Cowboys Continue to Win By Passing Early and Often
At DMN, I took a look at how the Cowboys are winning in 2012.
In Week 1, the Cowboys were said to have won on the back of a fairly balanced 24-to-31 run-to-pass ratio from Jason Garrett. The only problem with that theory is that the Cowboys actually passed the ball on 28 of 42 plays through three quarters (66.7 percent), running on 10 of 15 plays in the fourth quarter to create an appearance of balance that was never really there.
And it happened again last week against the Panthers. The final box score showed just seven more passes than runs for Dallas, but they maintained an even run-to-pass ratio in the fourth quarter while attempting to milk the clock. Late runs again helped to shape the illusion of balance when the ‘Boys really passed the ball on 57.8 percent of their plays through three quarters.
All in all, the Cowboys have thrown the ball at least 57 percent of the time through three quarters in all but one of their games in 2012—the loss to the Ravens. That game sort of exposed the weaknesses of rushing the ball too often; the Cowboys absolutely dominated Baltimore all day, but a lack of big plays through the air kept the game close when it shouldn’t have been. The goal for NFL coaches isn’t to keep games close. It’s to win them.