Poor run game reason for Skip Peete's exit

The Cowboys relieved running back coach Skip Peete of his duties Monday.

You could say the reason for the move is that somebody had to take the fall for one of the worst running attacks in the NFL in 2012. When you finish 31st overall, it might be time to evaluate the run game. You can't blame Peete for all the problems. Running back DeMarco Murray missed six games with a sprained foot. Then there were the inconsistencies of Felix Jones, who played with two bad knees, and the offensive line.

But when Jerry Jones said changes need to happen, then somebody has to go. Peete had a year remaining on a two-year contract extension he signed in 2011.

One of the biggest problems facing Peete, whether or not it was his fault, was the lack of development with two young running backs, Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner. Both struggled to back up Jones during the six games Murray missed. The pair got limited snaps on special teams and were ghosts on offense the last few weeks of the regular season.

Tanner didn't have a carry since Nov. 4 at Atlanta and finished with 61 yards on 25 carries. He was also inactive for two of the last three weeks of the season. Dunbar didn't have one since Thanksgiving and finished the season with 75 yards on 21 carries.

The Cowboys expected more from the young running backs. Dunbar had some speed and Tanner was a physical presence, but neither seemed to impressed the offensive coaches.

Fullback Lawrence Vickers was signed in free agency as an upgrade over Tony Fiammetta, but he was uneven at times.