Entering 2015, I was beyond optimistic about the Cowboys’ offense – even without DeMarco Murray. I was a firm believer that he was overpaid by the Eagles, and our offensive line would lead the explosive Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden to a successful campaign.
My only concern was that the offense would struggle to close out games with the running game. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant would have to keep their foot on the gas pedal, making plays for a full four quarters.
After all, that is why the team paid Dez. As we well know at this point, both Bryant and Romo were lost in the first two weeks of the season and my exact fear with this offense has come true.
The second half offense has been nonexistent, being shut out entirely against the Falcons. This week against the Saints, they managed just the one second half touchdown to Terrance Williams.
This is where Dallas misses DeMarco Murray, as a punishing back that was able to close out games.
Murray averaged 4.7 yards per carry in the second half last year, matching his season average. This consistency also showed as his carries increased. Murray’s best average actually came between his 21st and 30th carry of a game.
Joseph Randle has not shown this “bell cow” ability, dropping off significantly after his first ten carries. He is also averaging just 1.9 yards per carry in the second half.
Without Murray, this team needs to find a reliable fourth quarter receiver for Brandon Weeden to rely on. Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar can help, creating mismatches in the middle of the field – where Weeden is most comfortable throwing.
Also worth noting, Murray is averaging just 1.3 yards per carry in the second half this year.