Thursday, September 6, 2012
Next Level: Inside the numbers for Cowboys
By ESPN Stats & Information
The gang at ESPN Stats & Information jumped headfirst into the data from the Cowboys' season-opening victory and surfaced with these gems:
Cowboys get to Manning with five or more rushers
The Cowboys sent five or more rushers after Eli Manning on 10 of his 35 dropbacks (28.6 percent) Wednesday after doing so nearly 38 percent of the time last season. The less aggressive approach made the Cowboys' added rushes more effective, with all three sacks coming when sending five or more. When facing five or more rushers from the Cowboys, Manning only completed 42.9 percent of his passes for an average of 3.4 yards per attempt.
Introducing Kevin Ogletree ...
Kevin Ogletree was targeted 11 times Wednesday, five more than his previous career high. He caught eight of his 11 targets, good for an 72.7 completion percentage with Tony Romo. Since the start of 2008, Romo now has 21 instances of targeting a wide receiver at least 10 times in a game. The 72.7 completion percentage is the fifth-highest of those instances, with the top four all belonging to Miles Austin.
Romo succeeds with deep passes
On passes that traveled 15 or more yards downfield, Tony Romo was 5 of 7 for 150 yards with two touchdowns, including one to Miles Austin in the fourth quarter that put the Cowboys up 24-10. Last season, Romo completed five passes of such length on 11 attempts in two games against the Giants.
Romo creates outside the pocket
Tony Romo threw two of his touchdown passes Wednesday when outside of the pocket. Over the last two seasons, Romo has thrown 12 touchdowns when outside of the pocket, with half coming against the Giants. No other quarterback has more than three against a single team over that span.
Cruz can’t hang on
New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz dropped three passes in a single game for the first time in his career Wednesday night. Cruz had never dropped more than one pass in a regular season game prior to Wednesday. Cruz is the first Giants player with three drops in a game since Mario Manningham in 2009 Week 4.