Dez Bryant finishes 22nd among NFL WRs, Miles Austin: 187th
With the Dallas Cowboys season ending in yet another mediocre finish, many probably don’t want to look back at 2013.
Well, I’ve found a few rankings and stats that you might find interesting.
With the help of the website Pro Football Focus, I’ve taken a look at how the Cowboys offensive players stacked up against the rest of the league this season.
Here are some highlights.
• Tony Romo, who finished 12th among quarterbacks, had his best game during a Cowboys loss and his worst game came during a victory. According to PFF, Romo’s best game was against Denver in Week 5. The Cowboys lost that impressive shootout, 51-48, while Romo finished 25-of-36 passing for 506 yards, five touchdowns, one interception and a 140.0 QB rating.
• Romo’s worst game actually came the following week, a 31-16 Cowboys victory over Washington. Romo was 18-of-30 for 170 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 72.9 QB rating.
• Romo didn’t have as much success throwing deep as he’s had in the past. PFF’s throwing charts say Romo had the most success down the middle between 10-19 yards. He had the least success throwing deep and to his left (20-plus yards).
• According to STATS, Romo posted a 101.7 passer rating during the first half of the season and a 90.5 rating during the second half. In his five games against division opponents, Romo’s QB rating was 82.6. For his career, Romo has an 89.3 QBR against NFC East teams.
• Twenty-one wide receivers were ranked ahead of Dez Bryant. While Bryant was 13th in receiving yards and third in receiving TDs, his blocking grade is what cost him in PFF’s grading. Only eight WRs had a blocking grade worse than Bryant’s.
• Bryant’s best grade came in Week 15, a 37-36 loss to Green Bay. Bryant was targeted 17 times, catching 11 balls for 153 yards and a TD. His worst: Week 9 against Minnesota. Bryant was targeted 11 times, making six catches for 64 yards.
• Only three interceptions were thrown when Dez Bryant was targeted. To compare, 12 were thrown when targeting A.J. Green, nine when targeting Calvin Johnson, eight when targeting Andre Johnson and seven when targeting Larry Fitzgerald.
• When throwing to Dez Bryant the quarterback’s rating was 104.9. When throwing to Miles Austin: 49.5.
• Here’s the final ranking for each of the Cowboys wide receivers: Bryant 22, Cole Beasley 58, Dwayne Harris 78, Terrence Williams 129 and Miles Austin 187.
• DeMarco Murray finished eighth among running backs, trailing LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Danny Woodhead and Darren Sproles. Sproles and Woodhead were ranked so high because of their top grades in the passing game. Running alone, Murray was sixth.
• During the second half of the season, Murray finished third in rushing with 696 yards. Only LeSean McCoy (874) and Ryan Mathews (775) had more yards in their final eight games. Murray averaged 15.7 carries per game during that stretch. McCoy averaged 19.75 and Mathews averaged 21, according to STATS.
• Jason Witten had positive grades in five of the Cowboys’ last six games, helping him finish third among TEs. Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski were the top two.
• Witten was targeted 109 times and only one interception was thrown when he was the intended target.
• Tyron Smith didn’t have a negative grade during the Cowboys’ final eight games. He finished No. 5 among NFL offensive tackles. Ahead of him: Trent Williams, Joe Thomas, Jordan Gross and Jason Peters.
• Doug Free finished 18th overall and fifth among right tackles.
• Mackenzy Bernadeau graded very well in six of the Cowboys’ final seven games. He finished 19th among guards that played at least 50 percent of their team’s snaps. Ron Leary was 42nd.
• Rookie Travis Frederick finished seventh among NFL centers despite having the fifth-worst pass-blocking grade at the position. Frederick was ranked as the league’s top run-blocking center.
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota