Once again DeMarco Murray was unable to even approach, much less break the 100 yard barrier, and as a result, the running game was reduced to a non-factor in a close loss. The first play from scrimmage was a negative run by Murray, and the running attack went downhill from there, yet Garrett and the coaching staff stubbornly kept feeding him the ball, continuing to do the same thing as if they were expecting a different outcome, which happens to be Einstein's famous definition of insanity.
I know former pro scout and current Dallas Cowboys.com writer Bryan Broddus dismisses Terrell Davis' critique of Murray's running style as "running to darkness," but Murray's pathetic performance against KC (12 carries for a paltry 25 yards) provides ample evidence that Davis may have been on to something. Murray's ineffectiveness was so obvious, it prompted Cowboys' radio analyst Babe Laufenberg, to tell us that behind the scenes, even some of Murray's coaches are questioning his running instincts. Without the threat of an at least respectable running game, the problems the Cowboys experienced last year from an over reliance on Tony Romo and the passing game will continue, and the key to beating the Cowboys will be to punish Romo, and wait for the offense to self-destruct with turnovers, which is exactly what happened against an average Kansas City team.
Lance Dunbar only entered the game when Murray had a problem with his helmet, and he instantly provided a badly needed spark to an otherwise dormant running attack, but his fumble was a huge turning point in the game, and his inability to hold onto the ball after contact will not earn him anything other than more time on the bench. Until Joseph Randle learns how to pass protect, the only viable alternative to DeMarco Murray as the primary ballcarrier is Philip Tanner, who was the team's most consistent and effective runner during the preseason. At least when Murray is struggling, Tanner should be given the opportunity to see if he can be more productive, which means Garrett is either going to have to have Murray on a MUCH shorter leash in the future, or their hopes for a winning season will go the way of Murray's fading goal of a running for 1000 yards this year.