WHEN THEY RUN
WHEN THE COWBOYS RUN
The rushing in average Cowboys (145.3 per are carry yards) fourth (5.75). and in first Under defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, the Texans have played good run defense, ranking ninth (94.3), including 13th (4.32) in average per carry. Ezekiel Elliott has 426 yards, by far the most in the league. His 5.8-yard average a carry is outstandtackles ing. He can run between Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, or he can bounce outside. He’s instinctive, has a knack for finding holes and has exceptional acceleration. At 228, he’s powerful, too. He breaks tackles and gets a lot of yards after the initial hit. In the last two games, the Texans have allowed 77.5 yards and 3.5 a carry against the Giants and Colts. Nose tackle D.J. Reader has to tie up a center and guard to allow inside linebackers Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham to make a lot of tackles.
WHEN THE TEXANS RUN
After the first two games, the Texans ranked first in rushing. After their meager performance in the last two games, they’ve plunged to ninth. The run blocking has been mediocre to bad. There’s no consistency. They have no speed to get outside. If there are no holes, the backs can’t make them. Against the Giants yards Watson ries. yards the run, on a and carry. ranking contributed 54 Colts, carries, him, Dallas 12th the the a has 77 (97.8 Texans 3.3 Texans yards been average. yards). ran on averaged solid 11 for The Deshaun carWithout against 178 2.3 Cowboys fifth. Linebackers allow 3.6 Jaylon yards Smith a carry, (34) which and is Leighton ing Vander Lamar Esch Miller (30) couldn’t are their finish leadtacklers. against the Colts because of a chest injury. He was limited in practice. Alfred Blue comes off the bench. The Texans need to use the pass to set up the run. The Cowboys will be determined to stop the run on first down and put Watsecond-and-long son in situations.