The Cowboys Just Lost the Best Defensive Player in the NFL

Discussion in 'Overtime Zone' started by Aerolithe_Lion, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Aerolithe_Lion

    Aerolithe_Lion Well-Known Member

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    What if I told you I could make a case for 2017 being the best defense you've had over the last 4 years? Way better than 2017. Noticeably improved from 2018. Not even 2016 holds a candle to them. You'd say that's kind of ridiculous right? Check this out:

    Opponent's Points Per Game

    2018: 6th
    2017: 13th
    2016: 5th
    2015: 16th

    2017 Doesn't look too great here. Keeping them out of the endzone is the number 1 goal, right? How could anyone come to the conclusion the D was doing their job better than the division round years? Let's go deeper...

    Opponent's Yards Per Game

    2018: 7th
    2017: 8th
    2016: 14th
    2015: 17th

    Wait... what? Everything else lines up, except suddenly 2017 got way better. So you shut teams down from running up and down the field, but allowed them to score at will when they got a chance? Hmm... need 1 more stat to make this a bit clearer...

    Opponent's Yards Per Play

    2018: 5.4 (13th)
    2017: 5.1 (8th)
    2016: 5.5 (16th)
    2015: 5.6 (19th)

    Hold the phone! 0.3 yards per play that 2017 has over 2018 is MORE than the 0.2 that 2018 has over your abysmal 2015. That's a huge discrepancy. For context, that 0.3 ypp 2017 has over 2018 is exactly what they are apart from the single best D in the league that year (would jump from 8 to 1).

    So how is it possible a team can give up the 8th fewest yards per play, but still end up 13th in yards per game? Conversely, how is it a team in 2016 can give up the 16th most yards per game but only allowed the 5th most points? That's nuts! What is the connecting tissue here? What happened in 2017 that didn't happen in 2016 or 2018? One more stat...

    Average Drive on Offense

    2018: Time 2:59 (2nd) Plays 6.27 (2nd)
    2017: Time 2:50 (5th) Plays 6:09 (5th)
    2016: Time 2:57 (2nd) Plays 6.04 (5th)
    2015: Time 2.54 (2nd) Plays 5.82 (12th)

    If you haven't put it together by now, 2017 is the year Zeke missed games. Your Time of possession is better with Zeke in, your plays per drive is better, your points allowed is much better regardless of how your defense is playing. Giving up 5.1 ypp in 2017? doesn't matter, if Zeke isn't in the opponent will get enough drives to put up points. Giving up 5.5 ypp in 2016? Doesn't matter, with Zeke setting Cowboy rookie records, your scoring defense was the best you've had in decades.

    Khalil Mack doesn't make the opponent's points per game jump nearly 10 rankings. Neither does Aaron Donald, both have played on D's that lost them Football games because the offense wasn't there. Zeke has only ever played on stellar D's, and that's no accident. He is the single most valuable defensive force in the national football league. Tony Pollard could run for 120 yards against NYG, but they're likely going to have an advantage in the time of possession because of Saquon. Now with those extra drives maybe Eli throws picks and you're good. But maybe he doesn't. You won't be missing Zeke on offense nearly as much as you'll be missing him on defense.
     
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  2. ActualCowboysFan

    ActualCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    Man Eagles trolls are absolutely obsessed with Zeke. Guess it makes sense since he's never lost to them.
     
  3. PA Cowboy Fan

    PA Cowboy Fan Well-Known Member

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    We are the deepest we've been since the 1990's so it's a different year.
     
  4. cowboyec

    cowboyec Well-Known Member

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    eagles suck.
    screw'm.
    screw'm all.
    :starspin:COWBOYS:starspin:
     
  5. NEODOG

    NEODOG 44cowboys22

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    Then he needs to stop getting suspended & in trouble for your point to be validated.

    Are we better with Zeke? Sure the heck are...... But it's on HIM for not being available

    Just think.... If the bone head stopped being a bone head, his demands would've been met 10 fold much earlier

    This is on ZEKE in regards to your post
     
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  6. Cowboys22

    Cowboys22 Well-Known Member

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    So when he signs will you start a thread proclaiming Dallas just signed the best defensive player in the NFL or does this topic only interest you because the deal isn’t quite done yet?
     
  7. Aerolithe_Lion

    Aerolithe_Lion Well-Known Member

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    I've been proclaiming it since Demarco Murray that you guys are designed specifically for a high workload, bruising RB. So yes, absolutely.
     
  8. Irvin88_4life

    Irvin88_4life Well-Known Member

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    Why would Barkley give the Giants a better top? He isn't a grinder and relies on the big plays to rack up stats. Barkley isn't getting you 4-5 yards a pop. He is getting negative yards, negative, 0 yards, 0 yards, 15 yards..... Then people say he is so great he averaged 5 yards a carry............
     
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  9. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    LMAO

    In 2017:

    Points Against w/out Zeke - 22.17
    Points Against with Zeke (not including Philly week 17) - 22.1

    Games with most points against:

    Broncos, 42 - Zeke
    Rams , 35 - Zeke
    Eagles, 37, No Zeke
    Packers, 35 - Zeke
    Chargers, 28 - No Zeke
    Falcons, 27 - No Zeke

    Yea, Zeke is what makes the defense.
     
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  10. Cowboys22

    Cowboys22 Well-Known Member

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    Your point is valid but today’s defense is so much better than it was back then. This defense can stand on its own. Any defense would benefit from a time of possession based power running game offense but the defense back then absolutely needed it. It is going to be very interesting to see what the combination of a power running TOP offense and a legitimate shut down defense can produce if both sides actually become what we think they can.
     
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  11. Aerolithe_Lion

    Aerolithe_Lion Well-Known Member

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    Right, but still your D in 2016 was better at preventing opponent's points. Why? Zeke.
     
  12. starfrombirth

    starfrombirth Well-Known Member

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    Zeke may be great, maybe even the best but you need more than 1 player to compete and win in this league. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to hold the team hostage to the demands of one player. Zeke wants to be paid the most of any running back in the league and my guess is that he wants the majority of it guaranteed no matter what. This just doesn't make sense. By doing so, there is MUCH less money to keep the other superstar players that we have, especially considering that there is a good chance we can find another running back that will be good enough behind this talented o-line. Is he the best?.. arguably yes. Should he get paid the most?... probably not.
     
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  13. Blackrain

    Blackrain Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree just not one that costs so much that we cant afford to pay other talent and because of his multiple off field issues risk him not being on the field after he has been paid the fortune
     
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  14. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    You've been proclaiming? LOL, yeah, pretty much the entire world knew this already.

    Zeke has been here for three years, dude. Wake up.
     
  15. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    Lost him? He'll probably sign today. And if not, very soon.

    Your Eagles are in trouble.
     
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  16. DakPresgoat

    DakPresgoat Well-Known Member

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    I’m sorry, did the cowboys lose Zeke? I must have missed it.
     
  17. Scotman

    Scotman Well-Known Member

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    WTH...Super misleading title.
     
  18. Aerolithe_Lion

    Aerolithe_Lion Well-Known Member

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    YPG allowed with Zeke 2017: 295

    YPG allowed without Zeke 2017: 356

    You're trying to use a 6 game sample size to circumvent a point made over 4 years of games. Perhaps if half those game weren't against Oakland, Washington, NYG, 3 teams that finished bottom 7 in offensive efficiency that year, then there might be something to it. Or maybe your point is you need to play half your games against bottom 7 teams in order to match what Zeke gives you? Does that support your argument or mine?
     
  19. Aerolithe_Lion

    Aerolithe_Lion Well-Known Member

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    By talks falling apart the monday before game 1, odds are high (but not guaranteed) he will not be in the lineup vs NYG.
     
  20. ESisback

    ESisback Well-Known Member

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    Barry Sanders Jr.
     
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