The Dallas Cowboys offensive and defensive lines are night and day

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys are sitting in the driver’s seat for the playoffs at 8-3, and while the offense is ranked highly, there are some odd things going on with the defensive and offensive lines. We’ve seen this team able to run on offense, but the passing has been up and down.

On defense, the pass rush is getting home often, but against the run, it has struggled. Looking at the “win rates” the lines are polar opposites in what they are good at.

The Dallas Cowboys’ offensive and defensive lines are on opposite ends of the spectrum in what they are good at, and what they are not.

Let’s explain the “win rates” to examine how the lines perform.

Pass-rush win rate is how often the pass rusher can beat his blocker within 2.5 seconds.

Run-stop win rate is:

"“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.”"

The first stat is the pass-rush win rate. The Cowboys lead the league with 45 sacks, an average of 4.1 sacks per game. They are sixth in hurry percentage, fourth in quarterback knockdown percentage, and first in pressures and pressure percentage. All of these stats put the Cowboys fourth in pass-rush win rate, and technically tied for third with the Broncos. The only teams with better rates are the Rams in first and Eagles in second, and it is close.

However, the run-stop win rate is a completely different story with the Cowboys. The team currently sits sixth worst at points expected by the defense. Basically, it means the run defense contributes -20.72 points, not great. They are ninth in yards per game given up, ninth in yards per rush given up, and eleventh in total yards given up. The Cowboys sit thirtieth in the league in run-stop win rate, only 2 percent above the bottom two teams, the Bengals and Chiefs.

The Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line

On offense, the run-block win rate is a really good seventy-four percent, good for third. The Cowboys are seventh in rushing yards, fourth in rushing touchdowns, seventh in yards per game, and ninth in expected points with 20.06 points added with the running game. The offensive line can run block, and run block well.

However, with all the offensive fireworks and rankings the pass-block win rate is the complete opposite of the run-block win rate. Right now the Cowboys sit tied for dead last with the Bengals and Colts in pass-block win rate with forty-seven percent.

Looking at the statistics, the Dallas Cowboys are sixteenth in yards per attempt in passing, seventeenth in passing touchdowns, twenty-second in passing yards, a complete opposite performance to their run-blocking.

Next. Dallas Cowboys: Where they stand and what lies ahead. dark

The Dallas Cowboys are winning, and at the end of the day that matters, but the team needs to be able to stop the run better and block in the passing game better as the playoffs start getting closer. It might be a little too late, but if Tyron can play again it should help with some of the pass blocking.

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For run defense, Dan Quinn has to figure out how to scheme against the run better. If they can become a more complete team, the Cowboys are a real threat this season.