Drop Percentages, Tight Ends, Backs And Complete Cowboys Rankings

Earlier in the week, when profootballfocus.com came out with an article on drop percentages, their focus was on the wide receiver position. I went ahead and included tight end Jason Witten and running back Felix Jones in the review of the statistics for BTB. Well PFF has followed up the original with two additional pieces, Running Backs and Tight Ends.

For the purposes of these metrics, PFF defines drop percentage pretty simply:

... all receivers who had at least 25 catchable balls thrown their way (catchable balls determined by just adding together the number of receptions and drops).

(Wide Receivers required 50 catchables)

Our feature players at the positions, Witten and Jones, separated themselves from their wide receiver Cowboys counterparts by a pretty wide margin. But how do they stack up with their position contemporaries across the league?

Follow the jump to find out.

Tight Ends

Jason Witten comes in ranked third among all tight ends in terms of drop percentages. He grabbed 94 passes while only dropping three, for a DP of 3.09%. The raw numbers used to calculate the percentage put the metric in its proper context. Witten's "catchable" total, outpaces the closest top 10 competitor by a ridiculous 31 passes. I'd venture to say that the nature of the tight end position probably accounts for 2-3 dump off pass attempts per game. The fact that Witten averaged two more catchables per game than his closest competition lends credence to the eye test evidence that Witten has the skillset and trust to run a more diverse route tree.

New metrics bring the requisite division comparisons, and drop percentages is no different. Remember just a year or two ago, when those silly little Giants fans had the audacity to claim that their tight end was worthy of being in the same sentence as Jason Witten? Well Kevin Boss, you have been weighed in the balances and found to be wanting.

The New York Giants tight end came in dead last, 38th out of all TE's with 25+ catchables. With 46 catchables, Boss dropped 11 for a laughable 23.91%. Almost a fourth of every pass that was within his reach ended up on the turf. Let's all point and laugh at the Giants boys and girls.

Speaking of silly little division rivals, the Eagles and their entry into the Be Like Witten sweepstakes make the list as well. Brett Celek comes in ranked 29th in TEDP, getting 49 catchables, 44 catches with five drops for a 10.20%. The Redskins' Chris Cooley wasn't much better. He had volume comparable to Witten, with 85 catchables. Cooley however dropped 8, for a DP of 9.41%.

Our own Martellus Bennett clocks in with a DP of 8.33% for the 2010 season with 36 catchables and three drops. This lands him in the middle of the league. It's in his three year composite score that Bennett's struggles come to light. While Jason Witten ranks third over the 2008-2010 stretch with 296 catchables and only 13 drops (4.39%), Bennett lands in the bottom 10 of the league over that same period (82 catchables, 11 drops, DP 13.41%). That ranks him 30th among tight ends with at least 75 catchables over three years.

Running Backs

Felix Jones paced the entire Cowboys team with a DP of 2.04% with only one drop on 49 catchables. That was good enough to rank him fourth in the entire NFL at the running back position. All those guys wishing we had Rashard Mendenhall? Not in Garrett's offense. Mendenhall is in the bottom 10 of the league, dropping almost 13% of the passes that are thrown to him. Dropping 13% of dumpoffs? Not good. Jamaal Charles you say? Just one spot above Mendenhall dropping over 11% of his catchables. Other big names in the bottom 10 of drop percentage are Adrian Peterson and Stephen Jackson.

Looking at the three year totals, 2008-2010, Felix Jones is an even better running back play. He moves up to third on the list of at least 70 catchables. Felix's drop last year (which incidentally did lead to an interception TD) was his ONLY drop of the last three seasons. That's right, just one. New Orleans Pierre Thomas and Houston's Steve Slaton also had just one drop over three years. Fumbling Adrian Peterson ranks dead last over the three year period, dropping 19 out of 122 catchables. Remember I told you this when fantasy football draft season gets here. Toby Gerhart will be a great late round pick up in PPR leagues.

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Player Catches Drops Drop Percentage
Jason Witten 94 3 3.09%
Miles Austin 69 11 13.75%
Felix Jones 48 1 2.04%
Dez Bryant 45 3 6.25%
Roy Williams 37 4 9.76%
Martellus Bennett 33 3 8.33%
Tashard Choice 17 1 5.56%
Sam Hurd 14 2 12.50%
Marion Barber 11 1 8.33%
Chris Gronkowski 7 0 0.00%
Kevin Ogletree 3 1 25.00%
Manny Johnson 1 1 50.00%
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