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"Establishing the Run" is a MYTH

Writer Aaron Schatz, believes that the idea of “establishing the run” is merely a MYTH in the NFL.  Here’s a direct quote, read it and see if you agree or not.

You run when you win, not win when you run. 

If we could only share one piece of anti-conventional wisdom with you before you read the rest of our book, this would be it.  The first article ever written for Football Outsiders was devoted to debunking the myth of “establishing the run.”  There is no correlation whatsoever between giving your running backs a lot of carries early in the game and winning the game.  Just running the ball is not going to help a team score; it has to run successfully.  - Aaron Schatz (Pro Football Prospectus 2008; page vii)

 

Later in the same article Aaron Schatz says,

 

In general, winning teams have a lot of carries because their running backs are running out the clock at the end of wins, not because they are running wild early in games.

 

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Just like you, I’ve heard a lot about the 2009 Cowboys planning to run the ball more on offense with Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice, in order to relieve some of the pressure put on Quarterback Tony Romo.  But simply running more isn’t the answer, running successfully is!

Perhaps the Cowboys need to run 3 or 4 times more per game.  We ran 401 times in 2008, if we added 3 or 4 more runs per game we’d be in the top 10 for rushing attempts.  But I’m not sure that is the real answer.

What would you consider “successful rushing?"

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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