This year's running game is better

percyhoward

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Yards per rush
2014 4.6
2015 4.3

Just looking at ypr, you'd think 2014 was clearly better, but a lot of those yards came in situations when the game was already decided. Last year, we averaged 6.3 ypr when we were ahead by 17 points or more in the 2nd half. We haven't had any plays in that situation this year. Subtract those garbage-time runs, and our 2014 average goes down to 4.4 yards yards per rush. Add those kinds of runs to our 2015 average, and it would almost certainly go up.


Percentage of rushes resulting in a first down
2014 22.3%
2015 25.0%

Conversion rate is more telling than yards per carry, because it gives a slightly better idea of how much value you're actually getting out of each individual run.


Rushes of 4+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 236 of 507 46.5%
2015 121 of 288 42.0%

Rushes of 7+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 115 of 507 22.7%
2015 63 of 288 21.9%

Rushes of 10+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 61 of 507 12.0%
2015 35 of 288 12.2%

Rushes for no gain or loss
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 110 of 507 21.7%
2015 54 of 288 18.8%

At the extremes, we've been better this year. In between, we were better last year. Since the "in-between" categories make up the bulk of our rushes, I have to give the edge to 2014. But this edge is strongly affected by the presence of a downfield passing threat in 2014 that has mostly been absent in 2015. During the 0-7 stretch, there were a few games in which we almost didn't even try to pass beyond 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.


Targets of 10+ yards as a percentage of total attempts
2014 Romo 37.5%
2015 Romo 38.6%
2015 Cassel 29.4%
2015 Weeden 29.2%

Pass rating on those targets
2014 Romo 121.3
2015 Romo 118.4
2015 Cassel 68.4
2015 Weeden 76.0

For most of the season, the 2015 running game has been handicapped by the lack of a downfield passing threat. Even so, the results have been comparable to last year's. The 2015 Cowboys are leading the NFL in time of possession per drive, after being 2nd last year. That hasn't translated into victories this year, just as it wasn't the main reason for the 12 wins last year. But it's proof that the offense, especially the running game, has done what the coaches have intended it to do with regard to ball control, even without a real passing attack. Of course, without a real passing attack, this ball control has been basically worthless, but Romo's return gives it worth.


Going into the season, I wasn't worried about yards per carry or controling the clock, but I was concerned about short yardage. There had been a clear advantage for Murray over the other backs we'd used in short-yardage situations over the last four years. This year, McFadden has converted 14 of 17 times in short yardage/goal line situations, so now there are no worries except whether he can stay healthy. He's been even better than Murray was in this area.

Red Zone and Goal line
TD percentage
from or inside 10-yard line
2014 29 rushes, 10 TD 34.5%
2015 11 rushes, 5 TD 45.5%

from or inside 5-yard line
2014 17 rushes, 9 TD 52.9%
2015 7 rushes, 5 TD 71.4%

goal line (from 1- or 2-yard lines)
2014 8 rushes, 8 TD 100%
2015 7 rushes, 5 TD 71.4%

Short Yardage
3rd or 4th down, 1-2 yards to go
2014 31 rushes, 22 fd 71.0%
2015 18 rushes, 14 fd 77.8%

Combined short yardage/goal line
2014 37 rushes, 28 fd 75.7%
2015 25 rushes, 19 fd 76.0%

Thanks to the Zone for giving me 10,000 opportunities to celebrate, complain, share a laugh, spread some truth, have an argument, and show my ignorance. And Happy Thanksgiving.
 

Cowboy4ever

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Thank you for all you do. Great stuff. The only issue I have with the running game is that it has disappeared in the 2nd half, especially when we had the lead and could have burned some time off the clock. It really sucks that Tony was out for so long, this year would have been special.
 

xvendettax914

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Thank you for all you do. Great stuff. The only issue I have with the running game is that it has disappeared in the 2nd half, especially when we had the lead and could have burned some time off the clock. It really sucks that Tony was out for so long, this year would have been special.

If by special you mean stat wise, sure. But this year is not over.
 

JoeyBoy718

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Our running game is still good. I think it'll be even better now that McFadden has established himself as the lead back and we've picked up a true professional in Turbin to spell him. We haven't had much success with guys like Randle and Michael. One thing Murray, McFadden and Turbin have in common is their intelligent, high character professionals. As long as McFadden and Turbin stay healthy, I think our running game will be as good as it was last year.
 

Idgit

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Our running game is still good. I think it'll be even better now that McFadden has established himself as the lead back and we've picked up a true professional in Turbin to spell him. We haven't had much success with guys like Randle and Michael. One thing Murray, McFadden and Turbin have in common is their intelligent, high character professionals. As long as McFadden and Turbin stay healthy, I think our running game will be as good as it was last year.

Even Randle was productive on the football field. Problem was, he didn't have the makeup to be a consistent NFL player.

I never thought RB was going to be an issue for us other than possibly in short yardage, and it really hasn't been so far, despite the dismal offense, overall. We're really fortunate, though, to have the guys back there we ended up with, because we had way too much drama in that committee the first half of the season. From here, hopefully we can just settle down with players who like each other and worry about the things that actually matter a lot more when it comes to winning football games.

Also, we get to enjoy the bonfire of the Philadelphia Eagles. Man, I wish we had one more chance to play that team right about now. It would be amazing to flush that green and white turd for good.
 

RomoFor6

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Yards per rush
2014 4.6
2015 4.3

Just looking at ypr, you'd think 2014 was clearly better, but a lot of those yards came in situations when the game was already decided. Last year, we averaged 6.3 ypr when we were ahead by 17 points or more in the 2nd half. We haven't had any plays in that situation this year. Subtract those garbage-time runs, and our 2014 average goes down to 4.4 yards yards per rush. Add those kinds of runs to our 2015 average, and it would almost certainly go up.


Percentage of rushes resulting in a first down
2014 22.3%
2015 25.0%

Conversion rate is more telling than yards per carry, because it gives a slightly better idea of how much value you're actually getting out of each individual run.


Rushes of 4+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 236 of 507 46.5%
2015 121 of 288 42.0%

Rushes of 7+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 115 of 507 22.7%
2015 63 of 288 21.9%

Rushes of 10+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 61 of 507 12.0%
2015 35 of 288 12.2%

Rushes for no gain or loss
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 110 of 507 21.7%
2015 54 of 288 18.8%

At the extremes, we've been better this year. In between, we were better last year. Since the "in-between" categories make up the bulk of our rushes, I have to give the edge to 2014. But this edge is strongly affected by the presence of a downfield passing threat in 2014 that has mostly been absent in 2015. During the 0-7 stretch, there were a few games in which we almost didn't even try to pass beyond 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.


Targets of 10+ yards as a percentage of total attempts
2014 Romo 37.5%
2015 Romo 38.6%
2015 Cassel 29.4%
2015 Weeden 29.2%

Pass rating on those targets
2014 Romo 121.3
2015 Romo 118.4
2015 Cassel 68.4
2015 Weeden 76.0

For most of the season, the 2015 running game has been handicapped by the lack of a downfield passing threat. Even so, the results have been comparable to last year's. The 2015 Cowboys are leading the NFL in time of possession per drive, after being 2nd last year. That hasn't translated into victories this year, just as it wasn't the main reason for the 12 wins last year. But it's proof that the offense, especially the running game, has done what the coaches have intended it to do with regard to ball control, even without a real passing attack. Of course, without a real passing attack, this ball control has been basically worthless, but Romo's return gives it worth.


Going into the season, I wasn't worried about yards per carry or controling the clock, but I was concerned about short yardage. There had been a clear advantage for Murray over the other backs we'd used in short-yardage situations over the last four years. This year, McFadden has converted 14 of 17 times in short yardage/goal line situations, so now there are no worries except whether he can stay healthy. He's been even better than Murray was in this area.

Red Zone and Goal line
TD percentage
from or inside 10-yard line
2014 29 rushes, 10 TD 34.5%
2015 11 rushes, 5 TD 45.5%

from or inside 5-yard line
2014 17 rushes, 9 TD 52.9%
2015 7 rushes, 5 TD 71.4%

goal line (from 1- or 2-yard lines)
2014 8 rushes, 8 TD 100%
2015 7 rushes, 5 TD 71.4%

Short Yardage
3rd or 4th down, 1-2 yards to go
2014 31 rushes, 22 fd 71.0%
2015 18 rushes, 14 fd 77.8%

Combined short yardage/goal line
2014 37 rushes, 28 fd 75.7%
2015 25 rushes, 19 fd 76.0%

Thanks to the Zone for giving me 10,000 opportunities to celebrate, complain, share a laugh, spread some truth, have an argument, and show my ignorance. And Happy Thanksgiving.

Is that 4.6 total from last year the average from all the runs or the average of everyone's YPC? If the latter then that would be scewed cause of Randles 6.5 YPC wouldn't it? Or is it the same thing? And I'm just dumb lol
 

Dave_in-NC

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Yards per rush
2014 4.6
2015 4.3

Just looking at ypr, you'd think 2014 was clearly better, but a lot of those yards came in situations when the game was already decided. Last year, we averaged 6.3 ypr when we were ahead by 17 points or more in the 2nd half. We haven't had any plays in that situation this year. Subtract those garbage-time runs, and our 2014 average goes down to 4.4 yards yards per rush. Add those kinds of runs to our 2015 average, and it would almost certainly go up.


Percentage of rushes resulting in a first down
2014 22.3%
2015 25.0%

Conversion rate is more telling than yards per carry, because it gives a slightly better idea of how much value you're actually getting out of each individual run.


Rushes of 4+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 236 of 507 46.5%
2015 121 of 288 42.0%

Rushes of 7+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 115 of 507 22.7%
2015 63 of 288 21.9%

Rushes of 10+ yards
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 61 of 507 12.0%
2015 35 of 288 12.2%

Rushes for no gain or loss
as a percentage of total rushes
2014 110 of 507 21.7%
2015 54 of 288 18.8%

At the extremes, we've been better this year. In between, we were better last year. Since the "in-between" categories make up the bulk of our rushes, I have to give the edge to 2014. But this edge is strongly affected by the presence of a downfield passing threat in 2014 that has mostly been absent in 2015. During the 0-7 stretch, there were a few games in which we almost didn't even try to pass beyond 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.


Targets of 10+ yards as a percentage of total attempts
2014 Romo 37.5%
2015 Romo 38.6%
2015 Cassel 29.4%
2015 Weeden 29.2%

Pass rating on those targets
2014 Romo 121.3
2015 Romo 118.4
2015 Cassel 68.4
2015 Weeden 76.0

For most of the season, the 2015 running game has been handicapped by the lack of a downfield passing threat. Even so, the results have been comparable to last year's. The 2015 Cowboys are leading the NFL in time of possession per drive, after being 2nd last year. That hasn't translated into victories this year, just as it wasn't the main reason for the 12 wins last year. But it's proof that the offense, especially the running game, has done what the coaches have intended it to do with regard to ball control, even without a real passing attack. Of course, without a real passing attack, this ball control has been basically worthless, but Romo's return gives it worth.


Going into the season, I wasn't worried about yards per carry or controling the clock, but I was concerned about short yardage. There had been a clear advantage for Murray over the other backs we'd used in short-yardage situations over the last four years. This year, McFadden has converted 14 of 17 times in short yardage/goal line situations, so now there are no worries except whether he can stay healthy. He's been even better than Murray was in this area.

Red Zone and Goal line
TD percentage
from or inside 10-yard line
2014 29 rushes, 10 TD 34.5%
2015 11 rushes, 5 TD 45.5%

from or inside 5-yard line
2014 17 rushes, 9 TD 52.9%
2015 7 rushes, 5 TD 71.4%

goal line (from 1- or 2-yard lines)
2014 8 rushes, 8 TD 100%
2015 7 rushes, 5 TD 71.4%

Short Yardage
3rd or 4th down, 1-2 yards to go
2014 31 rushes, 22 fd 71.0%
2015 18 rushes, 14 fd 77.8%

Combined short yardage/goal line
2014 37 rushes, 28 fd 75.7%
2015 25 rushes, 19 fd 76.0%

Thanks to the Zone for giving me 10,000 opportunities to celebrate, complain, share a laugh, spread some truth, have an argument, and show my ignorance. And Happy Thanksgiving.

So your adding and subtracting to come up with the result? I appreciate the stats but shouldn't they just be what they are?
 
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percyhoward

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The only issue I have with the running game is that it has disappeared in the 2nd half, especially when we had the lead and could have burned some time off the clock.
The running game looked pretty good in the 2nd half in Miami. What seems like a 2nd-half "disappearance of the running game" in 2015 is probably a result of defenses adjusting to the fact that we had no downfield passing threat, and loading up to stop the run in the 2nd half of games.

The other thing is that, despite the perception, we weren't very good at burning clock when we had late leads last year anyway.
4th qtr rushing, leading by 2 scores or less

2014 2.7 ypr 15.2% fd (avg distance to go 8.6 yd)
2015 2.6 ypr 15.6% fd (avg distance to go 10.0 yd)
 

Cowboy4ever

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The running game looked pretty good in the 2nd half in Miami. What seems like a 2nd-half "disappearance of the running game" in 2015 is probably a result of defenses adjusting to the fact that we had no downfield passing threat, and loading up to stop the run in the 2nd half of games.

The other thing is that, despite the perception, we weren't very good at burning clock when we had late leads last year anyway.
4th qtr rushing, leading by 2 scores or less

2014 2.7 ypr 15.2% fd (avg distance to go 8.6 yd)
2015 2.6 ypr 15.6% fd (avg distance to go 10.0 yd)

That's interesting and completely different than the eye test. I agree the Miami game was totally different, I was referencing the 7 game losing streak. I was on board with not signing 29 back and actually I am glad he is gone. No wonder why we haven't converted alot of 3rd downs during the 7 games, we can only run 9 yard routes. :)
 

percyhoward

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So your adding and subtracting to come up with the result? I appreciate the stats but shouldn't the just be what they are?
Those averages you quoted (4.6 in 2014 and 4.3 in 2015) are correct, and you could simply stop there without even scratching the surface. I like to go a little deeper and look at game situation so the numbers have some kind of context.

It just depends on how much you want to know, and are willing to take the time and effort to find out.
 

CCBoy

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Percy, you have always been a pure pleasure to share a board with. Thanks, as always...

as to topic, I am very pleased in directions of the running game over the past three games. I like what McFadden has added. I am not of the camp that he is snake bit.

As to a running pair, I am very interested in what Turbin has added to your statistics in the immediate future.
 

percyhoward

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That's interesting and completely different than the eye test. I agree the Miami game was totally different, I was referencing the 7 game losing streak. I was on board with not signing 29 back and actually I am glad he is gone. No wonder why we haven't converted alot of 3rd downs during the 7 games, we can only run 9 yard routes. :)
One of the things the 7-game losing streak demonstrated was that your running game doesn't matter much if you can't pass.
 

Cowboy4ever

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One of the things the 7-game losing streak demonstrated was that your running game doesn't matter much if you can't pass.

Very true. I am really disappointed in Weeden. The guy has all the tools physically and with that arm, he should have let it rip.
 

percyhoward

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Is that 4.6 total from last year the average from all the runs or the average of everyone's YPC? If the latter then that would be skewed cause of Randles 6.5 YPC wouldn't it? Or is it the same thing? And I'm just dumb lol
Yes, 4.6 was our average gain on a running play in 2014, regardless of game situation. Randle had a lot of rushes when the outcome of the game was still in doubt, so not all of his carries skew the average.
 

Oh_Canada

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Of course it's better and the team would be 8-2 right now minimum instead of 3-7 had the qb and best wr not missed significant time.
 

Oh_Canada

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So your adding and subtracting to come up with the result? I appreciate the stats but shouldn't they just be what they are?

Is that to fit the "we should have spent a gazillion to keep the running back" narrative? With or without Murray this team is 3-7 without Romo.
 

Toruk_Makto

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Wasn't worried when we let Murray go.

People need to realize that outside of the most special of players....the line makes the running game. Not the running back.
 

Dave_in-NC

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Is that to fit the "we should have spent a gazillion to keep the running back" narrative? With or without Murray this team is 3-7 without Romo.

Not at all. It simply means adding and subtracting numbers can make things look like you want them to. Nothing to do with Murray.
 
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