https://cowboyswire.usatoday.com/20...-epa-cpoe-pswr/amp/?__twitter_impression=true By Dan Morse Cowboyswire/USA Today The NFC East was the only division without a 10-win team in 2019, and one of just two divisions (along with the AFC South) without a 12-win team. Two of the group picked in the top-4 in the 2020 NFL Draft. Overall, it was a year without any great teams, a year without any playoff success, and overall simply a year to forget. What should be expected from the division in 2020? Looking at the underlying numbers, one might find some very different interpretations of how these teams performed, despite their win-loss records. A peek at the 2019 numbers reveals some clues as to what is coming. Quick note; we will be using a stat called Expected Points Added (EPA) fairly heavily from here on out. Expected Points, the foundation of many analytical arguments, uses data from previous NFL seasons to determine how many points a team is likely to come away with on a given play based on down, distance, time remaining, and field position. The difference in expected points at the start of a play and expected points at the end is referred to as expected points added, or EPA. A play with a positive EPA means it put the offense in a better position to score, while negative EPA implies the offense is in a worse position. The Washington Football Team and the New York Giants are down in the bottom left with the rest of the teams that picked in the top-10 in the draft. There’s the Eagles right in the middle, a somewhat average team by EPA on both offense and defense. And there’s the Cowboys over on the right, sitting beside the Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs. Wait, what? The 8-8 Cowboys that didn’t even win the division? That’s right. Over the course of the entire season, the Cowboys consistently were able move themselves into a better position to score. The knock you’ll often hear is they played really well when they either already had a big lead or when they were already losing big. And we can check that by filtering this same chart down to only plays where they had a win probability between 20% and 80%. This does seem to check out, as the Cowboys are now hiding behind the Titans, Texans, and Seahawks, a few tiers below the top teams like the Chiefs. The Eagles also look worse under this constraint, particularly on defense. Meanwhile, Washington and New York are looking about the same We can also visualize this by looking at, say, Dak Prescott’s performance (as measured by EPA/play) at each given win probability. This really illustrates that the Cowboys were fantastic when games weren’t close, but below average when the score was tight.