Dallas Cowboys: Numbers, Trends, and Other Fun Facts

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Here are some numbers from the Dallas Cowboys games you may have missed.

0 – The number of touchdowns the Dallas Cowboys have scored on their opening possessions.

Same stat, different game.

42  – The number of wins Andy Dalton has at Paul Brown Stadium.

Dalton returned to the team that drafted him, and whom he played with for 9 seasons.  He is the all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns in Cincinnati Bengals’ history.

This 42nd win at this stadium was his first as a visitor

13 – Years since the Cowboys have recovered 3 fumbles in just one half.

The last time it happened was in 2007 during a game against the Washington Football Team.

3.2 – Average yards gained on 1st down runs (minus Zeke’s 26-yard run on 1st down in the 4th quarter).

One of the reasons the Cowboys had a difficult time converting 3rd downs was because they were constantly behind the chains.

Kellen Moore and Mike McCarthy called a well-balanced game with 10 passes to 11 runs on 1st downs.  However (not including Zeke’s 26 yarder), the runs only netted 3 yards on average while the passes netted 5 yards.

A “successful” 1st down is earning at least 50% of the yardage needed for a 1st down – so a successful play on 1st down is gaining 5+ yards most of the time.  If there is a holding call and a team faces 1st and 20, a successful 1st down play needs to gain 10 yards to be considered “successful”.

With all the analytics Mike McCarthy has claimed to have studied during his year off, he still does not seem to grasp that passing on 1st down is a far more successful play than running on 1st down.  Not to say that running on 1st down should be ignored (it absolutely should not be), but an NFL team in 2020 should be passing more than running on 1st and 10.

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53.33 – The percent of 3rd downs Cincy converted on the afternoon.

Coming into the game the Bengals’ offense had converted only 9/48 (18.8%) 3rd downs in their last 4 games without Joe Burrow.  It was very disconcerting to see Cincy continually get to 3rd down and continue to get a new set of downs.

Had Cincy been able to hold onto the ball, this defense may have been in a lot of trouble.  How an offense converts 6/7 3rd downs in a half and only scores 7 points is beyond me – they must’ve turned it over a lot.

0 – Amount of 3rd down conversions for the Cowboys in the 2nd half.

If you look at the box score you will see the Cowboys finished 5/11 on 3rd down: good for 45.5% which would be good for top 10 in the NFL for the 2020 season.  However, the Cowboys offense converted 5 of 6 3rd down opportunities in the first half, but went 0/5 in the 2nd.

The Cowboys failed to convert every one of their 2nd half opportunities: 3 yards (at the goal line), 2 yards, 8 yards, 8 yards, and 3 yards (converted the 4th down for a touchdown).

5.5 – Average yards to go on 3rd down.

This is one of the reasons that the Cowboys were having trouble converting 3rd downs.  It is difficult to continually convert 3rd and long.  The teams with great 3rd down conversion rates are the ones that tend to avoid 3rd and long altogether.

For instance, the Bengals average distance to go in the 1st half when they converted 6/7 3rd downs was just 2.1 yards, with never once facing a 3rd down longer than 5 yards.

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17 – points off 3 turnovers.  28 points off 12 total turnovers which works out to be 2.3 points per turnover.  This Dallas Cowboys team has consistently failed to make opponents pay for their mistake. Against Cincy, the Cowboys were able to more than double their typical output, scoring 5.67 points per turnover.

101 – The rushing yards for the Bengals on the afternoon.

The maligned Dallas Cowboys rushing defense may have felt they had a week off playing the worst rushing team in the NFL.  But the worst rushing team in the NFL could not stop the worst rushing offense from gaining over 100 yards on the ground.  There are some things that need to change with this defense.

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2Tyrone Crawford sacks in the game.  Also 2? – Tyrone Crawford’s sacks in 2020.

Per Spotrac, Crawford is making $8 million this season.  Since his primary function is to get after the quarterback, the Cowboys are currently paying him $4 million per sack.  If you think that is unacceptable, it is.  However, Demarcus Lawrence is making $17 million this season and has only 4.5 sacks.  That works out to the Dallas Cowboys paying him $3.8 million per sack.

Although it should be pointed out that D-Law gives the Cowboys much more than Crawford gives in the run game this season.

  • Published on 12/15/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 12/15/2020 at 09:54 AM