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4 Point Stance: Giveth and the Taketh away

For any team, 22 individuals play football on Sundays (not including specialists). And 22 players have the chance to collect stats. But the one stat that bothers me the most is wins & losses. Only the QB and Head Coach collect this stat. And, granted, these 2 really impact the game the most. A timely play call or mistimed interception or fumble or decision to go for it on 3rd down all can lead to a win or loss. Still there are other stats that impact the game. Both positively and negatively.

I’d like to you guys to hear my case on which Stats are most impacted by the offseason moves using (4) points that lead me to a single conclusion, a metaphorical "4 point stance":

"Blue 80": Rushing Yards. Giveth: The 1st area of improvement would be directly tied to the health of Demarco Murray. A no-brianer, right? This is a guy who has gained 4+ YPC since he’s been in the league and its no coincidence that the offense runs smooth when he’s the feature back. The threat of a Murray led running game opens up the play-action pass to deadly effect. But where the real benefit comes is in the personage of Joseph Randle. Simply put, the Cowboys need him to be a huge upgrade over Felix Jones. Taketh Away: But the health of Jay Ratiff is the 2nd component. Switching to the 4-3 defense should put Ratliff in a outside shade position that allows him to play the run on the way to the QB. And he's a good run-stopper. By extension, Carter and Lee are freed up to fill the running lanes in the A & B gaps. Nuff said?

"Yellow 80": Then let’s talk sacks. Giveth: Sticking with A gap penetration switching to the 4-3, lets the DL play single gaps instead of 2-gapping and attack the QB. Attack! Not react, like the Ryan system. Again, Ratliff is the primary beneficiary of the change as the 3-tech and facing mostly single blocks. Taketh Away: Adding a big bodied center like Travis Frederick should translate to less A gap pressure. Less QB scrambles. And thankfully, less off-the-back-foot-throws-to-the-flat-where-the-Redskins-pick-off-the-ball-and-seal-the game-and-the division! {sigh} And lets not forget Ron Leary. My expectation is that Leary starts at one of the OG positions. Likely over Livings, which would be an upgrade? But even if Livings does start, having a full season under his belt and a full offseason should help. And if it does then…

"White 80": …Passing Yards will be up on offense. Giveth: Better pass protection in the A gap and an effective running game leads to more short yardage situations where the route tree is condensed. This is where the play-action pass is at its best drawing up the LB’s & S’s and letting Dez get free at medium to long depth. Look at the NO game from last season on Dez’s 58yard TD. Perfect. Or on short yardage, you can let Dez run a quick slant against the CB. Again, look at his 2nd 58 yard TD in the NO game. But we also Taketh away: Best quote of the year. Post game after his OT interception against Big Ben. Brandon Carr, "Yeah we play zone now. I just read the QB eyes and made a play". Carr and Claiborne will have plenty of chances at that in the new D, sit back in zone and attack the ball. Attack! Not react. But there will be a lot of press at the LOS too. Jamming the receivers and covering the flats. But watch for Lee and Carter too, now. These LB’s of ours are fast and athletic, so expect some turnovers there in the passing game. But it all comes down to…

"Go": …Wins and losses. Giveth: Do you know how many fourth quarter leads this team gave up during the Rob Ryan era? 7. I said 7! Wow. So instead of being 16-16 over the last 2 years we could have been 23-9? 2011: Jets (17), Lions (17), Pats (Game winning TD Drive), Cards (Game tying drive), Giants (14). 2012: Giants (6), Atl (13). {sigh}. Taketh away: I never had any issues with Garrett as the play caller expect this one. Score Touchdowns. And looking at Callahan’s Raiders teams they scored.

. (2) 1000 yards receivers, Murray – 1100 yards rushing, less than 25 sacks given up, 40 sacks on D and 10 – 6 NFC East Champions. Thoughts?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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