The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Cowboys’ game plan in Washington deviated from previous weeks

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At Dallas News, I broke down the Cowboys’ play-calling over the final two weeks of the season.

Those three aspects of Garrett’s play-calling—deep passes, play-action looks, and first-down throws—were being underutilized early in the season. The stats showed the Cowboys could benefit from increasing the rate of each; Romo’s 116.9 passer rating on play-action passes ranks him fourth in the NFL, for example, and he’s historically been extremely efficient on deep passes. Although teams throw the ball on just around 47 percent of first-down plays, most could optimize offensive efficiency by passing the ball much more often on early downs.

For some reason, however, Garrett abandoned the game plans that were so successful for Dallas over their November/early-December run. Check out the rates of deep throws, play-action looks, and first-down passes during the Cowboys’ mid-season run as compared to the team’s last two games—losses to the Saints and Redskins.

Deep Passes (20-Plus Yards)

  • Weeks 10-15: 4.4 per game
  • Weeks 16-17: 4.0 per game

Play-action Passes

  • Weeks 10-15: 4.4 per game
  • Weeks 16-17: 3.0 per game

First-Down Passing Rate (Through Three Quarters)

  • Weeks 10-15: 62.9 percent
  • Weeks 16-17: 47.2 percent

Check it out at DMN.

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