IRVING, Texas -- The NFL is a passing league. At least that's what we've been told.
Too often judgments are made off of what this team or that team did to make it to a Super Bowl or win a Super Bowl, as if they possessed a magic formula for success.
Some of it comes down to luck (not Andrew). Some if comes down to coaching. Some of it comes down to skill.
It still takes passing to put up points, but maybe the running game is more important than many believe.
In Sundays' NFC Championship Game, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch changed the tenor of the game in the second half and finished with 157 yards on 25 carries and gave his team a late lead in the fourth quarter with a rushing touchdown.
LeGarrett Blount had 30 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the New England Patriots win against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
Lynch, 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, runs as hard as any back in the league. Blount, a 6-feet, 250 pounds, brings the juice in the Patriots' running game.
Before the Dallas Cowboys say goodbye to DeMarco Murray, 6-0, 217 pounds, in free agency, they need to understand the draw of the power back.
As good as the Cowboys' offensive line was in 2014 Murray made a good portion of those 1,845 yards on his own. The Cowboys' fortunes changed because of their ability to run the ball. They brought a balance.
The New England offense changed when they brought Blount back. They at least had the threat of the run to help Tom Brady throw the ball. The Seahawks are a running team that mixed in the pass.
The Cowboys' offense down the stretch had the perfect balance. If teams wanted to stop Murray, Tony Romo beat them with his arm. If teams wanted to slow down the passing game, they could take advantage with the run.
Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will be challenged in keeping Dez Bryant and Murray, but that would only be by choice. They can afford both. The question is if they want to pay a running back.
Jason Garrett has publicly stated how he feels about Murray. He talked about him in tones normally reserved for Jason Witten.
With Romo and Witten down the stretch in their careers, can the Cowboys take the chance of trying to get to a Super Bowl without Murray?
If the Cowboys were watching Sunday, they saw what a running game means.