The Miami Dolphins have made a lot of good running backs look bad this season. Jamal Lewis, LaDainian Tomlinson and Edgerrin James went nowhere against them.
Troy Hambrick, Aveion Cason and Richie Anderson fared even worse.
While Dolphins running back Ricky Williams had his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game, gaining 104 yards on 31 carries in Miami's 40-21 rout of the Cowboys, Dallas gained only 91 rushing yards on 16 carries. That included a team-high 42 yards on four scrambles by quarterback Quincy Carter.
"We need to do what they did -- run and pass," Cowboys receiver Joey Galloway said. "What we've been doing all year caught up to us today."
The Cowboys entered the game 12th in the league in rushing, averaging 122.5 yards per game. Running backs Hambrick and Cason and fullback Anderson managed only 49 yards on 12 carries Thursday.
"I think the running game has been the big talk lately," Hambrick said. "We got behind early, and it probably just took us out of some things we wanted to do and run. It was just hard. We just had a tough time executing today."
Hambrick was dropped for a 1-yard loss on the Cowboys' first play from scrimmage, and he finished the first half and the game with 2 yards on three carries. In the first half, when the game was decided, Hambrick, Cason and Anderson combined for 17 yards on eight carries.
"The way their offense played, I think it helped the way their defense was able to play," Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn said. "They put a lot of points on the board; they controlled the clock; and they pretty much made us almost one-dimensional. Anytime you do that, you're setting yourself up for disaster."
Cowboys coach Bill Parcells defended the running game. Sort of.
"Everybody wasn't any good today, so don't start with the running game," he said. "The score was prohibitive."
Miami has not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Dec. 1, 2002, when Buffalo's Travis Henry gained 151 on 35 carries. Fred Taylor, Lewis, Tomlinson and James are among the backs the Dolphins have held below their season averages this year.
"I want to give Miami credit," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "I think they were determined to have Quincy (Carter) throw the ball."
The Cowboys surely will be determined to get their running game going for back-to-back road games in Philadelphia and in Washington, where the weather could make throwing difficult.
"We're going to need it," Glenn said. "If you don't have a running game, if you don't have a balanced attack, it's kind of hard to win."
Thursday's game should have told them as much.
Running Game Going Nowhere
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