Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Football 301: Targets and Sacks - Week 8

Another week, and another chance for us to see where Tony Romo wants to go with the football. Also, who do we blame for the sacks? Let's examine closely:

Target Distribution:

Targets - Week 8 vs. Seattle

Table Tutorial

So, you throw the ball to Miles Austin 9 times. 2 Pass Interferences for 31 yards, 5 catches for 61 yards. 6 First Downs and a Touchdown. Dallas, you have a #1 WR, he is from Monmouth. He is Miles Austin.

Meanwhile, 2 for 7 for Roy.

Season Target Distribution To Date:


Table Tutorial

Last week we told you only 3 players in the NFL who had 30 targets had a worse close rate than Roy Williams. 1 was Chris Chambers and he was cut yesterday by San Diego. So, now there are 2. Michael Clayton and Chansi Stuckey.

Only 1 player for the Cowboys catches less than 50%. Only 1 player for the Cowboys catches less than 40%. And the most amazing thing of it all is that people seriously try to tell me that the Cowboys aren't using him right. When a guy catches 14 of 37 passes, he should be happy that they are still using him at all. There is no way to sugar-coat this.

3rd Down Target Distribution:

3RD Down Targets - Week 8 - Seattle

Table Tutorial

On 3rd downs on Sunday, Tony Romo was 6-8 for 6 first downs to all players who do not wear #11. He was 0-3 for 0 first downs to all players who do wear #11. I'm sorry to continue with this theme, but I am trying to demonstrate that it is likely not the QBs issue here.

3rd Down Targets - Season Totals

Table Tutorial

I bet you didn't know that Patrick Crayton is Romo's most likely target on 3rd down, did you? And Witten is 9 for 9 on the money down. And Austin is closing the deal on a regular basis, too. And, uh, 2 for 11, 18%.


This is odd, a pretty clean day save for 2 sacks from the back-up Middle LB for the Seahawks. David Hawthorne, the TCU product will not likely have many 2 sack days, but he saved it for his homecoming. Thankfully, he did not hurt Romo when he sacked him as Flozell enjoyed a beverage on the sideline, with the Cowboys up, 38-10.

2Q - 1/10/S36 - S11, with Witten off Left Tackle, Felix to Romo's right out of shotgun. Romo calls out the middle LB and tries to set the protection against what he sees. But, Seattle has something somewhat exotic here where their RDE (Over Witten) drop into coverage, and the MLB (57 Hawthorne) delays his blitz behind the OLB occupying Jones, and the LDE 97 Kerney (Over Colombo) crashing down on Leonard Davis - the idea here is to overload one side, while the other side has nobody to block. Colombo pauses for a brief moment and 2nd guesses who he should be blocking. When he sees Hawthorne blitzing, he gets back, but his feet are not set, and the LB gets a shoestring sack that Colombo is not happy about. One of the real goals of any defense is to cause some level of uncertainty among the OL about who should be blocking who. Mission accomplished on this particular play, but Colombo was still in position and just got beat.

This is basically the 1st time the Cowboys' RT has been on the scene for a sack since the Carolina game. Both times, it was a blitzing LB who did the damage from the inside. Colombo has not been beat on the edge yet, which is awfully impressive for a tackle.

4Q - 1/10/D13 - "21" personnel, and this is that spot of the game where the Cowboys have taken out Flozell Adams, but not Tony Romo. And to the amazement of us all, despite being up 28, despite a back-up LT getting his first work of the year, and despite poor field position, Garrett calls a pass on 1st and 10! The Cowboys has 82 off RT and out in route. Marion Barber, also snakes out in a route. Deon Anderson is helping the LT Doug Free get his man blocked up.

The Seahawks just rush 5, and honestly, this is nothing more than Hawthorne delaying his blitz for a moment to once again get all of the Cowboys engaged in a block, and then when they are occupied, he shoots the A gap between Kosier and Gurode and Romo never had a chance. I am going to suggest this one is on Gurode (although I will call around and make sure) because Kosier has a man engaged and is busy. Gurode looks over and helps Davis, but Davis is fine and doesn't need help. Meanwhile, Hawthorne goes right past Gurode and nails Romo. Words can not express how lucky the Cowboys are that their QB didn't get hurt here.

Wk 1TampaBarberRomo awareness
Wk 3CarolinaDavisAdams?
Wk 3CarolinaBeasonFelix/Colombo
Wk 4DenverDumervilAdams
Wk 4DenverHillGarrett?
Wk 4DenverWilliamsRomo
Wk 4DenverDumervilAnderson
Wk 4DenverHolidayAdams
Wk 5Kansas CityGilberryDavis/Choice
Wk 7AtlantaDeCoudDavis/Choice
Wk 7AtlantaNicholasAnderson
Wk 8SeattleHawthorneColombo
Wk 8SeattleHawthorneGurode

Table Tutorial

For the season, the Cowboys have surrendered 13 sacks in 230 pass attempts, for 1 sack every 17.7 pass attempts. 13 sacks is the 10th fewest in football, with the Colts leading with just 5 sacks against Peyton Manning, and Green Bay with the worst rate, with 31 sacks allowed in just 7 games, and Aaron Rodgers gets sacked once every 7.3 pass attempts. How Rodgers is not out for the year with a serious injury is amazing.


Anonymous said...

Sure Roy is underachieving.

But at this point the team is doing fine without him. His attitude is good and he's not pouting, being a distraction or dogging it in other aspects of game.

The question will be can he maintain this disposition as the pressure gets turned up every week on his lack of production, regardless of how the overall team (and Miles Austin) performs. If there's even a hint of discontent, Ed Werder will set up a cot at Valley Ranch with his big spoon to stir it up.

Jeremy Bensley said...

I'm not a big fan of Roy Williams and I agree that he's been a disappointment during the time he's been here. That being said, while the numbers for this week show 2 for 7, it doesn't show that at least two of those balls were difficult / impossible to catch, either behind or over the head of #11.

Not defending his overall performance this season, but as far as the Seattle game is concerned 4 for 7 would look a ton better than 2 for 7 if Romo had hit his mark on those passes.

Justin said...

I agree. It seems that Romo saves his most off target, uncatchable passes for Roy - like that splenectomy he served up against Denver - then can't miss receivers #2-10.

Although, Whitten had a couple of easy drops too.

Not to take away from what all the receivers have been doing, but the Roy bashing is getting tedious. He doesn't pout, he gets upfield and blocks on every play.

Sturminator said...

But, men, the variables are the same for everyone. They all have the same exact QB. The same OL. The same plays called. The same velocity. The sample size is huge (80 passes as a Cowboy). He had the lowest pass catch % in 2008 and in 2009? How can we continue to alibi for the mountain of evidence that suggests he is not very good right now? Can it change? I would think/hope so, but let's not act like these numbers don't reveal some things.

Are you charging Romo is trying to sabotage him?

I appreciate his effort/attitude for the most part, but he simply must do better.

Jay Beerley said...

I totally agree that the Williams production from the wide-out position has to change. And mostly it's because of the money we're paying him. Get some separation. I'd like a study to see how defenses are playing him (hint, hint)

However, his blocking is OUTSTANDING! I say it's a huge part of why our running game is so good. What is his drops number?

Anonymous said...

I agree that his production should improve.

And I hope it's something the team continues to address and work on. After all, Jerry knows better than anyone how much RW is costing since he's signing the gamechecks.

But what I don't think helps the situation is the fans and media turning up the heat expecting the staff or RW to answer to them for his lack of production. That's just the kind of distracting firestorm we don't need around here this year when the team is starting to gain some momentum.

If Miles Austin hadn't emerged as at #1 threat that opens the offense up, it would be a fair topic. But at this point, let's ride this thing out.

Heck, the happiest person out of all this has to be Austin and his upcoming contract negotiation.