I started off the day on Twitter, Facebook and the comment section here on Blogging The Boys, wondering where the sentiments on Josh Gordon were coming from. Gordon, who seems to be the biggest name in this coming Thursday's supplemental draft has caused quite a stir amongst many NFL teams. of course, the biggest buzz is out of Dallas; which always seems to be the case.
Somehow, somewhere a paid journalist supposed that the former Baylor Bear/almost-Utah Ute could be the Cowboys answer to their hole at the third wideout position on the depth chart. See, Gordon was suspended in October of 2010 while at Baylor after being arrested for being in a vehicle that was found to have marijuana in it. He missed the remainder of the season before transferring to the University of Utah. Due to NCAA rules, Gordon had to sit out the 2011 season because of the transfer, and decided to enter the Supplemental Draft to try and earn a living.
Now, I saw a wide range of opinions everywhere I looked. Don't touch him, he's not a RKG. To which I reply, because he was a 20 year old that fell asleep after getting high and didn't know his rights to deny a search? I'd bid a second or third rounder for him; immensely talented. For a player that hasn't suited up in almost 24 months? That would knock a prospect down to the fifth round in an April draft. He can be our third wide receiver! This year, as in, 2012? I understand that he had scary potential two years ago and the time off doesn't immediately mean he's lost that. But still...
All of this of course was before Gordon took part in his Pro Day earlier Tuesday. To which he seemed to perform admirably.
Follow the jump for the results, via Twitter, as well as other Cowboys news of the day.
Adam Caplan of NFL.com led the coverage for the day.
Early numbers for Gordon's workout: 4.52 (40), 6031/224, 36" vertical, 10'1" broad jump, 13 reps bench.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) July 10, 2012
Wingspan-82 for Gordon which would put him near the top of the combine WRs.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) July 10, 2012
I'll handicap the Gordon sweepstakes tomorrow for all 32 teams. But again, I'm sticking with rounds 3-4 for him to go off the board.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) July 10, 2012
The injury Caplan spoke of was this: Apparently, Gordon pulled his quad muscle while running the 40-yard dash, but he continued on to do the route-running portion of the Pro Day. Comparisons from other observers place him as a third-round worthy pick; to which I obviously have my doubts about the worthiness in the eyes of the Cowboys. Answers will arrive in about 48 hours or so.
Rat is still suffering and runs the chance to start off training camp on the PUP list. Is anyone else getting a little bit worried about this?
Three Years Of Drop Rate, Tackling Efficiency | Pro Football Focus
PFF has been running a series of articles that look at the combined metrics from the last three NFL seasons for a variety of categories. Here's a review of those that include members of your Dallas Cowboys.
Tony Romo wasn't one of the five best or five worst at pressure taken per dropback or sacks per pressured dropback. He did check in however as one of the league's best in interception percentage per pressured dropback from 2009-2011.
Over that span, Romo took 421 pressured dropbacks and threw a pick in only 7 of those instances, for a paltry 1.7% Int%. That's third-best in the league behind Aaron Rodgers (1.4%) and Ben Roethlisberger (1.6%)
[(Missed Tackles Rush + Missed Tackles Rec) / (Rushes + Receptions)] * (Yards per Carry after Contact / Att. * 100)
One of the points I made several times during the season (of which I surprisingly caught a lot of flak for) was how impressed I was watching Felix continue to move his legs after contact. The man is a fighter. He comes in ranked 10th in the league in Elusive Rating. Felix averaged an impressive 2.4 Yards After Contact on 528 touches. Combined with his 78 missed tackles caused, he earned a Rating of 35.4.
One interesting note... well, I'll let PFF tell it.
Tashard Choice has forced both the fewest missed tackles (18), and has the lowest yards after contact average (1.5) in the study.
Jason Witten is a rock star; regardless of whether you think last season was the start of a decline or not. He led all tight ends in targets (by 15) with 353. He led all tight ends in catchable balls (by 45) with 280. Then he turns around and has the second-best drop rate for the positio; only losing 4.6%. The leader over the three years is not even signed with a current team (Jeremy Shockey).
As for wideouts, no current Cowboy made the list; although the worst drop rate list is headed up by current free agent Roy E. Williams.
Felix Jones checks in on the list of running backs as the ninth best, 105 catchable balls and only five drops for a 4.8% drop rate.
Tackling Efficiency (Solo Tackles + Assists + Misses / Missed Tackles = TE)
System shock. For all the problems the Cowboys inside linebacking corps developed over the last season and a half; they were some sure tacklers. OK, maybe Keith Brooking was being dragged five miles downfield, but he held on!
Bradie James ranked third in TE for linebackers from '09-'11 with 2,245 snaps, 199 tackles, 49 assists and only 11 missed tackles for a rating of 23.5.
Keith Brooking checked in at 14 with 2,116 snaps, 185 tackles, 34 assists and only 15 missed tackles for a 15.6 rating.
2011 Form. Analysis Number Of Backs Part II | Football Outsiders
In Part One of the series, FO looked at how teams fared in one-back vs. multi-back formations. As we all know, Dallas' running game was much more effective when the team had a lead blocker paving the way for the lead back. Dallas' DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average; metric that measures how well a player/team performed compared to how an average player/team would have against the same defenses in the same game situations) percentage went way up. In one-back sets, Dallas was 31st in the league, with a negative 16.7% DVOA. With two-backs, Dallas jumped up to 15th (-8.8%). Of course, Dallas' run game is predicated on the two-back, and they ran out of the preferred formation 70% of their run plays.
Part II looks at how well team's defenses fared against the one and two-back sets of the opposing offenses. For the second consecutive year, Dallas was one of the teams that faced the two-back set the fewest times.
Dallas had one of the worst DVOA's against multi-back sets, but saw the formations fewer than the majority of squads.
The teams that saw the fewest multiple-back sets also tend to clump together a bit. In 2011, the teams that saw under 40 percent of runs against them come from multiple-back sets included Dallas, Miami, Kansas City, and Oakland. In 2010? Miami was the only one, but if we scale back a little bit to hit 45 percent, we find Washington, Kansas City, New England, the Jets, and Baltimore. Again, this seems to tie into a trend we pointed out in our play-action defense post: the 3-4 defense. Every one of those teams besides Oakland is at least a hybrid defense, if not a pure 3-4.
Both articles are interesting reads; I highly recommend them during the doldrums of these final few weeks before training camp.