The once-solid offense has failed to score 20 points in each of its last three contests, the featured tailback has become a forgotten commodity, and the unit has relied heavily on an inconsistent quarterback.
The description has fit the
As Dallas limps into the matchup having lost two of its last three games, the offense is promising, but also loaded with issues.
"They've had great potential, but sometimes they don't live up to it,"
"And as of late, they haven't been able to sustain that.
Since opening the season by scoring three touchdowns in a 24-17 upset of the
The offense ranks 16th in average yards in the league, but is 30th in points per game. Striking a balance between those categories is a priority, according to Cowboys coach
"I just think we need to be a more consistent offense," he said during his conference call Wednesday with Baltimore media. "We need to be more efficient. In different games, different areas have kind of been the reason we haven't been able to be as productive as we want to be. We had some pre-snap penalties, and we had some negative runs. We had some turnovers. The biggest thing we need to do is we need to minimize those mistakes and start playing the way we're capable of playing."
Tony Romo, a three-time
An interesting statistic on Romo's record as a starter, as well as his inconsistency, is evident when looking at his pass attempts. When he has thrown 35 or more times in games, the Cowboys are 13-21. They are 36-9, however, when he has attempted less than 35 passes.
Romo noted the offense has abandoned the run as the team fell behind in the last three contests.
"If you're winning the football game, there is going to be less throwing," he said. "If you are losing and you're behind in games, you are going to have to put the ball up in the air. That just happens. That's a normal process that takes shape. So, once again, numbers can be skewed just based off the score of the football game."
Romo's frequent dropbacks have come at a cost to Murray, a third-round choice in 2011 who rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards in his first game on Oct. 23 last season. When he gets 18 or more carries as a starter, Dallas is 6-0. But the team is 0-5 when Murray runs fewer than 18 times.
"You want to be able to attack defenses different ways, and it starts with a balance between run and pass," Garrett said. "In a few of the games we've played, we've been behind, and we've thrown the ball a lot, so the number gets distorted."
The Cowboys' run-to-pass ratio of 31.9 percent ranks as the fourth-lowest in the NFL, trailing only the
"Their commitment to balance is there," the former Ravens coach said. "It's not a matter of being stubborn or forcing the issue with the pass. Jason Garrett is committed to balance, but you've got to be in the game."
Despite the Cowboys' shoddy play on offense, it's not difficult for the Ravens' defense to spend considerable time studying Dallas. Components like Romo, Murray, tight end
"You see pieces everywhere, and when you watch the games, you see whatever they may be going through," Lewis said. "In the Chicago game, you see the turnovers, and you understand that, but of course, having a bye week, they are definitely going to work on that. That's definitely something that they're going to pay attention to."