If you thought the Cowboys defensive line consisting of DeMarcus Lawrence, Everson Griffen, Aldon Smith, Trysten Hill, and Dontari Poe were going to give offenses around the league fits, think again.
Right now, the Cowboys are one spot away from being the worst team in the NFL in terms of pass-rush win rate, according to ESPN’s metric.
What is pass-rush win rate you may ask? Let ESPN describe how they come up with their percentages:
ESPN Analytics created revolutionary new metrics to measure performance in the trenches — in both the run and pass game — using player tracking data from NFL Next Gen Stats.
Our pass rush win rate metric tells us how often a pass-rusher is able to beat his block within 2.5 seconds. Likewise, our pass block win rate metric conveys the rate linemen can sustain their blocks for 2.5 seconds or longer.
The Cowboys are currently ranked 31st in the NFL in the pass-rush win rate category, and they aren’t looking much better in their run-stopping win rate, in which ESPN describes here:
In run stop win rate, a defender can earn a win by doing any of the following: beating his blocker so he’s in better position to stop the runner; disrupting the pocket or running lane by pushing his blocker backwards; containing the runner such that he must adjust his running lane; or recording a tackle within three yards of the line of scrimmage. If a defender earns a run stop win, his blocker earns a loss, and vice versa.
The Cowboys are currently tied for 31st in ESPN’s run-stopping win rate as well, giving the Cowboys defensive line a massive YIKES. The Cowboys have invested a lot of money and top 100 draft picks in their defensive line, and need that group to start playing a lot better if they want to find any success on that side of the football.
Aldon Smith has been very good in his return from his long layoff, and is actually leading the league in sacks at four. He hasn’t gotten much help as Demarcus Lawrence and Everson Griffen have yet to play up to their enormous potential. Until those two start firing on all cylinders, the Cowboys pass rush will lag behind the league in general.