Clock Control Has Been The Key To Success For Dallas
By Kenny Decker
Through three weeks, the Dallas Cowboys are 2-1 and were a few plays away from knocking off the Chiefs in their lone loss. Dallas ranks fifth in the NFL in scoring at 27.7 points per game, but they don’t stand out in other offensive statistical categories. For example, they rank 15th in the league in total yards, 18th in passing yards, only 16th in rushing yards despite DeMarco Murray’s 175 yard breakout on Sunday, and 14th in first downs.
However, there is one stat that the Cowboys are owning: time of possession. They rank second in the league in time of possession behind only Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. That’s the defining statistic for the Cowboys’ success through the first three weeks.
The more the Cowboys offense has had the ball, the more time the defense has had to rest. The defense has performed pretty well thus far, and the addition of Monte Kiffin at defensive coordinator is a big reason. But Tony Romo and the offense’s control of the football has certainly been helpful.
A big reason they have been dominating time of possession is Romo and his 72.2 completion percentage, ranking second in the league only behind some guy named Peyton Manning. Romo has only thrown one interception, and as a unit, the Cowboys have only turned the ball over four times, tied for the league low. The efficiency that this offense has been working at through the first three weeks is very encouraging.
Although, the Cowboys aren’t blowing people away with huge gains or by piling up yards on opposing defenses. They are controlling teams where it matters most: points, time of possession and turnovers. And it won’t be getting too tough for Dallas’ offense over the next several weeks. The next five defenses they have to face: San Diego, Denver, Washington, Philadelphia and Detroit, which are ranked 31st, 20th, 32nd, 30th and 19th, respectively, in terms of total yards allowed.
Jerry Jones discussed this past offseason about the Cowboys’ window of opportunity closing with their current roster. Well, the opportunity is certainly there this year. The offense has been remarkably efficient, and continuing with such efficiency will have Dallas seizing control of the NFC East.
Expect a tough road game at San Diego this Sunday, but if Romo continues maneuvering the offense the way he has been, I like Dallas’ chances in the NFC East. It’s only September, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to be excited, right?