Yesterday, I detailed why I felt that the NFL's trend of team rushing yard leaders having mediocre finishes could be debunked by this year's Dallas Cowboys.
The main reason I felt this was true, was that those same yards must be converted to touchdowns to have a quantifiable impact on the game, in most cases.
I also discussed how the Cowboys offense is very different from those who led the league in rushing before them. Teams like the Denver Broncos in 2011 and the New York Jets in 2009; they had no where near the offensively that this Cowboys team has when healthy.
But this argument centers around just one man: the quarterback, Tony Romo.
Claiming "well, Romo will be back" feels lazy, doesn't it?
When an Eagles fan tells me the Cowboys won't return to their 2014 success, for whatever reason, I don't want to just respond with "Romo is back, and his impact will make all the difference."
It's lazy and feels just as much like a cop out as the Eagles fan blindly hating Romo.
There are a ton of reasons why a team wins or loses a particular game, or continue to win or lose throughout a season. The 2015 Dallas Cowboys had many more problems than Tony Romo being injured. We all recognize that. The thing is, those problems weren't on full display for us to point to until he was out.
But how many struggles in 2015 were due to Tony Romo's absence? And how much of 2016's potential success will be because of Tony Romo's presence?
Jonathon Bales, the co-founder of Fantasy Labs, shared an interesting graphic on Twitter yesterday, detailing just how important Tony Romo is to the Dallas Cowboys:
Per @RotoViz, the Cowboys' splits w/ and w/o Romo the past four years are nuts.
Tony Romo's impact on the Cowboys seems like a folktale sometimes, so seeing it spelled out with real numbers was truly jarring. Every aspect of the game is worse when Tony Romo doesn't play, besides total rushing yards. However - as I pointed out yesterday - fewer yards and more touchdowns may actually be ideal.
For example, since 2012, the Cowboys have averaged almost 3 touchdown passes per game when Tony Romo plays, compared to just under 1 when Tony Romo doesn't play.
The Dallas Cowboys also average almost 50 more passing yards when Tony Romo plays versus when he doesn't. Others I would've thought were true, but they were still incredible to see.
Like the Cowboys average 10.2 less points per game when Tony Romo doesn't play. When Romo is out, the team is outscored by an average of 8.14 points per game. That means that our quarterback alone accounts for two possessions worth of scoring per game!
Stop and think about how utterly ridiculous that is, right now.
Probably a little bit of both...
As far as the importance of rushing touchdowns to a team's success? Yeah, Tony Romo's presence increases those too.
These numbers even go as far as to indicate that the Cowboys defense gives up slightly more points per game when Tony Romo isn't playing.
I point all of this out to say that while the "Tony Romo will be back and he'll fix everything!" argument is certainly flawed, and a bit simplistic at times, there are numbers that back up the ridiculousness of his impact on this entire team.
Inside The Star's own Staff Writer, RJ Ochoa even pointed out that Tony Romo has "truly" only lost two games while starting at quarterback since December 15th, 2013. And no one is more well-versed in the Romo department than RJ, so his birthday tribute to our captain is a must read.
Tony Romo is a special, special player. His impact cannot and should not be understated. These numbers just prove that the 2016 Cowboys may be set for a quick rise to NFC supremacy with Romo back in the lineup.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
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