Jason Garrett’s Second-Down Play-Calling
At NBC, I took a look at Jason Garrett’s improved second-down play-calling.
When I first began studying Jason Garrett’s play-calling in 2009, perhaps his most blatant tendency was allowing previous play-calls to dictate his current ones. That was particularly true on second down, when Garrett would often run if he had passed on first down and pass if he had run. The thinking, in all likelihood, was to “mix it up” in order to keep the defense guessing. In attempting to randomize his play-calling, however, Garrett was quite ironically becoming extremely predictable. You can consult my previous studies of Garrett’s second-down calls to see just how predictable he had become.
To Garrett’s credit (or perhaps more so to the credit of the analytics team the Cowboys brought in after that season), the coach’s second-down play-calling improved dramatically in 2010. It’s been above-average ever since.
Below, I’ve pasted the majority of Garrett’s second-down play-calls, broken down by the distance needed for a first down and the previous call. The only plays not included are those on 2nd and Goal and those that followed a penalty.
2nd and 1 to 2nd and 3: 33 runs, 25 passes (43.1 percent pass rate)
- 20.0 percent pass rate after first-down runs, 51.2 percent pass rate after first-down passes
Check it out at NBC.