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By Jonathan Bales

Cowboys Film Study: 2009 Formation Breakdown

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Thus far this offseason, we have analyzed a few of the Cowboys’ tendencies when running plays from certain formations and with specific personnel packages.  For example, we noticed the Cowboys average nearly three yards less per play in “Empty Set” formations (as compared to all other formations), are much more successful with tight end Jason Witten in a route, and run a strong side dive play out of “Double Tight Right Strong Right” 71.6 percent of the time, including 85.7 percent when motioning into it.

Today, we are going to analyze the run/pass ratios and success rates of every formation the Cowboys ran in 2009.  If you don’t know the difference between “Gun 3 Wide Pro” and “Double Tight Left Weak Right,” don’t worry–we have diagrams of each formation to help you along.

Below each diagram, you will find stats on run/pass ratio, average yards per run/pass, and analysis of big/negative plays.  We have explained in the past why averages can often be misleading, so understanding the effect of outliers (big and negative plays) can aid you in interpreting the results.

Formations with 20+ play sample size

  • 3 Wide I

12 passes (60 percent)/8 runs (40 percent)

5.25 yards/attempt

3.63 yards/rush

3 sacks (25 percent), five passes 10+ yards (41.7 percent), 1 pass 20+ (8.3 percent)

  • Ace

24 passes (82.8 percent)/5 runs (17.2 percent)

11.46 yards/attempt

2.00 yards/rush

12 passes 10+ (50 percent), five passes 20+ (20.8 percent), two negative runs (40 percent)

  • Double Tight I

10 passes (24.4 percent)/31 runs (75.6 percent)

6.30 yards/attempt

6.71 yards/rush

One sack (10 percent), two passes 10+ (20 percent), one pass 20+ (10 percent), four negative runs (12.9 percent), eight runs 10+ (25.81 percent), one run 20+ (56 yards)–3.2 percent

  • Double Tight Left/Right Ace

14 passes (38.9 percent)/22 runs (61.1 percent)

6.0 yards/attempt

3.27 yards/rush

One sack (7.1 percent), three passes 10+ (21.4 percent),  two passes 20+ (14.3 percent), three runs 10+ (13.6 percent),  five negative runs (22.7 percent)

  • Double Tight Left/Right I

3 passes (4.7 percent)/61 runs (95.3 percent)

10.33 yards/attempt

4.93 yards/rush

One pass 10+ (33.3 percent), one pass 20+ (33.3 percent), six runs 10+ (10.4 percent), two runs 20+ (46, 32 yards)–3.5 percent

  • Double Tight Left/Right Strong Left/Right

9 passes (17.3 percent)/43 runs (82.7 percent)

1.22 yards/attempt

5.58 yards/rush

One sack (11.1 percent), one pass 10+ (11.1 percent), five runs 10+ (11.6 percent), three runs 20+ (36, 33 yards)–3.5 percent, one negative run (1.2 percent)

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5 Responses to Cowboys Film Study: 2009 Formation Breakdown

  1. Pingback: Why 'Gun Tight End Spread' Is Cowboys' Most Productive Formation | Dallas Cowboys Times

  2. Pingback: Why ‘Gun Tight End Spread’ Is Cowboys’ Most Productive Formation - NFL Super Bowl Live Online

  3. Pingback: Cowboys Playbook: Gun Trips Left/Right - NFL Super Bowl Live Online

  4. Pingback: Dallas Cowboys 16 Best/Worst Running and Passing Formations in 2009 - NFL Super Bowl Live Online

  5. Pingback: Cowboys’ 2010 Play-Calling Based on Personnel - NFL Super Bowl Live Online

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