TLH: How Did This Team Finish 8-8?

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by NeonDeion21, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. NeonDeion21

    NeonDeion21 Well-Known Member

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    And just like that, the season is over. It was another disappointing 8-8 season for the Cowboys as they will be watching the playoffs at home for the fourth straight season. Cowboy fans are now left with multiple questions about what the future holds for this team. Is Jason Garrett the right man for the job? Is this team on the way up? What can we expect from Dallas in the next few years? Nobody knows for sure, not even Jerry Jones. But I will attempt to answer some of the questions to wrap up the season. But I just have one question that I can’t seem to answer: How did this team go 8-8? I can’t understand it.

    The first thing I want to be clear about is that this was never a Super Bowl contending roster. Even if they would have beat the Eagles Sunday night, it wouldn’t have changed my thought process on this. Jason Garrett and company has attempted to rebuild the Cowboys team without changing it’s starting quarterback or letting the fans know that the team is, in fact, rebuilding. Since Jason Garrett became the head coach in 2010 after Wade Phillips was fired, only 12 players (not counting Jon Kitna) are left from that roster only a few years ago. What is worse is that of those 12, only 9 of those players played on Sunday and that includes special team’s aces Danny McCray and L.P. Ladouceur.

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  2. mahoneybill

    mahoneybill Well-Known Member

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    Wonder how that tirnover compares with other teams in the league.
  3. lostar2009

    lostar2009 Well-Known Member

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    I bet its the same 9 players who help us lose the game via turnovers or mental mistakes
    Coy likes this.
  4. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    points per drive
    offense: 2.25 (4th)
    defense 2.31 (30th)
    differential -0.06 (17th)

    pass rating
    offense: 95.7 (7th)
    defense: 96.0 (26th)
    differential: -0.3 (18th)

    The two key stats are points per drive (total offensive points divided by total number of possessions) and team passer rating. These two stats are the important ones because they have the highest correlation to winning, with points per drive being the slightly better stat. But you can't just look at what the offense did in those categories, because it only gives you half the picture. So you get the "net" stat by subtracting the defense's numbers from the offense's. That's the differential.

    Offensively, we had the 4th-highest point total per drive. That stat says that, with an average defense, we should have had the 4th-best regular season W-L record. We also had the 7th-highest team passer rating (Romo's and Orton's combined rating), which, again with an average defense, should have resulted in the 7th-best record in the NFL. Assuming the defense had been average, the Cowboys should have been an 11-5 team this year.

    Defensively, we allowed the 3rd-highest point total per drive. That stat says that, with an average offense, we should have had the 3rd-worst regular season W-L record. We also allowed the 7th-highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks, which, again with an average offense, should have resulted in the 7th-worst record in the NFL. Assuming our offense had been average, the Cowboys should have been a 5-11 team this year.

    11-5 offense, 5-11 defense gives you 8-8.
  5. Carolina Cowboy

    Carolina Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Interesting how it can be reduced to math.
  6. NeonDeion21

    NeonDeion21 Well-Known Member

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    This is what gives me some hope for the 2014 season. Do you mind if I use this stat in a future article? I will make sure you get full credit.
  7. kevm3

    kevm3 Well-Known Member

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    Look at who the general manager is and look at who the head coach is. There is NO excuse for us not at least getting to the play-offs. What do we need to do to have a playoff worthy team? Have all-star talent at every position? We have more than enough talent to at least be in the play-offs. In fact, our division was complete trash and we had several opportunities to take control and we squandered EVERY one. The Giants were awful this year. The redskins were awful. We constantly beat our divisional rivals except in the one game that mattered. It doesn't matter who we add talent-wise to this team when we have a leadership problem.
  8. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Not a problem, and much appreciated.
  9. Coy

    Coy Well-Known Member

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    The Key is Romo, let's assume the D is average next year, is our offense going to be as good as this stats indicate next year? Another question, will the Redskins and Giants suck again next year? I hope so but to be honest I am not really sure, Is Romo is going to be the same? Or Witten? it's not only about our D, it's about our O and outside factors as well.
  10. Nav22

    Nav22 Well-Known Member

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    Good offense + bad defense = average team.
  11. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    However, as some seem to think that it can, the math used does not reflect games in which the winning drive was being executed, like other drives in the same game, and the turnovers ended the day.

    That stat is not among these and those two games would have been enough for the Dallas season - such as it is - to still be alive.
  12. Ultra Warrior

    Ultra Warrior 6 Million Light-years beyond believability.

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    Yup. That worst in the league Defense sure is NO excuse at all. :rolleyes:
  13. khiladi

    khiladi Well-Known Member

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    Garrett must have taking to writing under pen names now..
  14. khiladi

    khiladi Well-Known Member

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    Bottom line:

    You score more than you allow in a game you win.

    Dallas gets 4 TOs and 12 total points off the TOs. Total drives are five, meaning 2.5 pts per drive, which is among league best. Detroit in 5 drives gets 2 TDs in the last two drives, despite their offense turning the ball over 4 times, meaning 14 pts. the defense points per drive is 2.8 pts per game, which is among league worse.

    Whose to blame if the defense gave this offense two chances within scoring range and they didn't get a single TD, which would have altered the outcome of the game. Those TOs minimum were directly responsible for 6 points minimum, cause the FG kicker is money.
  15. neosapien23

    neosapien23 Well-Known Member

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    Lots on injuries to this team. Ratliff should never have been counted on, but Spencer has always been very durable. This is the first time he has missed significant time due to injury. As usual Matt Johnson went on IR and Sean Lee got hurt. Ware got hurt and was not the player he used to be. I do think Garrett mismanaged the game on several occasions, but it is not his fault that the Dline suffered a rash of injuries. That's not including the injury to Claiborne who rebounded from a bad year to play a great game against Philly. Next year Hatcher, Spencer, and Ware should all be gone. This will force the team to draft young players and move on. Might be a blessing in disguise to be so tight against the cap this year.
  16. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    That's baked into the numbers, too.

    There's no getting around the fact that this team's weakness has been pass defense, and not really the things that get so much more attention around here.
    windward likes this.
  17. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    That's right. Game-winning drives don't exist in a vacuum. And the teams that win the most close games are usually the first teams to get bounced from the playoffs.

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