Changes Needed to Cowboys’ Passing Game
Since I started writing for a few of the bigger publications in Dallas, I’ve noticed a lot of comments claiming that my graphs are “annoying” and “total sh*t.” That’s why I just published an article with three of them at Dallas News. It’s about the Cowboys’ passing game.
Last year, Romo’s passer rating on throws that traveled between 10 and 19 yards was 89.6—superior to his 74.1 passer rating on such throws in 2012. In 2010—his worst season as a pro—Romo’s intermediate passer rating was outstanding at 117.3. Thus, it’s likely Romo’s currently-poor intermediate passer rating is due to poor luck more than anything else.
On top of that, Romo’s yards-per-attempt is significantly higher as he throws deeper. YPA has proven to be far superior to passer rating as a predictor of future success—both on an individual and team level—because it’s less susceptible to fluctuations from fluky plays that result in touchdowns or interceptions.
On deep passes, Romo’s YPA is over twice as high as on all throws that travel up to nine yards. It’s true that teams are often willing to give up a few yards in exchange for consistent positive plays; Romo’s completion rate on throws of up to nine yards is 79.3 percent, compared to just 50.0 percent on passes that travel a minimum of 20 yards. Still, the dramatic rise in YPA in each of the five-yard increments listed above suggests Romo is more efficient chucking it deep.