• On the next play, Campo called for a run--which lost four yards.

The run knocked the Cowboys out of scoring position and led to another failed possession.

It was as if after Cunningham's big play, Campo told himself, "We can pass--now let's show 'em we can run."

The question is why?

You can keep track of this syndrome yourself:

Almost every time that any low-scoring team somehow completes a big pass, it will run the ball on the next play.

The question is why?

* * * *

You Can Stuff Stewart

Another thing that dull conservatives repeatedly do--without understanding, apparently, why they should--is run the ball without success on successive plays.

Thus at Detroit the other day, while the Lions were losing to the Miami Dolphins, 23-8, running back James Stewart carried it three times in a row for Detroit with these results:

• On first down, he was stuffed.

• On second and 10, he gained nine yards.

• On third and one, he was stuffed again.

It seemed all too clear why this happened to Stewart--clear, that is, to any football fan counting the defensive people arrayed against the running back on each play--if not to Stewart:

• On first down, he failed against an overloaded run defense.

• On second down, he beat the pass defense that Miami's coaches expected.

• On third and short, he had no chance against another run defense.

The running-play enthusiasts in the crowd, and on the Detroit coaching staff, watching Stewart nearly break away on second and 10, were doubtless crying out, "Man, look at him run--let's run some more."

The hard truth, however, is that most of the NFL's big runs develop on draw plays or other fake passes on passing downs--identifying a passing down as second and long or third and three or more.