Here are some numbers from the Dallas Cowboys win over San Francisco you may have missed.
These number are going to seem like a real negative view for a team that put 41 points on the board. However, unaided by a turnover, the Cowboys offense only scored 10 points. They had 1 touchdown drive of 73 yards, and one drive for a field goal which only went 37 yards.
Other than that the Cowboys scored 3 touchdowns on drives of 22, 24, and 46 yards following a San Francisco turnover. They also scored a field goal following an interception when the offense was unable to gain a single yard on 3 plays.
Kudos for the offense for taking advantage of good field position, but without the 49ers mistakes the Cowboys would have lost this game.
0 – The number of opening drive touchdowns for the Dallas Cowboys offense on season.
Same stat, different game.
1.3 – The average yards gained on first down runs.
For the game the Cowboys actually passed more on first downs than they ran (13 pass plays to 11 run plays), but those runs were woefully unsuccessful.
Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore came out throwing the ball on 7 of the first 9 first downs in the game. Those passing plays gained an average of 9.4 yards per play. The 2 runs during that sequence gained 5 combined yards. Both of Andy Dalton’s touchdown passes came on first down play-action passes (3 and 12 yards respectively).
At his halftime interview, Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys needed to get back to running the ball. Well, the first 3 first downs of the 3rd quarter were runs: they went 1 yard, 1 yard, and -1 yard, for an average of 0.33 yards per run.
Even when not accounting Amari Cooper’s odd 11 yard loss on first down, the other 10 first down runs gained an average of only 2.5 yards. It is hard for an offense to get moving if they are constantly facing 2nd and 8 because of their inability to run it on first down.