Monday, January 03, 2011

Sacks - Game 16 - Eagles


We have discussed all year how sacks are not the "be-all, end-all" when it comes to pass protection. Often, the line that allows more sacks is actually the better line because their coaching staff trusts them enough to try a few things in the passing attack that the team with the fewer sacks would never try. But, they do keep these stats, and we do recognize the all important stat in the league:

"Only 7% of drives that contain sacks end in TDs".

There is no stat that matches that. Not penalties, not negative rush plays. Nothing.

The Cowboys allowed 31 sacks this season when it was all totaled. That, actually is not bad by NFL standards at all. In fact, it is 11th best in the NFL. But those of us who have watched this team know better.

The Cowboys allowed a sack every 18.6 pass attempts. Way better than Chicago (8.32!!! - How are they a #2 seed???), Philadelphia (11.22), and Washington (12.1). And way worse than the Manning brothers, Eli and the Giants (1 sack every 33.7 attempts) and Peyton and the Colts who are the annual gold standard in this category (1 every 42.4 pass attempts).

But regardless of what the numbers say, I believe we will all agree that this is an area where there is plenty of room for improvement.

Here are the final 2 sacks of 2010:

Play #12 - 1/10/24 - 22 - SACK -4

What Happened: "22" personnel, which means just 1 WR. So, when you go play action, you must get rid of the ball quickly and you have only about 1 place to throw the ball. McGee sees the Eagles have a Corner and a Safety on Austin, so he cannot get rid of it. Meanwhile, Jason Witten is not protecting very well against Dimitri Patterson, so it is tough to blame McGee for holding the ball. You have to give him at least a 2 count before your guy gets by you, and the Cowboys All-Pro TE has maybe his worst down of pass protection this season. It sure looks like he is sure he is getting inside help from Bennett, but Martellus looks like he had his hands full, too, with another man, so I must put this on #82.


Play #51 - 1/10/32 - 21 - SACK -10

What Happened: This one is terribly confusing. It almost looks like half the players are running 1 play, and didn't tell the other half of the offense. It looks like a screen with the way Colombo and Gronkowski allow their men to have a free release, in fact, you almost wonder if it is a fake screen to the top and then an actual screen to Gronkowski. (totally guessing, but I think that might be true) - Anyway, here come 52-Daniel Te'O-Nesheim and 63-Jeremy Clark both basically untouched and McGee, again, has no chance to do anything. I am not sure how to score this one at all, because surely both Gronkowski and Colombo cannot be wrong, right? It would makes sense that the screen was called to Gronkowski, because we are seeing teams - especially the Eagles - sniff out the swing/screen to Felix to the left sideline over and over, so this would be a perfect counter, but the right side LB stays home and McGee has no place to go. For lack of any better explanation, I will charge Gronkowski since he has to at least get a chip on 52, right? Pure guess work, here.


Season To Date Sacks
The season totals for Sacks Allowed: Colombo 7, Free 5, Davis 4.5, Coverage 3.5, Kitna 3, Costa 2, Witten 2, Gronkowski 2, Gurode 1, Jones 1, Kosier 1.

Sack #Down/DistPersonnelSackerBlame

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
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