Cowboys must get struggling run game going

IRVING, Texas -- Simply stated, the Dallas Cowboys' running game is bad right now.

Over the last three weeks, starting running back DeMarco Murray has more runs for zero or negative yards (11) than gains of five or more yards (6).

Murray has just 106 yards on the ground since rushing for 131 yards on 20 carries in the Week 1 victory over the New York Giants. He had nine runs of five or more yards and just two negative runs in that game.

Overall, the Cowboys' run game ranks 30th in the NFL and last in the NFC.

The reasons for the struggles are numerous. You could start with an offensive line that is still trying to jell and hasn't been able to adjust defensive lines that are providing movement prior to the snap.

"It's all of us up front," guard Mackenzy Bernadeau said. "It's a team effort. We just have to improve on it like everything else. It's something we've got to work on and something we've got to get better at."

Then there's the fullback.

Lawrence Vickers was signed in the offseason to enhance the running game. The team wanted to re-sign fullback Tony Fiammetta -- who developed chemistry with Murray last season -- but when Vickers became available, a move was made because Vickers was considered a better player than Fiammetta. Vickers has played well at times, but the consistency has not been there.

"I'm not bothered by anything, I just want it to get better," Vickers said. "Bothered, no. What I want is for us just to do better as an offense as a whole. Whatever means we have to go through to do that, I'm willing to do that."

Of course, you can also look at Murray. He noted last week that he can't remember the last time he was hit so much behind the line of scrimmage. Murray still has explosiveness and good lateral movement, but he isn't getting the yards necessary to get the offense going.

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