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Fun With Numbers: Dallas Cowboys Defensive Line Heading Into The Playoffs

A look at Dallas' defensive line using advanced stats.

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas fans are in unanimous agreement; we need more defensive line help. A call for pass rush the past few years is almost as loud as the call for offensive line help three years ago. So how is our defensive line looking? Let's find out!

Quick note: Please remember, this is purely for fun. Small sample size makes drawing inferences from these numbers a challenge if not outright impossible. All numbers come from Pro Football Focus.

  • Only two defensive linemen played 50% or more of the snaps; Jeremy Mincey and Nick Hayden. In 2013 four players played 50% or more snaps, DeMarcus Ware, George Selvie, Jason Hatcher and Nick Hayden.
  • On 184 run snaps Tyrone Crawford recorded 18 tackles and 16 "stops". That stop rate was the 19th highest among defensive tackles.
  • Henry Melton was by far the worst defensive tackle against the run posting four stops on 108 tackles for a stop rate of 3.7%. Only six defensive tackles out of 82 posted a worse mark.
  • On the flip side Melton had a pass rush pressure percentage of 8.2% tied for ninth in the league with Aaron Donald.
  • Tyrone Crawford had a 7.3% pass rush percentage, good for 16th in the league.
  • Nick Hayden had a 2.4% pass rush percentage, good (bad?) for 67th in the league.
  • Let's talk about small snap counts. In 4 run snaps Josh Brent had two tackles and 1 stop.  That's crazy good production.
  • But Kenneth Boatwright was even better. In 3 run snaps he recorded a tackle and a stop, good for a run stop percentage of 33%.
  • Brent and Boatwright were 2nd and 3rd in the league in run stop percentage.
  • Jeremy Mincey was Dallas's best pass rushing end, with a pass rush percentage of 9.9%. That number was good for 13th in the league and tied with Osi Umenyiora. That number was better than both DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen.
  • George Selvie was our best strong side pass rusher. From the left side Selvie posted a pass rush percentage of 7.4%. Mincey posted a 5.6% and Anthony Spencer posted a 5.3%.
  • DeMarcus Lawrence did not qualify for the 25% snap threshold, but was the best pass rusher in the league from the left side. On 17 snaps he posted five total pressures for a PRP score of 22.1.
  • Tyrone Crawford did not qualify for the 25% snap threshold at defensive end, but was our best pass rusher at the position. On 60 pass rushing snaps he posted a PRP score of 13.8 good for 5th in the league.
  • Anthony Spencer was our best defensive end against the run. On 110 run snaps he posted 11 tackles and nine stops for a run stop percentage of 8.2, good for 14th in the league.
  • Jeremy Mincey was our worst defensive end against the run. On 261 run snaps he posted 12 tackles and 10 stops for a run stop percentage of 3.8, which ranked 70th in the league.
  • DeMarcus Lawrence only played 74 run plays, but ranked 50th in the league with a 5.4 run stop percentage.

Like I said, hard to draw any real conclusions from these numbers, especially with the low snap counts. What do you think BTB?

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