Running the Numbers: Cowboys-Bengals Film Study
My latest Running the Numbers article is my final Cowboys-Bengals film study.
- I’ve never really been a fan of the end-around because it’s a high-risk/low-reward play. Believe it or not, end-arounds are probably best in short-yardage situations because they’re typically good for a few yards, especially when the defense is playing to stop a run up the middle. With the ball-carrier moving horizontally across the field, however, it’s difficult to spring an end-around for a long gain. It seems like the Cowboys have called double-digit end-arounds this year, but it’s actually only four: two to Dez Bryant and two to Kevin Ogletree. They’ve gained three total yards on those plays, although the total was 14 yards (gains of 5, 5 and 4) prior to Bryant’s 11-yard loss on Sunday.
- On the first drive, Garrett decided to kick a field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Bengals’ 19-yard line. With about a half-yard to go for the first down, I thought it was a time to keep the offense on the field. Historically, teams that have been in the same situation have scored more points by going for it – 1.18 extra points per drive, actually. For the decision to go for it to be correct, the Cowboys would need an expected conversion rate of 49.0 percent. The league-wide conversion rate on fourth-and-1 is 66.4 percent, and the Cowboys have converted 65.3 percent of their plays on third- and fourth-and-1 since 2009. Since the ’Boys needed even less than a full yard and the offensive line had shown a good push earlier in the drive, the Cowboys may have benefited from leaving the offense on the field. In Garrett’s defense, the offense was in a position on the field where a field goal would be nearly automatic and a fourth-down conversion wouldn’t guarantee seven points.
- I counted 16 blitzes from Cincinnati, seven of which were disguised. Romo struggled badly against the blitz to start the game, completing only one of his first seven passes when the Bengals rushed at least five defenders. On the day, Romo completed 5 of his 13 attempts against the blitz for just 52 yards, getting sacked once. Even though the Bengals blitzed on 30.4 percent of the Cowboys’ passes, Romo threw only two of his 10 off-target passes against the blitz.
Read the rest at DallasCowboys.com.