Packers happy Cowboys abandoned running game

When the Dallas Cowboys lost a 17-16 squeaker at Kansas City in September, coach Jason Garrett conceded that his team simply has to "run the ball more." When DeMarco Murray averaged 7.75 yards on just four carries in a narrow 27-23 win over the Vikings in early November, Garrett stated a renewed commitment to a more balanced offense.

All of those pledges to institute a consistent ground attack went out the window Sunday. Tony Romo attempted 48 passes in a game he led 26-3, 29-10 and 36-24 at various points in the second half.

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NFL Replay
will re-air the Green Bay Packers' 37-36 win over the Dallas Cowboys from Week 15 on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. ET.

The victorious Packers were perplexed yet grateful for the Cowboys' much-derided, soap operatic play-calling.

"We watched (Murray) last week with the coaches and we said, 'This guy is the real deal,'" Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn. "He's tough, fast and so deceptively strong. He's one of the most underrated backs.

"Oh, my God. It's the best zone scheme in the league," Pickett continued. "The last four weeks, nobody could stop it -- their zone scheme. And they gave up on it. We're just happy they did. We were, like, 'OK, we'll take it.'"

Pickett wasn't the only Green Bay player to express astonishment at Dallas' refusal to lean on Murray with a commanding lead.

"That's just who they are," cornerback Tramon Williams said. "They run the ball really well against everybody they play, but they just never stick with it."

The highlight of McGinn's masterpiece of a game recap was Pickett's acknowledgment that his teammates knew they could recover from Dallas' first-half roundhouses to pull off a historic comeback "even with Matt Flynn" as the quarterback.

After pointing out Romo's game-changing error in the heartbreaking loss, an incessantly passive Garrett offered another empty promise Monday to run the ball and maintain balance.

Garrett's penchant for abandoning the run while finding creative ways to lose tight games raises two questions:

Does the coaching staff have any semblance of faith in Murray's ability to stay healthy under a heavy workload?

Is owner Jerry Jones going to continue to deflect all queries into Garrett's job security as his team lags behind in game-planning, play-calling and time management?

*The latest "Around The League Podcast" broke down the Cowboys loss and every other Week 15 game. *

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