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Cowboys use '22' personnel to perfection

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys had 60 snaps against St. Louis on Sunday and more than a third of them came with two running backs and two tight ends on the field.

To the football world, that is 22 personnel and it worked beautifully against the Rams.

In addition to the play of the line, give tight ends Jason Witten, John Phillips and Martellus Bennett and fullback Tony Fiammetta credit for helping DeMarco Murray to his big day.

“I think we just controlled where they were going to line up,” Witten said. “They’re a 4-3 team and they were late in getting the safety down so we were able to get a lot of double teams on them and I think we got some good blocks. But obviously DeMarco ran really well.”

Murray’s two longest runs – 91 and 43 yards – did not come out of that grouping but Phillip Tanner’s 6-yard touchdown run was out of 22 personnel. At one point Jason Garrett ran four straight plays out of 22 personnel in the second half and at least 17 total in the third and fourth quarters.

“It was working,” running game coordinator/offensive line coach Hudson Houck said. “We were making yards and we had a few passes off that and then a few kills off that where we could pass if we wanted to. But why put it in the air other than when we had to?”