Dallas Cowboys: Stats That Matter Headed into Week 11
Stats don't often tell the whole story, but most are relevant when put into context. Here are three stats related to the Dallas Cowboys that help explain why they stand where they do heading into Week 11 of the 2012 NFL regular season.
0: That's how many turnovers the Dallas Cowboys have committed on offense the last two games after turning it over an NFC-high 19 times in their first seven. That's quite the transformation, and it explains why the 'Boys have turned a corner with a...um...1-1 record over that two-week span.
Tony Romo's now gone 68 passes without a pick, which is especially encouraging because he's also throwing it downfield more comfortably now than he was earlier in the year. This offense appears to be on the verge of exploding, and the impending return of DeMarco Murray could be the catalyst.
Should the Cowboys give Anthony Spencer a long-term contract?
12.1: That's Anthony Spencer's cumulative rating against the run this season, per Pro Football Focus—a number that ranks first in the NFL among 3-4 outside linebackers. Spencer takes a lot of heat for his lack of sacks, but sacks are overrated. In actual fact, he's one of the most underrated defensive players in football, and he's probably earned himself a rather large long-term contract with his superb play this season.
Everyone figured the Cowboys were screwed the moment Sean Lee was lost for the season, but they've survived, and the red-hot Spencer (who PFF also rates as the fourth-most productive pass rusher at his position) is a big reason why.
1.8: That's how many yards per rush Cowboys backs are gaining when running behind the right tackle this season, according to PFF. Using a different metric, Football Outsiders has determined that the 'Boys are the league's seventh-worst team when running in that area.
What this means, of course, is that right tackle Doug Free really sucks. This is factual. Both outlets also indicate that the 'Boys have struggled when running in the direction of the right guard, which isn't surprising considering how much Mackenzy Bernadeau has struggled this year. Dallas might have to search for a pair of new starters on the offensive line this offseason.
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