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Eagles' run game was historically bad in loss to the Cowboys

Sunday's performance puts this game in some historic company. And not in a good way.

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Philadelphia Eagles ran for seven or fewer yards in a single game, the Eagles finished with -12 yards in a 27-24 win over Washington.

That game was played in 1961.

Yes, the Eagles offense entered legendary company with their performance Sunday against the Cowboys. For only the fifth time in franchise history--and the first time in the modern era--the Eagles rushed for fewer than eight yards in a game.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the Eagles' struggles on the ground. But as with all things relating to running the ball (or running an offense for that matter), the blame starts up front.

"I don't think the running backs even really had time to assess if there was a hole," head coach Chip Kelly said after the game. "[There was] too much penetration up front. Too many guys in the backfield ... We just didn't block them. [The Cowboys didn't run] a very difficult scheme. They ran four down linemen; three linebackers. They didn't have extra guys in the box. We jut could not block the defensive line tonight."

As for the linemen themselves, the picture wasn't much rosier. Center Jason Kelce, never one to hide his emotions, said the offense's performance was as bad as he's ever seen.

"We have to go back and watch film on this, but it obviously doesn't get any worse than this on offense. That was the worst rushing attack I have ever been a part of here ... Obviously, missed blocks are huge. I like to say they did something different than what we expected, but I don't think they did."

The Eagles spent the offseason acquiring talent at running back. Kelly was able to pry reigning rushing champ DeMarco Murray away from the Cowboys, and also brought in former Charger Ryan Mathews. But through two games, the Eagles have only 70 rushing yards on 32 attempts.

"We have to play better offensively," Murray said following the game. "Offensively, we have not been i sync the first two weeks ... We are just not making the plays that we have to as a unit. The defense played a great game. Offensively, we just have to do better."

When asked how to fix the run game woes, everyone involved with the offense knows what the solution is: execution. Unfortunately, fixing it is easier said than done. But if there is a silver lining, it's that the Eagles know they can play well. They've done it in the preseason, even if the team's preseason success may have resulted in overconfidence.

If the Eagles are going to climb out of their 0-2 hole, it will be because the offense gets going. And the only way for the offense to get going is for the run game to start producing. Time will tell if the offense can improve its execution. But it probably can't get much worse.


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