The Dallas Cowboys are on a hot streak winning four in a row. They are coming off an impressive performance last Sunday in which they dismantled the Washington Football Team 56-14.
It seems that the Cowboys are peaking at the right time, the offense finally got back on track, and the defense is playing lights out consistently, forcing turnovers and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
However, if this team is going to play up to their full potential, they need to get the running game back on track.
During Dallas’s four-game win streak, they rank only 23rd in rush success rate (36.9%). They have not rushed for 150 plus yards since week five against the New York Giants. This was something they had accomplished four times in their first five games.
Ezekiel Elliott averaged four yards per carry against Washington in week 16 for the first time since week nine against the Denver Broncos. Granted, he has been banged up for the majority of the second half of the season, Zeke needs to get back on track.
As a team since week 13, when they began their four-game winning streak, the Cowboys have a -8.0% success rate over average when running the ball on first down, not considering the direction of the run play, per sharpfootballstats.com.
Dallas has a horrible success rate over average when running over the left side of the line on first down play calls. The rates behind the left tackle garner a success rate over average of -33.0% and -17.0% when running behind the left guard.
Dallas will need to improve upon these numbers to maintain a well-balanced and functioning offensive unit in the playoffs.
This week against the Arizona Cardinals may be the perfect opportunity for this rush game to get back on track.
Arizona ranks 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt (4.5). Arizona has surrendered more than 150 plus rushing yards in a game five times this season. Pro Football Focus ranks the Cardinals as the sixth-worst rushing defense in the NFL.
In six of their last eight games, they have recorded a team-run defense rating of 60 or below.
With the passing offense getting back on track last week, it would be exciting to see Elliott and Tony Pollard rip off some big runs and establish dominance on the ground, which fans became accustomed to in the first half of the season.