The Dallas Cowboys talked all week about getting things back in balance on offense. They did that and more today as the team cruised to an easy 31-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Let's talk about three things that went really well for Dallas in the win.
1. DeMarco Murray. 175 yards on 26 carries. He looked like a different back this week. He showed much better vision, picking up on the subtle cutback lanes that were open to him. Previously, Murray seemed intent on hitting the hole hard and being physical. This week, he looked to avoid contact and made some shifty moves in traffic. Extending for the touchdown on an outside run showed real desire. And instead of taking and giving punishing hits, Murray was more content to step out of bounds or avoid big hits. That's good for staying healthy all season. You can also throw in three receptions for 28 yards and good help in pass protection. He did it all this week.
2. The offensive line. DeMarco Murray looked so good in part because the offensive line picked up their play this week. The Rams boast a pretty potent front four so this was a good test. In addition to opening holes for Murray, they gave Tony Romo good protection for most of the day. Romo was only sacked once and was only hit on a handful of plays. The more this line plays together the better they can get. Throw in the tight ends for some solid blocking in the run game.
3. The defensive line. How good has this unit been, without Jay Ratliff and mostly without Anthony Spencer? Today they put together six sacks (one from a corner blitz) and pounded Sam Bradford all game. They stuffed any attempts at a running game from the Rams. Basically, they owned the Rams offense. DeMarcus Ware was spectacular and Jason Hatcher has become a force. George Selvie is making the most of his opportunity and Nick Hayden is anchoring the middle. They are relentless in pressuring the QB and running down running backs.
Bonus Thing: All three NFC East teams lost this week. The Cowboys seize the lead with a 2-1 record.