The DC Times

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

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Offensive balance an effect of winning, not a cause for Dallas

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At Dallas News, I explored the ever-interesting (to me) topic of run-pass balance.

In Rick Gosselin’s latest article, he compares Tony Romo and the Cowboys to Dan Marino and the Dolphins, citing both teams’ lack of offensive balance as the reason for their absence of Super Bowl victories. The Dolphins actually reached the Super Bowl and AFC Championship, but to this day, Marino is known as the quarterback who “couldn’t win it all.”

While there might be similarities between Romo and Marino in terms of playing style, do the Cowboys really need to steer clear of a pass-heavy attack if they want Romo to lead them to a championship? I don’t think so, and this is the perfect opportunity to again clear up the confusion between offensive balance leading to wins versus winning leading to balance.

There are a million stats that show that offensive balance and winning are correlated. “Team X is 25-1 when they rush the ball at least 30 times and they’re 2-15 when their quarterback attempts over 40 passes.” Cool, we’d never expect anything different since winning teams tend to run the ball to close out games. The balance—or the illusion of it—is a result of already winning, not a cause of it.

So maybe it’s time to stop viewing final box scores when we talk about the run-pass balance. We know those numbers are skewed since winning teams run the ball late in games and losing teams are forced to throw. So what if we take a look at the run-pass balance only through three quarters?

Here’s the whole article.

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