## 2012 season review- whose fault is it anyway? or "The Number 24"

With all the talk about drafting offense or defense first, whether Romo deserves his contract, and the fuss about Ware's "Put up or Shut up" comments, I got to thinking....Is there a way to tell who's fault last year really was? Was the defense the problem? Or, maybe it was Romo and the offense, and that contract really was a bad idea. Of course, there will be a lot of blame to go around. I took a look at it from what I think is a unique angle.

My completely random and personal criteria for whether or not a unit (offense or defense) succeeded or not is going to be the number 24. This is not scientific, it is of my own creation. And, obviously things like special teams scores could skew the following results, but bear with me.

I feel that if the defense holds the opponents to 24 points or less, the team should be able to win that game.

Likewise, I think if the offense scores 24 points or more, the team should be able to win. Obviously, if both units accomplish the task, then victory is certain.

Once again, I understand the flaws in this method, but there are things to learn from it.

So, I broke down last season in the following table:

 Week Ours Theirs Win? What happened? 1 24 17 Yes Both Won 2 7 27 No Both Lost 3 16 10 Yes Defense Won 4 18 34 No Both Lost 5 bye bye bye bye 6 29 31 No Defense Lost 7 19 14 Yes Defense Won 8 24 29 No Defense Lost 9 13 19 No Offense Lost 10 38 23 Yes Both Won 11 23 20 Yes Defense Won 12 31 38 No Defense Lost 13 38 33 Yes Offense Won 14 20 19 Yes Defense Won 15 27 24 Yes Both Won 16 31 34 No Defense Lost 17 18 28 No Both Lost

Again, if the offense scores 24+ and loses, then the defense is said to have lost the game, since the offense did it's job and the defense didn't. Like wise, like in week7, if the offense scores only 19, but the defense bails them out, then the defense is said to have won the game for the team.

What can we learn from this? Well, nothing 100% concrete, but the biggest thing I take away from it is that we kind of live and die by the defense. There were only 2 occurrences where the offense either went way above and beyond to win (week 13), or really blew a good defensive performance (week 9).

The defense, on the other hand, was the lone culprit or hero on eight occasions. The D took things into their own hands and bailed the offense out on 4 occasions, holding the opponents to 20 points or less each time to give Romo and Co. some wiggle room. However, they also blew it 4 times. Those are the losses the are hard to take, when the offense scores 29, 24, 31, and 31 and still walk away with L's.

If I had more time, I'd delve into turnovers and special teams scores to get a clearer picture, but I don't. So for now, I guess my personal conclusion is that if the defense is healthy and can play well consistently, I think the offense can score enough to win games.

Also, I think we'd all like to see more "Both Won" entries in that last column.

Lastly, three of the eight losses last year came when "Both Lost." Those are the toughest for me to watch I think, when neither unit shows up for the game.

So, once again, this was a simple, fun exercise, but I think the table above does show some interesting trends.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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