Originally Posted by LaTunaNostra
BF, you did some research there and I am not overlooking it. But what was our third down efficiency rating as compared with NE and Carolina? Making third downs and sustaining drives, that's always my gripe.
Dallas converted 36.5% of their third downs for a 17th ranking in the NFL.
New England coverted 37% of their third downs to tie for 14th.
Carolina converted 35.6% of their third downs to land 20th overall.
Philadelphia converted 36.3% of their third downs to land one spot behind the Cowboys in 18th place.
Ten teams converted more than 40% of their third down attempts, led by Seattle at a 46.8% clip.
With a second year in the system, a more elusive lead runner, a true possession receiver on the outside and an emerging possession threat at tight end, I'm confident Dallas can get over the 40% hurdle on converting third downs.
Carolina kicked 32 fgs to our 23. That's a big diff.
It's an important difference because the Panthers sustained drives and added points while giving their defense a breather.
Despite mounting nine more scoring drives than the Cowboys, the Panthers still turned the ball over more than Dallas did.
Carolina had 26 take aways and 31 give aways for a -5 differential (tie for 25th place).
Dallas had 25 take aways and 29 give aways for a -4 differential (tie for 22nd place).
New England had 41 take aways and 24 give aways for a +17 differential (2nd place).
Philly had 26 take aways and 22 give aways for a +4 differential (8th place).
13 teams were on the positive side in turnover differential, Dallas needs to become one of them this year.
But it may be easy to make up that difference if the offense (& team) improves over last year's version.
Carolina's nine field goals amounted to 27 points, a number much easier to overtake than the Eagles and their plus 12 advantage in offensive touchdowns (84 points).
Another area to look at is time of possession.
Even with offensive problems galore, the Cowboys finished fourth in TOP thanks in large part to the defense forcing so many three and outs.
Dallas was 4th averaging 32:34 (Denver was tops at 33:53).
New England was 11th with 30:50.
Carolina was 13th with 30:27.
Philadelphia was 26th with 28:17.
Now, what happens if the running game is better and the possession receivers help Carter convert more third downs?
Number one in TOP with a bullet, IMO.