The DC Times

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

By Jonathan Bales

A Look at the Cowboys’ Offense by Down

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At Dallas News, I just published a quick analysis of the Cowboys’ offensive effectiveness on each down:

One of the simple-but-interesting stats I found today is offensive efficiency by down. Below, I charted the Cowboys’ average yards per play on each down as compared to the rest of the league.

It’s interesting that the ‘Boys had so much success on second down. Part of the reason is probably that they performed only moderately well on first down—right around the league average—forcing them to pass the ball more on second and third. You never want to be in a position in which you’re forced to throw the ball—having the ability to run is always nice—but passing obviously leads to bigger average gains than running.

To get a better sense of what the numbers are telling us, I also recorded the Cowboys’ pass rates by down versus the rest of the NFL.

You can see the Cowboys passed the ball more often than average on every down, which isn’t really a surprise because 1) they’re a passing team and 2) they were losing so frequently.

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