The DC Times

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

By Jonathan Bales

Running the Numbers: Cowboys-Redskins Film Study

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At DallasCowboys.com, I broke down the Cowboys’ 28-18 loss to the Redskins.

Deep Attack

The rate of deep passes (traveling 20-plus yards) to Dez Bryant increased dramatically over the second half of the season. It’s probably not a coincidence that there’s a positive correlation between Bryant’s deep targets and his success.

In the Cowboys’ last two games, both losses, Bryant saw only three deep targets, including only one against Washington. He caught all three passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. In 2013, the Cowboys will need to continue to get the ball deep to one of the league’s premiere play-making wideouts.

Gun Trips

On a second-and-10 play in the third quarter, the Cowboys ran a unique direct snap to Murray that gained seven yards. The play will probably be forgotten by most, but it was actually extremely unique in that it was the Cowboys’ first run from “Shotgun Trips” all year. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider that Dallas ran 131 plays from the bunch formation in 2012.

Many of the plays from “Gun Trips” were in pass-only situations (such as third-and-long or in hurry-up scenarios), but some were not. Actually, 39 of the snaps from “Gun Trips” (29.8 percent) came on first down. It’s difficult to tell if the strategy has backfired, but it’s one Garrett has employed for years; the Murray run was only the second out of hundreds of plays from the formation since 2009.

Go to the team site for the full article.

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