Running the Numbers: Analyzing Cowboys’ Undrafted Free Agents
The latest post in my “Running the Numbers” blog is up at DallasCowboys.com, and it deals with undrafted free agents. Here’s a preview:
. . .of all undrafted Cowboys since 2000, Romo and Austin are first and second in total approximate value, with Keith Davis, Torrin Tucker, and Phil Costa rounding out the top five. You can see that, outside of Romo and Austin, no other undrafted free agents have made a monumental impact in Big D since 2000. Compare that to the Chargers, who have been absolutely remarkable at acquiring contributions from undrafted players. Tight end Antonio Gates, guard Kris Dielman, linebacker Stephen Cooper, wide receiver Malcom Floyd, and running back Mike Tolbert all signed with San Diego after going undrafted over the last decade.
But how important are undrafted free agents really? It’s tough to tell, but there’s certainly a correlation between finding undrafted talent and winning football games. The top 12 teams in uncovering undrafted talent since 2000, as per total approximate value, have compiled a winning percentage of .567 over that span, compared to just .445 for the bottom 12 squads. With a sample size of 192 games for each team, the 12.2% gap in winning percentage is pretty substantial.
Further, of the top seven teams in winning percentage since the start of the millennium, every single one is in the top 12 in undrafted free agent success rate. That is, really good teams seem to get really good undrafted free agents, and vice versa. It truly appears undrafted free agents are having a more-than-inconsequential impact on NFL games.
Head over to the Cowboys’ website for the full article.