No. 4: The Cowboys Can Run Their Way to the NFC Championship
Unlike the vast majority of the league, the Cowboys and Seahawks never needed to rely heavily on a pass-happy offensive attack. No, it was about the running game for both these teams, and Dallas managed to get the most of its own approach at home against Seattle.
Granted, it’s easier to state the effectiveness of running back Ezekiel Elliott after the Cowboys picked up wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders this season. Cooper’s presence opens up easier opportunities for Elliott, and such was the case versus the Seahawks.
While Cooper was impressive, hauling in seven receptions for 106 yards, Elliott was the big star of the game, rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.3 yards per carry in the process.
Of course, it helped Dallas was going up against a Seattle defense that allowed an average of 4.9 yards per carry this season — third worst in the NFL.
Still, the Cowboys are a run-first team even after acquiring Cooper. He merely gives Dallas another weapon, which opens things up on the ground.
It sure worked on NFL Wild Card weekend.