Can Cowboys and Dak Prescott generate first downs aga

in Hähnchen-Stammtisch 01.12.2018 02:25
von panxing18 • 456 Beiträge

inst Texans like they did against Lions? What if I told you there’s a stat that accurately correlates with Dak Prescott’s QB record in 33 out of 36 games?The game of football is predicated on “moving the sticks” to achieve a new set of downs. And Dak Prescott’s ability or inability to move the sticks is a key driver of the Cowboys’ W/L record. We measure QBs by all sorts of real and made-up stats Authentic Demarcus Lawrence Jersey , but there is no readily available stat that measures a QB’s ability to move the sticks.The simplest way to do that is to add up a QB’s passing and rushing first downs and divide them by his number of dropbacks and runs. The resulting QB first-down percentage (or 1D%) may not be perfect, but it removes some of the inconsistencies that plague some other stats, i.e. it does not reward a QB for completing a 15-yard pass on 3rd-and-16, nor does it reward the QB for throwing a screen pass the RB takes 80 yards for a TD. On the downside, because it’s about first downs, it tends to undervalue QBs from big-play offenses, and tends to reward QBs who are able to sustain long methodical drives.Let’s take Dak Prescott’s rookie season to illustrate the 1D% stat. Per Pro-Football-Reference.com, Prescott had 186 passing first downs on 483 dropbacks (458 pass attempts + 25 sacks), and 21 rushing first downs on 44 runs (excluding kneel-downs). In total, that’s 207 first downs on 527 plays, a 39.3 QB 1st down percentage. In 2016, that was the second-best value in the league, second only to Matt Ryan. When we originally looked at 1st-down percentage in detail in a post at the start of the 2017 season, we had just 17 games worth of data to work with for Dak Prescott. Today we have 36 games worth of data, and we can see a stunning correlation:When Dak Prescott has a 1st-down percentage of 30% or higher, the Cowboys are 23-2.When Dak Prescott has a 1st-down percentage below 30%, the Cowboys are 1-10.Here’s a visual summary of Prescott’s 36 NFL games to date; wins are marked in green, losses in yellow, the red line marks the 30% first-down percentage threshold.The three games that are outliers:Game 20 (Week 4, 2017): Prescott puts up a 1D% of 34.1% in the loss against the Rams.Game 21 (Week 5 Womens Connor Williams Jersey , 2017): Cowboys lose to the Packers despite a 43.9% 1D% by Prescott. Game 28 (Week 13, 2017): Cowboys win despite a subpar (28.6%) performance by Prescott against the Redskins.In every other game, the first-down percentage accurately correlated with the outcome of the game.And that has carried over to 2018, where the 30% threshold was accurate in all four games: Admittedly, that Giants game is exactly on the 30% mark and could have gone either way, but the Cowboys got lucky in that Eli Manning proved even more inept at moving the sticks with a 24.5% first-down percentage.A breakdown of Dak Prescott’s 1D% numbers through the first four games might be even more instructive. The following table lists Prescott’s numbers by target: The tiering here echoes something we saw last week in a post on Expected Points Added (which is no surprise, given that both EPA and 1D% place a premium on first downs, unlike more blurry metrics like success rate, YPA, or passer rating). Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, and Deonte Thompson are the receivers who move the sticks at an above average rate, Terrance Williams, Geoff Swaim and Allen Hurns are around average, everybody else is below average (even if we run into sample size issues with the remaining pass targets).The data here covers all four games, so even if a player like Ezekiel Elliott had a great game as a receiver against the Lions, that doesn’t remove the subpar performance he had as a receiver in the first three games. Obviously, the hope here is that the Lions game is more indicative of the future performance of the offense than the first three games are. And if we isolate the performance against the Lions, the future looks bright for the Cowboys’ receiving corps. Here are the receivers who were targeted more than once in the Lions game - and keep in mind that the Lions were the No. 1 pass defense heading into the game against Dallas. The Cowboys finally found a way to use Elliott much more effectively in the passing game, Beasley was his usual effective self http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/geoff-swaim-jersey , Swaim and Hurns were also effective for a change, and only rookie Michael Gallup didn’t have good numbers. But overall, that’s a promising performance from this group of receivers, even if we had to wait until the fourth game to see it. At its core, football is about gaining at least 10 yards in three tries, and 1D% gives you a good idea of how successful a QB (and by extension the entire offense) is at at achieving a new set of downs.The Houston Texans have allowed opposing QBs a 1st-down percentage of 38.5% over the first four games of the season, and those opposing QBs included two pocket statues in Tom Brady and Eli Manning. If the Texans allow Prescott a 38.5% first-down percentage, the stats suggest the Cowboys should have a winning record after Sunday. Dak Prescott has the fewest throws of at least 15 yards down the field among quarterbacks who have played all three games this season.It isn't really news to the leader of the Dallas Cowboys."I don't think we've just attacked that area enough, simple as that," Prescott said after a 24-13 loss to Seattle on Sunday. "I don't necessarily say they're taking it away as much as we haven't tried them enough. You can put it on me. I guess I just need to push the ball down the field more."Whether it's play-calling, blocking or a group of receivers looking woefully ill-equipped to replace the All-Pro version of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys' passing game is broken — even when Ezekiel Elliott has his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.Prescott, who has completed just three of 10 passes at least 15 yards downfield, had his fifth straight game of fewer than 200 yards with at least 25 passes going back to last season. The Cowboys haven't had that long a run of inefficiency in the passing game in 15 years.If it's any consolation, Quincy Carter-led Dallas made the playoffs despite that ineptitude in 2003, although those Cowboys were quickly bounced in the wild-card round because of their stagnant offense.These Cowboys (1-2) don't look anything like a playoff team with this offense. They play Detroit (1-2) on Sunday at home with the Lions coming off a stirring win at home against New England."I don't see anybody in that room that will accept that we can't do better offensively no matter what the conditions are — on the road or otherwise," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "It's pretty obvious that all day long, we were disjointed and just couldn't make it happen."Cole Beasley is the only receiver with 100 yards for the season (132). Newcomer Deonte Thompson, supposedly a speed threat on the outside, is averaging 9.2 yards on nine catches.Tavon Austin Authentic Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , acquired in a trade during the draft, has the only catch of more than 20 yards — a 64-yard touchdown on the third play of Dallas' win over the New York Giants. His other four catches are for 17 yards.Austin has the only two receiving touchdowns for Dallas. The second was on a 3-yard shovel pass with the Cowboys trailing the Seahawks 24-6 in the fourth quarter.Geoff Swaim has been solid trying to replace 15-year tight end Jason Witten, who retired to go into broadcasting. He led the Cowboys with five catches for 47 yards against the Seahawks."We have to be more efficient and we have to be more explosive throwing the ball," coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "There are a lot of components to it. There's a protection component. There's a decision-making component. There's a throw and catch component. There's a winning on the route component."With 127 yards, Elliott had his best rushing total since before his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations last season. But the 2016 All-Pro had two of the biggest mistakes of the game.First, Elliott stepped out of bounds before making the catch on what would have been a tying 31-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Then he fumbled at the end of a 26-yard run — his longest of the season — to kill a promising drive early in the fourth quarter.Elliott's mistakes will be magnified until more playmakers, if any, emerge around him. None of the receivers or tight ends appears close to doing that so far."People can say whatever, but at the end of the day, but you know, when you've got that ball in your hand, that's the team in your hand," Elliott said. "Me being a leader on the team, I've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I mean, that cost us the game."Elliott still isn't getting much help from the passing game, though.NOTES: Garrett said LB Sean Lee was sidelined against the Seahawks by tightness to his hamstring that wasn't injured going into the game. He had been limited during the week by a hamstring injury.Corrects score from previous version to 24-13 instead of 23-14.

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