This is a follow up to the fanpost that looked at trends in run/pass balance across the NFL. In this post we look at the run/pass trend for Dallas.
The charts below show Dallas' pass ratio against the the NFL and the difference between Dallas' pass ratio and the average NFL pass ratio. I'll admit that I was surprised. I didn't realize that Dallas ended up passing 63% of the time in 2013. Especially as the expectation was that Callahan would run the ball more than Garrett.
In order to understand why Dallas ran so much, I thought it would be useful to look at how the games actually unfolded. To do that, I took the play by play data (currently there are 11 games as the play-by-play data is only available through week 12) and graphed the cumulative pass ratio against the score. Concretely, if Dallas starts with 2 runs, then 2 passes, the pass ratio at that point is 50% (2 passes / 4 total plays). If on the next play Dallas throws another pass, the pass ratio goes up to 60% (3 passes / 5 total plays).
Note: The green line is Dallas' pass ratio, the grey line Dallas' score (positive = Dallas ahead, negative = Dallas behind).
It looks like some of the increased passing was driven by Dallas falling behind in games. Out of the 11 games, we can see at least 4 where Dallas falls behind and the pass ratio starts increasing. The one game where Dallas ran a lot was the one where they had a huge lead. Maybe we can coin a new football cliche: teams need to establish a big lead to help the run game.
Dallas Pass NY/A
If you're interested, the links below will take you to the code that produced these charts.