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Mailbag: Problems With The Playcalling In San Diego?

Posted Sep 30, 2013


TIM TETRICK
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

When will the coaches commit to the running game? The play action worked against the Chargers until they stopped running the ball. I don't see the Cowboys beating a .500 club until they commit to the run. What do you think?

Nick: That’s a great question about the commitment. We’ve asked this so many times before. The Cowboys can’t say they weren’t effective Sunday running the ball and they still went away from it, even with a lead for most of the second and third quarter. I understand your frustration and I don’t understand the logic behind passing so much especially in a game in which you’ve got the lead and your receivers are inconsistent in catching the ball.

David: All it takes is a look at the box score – 15 carries by running backs for 77 yards, which is an average of more than five yards per carry. My best guess is that with Philip Rivers playing as well as he was, the Cowboys were worried about “keeping up,” so to speak. It’s pretty troubling that, as much as the coaches talk about balance, they went away from a ground game that was working.

JAMES HARRELSON
STEPHENS CITY, VA

I get it -- Romo's not throwing picks, good for him. But the offense also isn't scoring. Something has got to give, or this is going to be a long season. Do you think the problem is the playcalling or does it lie deeper? 

Nick: I know we’ve got a story on “Running the Numbers” today about that same thing. I think it’s somewhere in between. Miles Austin was sorely missed on Sunday. Defenses are finding ways to take out Witten and limit Dez. But the third guy is Miles and when he’s not out there, it’s a factor. To answer one of your questions, yes it could be a long season. But something tells me – maybe it’s history – that this team will go down to the wire, hovering the .500 mark all year.

David: This is something I’ve been wondering about for at least two weeks now. You want to have balance – there’s no doubt about that. But when you have a game changer like Tony Romo playing quarterback, it seems counterproductive for him to have not thrown for 300 yards in a game yet this season. Romo’s longest completion against San Diego was the 34-yard touchdown to Dez Bryant, but his second-longest completion went for just 14 yards. That doesn’t seem like a good strategy against the No. 29 pass defense in the league.

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