FanPost

TMQB: Season Wrap-up

 

Final ANPY/A & Adjusted Pass YPA

Final APNY/A and Pass YPA calculations can be found here. For comparison, here are the baselines from last year.  

 

2009

Offense

ANPY/A

Pass YPA (adjusted for sacks)

Min

2.9

4.0

Median

5.1

5.6

Max

7.7

7.7

Defense

 

 

Min

3.3

4.2

Median

5.4

5.6

Max

7.3

7.2

 

For the season Dallas produced an offensive ANPY/A of 6.2 and an adjusted Pass YPA of 6.8, both 7th in the league (Dallas was also 7th in Yds/g and pts./game … guess it was the year of 7s). Dallas’s offense continues to be consistently good, not just this year but over the past 4 years. From Football Outsiders Bill Barnwell.  

In the Maple Street Press book on the Cowboys that Dave Halprin edited, I contributed an essay that focused on what Dallas needed to improve upon to make the Super Bowl. I noted that the team's performance on offense and against the run had been markedly consistent from 2007-09, but the pass defense had fallen off from eighth to 12th to, in 2009, 15th.

On the defensive side, Dallas allowed an ANPY/A of 6.4 and an adjusted Pass YPA of 6.8. That was 27th and 28th in the league respectively. 

Here’s the final adjusted Pass YPA chart.

Team

Adjusted Pass YPA Allowed

Washington

 4.9

Chicago

 9.0

Houston

 5.3

Tennessee

 6.8

Minnesota

 3.1

NYG

 8.3

Jac

 9.9

GB

 7.7

NYG

 7.8

DET

 5.7

NO

 7.7

Indy

 7.6

Philadelphia

 9.2

Washington

 6.2

Arizona

 6.8

Philadelphia

 2.9

Season Average

 6.8

Average Under Garrett

 6.7

 

Points Allowed

 

I think points allowed is a poor statistic to use to assess the ability of a defense. A lot of people have been wondering how Dallas’s defense could go from #2 in points allowed to #31 in points allowed. Part of the problem is the statistic itself. Here are the problems with using points allowed to assess a defense:

 

-it includes points allowed on special teams

-it includes points allowed by the offense (e.g. pick-six interceptions)

-it doesn’t adjust for starting field position allowed by special teams

-it doesn’t adjust for starting field position caused by offensive give-aways

 

All 4 of the factors above affect points allowed but none of them measure the ability of the defense whatsoever. Points allowed is a flawed statistic to use for assessing defensive performance.

 

If you were look at efficiency statistics (see above) or APNY/A you would have known that Dallas’s defense was already declining.

 

 

Offense Rank: ANPY/A

Defense Rank: ANPY/A Allowed

Differential Rank

2007

3

6

3

2008

13

10

14

2009

3

17

7

2010

7

28

16

 

No, I didn’t expect the defense to be as bad it was but it wasn’t shocking either. Falling from 17th to 28th isn’t that unthinkable. Notice how the W-L record tracks the performance in ANPY/A differential. 3rd = 13-3 , 14th = 9-7, 7th = 11-5, 16th = 6-10. 

 

Advanced NFL Stats

  

Here are the final efficiency rankings from Advanced NFL Stats. They tell the same story.

 

TEAM

Offensive Pass Efficiency

Offensive Run Efficiency

Offensive Int. Rate %

Offensive Fum. Rate %

Defensive Pass Efficiency

Defensive Run Efficiency

Defensive Int. Rate %

Penalty Rate %

DAL

7

15

20

7

29

18

5

20

 

McGee

 

I wrote a post saying that McGee was unlikely to be a viable NFL QB. I believe the Eagles game supported the claim that McGee isn’t accurate enough to be an NFL QB. I hope that Dallas isn’t fooling themselves into thinking he is. McGee is exactly what you would expect from his college statistics: a QB who doesn’t have the requisite accuracy to be an NFL QB. He’s a white Tavaris Jackson. He struggled hitting stationary targets … forget hitting guys in stride. I seriously doubt he’s ever going to develop the vision and touch to be a viable QB. Think of NBA point guards. The point guards who have vision and touch (Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Andre Miller) came into the league with it. It’s not a skill that you see guys develop over time. NFL QB’s are the same way. The guys who can throw receivers open have that ability from the start. Maybe McGee will develop it but I’m very skeptical.

 

I’ll add that McGee really pains me from an organizational perspective. Specifically, had Dallas passed on McGee they could have taken Colt McCoy in a similar draft spot this year. It’s just poor drafting. I look at the Eagles who traded McNabb for a #2 and are asking for two #1s for Kolb. That’s how you get an advantage in the NFL. If Dallas had drafted McCoy they’d have a tradable asset right now.

 

Offensive Line

 

The offensive line wasn’t Dallas’s Achiles heel this year, the defense was. It blows my mind that people think the offensive line needs to be the #1 priority. Chicago was 11-5 with a much worse offense and offensive line.

 

Of course I want Dallas to improve the offensive line but the OL isn’t the limiting factor at this point. In spite of the offensive line Dallas was still #7 in a bunch of offensive categories with Kitna & McGee at QB for most of the season (and while I’m at it, the biggest change this year was that Romo played 5 games instead of 16 games). What do people think? That Dallas can go out and outscore everyone they play? That Dallas can succeed as 1 dimensional team and win?  I don’t think that's likely to be successful approach.

 

Turnovers

  

I’m a little concerned with Garrett’s emphasis on turnovers. My belief is that playing for turnovers is fool’s gold. Turnovers have a huge component of unpredictability. I just don’t believe that Sensabaugh somehow became a ball hawk because he’s playing in zone instead of man-to-man schemes. Hopefully Dallas will get a DC who can coach sound defense and improve the defensive pass efficiency. Improving the defensive pass efficiency needs to be priority #1.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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