of football.
  5. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    The running game has lower risk, but lower reward. If you get 5 yards per rushing attempt, you're ecstatic. If you get 6.5 yards per pass *attempt* it's not nearly as productive in terms of passing the ball. But still, the overall reward to passing (6.5 yard vs. 5 yards) is greater.

    Where many statisticians miss out on this is the deviation in results when we consider loss yardage from sacks and penalties is larger on pass plays than on running plays.

    You're far more likely to lose big yards on passing downs. If your QB gets sacked, that's going to be a bigger loss of yardage than if your RB gets stuffed. And you're far more likely to get a holding penalty, illegal hands to the face and illegal procedure penalties on pass players than running plays. Any of those penalties or the QB sack can stifle a drive dead in its tracks. Furthermore, 75% of the league's turnovers come from the QB position (either strip fumble or an INT). So the risk of making a turnover is far greater with the pass than the run.

    IIRC, back in 2008 the Cowboys abandoned the running game against the Packers and the Packers blitzed almost every single down. When asked about their heavy blitzing, Dom Capers replied to the effect that we knew they had abandoned the running game and we blitzed because if they run the ball all the RB has to do is get beyond the blitzers and he will have a huge gain.

    Running the ball concerns D-Coordinators because if you can do it effectively, it's as safe and as easy of a play to make in the NFL compared to pass plays which are far more complex and far more risky.

    The real key is to run the ball effectively and then reduce the amount of risk involved, increase the potential reward and make passing the ball easier to execute.

    But, if you can't run the ball effectively, abandoning the run is likely not the best solution.

    TheDoctor likes this.
  6. kramskoi

    kramskoi Well-Known Member

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    YR...your last paragraph pretty much sums up what Emmitt and co. did...they never gave up on the run, even when they were getting stacked early in games. They stayed with it and by the third and fourth quarters, things usually had changed. Teams came in determined to strangle the run but the o-line just eventually beat them down. Slow, inexorable but it eventually happened...the Cowboys were committed. That has been missing since maybe 2009, even though Garrett has had a marked propensity to abandon it and ride Romo's improvisational passing. Linehan has surprised me so far, but like you said, the real test will come when teams start sending the house at Murray and the o-line...it will test their will to stay committed to what seems a long overdue change of philosophy. I have thought for a few years now that Seattle and San Fran were ahead of the curve. Your observations are really the optimal way that Dallas can handle this season, as I still don't see a defense that they can ride through real adversity...maybe later on this will change but Murray and the o-line hold the key to this season.
  7. Turtle0986

    Turtle0986 Active Member

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    I have been impressed so far with the run game, makes me wonder why they were so quick to give up on it in past seasons. This team looks alot better now then they have in a while considering the success with running it in a pass heavy NFL
  8. Plankton

    Plankton Well-Known Member

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    Call me a dinosaur, but I prefer a consistent dedication to the running game. As Rich said, it limits exposure for the defense, and considering that the Cowboy front is undersized to begin with, they don't need to be on the field any more than necessary. To me, and it's not even quantifiable in terms of statistics, but football is at its core a physical game of will. Nothing breaks the will of a team more than shoving the football down their throats, and they can't do a thing about it. Setting a physical tone does mean a lot in this sport.
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  9. Idgit

    Idgit Riding the Red Rocket Staff Member

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    I can't speak for all the 'pass happy posters,' but I can say for my part that my expectation that efficient passing wins football games in the NFL hasn't changed an iota. And I will say, OP, that it looks like you still fundamentally understand the argument you were having for so long on this topic.

    For a point of comparison, look at Tony's pass ratings from week one to week four: SF: 60.8, TEN: 93.5, STL: 116.8, and, last night, NO: 137.4. Then take look at our rushing effectiveness during that four week span and tell me which of the two has changed dramatically as the team has performed better.

    But, hey. It was a great win last night and I'm still enjoying it, so I"m not going to ruin that nice rase in my mouth revisiting an old argument that I frankly think has already been proven many times over. Hopefully we can all agree that our defense plays differently with our LBs all in place, and that better defensive play is a big plus for us two. Let's hope we get good news today on Bruce Carter and keep this train a'rolling. (Speaking of trains....that train sound effect on the rushing TDs at home is pretty cool, btw).
  10. NextGenBoys

    NextGenBoys Well-Known Member

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    No one disputed running the ball.

    They disputed trying to FORCE running the ball behind an offensive line that was sub par, as it was from 2010-2013. There was a reason we kicked field goals, not touchdowns. We could not get a push up front.

    That has changed, and so have the results so far.

    Get off your high horse.
    waving monkey likes this.
  11. waving monkey

    waving monkey Well-Known Member

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    Amber Beer ,I'd be pretty amazed if football fans who are lunatic enough to spend significant time on this message board doesn't realize
    the value of a good running game. I do believe the contention was that we lacked the horses up front to accomplish that feat.
    Not that Garrett and Romo don't love throwing the ball cause they do. To reinterpret : Phil Costa at center,Nate Livings at Guard
    Mackendez Bernadea [sp] at guard ,don't excite a lot run play calling.
  12. Texas_Pete

    Texas_Pete Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  13. Rockport

    Rockport AmberBeer Zone Supporter

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    These pass happy posters were saying the past couple of years it's a passing league now and the running game isn't as important. If this site had any kind of decent search mechanism I'd post the threads. Several posters lambasted me for championing the running game and even some mods.
  14. Idgit

    Idgit Riding the Red Rocket Staff Member

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    This is not what was said, Amber. What was said was that passing effectiveness is what wins games in the NFL and that rushing effectiveness does not have a strong correlation to winning. It was never said that the running game no longer matters, and that's obviously not the case. You've just misunderstood the argument from the beginning, as you are continuing to misrepresent it now.
  15. Rockport

    Rockport AmberBeer Zone Supporter

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    Plenty of people disputed running the ball. I'm just stating the facts because I got lambasted for pushing for the running game via building the offensive lines. I also said we must draft the offensive and defensive lines as a priority.
  16. Rockport

    Rockport AmberBeer Zone Supporter

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    I didn't misunderstand anything.
  17. jrumann59

    jrumann59 Well-Known Member

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    To piggyback you need the boys up front to slow or stop the 8 man fronts so your QB can get it out for a long throw. It was so nice to see a team threaten with 8 in the box and our QB having enough time to get it to an open receiver. In the past our OL was leaky now teams have to pick their poison, especially the higher octane offensive teams.
  18. Idgit

    Idgit Riding the Red Rocket Staff Member

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    Gotcha. I probably just seems that way because, when you describe the arguments you were trying to refute, you always describe them incorrectly. But perhaps that's, as you suggest, intentional on your part.

    ABQCOWBOY Regular Joe....

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    How do you know they were subpar?
  20. Rockport

    Rockport AmberBeer Zone Supporter

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    I've been consistent on this subject since day 1. You are the one twisting the facts to suit your take that it's a passing league now and that's what wins.

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