Can the Dallas Cowboys find a rhythm in their run game?
A season after DeMarco Murray led the league on the ground, and then left for Philadelphia, the Cowboys are still firm in their collective belief that replacement by committee is the way to go. But two games into the preseason that rationale has been more difficult to support as the Dallas backfield has struggled to move the ball. Last week the Cowboys ran the ball 22 times for 102 yards and even Jason Garrett admitted, “We didn’t run the ball very well.”
The Cowboys still have one of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL. They need to make sure they use it to their advantage and get the run game going before the start of the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings are trying to find some o-line consistency of their own. That’s proving more difficult than expected though, particularly with a lingering back injury to center John Sullivan. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said the team was “just being cautious” with Sullivan after he missed practices earlier this week but the center has missed more than a week of football now.
Here’s all the details on Saturday night’s preseason matchup with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. ET:
Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys
Saturday, August 29 at 7 p.m. ET
The game will be broadcast locally on FOX 9 in Minneapolis and CBS 11 in Dallas. Click here for a full TV schedule
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Even via Oddsshark
Cowboys 27, Vikings 23 on November 23 2013 in Dallas
Scouting the Vikings
Here’s the thing. Adrian Peterson hasn’t played at all this preseason. He will not play at all this preseason. No one expected him to. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Minnesota Vikings run game could use someone like Adrian Peterson in the backfield.
So far this preseason, the Vikings offense has looked good. Teddy Bridgewater certainly appears to be the quarterback of Minnesota’s future and despite injuries, the Vikings offensive line has found a thing to make things work. Something that hasn’t been working? Minnesota’s run game.
In two preseason games, the Vikings are averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and recorded just 87 yards on the ground against the Oakland Raiders last week. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said he had addressed the team about the lack of a run game, adding, “I do think that we’re coming off the ball good, there’s one area that we definitely have to get better at in the running game and then we have to finish better in the running game.”
Scouting the Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys would like to be better. A lot better. Two games into their preseason slate and the Cowboys have scored a combined 13 points while giving up 40 and last week Tony Romo threw one pass for -1 yard.
Now, sure, it’s the preseason and preseason football is for working out on-field kinks, to try and find a rhythm on the field. But that doesn’t mean that the Cowboys aren’t trying to get better. After all, this is a team that’s still staging a handful of position battles.
One of the biggest questions facing Dallas this preseason is at quarterback. No, Tony Romo’s job as a starter isn’t in question. Neither is Brandon Weeden’s backup spot. Instead, the battle for the team’s third-stringer is heating up or, depending on who you ask, cooling down. Neither Dustin Vaughan nor Jameil Showers have done much to prove that they deserve a spot on the roster and this is a Dallas team that rarely carries three quarterbacks. Saturday night’s game may be one of the last chances for either player to prove their on-field worth.