Once upon a time I saw OneRepublic in concert. I've only been to a handful of concerts in my life (true story... my first one ever was Taylor Swift in 2011), so you know I dug it.
Among the many different tracks that OneRepublic puts together is crowd-favorite "Good Life". It's a sweet tune that actually has a spot on my writing playlist, so that makes things really convenient and meta today, doesn't it?
Ryan Tedder tells us that he woke up in London yesterday, blah blah blah. He says he got some new names and numbers that he doesn't know, and addresses to places like Abbey Road.
Now I don't know if Tedder meant the B507 or the seminole album by The Beatles, but on his way to Abbey Road if he was digesting those "numbers that he doesn't know" he might have been talking about Price Per Yard.
After a week away from Inside The Star I couldn't wait to get back to my keyboard and start cranking out some quality and high-octane content for you guys once again. As has been the Monday tradition for the past month, I'm starting with the numbers that I do know - Price Per Yard.
The PPY metric and I have become quite close over the last few months. I spent a large amount of time building excel spreadsheets and crunching numbers, and I dropped some of that analysis here at Inside The Star:
There are two more pieces left to this PPY pie (Pies Per Yard would be an incredible analysis as well...). There's today, hey hi there welcome to this article you're already 250+ words into, and next Monday. Today is a summary of the past three seasons and what trends we've seen, and seven days from now will be a Price Per Yard projection into the 2016 season.
Shall we? Or shall we? I think we shall.
Price Per Yard: The Base Value
It's important before we get started that you understand a key element in the PPY puzzle - The Base Value.
By now you are well familiar with the methodology that went into PPY (it can be found in the introductory link), and you are likely familiar with the notion that base values need to be used in order to discern who is truly great at this game.
I'm shaking things up a bit (by the way I consumed about 18 milkshakes in the time it took to fully complete the PPY analysis) and giving you the base value calculation to kick things off. I'm so nice, aren't I? You're really nice, RJ. Thanks man.
2013-2015 Price Per Yard: A Look At The Entire NFL
**Click the image to zoom in
Well well well, that's a lot of colors.
You'll notice right away that the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams all have asterisks next to their names. This is because
they don't matter there isn't data available for all three seasons analyzed for these specific teams. For all intents and purposes we're purging them from this exercise (by the way that purge movie looks terrifying... I had to step away from this article for a second to calm down after thinking about it).
There are three teams that we need to discuss here as they seem to be the best ones in this realm over the course of the last three seasons.
- Running Back Spending = $9,775,156
- Offensive Line Spending = $75,132,328
- Run Game Spending = $84,907,484
- Team Rushing Attempts = 1,200
- Team Rushing Yards = 5,233
- Price Per Yard = $16,225.39
- % Diff From RY BV = 4.41%
- % Diff From PPY BV = -8.81%
The World Champions, in my estimation, earn the bronze medal when it comes to the three-season summarized Price Per Yard. This might seem perplexing as from 2013-2015 the Orange Crush are the only team to be spending less than the BV per yard AND out-gaining the BV in overall rushing yards.
Over the course of Price Per Yard I've fielded the question "Well what does this mean in the grand scheme of football?" many times. Simply being good at PPY, obviously, doesn't guarantee anything. It's just math. Numbers. Data.
The reason PPY is important is because of the value that it represents and the freedom that it allows. If Team A is having success in one avenue of their team at a reduced rate, it means that they can devote the funds that they're not spending to an area where they need them.
The Broncos personify this quality more than any other team. Due to the value they've had at the run game over the last three seasons they've been able to make huge investments on the other side of the ball in players like DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, and TJ Ward. Those three served as the foundation for one of the greatest defenses we've ever seen, and one that secured Super Bowl 50 for Denver.
The New England Patriots
- Running Back Spending = $10,647,054
- Offensive Line Spending = $59,946,124
- Run Game Spending = $70,593,178
- Team Rushing Attempts = 1,126
- Team Rushing Yards = 4,825
- Price Per Yard = $14,630.71
- % Diff From RY BV = -3.73%
- % Diff From PPY BV = -17.78%
The ultimate Price Per Yard bridesmaid is the team that has won more games this century than any other, so I think that's a fair trade off.
In 2014 the Pats made what one could argue, I won't, one of the biggest Free Agent Signings in NFL History when they secured the services of Darrelle Revis for one season. Why one of the biggest? Just check that ring on their finger, boss.
Revis served as the linchpin for the 2014 Patriots Defense and leader of their secondary, you know the one that featured Malcolm Butler who you've probably never heard of. Renting Revis indisputably helped New England get over the ten-year hump that had plagued them since their previous Super Bowl Championship in the 2004 season.
How was New England even able to afford Revis, though? That's where Price Per Yard comes into play. Over the last three seasons the Patriots have spent 17.78% less than the BV per yard. Sure, they've gained 3.73% less yards than the BV, but that's a minimal number when you consider the savings they've had and the benefit that it's provided - you know, winning Super Bowl XLIX. Small little benefit, right there.
The Dallas Cowboys
- Running Back Spending = $8,236,678
- Offensive Line Spending = $57,862,006
- Run Game Spending = $66,098,684
- Team Rushing Attempts = 1,058
- Team Rushing Yards = 4,929
- Price Per Yard = $13,410.16
- % Diff From RY BV = -1.66%
- % Diff From PPY BV = -24.64%
The qualifier for "How is Price Per Yard useful to an NFL team?" is obviously a Super Bowl title. The first two teams we've named here comprise 66% of the last three so they've obviously got their ducks in a row in that avenue.
The team I believe to be the best at Price Per Yard over the last three seasons only has one playoff win, no Lombardi Trophies, to show for their success. The facts of the matter are that the facts numerically suggest this.
Dallas has spent a staggering 24.64% less than the BV per yard, and managed to only fall 1.66% below the RY BV. You need to understand how mathematically incredible this is.
Let's look at the Run Game Spending. Among teams we have complete data for (so excluding GB, CLE, STL/LA) only the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers devoted less money to their overall run game. Those teams have 4,073 and 4,223 yards respectively while Dallas has 4,929 (6th in the NFL in this span).
It could be argued that the Cowboys spent 2013 understanding Price Per Yard, 2014 mastering it, and 2015 fell apart in more ways than one. Where they deserve criticism, I know I've handed out a ton, is in that they haven't devoted the resources they've saved via Price Per Yard to areas where they need them like the Broncos and Patriots have.
The important thing to remember about Price Per Yard is that there is no indisputable winner. All we can do is make our own observations based on the data at hand.
Next week, August 1st, I'll be launching the final installment in my Price Per Yard series by using what we know about 2016 from a financial perspective to predict and project what teams need this season in order to have equal, or great, returns on their investments.
If you have any comments or questions about Price Per Yard, the philosophy behind it, the formula that went into it, or just simply want to talk and/or debate it… you can comment below, email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa.
Ezekiel Elliott Continues to Haunt Eagles, has Best Game of the Season
The Dallas Cowboys came into their Week 7 matchup with the arch-rival Philadelphia Eagles on a three-game losing streak and were searching desperately for answers. With first place in the NFC East on the line, it was important for the Cowboys to set a tone and send a message at home in order to avoid going into their bye week with a fourth straight loss. That tone was set by the defense in the first quarter as they forced turnovers on the first two possessions of the game. Conversely, All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott led the offensive attack and continued the dominance he's had over the Eagles throughout his career.
After jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead following a fumble on the Eagle's first possession, the Cowboys made it a two-score game in a matter of seconds. In the video below, Elliott appears to score from 14 yards out but would be ruled down inside the one. What's important to notice is how he sought out Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins and ran him over. Complete "Bully Ball" tactic here and it again sent a message and establish a tone for this game. Elliott would score on the very next play to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.
Zeke TRUCKED him 😡 @EzekielElliott https://t.co/x2G4rF2cwU
Elliott had 65 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown as well as 25 yards on four receptions the first half. The Cowboys led 27-7 heading into the third quarter.
The second half saw more of the same as Elliott had 11 touches (9 carries, 2 receptions) for 57 all-purpose yards. In all, Elliott finished with 147 all-purpose yards (111 rushing, 36 receiving) as he spearheaded the Cowboys to a 37-10 beatdown of their most hated division rival.
This game was a continuation of what Elliott has done to the Eagles his entire career. His lowest rushing total against Philadelphia is 96 yards which came in his first-ever game in this historic rivalry back in 2016 as a rookie. He's rushed for least 103 yards every game since and averages 163 all-purpose yards every time he plays Philadelphia. Most importantly, the Cowboys are a perfect 5-0 with Elliott against the Eagles. The only games the Eagles have won against the Cowboys since Elliott came into the NFL was the 2016 season finale and the first of their two matchups in 2017, games Elliott did not play in. Needless to say, Elliott has a big appetite for Eagle meat.
This game also saw Elliott reach another milestone in his short but stellar career. He joined Le'Veon Bell and Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson as the second-fastest players (47 games) to reach 6,000 yards from scrimmage behind Edgerrin James (44 games) in NFL history. Now that's an elite group to be a part of.
The importance of this game was obvious for the Cowboys coming off at three consecutive losses and facing a heated rival for first place. Elliott spoke post-game about how critical this win was:
"This team needed this, especially in the fashion we did it," Elliott said. "Get some momentum for the season and before this bye week so we can close the season out."
Everything you would want to see from Elliott was on display against the Eagles. The speed, power, elusiveness, and ability to make plays in the passing game were all front and center in this game. From an overall standpoint, this was definitely his best performance of the 2019 season.
Now, the Cowboys head into the bye week in first place in the NFC East and regardless of next week's results, they will still be on top when they face the New York Giants on the road on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys will look to remain undefeated in division play and keep pace with the other NFC powerhouses once they return to action.
Where Does Ezekiel Elliott Stand in the 2019 Rushing Title Race?
The Dallas Cowboys finally looked like the team we've all expected them to be against the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. They played a complete-game and absolutely dominated on both offense and defense. This is the kind of performance they needed heading into the bye week.
As stoked I am by the way the Dallas Cowboys played Sunday night against a divisional opponent, I was even more ecstatic to see Running Back Ezekiel Elliott look like the playmaker he has in the past. He showed excellent vision, speed, and burst, something I really haven't seen him do up to this point of the season.
I know quite a few of you may disagree with me, but No. 21 hasn't really looke2 like himself at any point this season. He did however look like the Zeke of old on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. It good to see and it actually started me wondering where he currently stood in the 2019 rushing title race?
Let's take a look…
I don't know exactly what I expected, but I was little surprised to see Zeke currently sitting at number five amongst the NFL's leading rushers. I don't know if I was expecting him to be a little higher or lower, but he currently finds himself within striking distance to claim his third rushing title in four years.
Ezekiel Elliott is only 123 rushing yards behind Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook right now. Unfortunately, that number will only increase in Week 8 with the Dallas Cowboys on their bye week. But, it could all even out since only Nick Chubb is the only RB ahead of Zeke whose team has also had their bye week. And with half of the season left there is still plenty of time to close the gap.
Ezekiel Elliott may be down right now, but he's definitely not out. He's going to play a huge role in the offensive game plan for the rest of the season and should be able to put himself into contention of earning his third rushing title in four years. But, it won't be easy. The Cowboys schedule only gets tougher from here on out.
What do you think? Will Ezekiel Elliott be the leading rusher in 2019?
Urban Meyer Says He’d “Absolutely” Take Cowboys’ Head Coaching Job
Typically, when a coach is asked about a potential future coaching job that is currently occupied, he'd never openly admit to eyeing that position. He'd dodge the question, lie, and say he's enjoying his time away from the game at the moment.
Former college coach Urban Meyer, however, was extremely clear in how he feels about the potential opening at head coach in Dallas with the Cowboys.
Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd asked Urban Meyer outright if he would take the job if offered, and Meyer made no mistake about it.
While it feels to me like Meyer is breaking some sort of unspoken code between coaches with these comments, it wouldn't be the first time he operated in shady waters.
But I digress.
Of course, Urban Meyer had incredible success at the collegiate level. He won multiple national championships and did a lot of winning at multiple programs. In addition, he was the college coach of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who the team just extended with a monster contract. Meyer also won with quarterbacks who can utilize similar skill-sets to Cowboys starter Dak Prescott, something Jerry Jones and company would want to see in any potential head coaching candidate.
With all that being said, though, it's important to mention the Cowboys head coaching job is not open. At least not yet.
Jason Garrett's contract expires at the end of this season, and unless he can make sure that he continues coaching this team through January, it's seeming increasingly likely that this will be his final contract with the team.
Garrett's Cowboys face their biggest test of the season on Sunday night, with the Philadelphia Eagles coming to Arlington and looking to take first place from their grasps.
This will be the first step of many that Garrett will need to take if he wants to keep the Urban Meyers of the world from coming for his job.
Player News2 days ago
Cowboys Get Good News on Vander Esch, Quinn Injuries After Eagles Game
Dallas Cowboys7 days ago
Jourdan Lewis, the Change the Dallas Cowboys Defense Needs
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Kris Richard: Dallas Cowboys Defense is a “Work in Progress”
Star Blog2 weeks ago
QB Dak Prescott’s “Ups And Downs” Named Cowboys’ Biggest Disappointment
Star Blog1 week ago
Robert Quinn Continues Impressive Start to Cowboys Career
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Ezekiel Elliott’s Carries Have Decreased Three Straight Weeks, Here is Why
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Will, Should Jason Garrett be Coaching for His Job vs the Eagles?
Dallas Cowboys4 days ago
Antonio Brown Could be the Bold Move That Saves the Cowboys 2019 Season