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Dallas Cowboys Near Playoff Berth but Still Need to Improve in Certain Areas

The Dallas Cowboys have won three straight games and four of their last six games. They are currently the number two seed in the NFC but still have aspirations for the number one seed but need help to achieve this goal.

Although the Cowboys are 10-4 and are one of the best teams in the NFL, there are concerns about this team. The offense is not clicking like it was earlier in the season. They look stale, the play-calling is conservative, and the team has lost its explosiveness.

Even in last Sunday’s win against the New York Giants, the offense did not have a play of more than 19 yards throughout 70 snaps. They only have eight plays of 19 or more yards in the last three games.

Over the past five games, Dak Prescott has averaged less than six yards per pass attempt in four games. Prescott has averaged less than 6.5 adjusted yards gained per pass attempt in this same time frame.

In two of these games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Football Team, he averaged 2.93 and 3.62 AY/A, respectively. This will not cut it come playoff time, and by no means does it all fall on Prescott; it has just as much to do with Kellen Moore’s play calling.

Prescott does need to improve, though, even though his performance against the Giants was his best performance since Thanksgiving. Still, since week nine per rbsdm.com, Prescott ranks 26th in EPA/play (-0.026), 26th in adjusted EPA/play (-0.016) 27th in success rate (42.4%).

Overall, since week nine per rbsdm.com, the offense ranks 24th in EPA/play (-0.062), 22nd in dropback EPA (-0.031), and 23rd in rush EPA (-0.125).

The offense needs to improve on their red zone efficiency. Dallas ranks just 25th in red zone efficiency (53.85%), and over the last three weeks during their win streak, it ranks even worse. Over that time frame, they rank 29th (30.77%)

The third-down efficiency needs to improve as well. The Cowboys rank 19th in third-down efficiency (37.78%) during their win streak. However, Dallas did improve upon this last week by converting 8/14 third downs. This is a step in the right direction.

The passer rating for the Cowboys on first down since week nine ranks 30th in first down passer rating (79.4). Again, that did improve last week as they ranked 12th in first down passer rating (91.7).

In addition to all the above, the Cowboys rank in the league’s bottom half in dropped passes on the season. Last week the offense saw several of their drives stall because of CeeDee Lamb drops. The Cowboys must fix this issue if they want to see their success on offense improve.

The Cowboys have three more weeks to try and right the ship on offense, starting with their first home game since Thanksgiving against the Washington Football Team. It seems to be a perfect opportunity to fix some issues, but this has been said for the previous three weeks.

What do you think?

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Written by Kevin Rice

I'm a 32 year old life long Cowboys fan from New York. It's fun growing up in enemy territory. College basketball and March Madness fanatic. Lover of thrillers and comedies. Follow me on twitter @CowboysCC9

7 Comments

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  1. You have hit the ‘nail on the head’ as we in The UK say. There is just that spark missing from their game. Is it motivation I wonder, someone needs to press the right buttons to realise their potential.
    I believe they have more to give, so GO COWBOYS.
    Regards
    Gaza

  2. I have seen articles that present data that the league wide shift to Cover-2 defense is affecting a lot of QBs, not just Dak. This may be one of the many factors adversely impacting our offense’s performance 2nd half of season. Would love to read more, perhaps a subsequent follow up article is warranted?

  3. I think it’s the offensive play caller, whoever that may be also an offensive line that haven’t played together enough also or have lost their way or maybe Dak the leader is afraid to trust his receivers or have confidence in them, hopefully they can get it done, I’m a long-term fan since forever.

  4. I love what the defense is doing; keep it up please, hopefully the offense can get back to the grind and play great games and win again and both sides will be on the same page, let’s go COWBOYS!!!!!

  5. Cooper, lamb, Gallup,Wilson all have to work harder to get in position to catch the ball ! Dak gotta get it out faster the wr and cee Dee has to catch the dang ball

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