FanPost

We need to get more RB production

That Dallas needs to run more is an easy topic. Of course, they should run more. That was discussed in the comments of just about every game. I said as much with my discussion and analysis of each game statistics and penalties. Yet where to get that production is the focus of this article.

TWO big statistics stand out

First, Dallas ranked 31st in rushing attempts with 336, behind only Atlanta with 321.

Yet Dallas ranked tied for 7th with a 4.5 yards per attempt.

It does not take much analysis to figure out that if we are among the better teams in yard per attempt, having more attempts is a good idea. Some small quibbles can apply, such as we are probably more successful in our yards per carry BECAUSE we run when it is optimal to run. Yet, next to last gives us lots of room to improve.

New Offensive Coordinator

Dave Halprin suggests that Dallas might be looking at adding Linehan as the offensive coordinator.

http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2014/1/24/5343486/sources-cowboys-looking-at-scott-linehan-as-offensive-play-caller

Not surprisingly the comments suggested that we might run more with a new OC. I noted that Dallas and Detroit actually used the primary in a similar manner.

Primary RB

DET...Bush...............223 attempts...1,006 yards...4.5 ypa...14 games

DAL...Murray...........217 attempts...1,124 yards...5.2 ypa...14 games

DAL backups

DAL...Tanner..............9 attempts......12 yards...1.3 ypa....6 games

DAL...Dunbar............30 attempts.....150 yards...5.0 ypa....8 games

DAL...Randle............54 attempts.....164 yards...3.0 ypa....7 games

DET backups

DET...Leshour............2 attempts.......9 yards...4.5 ypa....1 game

DET...Riddick............9 attempts......25 yards...2.8 ypa...11 games

DET...J Bell...........166 attempts.....653 yards...3.9 ypa...16 games

Murray is literally a pro-bowl RB. He ranked 10th in yards and his 5.2 average was better than any of the top 35 RB listed by yards. His 17th place for attempts puts him in the top third for the 55 RBs who had 25% of the snaps.

I concluded that the problem with our running attack was not with our primary runner but in our backups. To test that further, I looked at all the teams running attempts and yards by team, and then looked at their primary runners as listed in PFF.

I then calculated the attempts and yards by the team’s backups by subtracting the primary RBs stats from the team stats. I also calculated what percentage of the team’s attempts and yards were done by the backups. Dallas use of their RB backups is not just bad, but terrible. I have listed the five worst teams for rushing of backups.

Tm...Att...Yds...Ave...Prime RB.....Att...Yds....Ave...BUA...BUY...%A...%Y

CHI...404...1828...4.5...Forte................289...1339...4.6...backups...115...489...28...27

DAL...336...1504...4.5...Murray.............217...1124...5.2...backups...119...380...35...25

MIN...423...2081...4.9...Petterson.......279...1266...4.5...backups...144...815...34...39

JAX...378...1260...3.3...Jones Drew...234....803...3.4...backups...144...457...38...36

PIT...394...1383...3.5...Bell....................244....860...3.5...backups...150...523...38...38

To put these numbers into perspective. Let us use ranking instead

Tm...Att...Yds...Ave...Prime RB.....Att...Yds....Ave...BUA...BUY...%A...%Y

CHI....24....16.....7....Forte...................3.....2....11....backups...32....30....32....31

DAL....31....24.....8....Murray..............17....10.....3....backups...31....32....30....32

MIN....19.....8.....2....Petterson............6.....5....15....backups...29....23....31....25

JAX....28....31....31....Jones Drew....14....20....45....backups...29....31....25....28

PIT....25....27....29....Bell.....................12....17....43....backups...28....29....25....26

Conclusion

We may or may not get another OC. Yet whoever is the OC needs to run more and clearly we need better production out of our backup RB position. Randle was a rookie and the team probably did not trust his blocking. Dunbar was a ST ace until he got hurt. Tanner probably does not make the team next year.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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