Kevin Byard was expecting his interception celebration

in General Section Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:24 am
by chenyan94 • 32 Posts

Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys to be similar to that of Terrell Owens in more ways than one.Byard said after the game that he was expecting to get drilled as George Teague did to Owens when he ran to the star logo at midfield for a second time during a Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers game in 2000.“It was just something I thought about at the hotel Taco Charlton Jersey , just thinking about Monday night in Dallas,” Byard said, via quotes distributed by the Cowboys. “Thinking what can I do if I make a play. And it was really just to show the team that we are not scared. We are here to play ball. We are here to win the game. I made the play and I ran straight to the 50 yard line. It was kind of off the wall a little bit.”Byrad intercepted Dak Prescott on a pass intended for Amari Cooper on Dallas’ third possession of the game. The Cowboys had been given great field position after a Marcus Mariota fumble and had the ball on the Titans 6-yard line. Prescott tried to float the pass to Cooper as Logan Ryan had coverage underneath and Byard over the top. Byard made the grab in the back of the end zone and immediately took off for the midfield logo.He was joined for a bit of a dance off by several teammates before Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones – wearing No. 31 as Teague did nearly two decades ago –聽 did give Byard a bit of a shove from behind out of the logo.“I just ran to the star to celebrate,” Byard said. “I was actually expecting somebody to knock my head off. Then we just started dancing. I was like, if we get to the 50, if we get enough guys to the 50, we are just going to start dancing on the star.”The Cowboys had dominated the first quarter in many ways but had only managed to score one touchdown despite fortunes favoring them in the early stages. The interception kept Dallas off the board and the Titans began to sustain their offense afterward en route to a 28-14 victory over the Cowboys. The NFC East flat blew up at the trade deadline with each team making significant moves:The general consensus is Dallas La'el Collins Color Rush Jersey , Philadelphia and Washington all improved their 2018 chances, but long-term events will decide the value of these trades. ESPN named each a trade dealine “winner” (with the Giants a loser): Based upon Twitter and the comments on our own BTB site many Cowboys fans don’t share the same optimism regarding the acquisition of Pro Bowl wide-out Amari Cooper.After, all, they’ve seen this play before and past outcomes have left many with legitimate concerns. There’s also, however, legitimate reason for optimism. A look at how the Cowboys’ passing game has performed in 2018 - and how Cooper could fit in - shows there was logic in the front-office’s decision-making. The following bubble chart of the team’s top receiving targets shows three data points:Horizontal axis shows receiving yards. Vertical axis shows yards per attempt.Bubble size indicates number of targets.In general, this is an ugly chart. Only Beasley and “others” occupy the area you want to occupy. The others either suffer from a poor yards per target number (one of the best measurements of a passing attack) or their receiving yards are minuscule. When your second most prolific receiver in terms of yards gained is on pace for less than 500 yards - and your top receiver is pace for 800 yards - there are major problems. That’s where Cooper could - and should - come in. Let’s add his 2018 numbers to the chart:This looks a little better. You don’t have to squint too hard to see the makings of a legitimate NFL receiving corps: Beasley Robert Newhouse Jersey , Cooper, Gallup, Swaim. I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t become the consistent group in terms of snaps and targets. This makes sense if you look at targets (volume) and yards per attempt (efficiency):This clearly shows how Beasley, Swaim and Gallup have been productive and the rest of the team not so much. These problems also show up:Elliott is getting far too many targets. The schemed throws to Elliott are fine (think the screens that have proven deadly and the late game catch against the Lions). However, Elliott is frequently targeted as a last-ditch outlet on third-and-long, getting the ball near the line of scrimmage and asked to make 8-15 yards. These are killing his efficiency numbers. Allen Hurns has been a complete bust and shouldn’t be on the field much moving forward. The “others” benefit from a few big plays by Tavon Auston and Rico Gathers but there’s been no consistency from any of the individual players. Let’s look at the same chart, with Cooper added:Here we see how Cooper slots in well with the Cowboys’ other productive targets. Cooper has been averaging less than five targets per game with the Raiders. Considering his elite route-running skills Daryl Johnston Color Rush Jersey , Cooper is likely to average more with the Cowboys. Those targets should come at the expense of Hurns and Elliott. Specifically, Hurns isn’t going to be on the field. But more importantly, the expectation is that Cooper will provide the open receiver on those long third down plays where Dak Prescott is currently dropping the ball off to Elliott. If that happens, Elliott’s targets should decline and his efficiency should improve. Again, it’s not hard to envision the Beasley/Cooper/Gallup/Swaim/Elliott group being much, much more effective on third downs. This would be a huge improvement as Dallas currently ranks 29th in the NFL with a third-down conversion rate of only 31.2%. This is a huge drop from 2016 when the team ranked ninth at 43%. If Cooper can help them team convert one more third down out of every ten attempts, suddenly the team is back in that top ten level. That doesn’t seem an outrageous expectation. Let’s put all this in perspective by looking at Dak Prescott’s numbers.Here’s his performance for 2016 https://www.dallascowboysfanshop.com/Leighton-Vander-Esch-Jersey , 2017 and 2018 compared to the NFL’s 2018 average:One thing that’s hard to see is that Dak’s bubbles are just smaller than the NFL average. In 2018, Dak is averaging 29 attempts per game, seven less than the NFL average (36). At seven yards per attempt that means we would expect Dak to be throwing for 50 yards less per game than the NFL average. And that’s right where Dak stands (208 yards per game versus 253 yards per game). That’s because Dak’s yards per attempt is almost identical to the league average (6.8 versus 7.0). You can also see Dak’s 2018 is about the same as his 2017, but significantly worse than his 2016. Again, you don’t have to squint too hard to imagine Dak’s 2018 number migrating towards that 2016 mark with the addition of Cooper. Convert a few more first downs per game to keep a few drives alive and much of what ails this Cowboys offense would be fixed. That’s the hope anyway. It may not prove successful. But when you look at all the various parts and where there’s room for improvement, Cooper sure seems like a well-thought out solution to the Cowboys’ offensive problems.

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