For weeks and weeks, I've wondered why Callahan and Garrett haven't utilized the strengths of Lance Dunbar to boost the Dallas offense. In the last two games, and especially on Thursday, we've seen what a difference maker he can be.
He was apparently in the game only 13 snaps, and he touched the ball every time -- 12 runs, and 1 pass. He totaled 94 yards of offense, just below DeMarco Murray's combined 100 yards (61 run, 39 pass). He had the biggest play from scrimmage the whole game, with his electrifying 45-yard scamper up the middle.
During that run, he expertly dodged and weaved his way around multiple Oakland defenders into a seam up the middle that was almost touchdown-breaking. At the end, a face mask grab to help pull him down was missed by the refs.
The simple fact is that Lance Dunbar can make plays that no one else on the Cowboys can make. He's a little like Cole Bealey in that regard, except he has much more power and tackle-breaking ability than Beasley has.
We also saw Dunbar do the jump cut in the hole to take advantage of the backside of some nice zone blocking. This is something Murray can do as well, just not at the same level of quickness or speed that Dunbar brings.
If Dallas wants to keep winning, both to secure the NFC East title and to do something in the playoffs, it would be wise to keep giving Lance Dunbar 10+ touches per game.
(Title edited after the news that Dunbar's injury looks to be season-ending.)