But, what if Miles Austin could catch 2 Touchdowns on a 7 yard day? How about Dez Bryant having an 8 yard afternoon, but also snagging a TD? So, 3 Touchdowns on 15 yards receiving from your two big threats? That would explain a day where your QB rating was off the charts for all involved.
Manage a game? If you can have a passer rating of 130, throw 3 TDs to 0 INTs, and constantly deliver on 3rd Down, you can win a game where your offense accumulates only 260 yards. The Cowboys proved it on Sunday. Efficiency is another way of saying they managed the game. They had no choice. Even one interception would have likely been enough to lose this game. So, let's credit Jon Kitna for doing what he did, but still understand that this recipe will not work very often. That means the Saints, Colts, and Eagles are not shaking in their boots after looking at this film.
Here are the numbers for Game 10:
Target Distribution: - Game 10 vs Detroit
3RD/4TH Down Targets - Week 10 vs Detroit
These season-to-date numbers really fascinate me. Again, not every play or throw is created equal, so you want to see a rather flat performance when you look at various splits. Miles Austin, for whatever reason, is unstoppable on 3rd and 4th down, but only very good on normal downs. Jason Witten is fine on all downs, but on 3rd Down, he is being locked down upon.
Then there is Dez Bryant. 121.5 on all downs, 120.8 on 3rd and 4th Down. There is virtually no difference between the splits. He is amazing no matter what the situation. I am very curious if he can keep this uncommon trend going.
Target Distribution - Season To Date
3RD/4TH Down Targets - Season To Date
Another remarkable item this season is the Cowboys QB performance on money downs. 92.6 overall is great, but on 3rd and 4th down, Romo and Kitna shoot up to 109.1 - a suggestion that the 3rd Down package is miles different from what it used to be. 2008, when 3 WR was a failure, it was Owens, Crayton, and Williams. Now, it is Austin, Dez, and Williams, and the 3 WR offense seems to be able to get where it wants much of the time.
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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