With Tony Romo battling a rib injury, the Dallas Cowboys are going to need to get the run game going if they want to keep their quarterback healthy enough to play.
The Cowboys look to bounce back from a one-point loss last weekend as they host the St. Louis Rams in a battle of 1-1 teams at AT&T Stadium.
Despite never trailing by more than four points last Sunday versus Kansas City, the Cowboys had just 16 rush attempts to 42 Romo passes in a 17-16 loss. Romo completed 30 of his throws for 298 yards, getting sacked three times while also hitting wide receiver Dez Bryant on a two-yard touchdown pass.
Ten straight points by the Chiefs put them up by four and the Cowboys could only manage a 53-yard field goal from Dan Bailey with 3:50 to play before Kansas City ran out the clock.
"We had a good plan and did some things that gave us a chance to win this football game. We put ourselves in position, but we didn't win it," Romo said. "Ultimately, that's all that matters."
Romo said after the game he had an injection before the contest to reduce pain. Though he dismissed any thought that his ribs were impacting his play, the Cowboys could certainly lend him a hand by running the ball more. DeMarco Murray led the team with 12 carries for 25 yards.
"We haven't ran the ball well enough, and we haven't ran the ball enough," said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett. "We want to have more balance on our offense. We just have to do better. We'll do that as coaches and as players and hopefully get better next week."
Dallas failed to force a turnover against Kansas City after getting six versus the New York Giants in a Week 1 win.
The Cowboys did see defensive end DeMarcus Ware log a pair of sacks to give him 113 in his career. That has him just one sack shy of matching Harvey Martin for the most in franchise history.
Jason Witten, meanwhile, made three catches to move past Shannon Sharpe for second-most among tight ends with 817.
Perhaps a meeting with the Rams can get the ground game going. When the clubs last met on Oct. 23, 2011 in Arlington, Murray filled in for an injured Felix Jones and ripped off a franchise-record 253 yards on the ground.
Murray broke Emmitt Smith's previous mark of 237 yards and also eclipsed the single-game rookie record of 206 yards previously held by Tony Dorsett. Murray had a 91-yard score in the game.
Looking for their first 2-0 start since 2001, the Rams instead dug themselves an early hole on the road versus the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday and despite a late charge fell in defeat 31-24.
Sam Bradford threw for 352 yards on 32-of-55 passing, completing touchdown passes on each of St. Louis' final three drives. Two of those went to rookie wideout Tavon Austin.
"I think it says a lot about the guys we have in this locker room," Bradford said. "That's two weeks in a row we found ourselves down. This game we were down pretty big early in the game and no one gave up. We knew all it was going to take was one play to get us going. We kept fighting. Made it somewhat of a game towards the ends. Unfortunately we came up a little short."
St. Louis struggled to contain Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw for 374 yards. He hit wideout Julio Jones for an 81-yard touchdown catch.
The all-time series between these clubs is tied at 11-11. The Cowboys will try to win two straight over the Rams for the first time since 1981 and '84.