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Cowboys 20 Eagles 10: Looking At The Running Back By Committee After Two Weeks

Two weeks into the 2015 NFL season the trio tapped to replace DeMarco Murray are a work in progress.

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The first head-to-head meeting between DeMarco Murray and the Dallas Cowboys has come and gone. It is time once again to look at how the Dallas Cowboys running backs fared in their bid to prove that the team made the right move in allowing the NFL's leading rusher last season to move on to greener (literally) pastures.

In the Eagles game the Dallas ball-carriers carried the ball 30 times, up from the 22 rushing attempts last week. Much of that is due to the fact that the Cowboys never trailed against the Eagles. Also up were the combined rushing yards. Excluding the 11 rushing yards attributed to QB Brandon Weeden the Cowboys gained 102 yards on the ground. Obviously this is not an overwhelming performance but it is better than last week's 81 yard outing. As far as the ground game goes, it is still fair to call it a work in progress.

The one thing that should bring a smile to the faces of every Cowboys fan is that for the second straight week the Dallas backs have out performed Chip Kelly's high-dollar offseason acquisition, the aforementioned Mr. Murray. He has rushed for a grand total of 11 yards on 21 carries for the Eagles and he has accounted for only 75 yards of total offense thus far in 2015

The Cowboys backs continue to contribute in the passing game as well. Combined they added another 80 yards to the team's total on six receptions. Here, too, the Dallas trio outperformed the man they replaced. Murray had 53 yards on five receptions Sunday afternoon. Not that any of us would ever keep an eye on such things, but their performance also  exceeds the output of another Cowboy Pro Bowler turned Eagle, Miles Austin. He was a non-factor Sunday and for the season he has just two receptions for 22 yards.

The total offensive contribution of the running back by committee triumvirate was down to 182 yards of total offense as compared to last week's 212. It, as I said earlier, is still a work in progress, but I cannot say that I am displeased with the efforts. There is an additional elephant in the room that we have not talked about, the loss of Tony Romo. That, and the loss last week of Dez Bryant, means that Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar are going to have to continue to make significant strides week after week for the Dallas Cowboys to survive and even prosper over the next few weeks.


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