Sturm on the OG situation

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by RS12, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. newlander

    newlander Well-Known Member

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    yep: we're staring straight at 8-8 again....get some breaks, maybe 10-6 but if we don't get some breaks....6-10. NFL Network is reporting tonight we're looking at trying FREE at guard...........lord have mercy on ALL our souls if true.
  2. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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    Not really sure this angle has been addressed directly, but a glaring problem has been the inability to score early. Around week 11 or so last year I did a look back to 2008 and we were one of the worst first half scoring teams in the league and one of bottom 2 at that time (we hadn't scored over 10pts in the first half until late in the year). Part of this I think does stem from a lack of a running game in the red zone when the zones shrink. But I think it also has a profound affect on the defense. Converesley we were one of the top scoring defenses last year in the first half (at least til December) when you remove Def TDs and FGs from turnovers on your side of the field, STs etc.

    Playing from behind or constantly at a tie makes the defense continue to play more base scheme and defend both the run and the pass. On the other hand, defenses did not have to worry much about the Dallas running game no matter the situation. When you are a one dimensional passing team like Dallas and do not put up points or make the other team press, it is not a recipe for long term succcess. You are the chuck and duck Falcons or Oilers of the 90s. Scoring early and making the other team press (and getting a reputation that you will have to make every drive count against Dallas) I think is undervalued. Getting up +10pts at halftime had something in the neighborhood 80-85% of that team winning the game. Not even getting to 10pts in 2 qtrs is an issue

    It's been that way for awhile. OL is definitely an issue, but I can't believe ALL those early drive killers are due to OGs. Some lies with game planning/script, mental errors in penalties, etc.

    My assumption, in the Romo-garret era Dallas scores (or extrememly big plays) rely on busted plays more than I really care to see. It makes for great TV, but it is not sound. NO and GB dont run well, but I venture to guess that they are among the leaders in points scored in the 1st and 2nd quarters.

    The ultimate goal is to score touchdowns and win. Dallas has shown the ability to score late - but scoring over +10pts in the first half in 1 of 16 games last year is an issue. Better OL will help no doubt, but I fear there are some other issues at play here (on which I can't easily put my finger).
    Cover 2, jobberone, Duane and 3 others like this.
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I'm willing to concede that the FOs strategy will be eventually vindicated and am not entirely convinced that this evulation and the report of Free practicing at RG are evince of the team's impending doom, but I also don't think it's completely outrageous to question the priorities of the team in recent years and it's lack of being proactive in this area, given that the OL has been a perennial issue. I try to keep my optimism and pessimism in check though each wants to break free from the restraints I impose on them. :)
  4. CowboyDiver

    CowboyDiver Active Member

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    They are trying Free there to see of he could man the spot in emergency, they aren't looking at him as a starter there. Basically go with our two best backups on game day and make sure that we would be covered in an emergency. If we think Parnell is the best backup we have and a guard goes down, you could bring Parnell in at RT and move Free to the guard spot for that game. Would allow us to keep the best C backup (costa) active on game day even if he is weak at guard.

    JUst remember, ESPN and NFL Network are just trying to make stories, they don't care about the truth.
  5. CowboyDiver

    CowboyDiver Active Member

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    Honestly, hasn't Sturm been defending the OL throughout preseason or am I misremembering? If so, I wonder why the Chicken Little mode because the pass blocking was good for the most part and there were a few runs where there were nice holes.
  6. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    I do think that generally the best teams have (at a minimum) legit NFL starters at every position.
    Not stars, not even very good, not even just average at your weakest link....but at least legit NFL starters and not backups.
    That is not asking too much.

    It doesn't always work that way though.
  7. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    They do. That's a byproduct of drafting and developing well. You do it right, and you usually have a starter-capable player up and coming, or you can pick one up in a pinch.

    And RG *is* a legitimate hole for us. We've been pretty snake-bit at that position the last few years....both of last year's FA signings hurt in camp. Both hurt again in this camp. A young player we really liked in Bill Nagy hurt, and then poached on the way to IR. Another capable young player we found off the street (Kowalski) hurt last season and this season in camp. Undrafted rookie we love (Leary) requires minor surgery this year in camp. Who am I missing? Brandon Moore, agreeing to sign and then retiring? It's been pretty crazy at that position.
    The frustrating thing is, it really is a position that should be easier to fill than some others. We do a good job of churning the bottom of the roster at other positions and finding guys you can play with in a pinch. The only guy who isn't hurt consistently has been Bad Penny Arkin, the one guy some of us wouldn't have minded seeing go down one of the last two camps if only to make room on the roster for a player we might develop into a starter one day. And he's the guy working his way up towards a starting job if we're in a pinch in week one. :)
  8. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    So Marino and if Terrell Davis never becomes a Bronco and Elway doesnt win, both those qbs are nothings to you?
  9. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    How about the bad qbs that win BECAUSE of a good team?
  10. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    I think that it is perfectly fair to be very concerned about how good our offensive line will be this season. But I also think that it is very unfair to say that we are in the same boat we were in last year. We invested a first round pick on a center. (Yes it is hard to believe we actually did it). So we have invested resources in the position. We are better on the line than last year based on that factor alone. Will it be enough, maybe not, but there are only so many resources (picks, cap space and quality players) to go around.

    I will say this ...... It might have sounded wiser to invest that second round pick we spent on Escobar on an offensive lineman, or a defensive lineman, but the perceived value of OL and DL must not have matched up well or they must have REALLY wanted Escobar. I hope that pick pans out, but so far Escobar and Webb seem like the most speculative picks right now. Of course than can change on a dime. But if Escobar doesn't contribute THIS year is is hard to justify spending a second round pick on him.
  11. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member

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    The what if game for Elway isn't the same since he went to the SB without a so-so defense and running game. But even at that they ran the ball more.

    Marino and Romo are very similar, with a glaring difference.

    Marino was such an egotists with a head coach who abetted his desire for passing records, and thus sacrificed the other components to have a balanced attack.

    Romo has the same problem, but it stems from Jerry misspending cap money, poor drafting, and Garrett and his Andy Reid-like behavior of throwing as much as they do.

    The Marino example is pretty close to what I speak of that stats did nothing for him. If he had eaten that ego and demanded they have a more balanced attack, then he might be wearing jewelry now.

    But the fact remains his stats did nothing for the team in the way of taking home Lombardis.

    Let's not get away from the basic contention that Dallas is not and has not been a balanced team for a very long time. They have fielded a defense that is not a top echelon squad, and then left them out to dry by throwing the ball so much they struggle with time of possession on most Sundays.

    Dallas is not built to win because they do not value what conventionally gets teams to the top, which is aggressive and physical lines.

    So many people want to hang their hats on stats on this board, and Romo has provided them for you.

    How close has Dallas come to winning it all?

    I'm not suggesting it is Romo's fault in any way other than he is surrounded by a team that cannot play ball control and a head coach that sees the passing game as a substitute for running.

    And that has not worked at all here.
  12. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    I approve of this post.
  13. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member

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    At this level bad quarterbacks hardly ever see the field unless there is injury.

    Less competent quarterbacks have won, but this underscores my contention that your stats have no true meaning. They are pretty and can make great positions when arguing. But little else.

    But if a team does not have balance, and can control what goes on the gridiron, then those stats are as useless as most of the legislation coming out of Washington D.C.
  14. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    I'd also like to see an improved running game, and the offense definitely needs to get off to better starts in games. But the score did not have any meaningful effect on the performance of the defense. Playing with a lead didn't seem to help defenses stop us from piling up yards and points last year, and it didn't help our defense either when we had leads. We gave up more yards and TD when we had leads than when we were tied or trailing.

    Dallas Defense when leading
    49 drives
    38.4 yards per drive
    (6.4 yards per play)
    0.29 TD per drive

    Dallas Defense when trailing or tied
    128 drives
    30.0 yards per drive
    (5.3 yards per play)
    0.20 TD per drive

    We played with the lead only 28% of the time, and were either tied or trailing 72% of the time. If you reverse those numbers (IOW, if we had been playing with a lead 72% of the time), and assume the rates stay the same, we'd have given up an additional 700 yards and 7 touchdowns playing with the lead more often.

    Passer rating has a high correlation with winning. Opposing QB had success no matter what the score.

    Dallas Defensive Passer Rating
    (when Cowboys were leading)
    109 of 183 1394 yd 7.6 ypa 8 td 3 int 91.2

    (when tied or Cowboys trailing)
    211 of 328 2501 yd 7.6 ypa 14 td 4 int 96.6

    Notice how the yards per attempt is the same. Touchdown percentage is virtually the same. The 5-point difference in passer rating is due to a lower completion % and a slight increase in Dallas' INT%, which goes up from 1.2 (32nd--dead last) to 1.6 (equivalent of 29th) when we had the lead.

    Playing with a BIG lead was anything but a help for the defense. These are the numbers when the Cowboys were leading by 10+ points:

    7 drives
    57.7 yards per drive
    (6.7 yards per play)
    0.43 TD per drive

    Dallas Defensive Passer Rating
    32 of 46 329 yd 1 td 0 int 97.0
  15. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    You can win by not having to rely on a successful passing game, if you can also make sure the other guys have less success than you do. Good running teams that can also make the opposing QB make mistakes have been successful in this league. Though you can accomplish the same thing by just having an effective passing game. We've already got an effective passing game.
  16. jobberone

    jobberone Ginsu Wolverine Minion Staff Member

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    No problem with these. They go hand in hand with an 8-8 team. The point above about not scoring in the first half is telling. You can't play behind 3/4 of the time and contend. The best stat I have for this is scoring % and we need to improve that.
  17. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Does that make the case for not playing with a lead? Or for improving your weak passing defense so that you can play with a lead? It's not really a surprise that we didn't play well with a lead last season when we had such a weak pass defense. If we defend better, and then put the other team in the position where they have to throw into the teeth of the improved pass defense, then that data will look a lot different.
  18. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Percy, You find some good stuff related to dallas stats. I hope you don't find the following as a challenge - just an opinion. I posted a long analysis about this topic around week 13 last year. The crux is that Dallas and Denver were outliers to overall ebb and flow. I initially did this analysis to see if I could gain an advantage at the sport book. And I did better than 65% selling dallas and denver in the first half and buying in the second half. starting around week 7.

    I don't think this is assumption would be completely valid. First, there is a pretty small sample size of "drives when leading." That denominator equates to 14 TDs when leading and I assume would include First quarter Dallas leads of 3-0 which may turn to 3-7. Secondly, I would anticipate opponents yards to be higher if you play with a lead. They will be taking more shots. I would also expect that the defense would force more turnovers as they are keying in on the offense having to be one dimensional. Neither turnovers of making the opponent one dimensional were the cornerstone of dallas last year. Some of that was defensive injuries, some was the offense not being in a better position to press the opposing offense to score. In that thread, I believe I noted where Dallas was one of the best defenses in opponent first half scoring. That is washed away when your offense is 31st in first half scoring (trailing only KC). That may have changed in the last 2 weeks of the season, but not much.

    I will agree that it seems to be statistically significant that passing efficiency and defending the pass is highly correlated with wins. however, as mentioned above there are outliers in every statistical analysis. Football, unlike baseball, is rather difficult to have a few stats be a baseline in all scenarios. I have spent way too many hours trying. There is some interesting work, but, as you know, each play in football is not homogenous, and it is hard to assign full season stats to prove or refute any situational assertion as the sample size is usually not large enough (i.e. personnell, plays, opponent, score, time in game, etc.)


    I guess this last section is the one that Im scratching my head as to what you were implying. What I got out of it was that we had 7 drives in the WHOLE season where we were up by 10 pts. That is about 1/2 of 1 game of football. I did not know that, but that makes me ill because I think it is a valid number. I do hope you were not trying to establish statistical significance on 7 drives for one team (which was my initial assertion and was a early scoring outlier). While the bolded sentence may be true for dallas, it was not true of the elite/playoff teams.

    When you look at all games in the NFL, Scoring early seems to be a trademark of successful teams. Dallas and Denver were outliers. It makes for great TV to be a "2nd half" or "comeback" team, and people tend to remember the wins that are produced by such games. However, when you pile up wins like NE, SF, GB, Hou, you will not most of the games they got out early. This was the same recipe the 1990 team used. and was a trademark of the 2007 team ( and I believe the 2009 team)

    Somewhere I did this analysis for every team back to 2008. and the results were the remarkably the same. Again, just an opinion and I do appreciate the numbers.
  19. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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  20. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    It shows that we had a bad defense regardless of the score.

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