Let’s take a break from the discussions of whether Tony Romo helped or hurt with his statement, who really should be the starting quarterback, and if the weak schedule played so far has made the 8-1 start for the Dallas Cowboys a bit of a mirage. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that this team has already done some phenomenal things. And not just good this year. We are talking all-time numbers.
So let’s take a moment and get pumped up about what has happened so far, and the promise it holds for the rest of the season with a compilation of notable facts and figures about the 2016 Cowboys.
A successful offensive play is...— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) November 18, 2016
1. If 1st/2nd down, gains half the distance needed for a 1st down.
2. If 3rd/4th down, gains 1st down.
Top 10 teams in successful offensive play%:— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) November 18, 2016
This is a great bit of info because it is not about who is responsible, but just the results. This Cowboys team is just incredibly efficient when it has the ball. And while we are looking at Mr. Bussel’s numbers, here are more.
Detrimental play is:— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) November 18, 2016
1.1st/2nd down:gains less than 1/3 of yds needed for 1st (puts offense behind schedule)
2.3rd/4th down:Doesn't gain 1st
Best teams in avoiding detrimental plays:— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) November 18, 2016
Goes hand in hand with the first list, but also shows how Dallas stays out of trouble on offense.
Teams with highest % of detrimental plays (worst team on bottom):— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) November 18, 2016
Just wanted to include this, because that next to last team is coming to AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Just sayin’.
Only the 2nd rookie duo in @NFL history to have at least 2,000 passing yards & 1,000 rushing yards in a season. #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/JJnTh7vGeZ— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 14, 2016
You can’t talk about this season without acknowledging how Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott, the two super-rookies, have taken the league by storm.
Ezekiel Elliott: 1st player to score 2 go-ahead TD in final 2 min. of 4th quarter of same game since Ahmad Rashad in 1974 (via @EliasSports) pic.twitter.com/rTxLyByV8G— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 14, 2016
Most rushing yards first 9 career games:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 14, 2016
Eric Dickerson: 217 for 1,096
Adrian Peterson: 169 for 1,081
Ezekiel Elliott: 198 for 1,005
Ezekiel Elliott is the first rookie RB to have 60-plus yard TD run and 80-plus yard TD catch in a single season since Gale Sayers in 1965— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 14, 2016
Look at the names Zeke is being compared to in those last two.
Qb first yrs— #DaksOutForHarambe (@Adudebutnotabro) November 14, 2016
And Dak is in some pretty good company, too.
Dak Prescott is the 3rd QB since 1950 (Dieter Brock, Ben Roethlisberger) to win 8 of his first 9 games (min. 10 ATT) https://t.co/MBJuuv9nLr pic.twitter.com/jwNv8FLOZh— ProFootballReference (@pfref) November 14, 2016
And don’t forget the immortal Dieter Brock (no, I have no clue who that is).
The Cowboys have built the most quarterback friendly system in the NFL. 161 rush yards per week and fewest pass attempts in league. Amazing— Ben Rogers (@BenRogers) November 14, 2016
A reminder of how it all works together. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and those are some danged fine parts to begin with.
Highest-graded NFL RBs this season:— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 16, 2016
1. Ezekiel Elliott, 85.2
2. Jay Ajayi, 81.2
3. Melvin Gordon, 80.6
4. DeMarco Murray, 80.1 pic.twitter.com/O3LGAGXSBB
Ezekiel Elliott with 8+ defenders in the box: 93 carries for 427 yards (4.6 YPC) and 5 TDs.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) November 18, 2016
Mind blowing stats: Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott
This is a compilation of ten numbers in a photo essay. All of them are good. VERY good.
There are still seven games to play (at least), and the Cowboys will have to continue to perform well if they are to take things deep into the playoffs this season, but the numbers and accomplishments so far, particularly for the two stud rookies, are simply incredible. So take a moment to enjoy where the team is, and how different things are this year after the misery of 2015. It has been a fantastic ride so far, and hopefully, it is far from over.