Cowboys Stats: How Bad is the Cowboys Offense?


After consecutive Cowboys loses, many are left wondering if the problem is with the offense or defense. Today we take a statistical look at the offense.

The problem with the Cowboys offense varies depending who you are speaking with. Some pin it on an underachieving offensive line. Some say it’s quarterback Brandon Weeden’s fault. Still others say it’s the inability to replace DeMarco Murray that’s to blame.

Obviously, missing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant has a significant role in the offense’s decline, but beyond that, how is this offense doing? Arguments have been breaking out everywhere regarding this issue. Some say the offense is bad and some think it is good enough. So what’s the answer?

Before we really answer that, let’s look into the numbers for a moment:

The Dallas Cowboys offense is currently ranked #11 in the NFL, averaging 369 yards per game. Last season the offense averaged 376 yards per game so the fall off isn’t as severe as it seems, but when removing week one from the stats (The only game Romo and Bryant played together), the Cowboys are only averaging 347 yards per game.

An average of 347 yards per game would drop the Cowboys to #18 in the league, sandwiching them in between Oakland and Jacksonville. Nobody wants to be stuck between Oakland and Jacksonville in any category.

Yards per game verdict: That’s bad

Tracking yardage is cute, but the real number to track is scoring output, right? In points per game, the Dallas Cowboys are ranked #15, averaging 23.8 points. That’s down considerably from last season when the Cowboys averaged 28.4 points per game finishing in the top five in the NFL.

Again, removing week one from the equation we see the Cowboys are only at 22.7 points per game. A 22.7 average would rank the Cowboys #18 in the NFL (coincidentally the same as yards per game).

Points per game verdict: That’s also bad

Red Zone efficiency is something the Cowboys dominated in last season. When the Cowboys got into the red zone, they scored touchdowns. In fact, with a 64.91% red zone touchdown scoring percentage, the Cowboys ranked #2 in the NFL last season.

This season the Cowboys have a red zone touchdown scoring percentage of 57.14%. Once again, subtract week 1 where the Cowboys had Tony and Dez, and the Cowboys drop to 55.56%. That number ties them with #18 ranked Buffalo.

Red zone touchdown percentage: Still bad

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Finally we turn our attention to 3rd down conversion percentage. Last season, the Dallas Cowboys boasted one of the best 3rd down conversion rates in the NFL, converting 47.09% of them (2nd in the NFL). This season, the Cowboys are only converting 34.15% of their 3rd downs, that’s 25th in the NFL. Remove week one and they drop to 26.67%. That number would rank the Cowboys #31 (second to last), placing them less than 1% above the pathetic Eagles in last place.

3rd Down conversion percentage: Super bad

By the numbers, the Cowboys offense is clearly in the bottom half of the NFL and trending to go drop even lower in coming weeks. It’s hard to argue that the Cowboys offense is anything other than “bad”.

How bad is the Cowboys offense?

The numbers tell us it’s bad and it’s getting worse. There’s enough blame to spread around to all parties involved. The QB, the O-line, the RB committee, the coaching staff, and of course the injuries. Sure, the Cowboys offense is good enough to win games, but the numbers say they’re bad enough to lose more often than win. In other words, a sub .500 team without Romo and Dez.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the offense again but this time we’ll see if anything can be done to improve its performance. If not, a five game losing streak appears inevitable and this season may be over before it’s playmakers return.

Note: Statistical kudos goes out to for all of the numbers and rankings. 

Next: Cowboys @ Saints Film Review: Standouts and Observations

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