Here we take a look where Cowboys' Quarterbacks were going with the football on Monday Night. As I mentioned on an earlier entry, I think it will be interesting to see how Jon Kitna throws the ball on Sunday against Jacksonville, because NFL opponents are going to be particularly interested in whether he will throw balls outside the numbers on the field. We see a giant night for Jason Witten against the Giants, and that is all well and good - but if you watch all of Kitna's completions, they were all to the middle of the field. Well, opponents are tracking this and if he cannot complete out routes and comebacks to the sidelines along with the occasional go routes down the sidelines, then the defense will compact the middle of the field and take away what he likes to do. When we say a QB can "make all of the throws" that means a 20 yard pass to the sideline from the middle of the field is merely a flick of the wrist. It is possible that Kitna still has that arm, but at 38, he is going to have to prove it.
And the reason this is so key? Brad Johnson could not make that throw anymore. And the Cowboys offense struggled to get to 14 points with him as a starter. Kitna will surely be able to do more, but he will need to prove it to Jack Del Rio early on Sunday to open things up.
Target Distribution: - Week 6 at New York
The 3rd and 4th Down performance on Monday was pretty much reduced to 1 positive play - #56 of 56. Without the 4th down Touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, there would be almost nothing but zeros here.
3RD/4TH Down Targets - Week 6 vs New York
An interesting trend is certainly emerging and quite surprising; Miles Austin started like a man possessed, but has had 2 extremely quiet games in a row and now has the 3rd highest passer rating amongst the WRs. Both Williams and Bryant have had more efficient performances for the season and that is likely a result of teams attempting to make Miles really work to get open in the spots of the field where he can do the most damage. Austin's QB Rating by game: 149.1 (Wash), 69.3 (Chi), 85.4 (Hou), 144.4 (Tenn), 47.9 (Minn), and 53.6 (NYG).
And now, your season in a nutshell:
Target Distribution - Season To Date
All things considered, the season-to-date work of Tony Romo on 3rd Down is remarkably solid. Expect to see a significant drop now with Kitna/McGee watching the store.
3RD/4TH Down Targets - Season To Date
DB Targets vs New York
Tough to see any real patterns here, where we track which DBs the Cowboys were looking to attack. With the chaotic nature of the game, it looked like Thomas was the early target, but as the game went on, it was pretty evenly spread from side to side and DB to DB:
|24 - Terrell Thomas||9|
|23 - Corey Webster||6|
|34 - Deon Grant||2|
|26 - Antrel Rolle||2|
Bob Sturm is host of BaD Radio on The Ticket 1310 AM Mondays through Fridays at 12-3 p.m. He also hosts The Ticket's Cowboys pregame show. Follow Bob on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan Bob offers his exclusive analysis after games on SportsDayDFW.com
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