Cowboys Analytics 2022 report: Dallas takes a big step forward

Last week, in the first analysis run of the 2022 season, we noticed the Cowboys started the year with nowhere to go but uphill. That turned out to be quite accurate, with Dallas knocking out in week two and pulling off the upset without Dak Prescott under center.

Not only did they win, but the Cowboys made strides in every category of analytics we track here. Before we get into all the numbers, just a reminder that not all DVOA metrics take into account schedule strength; That will come in a few weeks, after a larger sample size of data has been collected.

Cowboy efficiency at a glance

DVO 2 ranks DVOA Ranking Previous Week warm DAVE . rank
DVO 2 ranks DVOA Ranking Previous Week warm DAVE . rank
a crime -17.8% 28 32 -6.7% 24
defense -17.2% VI 15th -4.6% VI
special teams 3.3% 9th 18 1.5% Fifth
Inclusive 2.7% 15th 30 -0.7% 19

Unsurprisingly, everything just got better here. After the first week, Dallas ranked 30th for overall efficiency and now they’ve jumped all the way up to 15th. Both the defensive and private teams also made big jumps, while the attacking was marginally better. These changes from week one to now indicate how bad the Cowboys were against Tampa Bay and how well they did against the Bengals.

The DAVE scale represents a set of pre-season DVOA-based predictions for the Cowboys and actual DVOA scores to date. Two weeks in and DAVE currently consists of 85% pre-season forecasts and 15% actual scores. Given that, the defense team and special teams are now where they were expected to be, while the attack is still far behind expectations.

2022 NFL Team Levels, Week 1-2, Courtesy of

Looking at the Cowboys’ league-level rankings by Expected Points Added (EPA) for each game, the Cowboys played themselves out of the vault. They never went out of the ordinary, ranking last in the offensive EPA/play, but no one expected this team to make such a big leap in just one week, especially without Prescott.

It’s worth noting that Tampa Bay leads the league in defensive EPA/play, suggesting that last week’s dismal offensive performance likely had a lot, if not much more, than that, with pirate Being as good as cowboys did bad.

Cowboys offensive efficiency

Class Rank
Class Rank
DVOA Offensive -17.8% 28
swipe DVOA -14.5% 27th
Turn on DVOA 0.7% The tenth

Even if the Cowboys lose this week, it seems likely that we will see some improvements in their offensive proficiency. Their DVOA pass score of -49.0% last week – plus a DVOA pass score of -50.0% – were finally dead in the NFL by a very large margin. Ranking 28 in the NFL in attack isn’t a winning formula in 2022, but there was a limit to how much improvement this group could get in a week.

But the most positive development was the running game. The Cowboys had to get away with it earlier than they wanted against the pirates, but that didn’t happen against Cincinnati. They ran the ball very well too, and jumped into the top ten in a quick run because of it. Dallas will need this to be the case as long as Cooper Rush is under center.

Cooper Rush Efficiency

Class Rank
Class Rank
QBR 72.6 VI
EPA/Play 0.062 13th
CPOE -5.6 26
DVO 5.4% twelveth
homes 47 17

Speaking of Cooper Rush, he played well. Not good enough to spark a quarterback controversy, but enough to secure a win. In many ways, Rush has played just as well as he played against the Vikings last year, although he didn’t turn the ball around in this match.

Scanning this set of metrics paints an interesting picture. It is worth noting that Rush’s sample size is half of all other beginners, which makes it easier for him to get a higher QBR and lower CPOE. This also reflects its solid, but not stellar, performance. Its ranking in EPA/play and DVOA (value per play) and DYAR (total value) based metrics support this. In short, Rush is good enough to win, but not good enough to win the game for you.

Cowboys efficient offensive line

Class Rank
Class Rank
Adjusted line yards 4.55 17
RB . Yards 3.75 23rd
Adjusted cyst rate 7.6% twenty
Success block win rate 42% 32
Run block win rate 81% the first

While Rush played well, it was this hasty attack that made the attack click. And for that, the offensive line did its fair share. They saw a slight rise in their adjusted streak yards, although their rankings were skewed somewhat by some statistical anomalies towards the top; For reference, the Cowboys’ current adjusted streak yards were the eighth highest over the entire past year. Dallas also maintained the top spot in the league in block win rate. This is their bread and butter now.

On the other hand, passing protection is like mud bread and moldy butter. They died last time in success block win rate and ranked 20th in adjusted bag rate. Those nearly weak numbers are the fault of Matt Varniuk, who struggled again in the left guard. He was charged with allowing four accelerations and six pressures; The rest of the offensive line combined gave up one wheel and three pressures. Keep that in mind when Jason Peters is ready to go.

Cowboy’s defensive efficiency

Class Rank
Class Rank
Defensive DVOA -17.2% VI
Defense pass DVOA -22.3% Fifth
Run the second defense -10.8% twelveth
Passing Rush win rate 52% Fifth
Turn off win rate 26% 27th

Now this looks more like her. The Cowboys’ defense was solid against Tampa Bay, but their weaknesses were revealed in the running counter. That wasn’t the case against Cincinnati, and this rush also made life miserable for Joe Burrow. This defense is back in the top 10 in efficiency, and they have done so without a ready-made meal this week.

Let’s talk about Micah Parsons for a moment: He’s gone into a pretty dominant year. His 59% swipe win rate still leads all defenders; Von Miller is in the distant second place with 46%. Parsons also tied with Miles Garrett at the top of the league in pressure (13) and tied with Khalil Mack to lead the league in bags (four). That’s with Parsons playing nine fewer dribble passes than Jarrett and 11 fewer than Mack. No wonder it is The new favorite bet of the defensive player of the year.

Cowboy lane cover

Objectives completion Completion rate Passport classification allowed ADOT when targeting Air yards are allowed yards after hunting
Objectives completion Completion rate Passport classification allowed ADOT when targeting Air yards are allowed yards after hunting
Tryvon Diggs 14 9 64.3% 106.2 10.0 65 25
Anthony Brown 19 13 68.4% 111.7 10.2 110 50
Jordan Lewis 10 7 70.0% 94.2 4.8 24 57
Jayron Kerr 1 1 100.0% 118.7 19.0 19 1
Hooker owner 3 2 66.7% 91.0 17.3 12 12
Donovan Wilson 6 2 33.3% 2.8 15.0 1 8
Micah Parsons 0 0 0.0% Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Leighton Vander 8 6 75.0% 81.8 1.1 9 24
Gabriel Cox 0 0 0.0% Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Anthony Bar 5 3 60.0% 64.6 0.8 -5 19

Joe Burrow scored 48.4 QAR quarterbacks against the Cowboys this week, who ranked 21st among all 32 quarterbacks this week. This is usually a good sign that the defense has done its job. The fact that Ja’Marr Chase only has 54 yards in five catches is also a good sign. The secondary didn’t take the ball as far as they did last year, but they also don’t give up as much in coverage.

Something worth pointing out in a couple of games is how good the linebacker duo from Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr are. They’ve both been gritty against the running, and Barr had a big loss against Cincinnati, but they’ve also been great at covering. Barr currently sheds the 13th lowest passer rating among linebackers, and Vander Esch’s 81.8 pass rating is well below last year’s number of 87.9, which was his career best. These are very positive developments for this defense, which they will need to keep up with if they are to continue winning without Dak Prescott.