WMQB: See you in your nightmares.

Fear me like you fear Gxx, cause I bring death

-Tony Romo

Ok, I lied. Actually 50 Cent said that, but I like think that as Jim Haslett prepares Washington to play Dallas this week, that’s how he’s feeling. I like to think that teams fear Dallas’s passing game again. #29 has looked great, can’t wait to see how he looks when the D is worried about 50-yd bombs. I have to think this game is going to loosen up defenses.

Was Buffalo a good matchup for Dallas? Yes. A bad pass defense that can't rush the passer. So I’m sure that Buffalo made Dallas look good. But this offense has ridiculous potential.

Here’s one of my favorite comments about the Dallas offense.

KC:  Here's something to mention about the Cowboys.  It's not a metric thing but something for the fans to keep in mind.  When healthy, they have Dez Bryant, they have Jason Witten and Austin.  When healthy, all three of those guys are matchup busters.  That means that you can put any level of competition against them and they can be productive.  Austin has been especially good at this the last couple of years.  Doesn't matter what type of cornerback you put on him.  Good cornerback, bad cornerback, you double him. Doesn't matter.  He's still going to be productive.

That's a rare trait, and the Cowboys have lots of guys who can do that.

I suspect Murray is a matchup buster too. LB’s can’t cover Murray out of the backfield. It’s enough to make me giddy.

The offense is starting to click. Dez running around like a hyperactive kid … looking like he wants to break every catch for a TD. The OL developing cohesion. Murray getting integrated into the passing game. #81 providing a big play threat. And Austin isn’t even playing. See you in your nightmares.

BTW, my favorite comment … Dez on his TD catch

"I got my head up a little late," Bryant said. "I saw the ball and I had to attack it"

That pretty much sums up the whole offense: on the attack. 

Net Pass YPA

The table below summarizes Dallas’s net pass YPA for the period from 2007-2010.

Offensive net pass YPA Offensive net pass YPA Rank Defensive net pass YPA Defensive net pass YPA Rank
2007 7.4 2nd 5.4 6th
2008 6.6 11th 5.3 5th
2009 7.3 6th 5.9 11th
2010 6.7 7th 6.8 28th

As a basis for comparison, summarized in the table below are the maximum, median, average, and minimum net pass YPA for the NFL 2010 season

Net Pass YPA – NFL All Teams 2010 Season    
  Offense Defense
Maximum 7.8 7.5
Median 6.1 6.1
Average 6.2 6.2
Minimum 4.3 5.3

The Cowboys results through week 10 are summarized in the table below.

Dallas Cowboys        
Week Offensive net pass YPA Offensive net pass YPA Rank Defensive net pass YPA Defensive net pass YPA Rank
NYJ 8.2   6.2  
SF 9.7   4.4  
WAS 6.8   5.8  
DET 6.7   5.6  
NEP 7   6.1  
STL 5.8   5.7  
PHI 4.7   8  
SEA 9   7.1  
BUF 10.4   4.3  
Season 7.5 5th 6 12th

The Darkos results through week 10 are summarized in the table below.

Darko Cowboys        
Week Offensive net pass YPA Offensive net pass YPA Rank Defensive net pass YPA Defensive net pass YPA Rank
IND 8.7   5.1  
MIA 6.5   4.8  
NO 8.9   7.7  
PIT 6.6   5.1  
OAK 7.5   5.6  
BAL 4.9   8.3  
TEN 12.9   2.9  
JAX 6.3   2.7  
CLE 5.2   4.9  
TB 14.3   3.6  
Season 7.7 3rd 5.1 3rd

The offense produced a spectacular net pass YPA of 10.4 y/a, best of the season. And that doesn’t really reflect how dominant the offense was as they put the game into cruise control in the 4th quarter.

The defense produced a pretty good game themselves, holding a good Buffalo offense to a net pass YPA of 4.3 y/a. Again, that doesn’t completely capture how well the defense played as they also produced 3 interceptions. The only worrying trend is the sacks: 4,6,3,0,3,1,4,1,1. Worth keeping an eye on. 

Realist Larry asked me if I was going to talk about the Darkos. I wasn’t planning to until the end of the season when we could reflect on it but I’ll comment on it briefly this week. What a weird season. There were a few scenarios I thought were possible. Maybe Wade was the problem, Dallas would be good and the Darkos would be bad. Maybe the players were the problem, and Dallas would be bad and the Darkos would be good. What I didn’t expect is that the Darkos would be lights out and Dallas would be lights out.

I know, I know. A bunch of people are going to say they said Rob Ryan would make a huge difference, and yes a lot of people claimed that. But they also claimed that Spencer was going to be rejuvenated, that Spears would turn into a pass rusher, Jenkins would return to is 2009 form, etc, etc. You get the idea. None of that has happened and Ryan is still producing with Alan Ball playing like he wants to hurt someone and Frank Walker getting major PT (I do like the diesel version of #32).

I suppose there were some indications, Rex Ryan doesn’t have a great pass rush but he manages to be effective in New York. It’s just so strange that Rob Ryan had such mediocre results in his previous stops. Its not like he couldn’t get Alan Ball/Frank Walker caliber players in Cleveland. He obviously never had a talent like Ware but still, #94 is only one player. I’m scratching my head. Are you?

Game Notes

-DL looks pretty lame

-almost int off the hands of #29

-#50 doesn’t look as effective

-1st down passes. Yippee. 34-yd TD to Dez, 58-yd TD to #81. Game over. 

-Frank Walker is solid

-#41: nice job fighting through a block and making a tough tackle

-Storylines coming into the week: Romo’s on lockdown, Dallas is bad in the red zone. Maybe not so much.

#67: Because a lot of people have been critical of #67 I flipped through the game and focused on #67. He did a nice job against Dareus. I like #67. He’s had some trouble anchoring but he’s really good in space and likes to hit people. Plus he’s strong.

Remember, Reggie White dropped the hump move on Larry Allen during LAs rookie year. Literally knocked LA out of the way. Very steep learning curve for OL in the NFL.

Article of the Week: Looking a Run/Pass Balance

I posted this a couple times before but it didn't seem to get much attention. It's one of the best articles I've seen this season so do yourself a favor and read it. It looks at Run/Pass balance taking into account game situation.


In all of these cases, the statistics did not tell the true story. Those teams passed so successfully that they frequently found themselves in run-favorable situations. Every N.F.L. fan knows that trailing teams tend to pass more frequently than winning teams, and the disparity is stronger the larger the lead or deficit. For example, teams this season are passing on 74 percent of plays when trailing by 17 to 24 points, but that  drops to 44 percent when leading by such a margin. How a game unfolds has a large impact on the ultimate run/pass ratio of a team. To truly understand a team’s offensive philosophy, you need to take into account the scoring flow of the game….

Lo and behold, the Packers now look to be the most pass-happy team in the league. The Steelers and the Patriots are also in the top four, and the Saints are not far behind. Not surprisingly, the Jaguars and Chiefs lead the way when it comes to run-heavy offenses, regardless of situation. The Jets have actually been relatively run-heavy this season, but their game situation (trailing often) has somewhat distorted the numbers.

Perhaps the most interesting team? The Ravens … The Ravens have been extremely pass-heavy this season,



Week 11

O net pass YPA Rank D net pass YPA Rank
DAL 2011 5th 12th
WAS 2011 24th 18th

Looks like a favorable matchup against WAS. They can't pass the ball and they can't defend the pass. Go Dallas.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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