Orlando Scandrick has been a pleasant surprise in Dallas.
27.4: That's how many points the Cowboys are averaging per game, which ranks third in the NFL. I would not have guessed that Dallas would have more points scored than the Patriots, the Saints and the Eagles, but it's true.
6: It helps that this is the total number of touchdowns the Cowboys have scored on defense and special teams, which is tied with Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis for the league lead.
+12: That's the Cowboys' turnover differential, which ranks second to only the Kansas City Chiefs (plus-14). Dallas hasn't finished a season with a turnover differential that positive since 1981.
|1981||+18||12-4||Lost NFC championship|
|1971||+16||11-3||Won Super Bowl|
|1973||+13||10-4||Lost NFC championship|
|1970||+11||10-4||Lost Super Bowl|
Pro Football Reference
9.8: That's the percentage of passes on which Romo has thrown the ball 20 yards or more, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which is the second-lowest rate in the league among quarterbacks who have taken at least 50 percent of their teams' snaps. It's probably not a coincidence that Smith is the only guy with a lower rate here. Romo's got seven touchdowns, a single pick and the league's 11th-highest accuracy percentage on those throws, but he's not getting enough chances to go deep.
20.8: That's the average number of times the Cowboys have run the ball per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. They're averaging 4.1 yards per carry, which is also the league average, but they've ditched the run far too often. In fact, according to TeamRankings.com, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland and Miami are the only teams in football that have thrown the ball more than 65 percent of the time this season. Excluding the 'Boys, those teams are 13-23.
|Attempts per game (rank)||Yards per attempt (rank)||Run play % (rank)|
|2013||20.8 (31st)||4.1 (16th)||34.7 (30th)|
Pro Football Reference
75.6: That's the percentage of catches Cole Beasley has made on the 41 throws Romo has targeted him on this season, according to PFF. That's the highest rate in the league among receivers who have been targeted at least 40 times.
5,059: This is the total number of yards the Cowboys have surrendered on defense this season, which is the highest in the NFL. They're on pace to give up 6,745 yards, which would be the third-highest total in NFL history. But Dallas has 25 takeaways on D, which explains why the 303 points they've given up ranks 22nd. Only the Seahawks, the Panthers and the Chiefs have forced more turnovers.
* Current pace (Pro Football Reference)
9: That's Jason Hatcher's sack total, making him one of only two defensive tackles with nine or more sacks. He's already hit a career high there and is ranked by PFF as the fifth-best player in the league at his position.
1.47: This is the number of yards opposing backs are averaging against the Cowboys between five and 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, which according to Football Outsiders is the second-highest mark in the NFL. It goes to show how much they've missed Sean Lee as well as how much Bruce Carter has struggled. Carter has the third-worst PFF run defense grade among 4-3 outside linebackers.
73.8: That's the average passer rating opposing quarterbacks have posted when throwing Orlando Scandrick's way this season. Overall, Scandrick has been graded by PFF as the 10th-best corner in terms of coverage and has emerged as the most reliable cover man on the Cowboys roster. He and Darrelle Revis are the only corners in football who have given up fewer than 0.85 yards per cover snap on a minimum of 400 snaps. Considering that Morris Claiborne has been a bust, that has saved this defense.
Min. 300 snaps (Pro Football Focus)
7.4: This is Travis Frederick's run-blocking grade from PFF, which is the fourth-highest mark among qualifying centers. Not bad for a rookie who was considered to be a major reach at the bottom of the first round.
79.5: That's the offensive line's overall pass-blocking efficiency rating, per PFF, which ranks sixth in the league. A breakout year from Smith, the emergence of Frederick and a bounce-back year from Doug Free have all contributed. Since PFF started with that metric in 2008, Dallas has never finished that high.