Arizona Cardinals: Still no closer to finding best back

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Andre Ellington #38 of the Arizona Cardinals is hit by strong safety Jeff Heath #38 of the Dallas Cowboys and free safety Byron Jones #31 of the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Andre Ellington #38 of the Arizona Cardinals is hit by strong safety Jeff Heath #38 of the Dallas Cowboys and free safety Byron Jones #31 of the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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The Arizona Cardinals are still trying to find an identity in the running game

After rushing for 83-yards on 25 carries in week two against the Indianapolis Colts, it appeared the Arizona Cardinals had some work to do in the running game. It got worse against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.

With running back David Johnson gone until November, the Cardinals are still looking for a back to take control of the running game until he returns. Kerwynn Williams was going to be that guy last week but Chris Johnson ran better, carrying the ball 11 times for 44-yards.

So Johnson was elevated on the depth chart and was the starting back against the Cowboys.  He didn’t fare well at all.  He carried the ball 12 times for 17-yards.

Some of that can be blamed on the offensive line but not all.  The backs need to do a better job of finding holes when they are there.  They haven’t been there often but some runs have appeared could have been better.

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The best rusher for the Cardinals against the Cowboys was Andre Ellington.  He ran the ball five times for 22-yards. His longest run went for six-yards.  It was also the Cardinals longest run of the night.

The Cardinals ran the ball 21 times for 49-yards.  Teams can not win in the NFL running the ball with numbers like that, at least not consistently.

You’d like to be able to say the Cardinals can weather the storm.  Right now it’s a struggle.  We know about the issues the offensive line has had.  Maybe getting Mike Iupati back this week will help in the run game.  It can’t get much worse.

Best guess is there will be no changes in the depth chart this week for the Cardinals running backs. Even though they are facing an 0-3 49ers team, any team can win on any given Sunday.

If the Cardinals can’t get any traction going in the running game, even the 49ers can beat them. The Cardinals become too predictable becoming one-dimensional on offense.