Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Monday that his team “didn’t do a good enough job” this season. The Cowboys finished the season with a 4-12 record, their worst since 1989, when they finished 1-15 in Troy Aikman’s rookie season.
They entered Week 1 sixth in the NFL but fell an NFL-high 24 spots over the course of the season to wind up No. 30 heading into the postseason. The Baltimore Ravens (18-spot drop) and San Diego Chargers (15) fell the furthest after Dallas.
No help behind Romo and Bryant
The reasons for the disappointing season start with Romo’s injuries. Romo played 115 snaps in Weeks 1 and 2 before suffering a broken clavicle. He returned to play 101 snaps in Weeks 11 and 12 before re-injuring the collarbone.
Dallas is 16-16 over the last two seasons, but the Cowboys' record varies dramatically depending on who’s playing quarterback.
Romo’s Total QBR of 78 since the start of 2014 is the highest in the NFL among qualified quarterbacks. All other Cowboys quarterbacks have combined for a QBR of 31. That is five points lower than the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the lowest QBR in the NFL over the last two seasons.
With Bryant out or injured most of the season, Cowboys wide receivers combined to catch 12 touchdown passes. Bryant alone caught 16 last season while all other Dallas wideouts had another 12.
The lack of a solid backup plan at quarterback and wide receiver led to the Cowboys ranking 31st in the NFL in points per game at 17.2. They ranked fifth in points per game in 2014 at 29.2.
Ground game not missing Murray
In fact, the 2015 Cowboys matched last season’s averages in yards per rush (4.6), yards before contact per rush (2.7) and yards after contact per rush (1.9) within a tenth of a yard.
By comparison, Murray averaged 3.6 yards per rush, 2.1 yards before contact per rush and 1.5 yards after contact per rush with the Philadelphia Eagles this season. Murray had the benefit of Dallas’ offensive line helping him gain 2.8 yards before contact per rush in 2014.