Dallas Cowboys: Stats That Matter Headed into Week 9

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistOctober 31, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 28:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after being hit by Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 29-26. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Stats don't often tell the whole story, but most are relevant when put into context. Here are four stats related to the Dallas Cowboys that help explain why they stand where they do heading into Week 9 of the 2012 NFL regular season.

 

3: That's how many combined catches Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks had against either Brandon Carr or Morris Claiborne Sunday, according to Pro Football Focus. Eli Manning targeted those two a combined seven times against those defenders, but they only had a grand total of 18 yards on those seven throws. It was Carr's second-best performance of the season and the best performance of Claiborne's career, per PFF. Breakout performance for that duo.

 

3.8: That's the Cowboys' adjusted sack rate on offense, per Football Outsiders. That's the second-lowest rate in football and is way down from the 6.1 percent sack rate they put up in 2011. Tony Romo was sacked 2.3 times per game last year, but that number has dropped to 1.9 this season. Kind of surprising when you consider how horrendous this offensive line looked in the preseason. With Mackenzy Bernadeau stepping up and Phil Costa looking good when healthy, Doug Free might be the only weak link remaining on the line.

 

-11: That's the Cowboys' turnover ratio after going minus-4 against the Giants Sunday. Only the train-wreck Kansas City Chiefs have a worse ratio this year. The Pittsburgh Steelers made the playoffs with a minus-13 ratio last year, but generally it's close to impossible for teams to get into the postseason with a double-digit ratio in the red. 

 

4.5: That's how many yards per attempt Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson averaged against a Cowboys defense missing Sean Lee Sunday. Not great, but not terrible either. Throw in that New York's backs caught zero passes and tight end Martellus Bennett caught only three passes for 17 yards against Dan Connor, Bruce Carter and Gerald Sensabaugh, and it doesn't appear as though Lee's absence hurt the 'Boys against the Giants.

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