BTB | The Cowboys Make The Playoffs If:

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by percyhoward, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Outstanding post.
  2. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Not in 2012. Bold indicates playoff teams.

    Scoring (Point Differential/Drive)
    1. NE
    2. Sea
    3. Den
    4. SF
    5. Atl

    6. NYG
    7. GB
    8. Cin
    9. Hou

    10. Chi
    11. Bal
    12. Was

    15. Min
    22. Ind

    Passer Rating Differential
    1. GB
    2. Sea
    3. Den
    4. SF
    5. Atl
    6. Was
    7. NE
    8. Hou

    9. Chi
    10. Pit
    11. Cin
    12. Bal

    24. Min
    27. Ind

    I wouldn't go so far as to say "it's impossible to overstate the importance of the passing game," because in fact people do so all the time. Passing isn't the only thing that matters, but it does matter the most.

    Of course, the idea is to score more points and give up fewer points, but the metric used in the article is a good one. It's not saying that we can't improve in other areas as well (like red zone running), and that such improvement won't affect team success. It's saying there's much, much more room for improvement in our pass defense than in those other areas.

    And its basic premise, that -- all else being equal -- we will almost certainly make the playoffs by fixing our pass defense, is solid.
    jobberone likes this.
  3. Ren

    Ren Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's fixed but it can improve with fewer injuries on the front end so they don't have to try and cover for to long on every play, but at the end of the day our safeties are horrible and as long as we're this weak back there our pass D won't be good
  4. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Cowboys' rank in defensive passer rating: 29th
    Patriots' rank in defensive passer rating: 17th

    Two pass defenses, one that was bad and another that was average. What made them so different?

    (All rankings based on per attempt)

    It wasn't yards allowed.
    Cowboys 27th
    Patriots 28th

    It wasn't passing TD allowed.
    Cowboys 15th
    Patriots 19th

    It wasn't sacks
    Cowboys 17th
    Patriots 20th

    It was interceptions.
    Cowboys 32nd
    Patriots 5th

    That one category made the Patriots' pass defense average and the Cowboys' one of the worst in the league.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    To me run and pass go hand in hand. Dallas ranked poorly in run defense as well, we allowed 125 yards a game which was around the bottom of the league and we gave up 17 rushing TD putting us around the bottom half of the league. Pass offense and defense are important as is run defense and pass defense, but when teams can run on you it allows them to gain the advantage of down and distance which keeps a defense off balance since you are having to defend both.
  6. EGG

    EGG Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but "passing efficiency" is skewed upward by passing yardage as well.
  7. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Passer rating doesn't improve with more attempts. Sure, your yardage will go up, but your yards per attempt stays the same.

    Basically, passing more often isn't the same as passing better, and passer rating shows that.
  8. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Stackin and Processin, Well

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    Cowboys make the playoffs if - Romo stays healthy and our defense isn't awful. They don't have to be good, they just can't be awful.

    It's really that simple.
  9. EGG

    EGG Well-Known Member

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    passing yardage and completion percentage are both factors in the efficiency equation that is used, there is no escaping that fact, and both of those stats go up when your passing game replaces your running game.
  10. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Again, they are measuring passing attacks by efficiency and not productivity. So teams that pass an inordinate number of times don't get rewarded. It is only those teams that can drop back and gain lots of yards and TDs without throwing many INTs that make the cut. So a team that throws 20 times a game but really well and runs the ball 40 times a game really well will actually score really high even if they are 30th in the league in yards gained.

    The point is that efficient passing is what is best correlated to success in the league offensively.

    Red zone efficiency is also important but many efficient passing attacks are decent in the red zone. The problem for most passing teams come when they are inside the 5-yard line since there isn't much room to complete the balls. Here is where you need a good short yardage offense. I didn't say good running attack - just good short yardage. There can be considerable differences with some teams very mediocre running the ball but okay in short yardage and some teams really good running the ball but bad in short yardage - look at us in 2009 for an example.

    You also have to remember that no one has said the running game is irrelevant. I think it becomes harder to pass well when the defense only has to worry about you throwing the ball. The thing is that you don't have to be very good at running the ball so long as you can make the defense commit to defending it. If you can accomplish that you can pass the ball much better even if you aren't running the ball great - the Colts did this for years under Manning pretty successfully.

    Here is one way to think of why it is so hard to be a good run team vs a good pass team. A good passing team might get 8 ypa. A good running team might get 5 ypa. So the good passing team is picking up yards much, much quicker than a good running team and that is why they score more often. You'll often notice that most TDs seem to be scored with relatively few plays. That is most teams average somewhere around 5.5 ypp. So how many 80 yards and 15 play drives do you see? Not many because it is just hard to play that way. Sooner or later the defense will shut you down on 3rd down or force a turnover or get a big negative play that puts you behind the 8-ball. It is great if you can score that way but not many teams can do it anymore. The defenses just got too good at stuffing the run and the passing rules just became so liberal. Nevertheless, the interesting finding over many years of statistical analysis has been the poor correlations between running success and winning.

    I do agree there is a proper balance to pass-run but the statistical analyses have suggested most teams still run too much. I suspect the proper balance is somewhere around 60-40 to 55-45 for most offenses.

    Our problem last year was we couldn't be balanced and score. Our running game was so consistently poor that attempts to run the ball routinely resulted n 3rd and longs that we couldn't convert. As a result, we had terrible first half scoring. Then we swung to full out pass-mode when we fell behind and our balance was probably 80-20 but we started to move the ball and score and got back into games. So we were at our best when we were most unbalanced because of how bad we were at running. I do think the pick of TFred, Randle and bringing Pollack over here were direct attempts to improve the running game. We'll have to see if we do a better job this run blocking.
  11. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    You don't get a higher completion percentage or higher yards per attempt simply by throwing more passes,. You do that by completing more of the passes you throw, and by gaining more yards on the passes you throw.

    However many passes that may be.
  12. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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  13. EGG

    EGG Well-Known Member

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    Actually that's exactly what happens when your passing game replaces your running game.
  14. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Passing the ball more often doesn't make you gain more yards on each pass you throw, and it doesn't make you complete more of the passes you throw either.

    This is from another thread, but it was meant for people like yourself who think that more passes = higher rating. Have a look at it, and note how the passer rating stays exactly same as the number of passes goes up.

    There are only 4 factors in passer rating: completion percentage, yards per attempt, TD%, and INT%.

    However many passes you throw, as long as those 4 factors stay the same, passer rating stays the same.

    6 of 10 for 100 yards 1td 1int 87.5
    12 of 20 for 200 yards 2td 2int 87.5
    18 of 30 for 300 yards 3td 3int 87.5
    24 of 40 for 400 yards 4td 4int 87.5
  15. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think the Cowboys could make post season and have a real shot if the defense plays up to the expectations. As much grief as the offense gets and some justified I still think the offense is explosive enough to win. Defense on the other hand has not been one that gets a lot of turnovers. They play very well at times but have not been the differance makers they need to be. In 4 of the last 5 years Dallas has ranked at or near the bottom in turnovers.
  16. Trueboysfan

    Trueboysfan Active Member

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    So many factors play a part in this. While the article is kind of simplified for the most part it isn't all that inaccurate. The "x" factors played such a big role in our losses. I can think of two games off the top of my head last year that can be directly attributed to Jason Garrett. Not to mention that if the players are performing well between the 20's and somehow can't get it into the end zone that blame can be put on the OC as well. It's no doubt that the talent is out there. It's not like Garrett subbed in 11 new players on the offense when they got into the redzone. Hopefully an OC with the ability to focus solely on the offense and less responsibility on Garrett trying to be HC/OC will make the difference we need in Dallas. Hopefully the Oline isn't near as bad as it was last year. Take all those things into account and add in less (way less) critical injuries on the defense and I truly believe that the Cowboys will not only make the playoff, but will go far into the playoffs.
  17. footballnflstyle

    footballnflstyle Benched

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    sarge,i have much respect for your are a big time cowboy fan and you tell it like it is good or dont sugar coat nothing..and i agree with just about all you say about this team!! keep bringing it real!!
  18. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    Thank you sir. I tell it like it is - like it or not. ;)
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  19. Tricericon

    Tricericon Member

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    Utterly false. That is an excellent offense playing at a low tempo.

    Scoring the most points is unimportant. Scoring more points than the opponent is - there is great value in aiding your defense.
  20. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Those rankings can be off quite a bit because they include defensive and return TD, and because they don't account for how many drives each team's offense had. Looking at points per offensive drive, we've actually ranked 10th, 8th, 11th, and 13th. Still lower than our passing efficiency rankings (your point is well taken), but above average.

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