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Red zone problems seem to continue.

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by OhSnap, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    I'm one of many who have been saying for two years that we need to run better in the red zone, and that hasn't changed. Now over the last 10 games, we've also needed to run more. In the last 10 games in the red zone, we've run 18 times and passed 52 times. That 26/74 run/pass ratio is lowest in the league over that span. But we have not been the worst red zone rushing team over that span, not by a long shot.

    10 of those runs (55.6% of all red zone runs) have resulted in either a 5+yard gain on 1st or 2nd down, a TD or a 1st down. We've averaged 2.4 yards per run in the red zone. League average is 2.6, so we still need to run for a better average. But 44.4% of Dallas' red zone runs have resulted in a 1st down or TD, while league-wide it's only 28.3%.

    21 of the passes (40.3% of all red zone passes) have resulted in either a 5+yard gain on 1st or 2nd down, a TD or a 1st down. We've averaged 3.1 yards per pass in the red zone, which is the league average. But only 28.8% of Dallas' passes have resulted in a 1st down or TD, while league-wide it's 31.7%.

    Plays that resulted in 1st down or TD (since week 9 of 2012)
    passes outside red zone
    Cowboys 34.9% NFL 32.1%
    passes inside red zone
    Cowboys 28.8% NFL 31.7%

    runs outside red zone
    Cowboys 22.5% NFL 22.0%
    runs inside red zone
    Cowboys 44.4% NFL 28.3%


    Percentage of red zone runs that resulted in 1st down or TD (since week 9 of 2012)
    Top 5 teams
    Carolina 45.4% (20 of 44)
    Dallas 44.4% (8 of 18)
    Phi 39.4% (13 of 33)
    Det 39.3% (11 of 28)
    NYG 38.3% (18 of 47)

    As for negative runs, Dallas has only had 4 runs for 0 yards or less (22.2% of all red zone runs), which is about the average of the top 5 teams.

    I don't doubt that the 44.4% will go down with more rushing attempts, but that's exactly what being 2nd in the league should be telling us -- that we need more rushing attempts.
    OhSnap likes this.
  2. jobberone

    jobberone Genetically engineered moderating Orangutan Staff Member

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    I'd be more interested in the efficiency of the run in the RZ particularly inside the ten. None of the teams in the top 5 have been very good so far. I haven't looked at the rest of the data.

    No matter how you break down the stats we aren't running the football well or effectively right now. I expect that to improve but until it does then Dallas will struggle in the RZ.
  3. bbailey423

    bbailey423 Well-Known Member

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    I would have had ZERO issue if on that 1st and goal from the 5....if they had gone to Dez 3 straight times!
  4. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Not sure what you mean by none of the top 5 teams looking good "so far." That's the last 10 games (since week 9 of 2012).

    But here are the Cowboys' numbers from inside the 10 only:
    % of plays that resulted in 1st down or TD
    runs 36.3% (4 of 11)
    passes 35.3% (6 of 17)
  5. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Me neither.

    Dez in goal-to-go (career):
    12 of 17 54 yd 10 td 0 int 113.7 rtg
  6. jobberone

    jobberone Genetically engineered moderating Orangutan Staff Member

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    None of those teams are playoff teams is all I meant. The Cowboys score too few TDs in the RZ. 10/28 isn't setting the world on fire be it run or pass. The problem is you can't run well so you can't pass that well in the RZ and both mean you don't score well. It's killing us.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  7. jobberone

    jobberone Genetically engineered moderating Orangutan Staff Member

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    BTW, that's not the only problem in the RZ as penalties and mistakes are significant contributors as well.
  8. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

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    The One Constant Needs to Change..

    TR
  9. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    Thats pretty good stuff. I have been toying with the idea that we need to be a bigger threat with passing td's in the rz in order to pull lb's back away from the line. It sounds backwards but I assume theres a good reason why we don't run more.Those numbers say the opposite. I also wonder if playing our own poor secondary gives these guys a false sense that they can get it done in the air. One thing that can't be denied is we haven't had a rb that can make the last guy miss in forever. Thanks for the numbers.
  10. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    yes Time Restrictions are an issue but thats what the 2 min offense is for.
  11. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

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    LOL!!

    T.R. Has 3 chances to punch it in, time hasn't been an issue though...
  12. links18

    links18 Well-Known Member

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    When you are lining up in shotgun on 1st and goal from the five yard line, you know you have a pass first mentality.
  13. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    10/28 is 17th in the NFL over that span, which is pretty close to Dallas' ranking of 20th in red zone TD% each of the past two years, but that's not the point. Here's the point: Even for a poor running team, we've been throwing the ball way too much in the red zone.

    Inside 20-yard line
    In 2012, on running plays, the Cowboys made a 1st down or TD on 14 of their 43 plays (32.6%). That was 7th in the league. Outside the red zone, we ranked 16th.

    On passing plays, Dallas made a 1st down or TD on 22 of its 86 plays (25.6%). That was 27th in the league. Outside the red zone, we ranked 9th.

    Even so, in 2012 the Cowboys run/pass ratio in the red zone was 30th in the league. Only two teams (New Orleans and Jacksonville) ran the ball inside the 20 less than Dallas. But the Saints led the NFL with 44.2% of their red zone passes going for 1st down or TD. Again, Dallas was 27th.

    This year after two games, we are again 30th in the league in run-pass ratio in the red zone.

    It should be noted that negative plays do play a factor in the Cowboys' low run/pass ratio in the red zone. Our average yards to go was 3rd-highest, which would tend to lead to more passing. But most of these negative or zero yardage plays were incompletions and sacks, rather than penalty yardage and negative running plays. Of the 67 red zone plays that gained 0 yards or less in 2012, six were penalties, seven were runs, and 54 were dropbacks. Yardage-wise in the red zone, Dallas lost 50 yards due to penalties, 60 yards due to sacks or completions for a loss, and 13 yards due to running plays for a loss.


    Inside 10-yard line
    In 2012, on running plays, the Cowboys made a 1st down or TD on 8 of their 21 plays (38.1%). That was 9th in the league. Outside the 10, we ranked 14th.

    On passing plays, Dallas made a 1st down or TD on 10 of its 28 plays (35.7%). That was 18th in the league. Outside the 10, we ranked 10th.

    Our run-pass ratio inside the 10 was 40/60, ranking us 27th. Five teams ran the ball inside the 10 less often than Dallas.
  14. KB1122

    KB1122 Well-Known Member

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    But we got a new tight end to score touchdowns.

    And he's really tall.
    CowboyFan74 likes this.
  15. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    lol
  16. jobberone

    jobberone Genetically engineered moderating Orangutan Staff Member

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    Percy, I'm not arguing with you about the pure facts of the stats. I'm just interpreting them a little differently on a couple of points. I don't care about the number of runs or passes. I care about the fact we don't run well period including the RZ. The stats are what they are but on a couple points I don't seem to agree with what they're saying. I'm not certain we don't agree for the most part. I care about wins and losses. I care about scoring%, TO diff, avg length of scoring drive/field position, hidden yardage, yada. I agree we don't run the ball enough but I say we don't because we can't period and we can't score running. What was our number or rush TDs last year? I don't believe we don't run the ball enough because Garrett and now Callahan refuse to call runs or be better balanced. I say it's because they're force to pass the ball so much because we don't run well enough to do so.

    We don't score enough TDs in the RZ and we don't score in the RZ enough period. That's a fact. We don't rush the ball well whether we run the ball in the RZ 'X' number of times or not. That forces us to pass the ball at times when perhaps we should be able to run it and we're passing the ball out of the S way too much esp down near the GL. We're moving the ball reasonably well at times although last year we didn't move the ball early and got behind a lot. So teams we're giving us yardage in exchange for time. What was the median number of times we scored less than ten and 14 points in the first half last year? How often did we play from behind? How does that correlate with Romo's five GWDs last year?
  17. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    That's the very point these numbers speak to, and it's what I had believed myself, because up until the last 10 games or so, it had generally been true. The way we have begun this year in the red zone (12 passes and 3 runs, despite never trailing by more than 7 points at any time) made me wonder if this league-low run/pass ratio in the red zone was a trend that extended back into last year. It is and it does.

    Like you, I don't care how we score in the red zone. If we were top 5 or even top 10 in the red zone in the last 10 games instead of 20th, the high ratio of passes to runs wouldn't be an issue. The Saints are one of the league's best red zone teams over that time period, and they pass more than anyone else, but that's what works for them. When you're 2nd in run success and 24th in pass success like the Cowboys, you shouldn't be dead last in the percentage of plays that are runs.

    IOW, while the Saints do more of what works for them, we do less of what works for us.

    I've talked about our low number of rushing TD the last two years as much as anyone. But being dead last in percentage of plays that are runs over the last 10 games naturally has an effect on our rushing TD total. And it can't be stressed enough that our low percentage of run plays is not a result of any real lack of red zone run success. Percentage-wise, 44.4% of all Dallas' red zone runs have resulted in either a 1st down or TD, which is 2nd in the NFL over the last 10 games. There may be a perception that we don't run well enough in the red zone, but that's not the reality of the last 10 games.

    We played from behind a lot last year, but our red zone run success can't be attributed to defenses giving us yardage in exchange for time, because we have zero red zone rushing plays in the last 10 games when trailing by more than 7 points.
  18. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    Yep
    And that isn't a TR issue, that is a JG and Callahan issue

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