By The Numbers: A deep dive explains the Cowboys’ Week 1 dominance

There is truth in numbers. They are facts in a word full of opinions. They can be used to describe the indescribable. Numbers show the extent of a situation.

Numbers can show the undeniable amidst all the fluff. In the wrong hands, they can be used mislead. But they never lie.

Following the Cowboys’ Week 1 win over New York, they paint a very clear picture about the Dallas offense, defense and special teams.

They detail the hierarchy within the division, and they redeem a team like Dallas who came into the affair under the microscope.


Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If the numbers tell the story, then the name of the book is 40-0.

The Cowboys beat the hapless Giants on Sunday Night Football to the tune of 40 points.

  • 40 is the largest point differential in franchise history.

  • 40 is the most points a team has scored leaguewide this season.

  • Zero points allowed, not-so-surprisingly, also marks a league best this season.

Outside of the Giants opening drive, the Cowboys defense was utterly dominant in all areas of the game.

Their run defense was fast and swarming. Coverage was tight and savvy. The pass-rush was, well . . .


The Cowboys had three players with six pressures and eight players with two of more. In just 16 pass-rush snaps, Dorance Armstrong collected two sacks and six hurries (per PFF) marking a career game for the 26-year-old.

Remember when I said over the offseason Armstrong was due for a regression? Yeah, me neither.


(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

As in all three phases of the game. The Cowboys scored on an interception, a blocked field goal, and of course in the traditional offensive fashion, all on their way to 40 points. It was a total team win with all sides performing up to and beyond expectations.

The missed extra point by Brandon Aubrey is cause for some concern, but he followed the miss up by making his next four and adding two short field goals (10 total points for the rookie), proving his mettle and showing one bad moment doesn’t have to bleed into subsequent moments.


(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Series conversion rate (SCR) marks whether an offense was able to generate a new set of downs (or score a touchdown) and serves as a great indicator of successful ball movement.

The Cowboys finished the day with a 75 percent SCR with both the running game and passing game pulling their weight.

They started 16 series with a run and eight series with a pass, converting on 75 percent of each. They were a model of efficiency.


Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Expected points added (EPA) measures the effectiveness of each play based on scoring probability gained. It’s one of the best gauges of a play’s worth and the go-to for offensive analysis.

The Giants totaled -23.8 EPA on all of Jones’ dropbacks, averaging -0.52 EPA/play. They were only successful on 30 percent of dropbacks with only one New York pass catcher earning a positive EPA for the day.


: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being in catch-up mode for nearly the entire day, Jones only logged 104 passing yards against the swarming Dallas defense. His 32.4 QBR was lower than even Cooper Rush’s (39.6) who threw just one pass horrifically off-target.

With the Cowboys relentless pass rush in his face, Jones faced an impossible task.


(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

It’s not often a team passes for only 143 yards and still wins by 40 points but that’s what happened on Sunday night. A big early lead led to a more conservative game plan with Dak Prescott only attempting 24 passes on the day.

Rain was unquestionably a factor for both teams offensively. Both Jones and Prescott struggled to deliver clean footballs and it was reflected in their pedestrian completion percentages.

Prescott’s -10.2 CPOE (completion percentage over expected) was abnormally poor, but the Dallas passer still generated 0.35 EPA (expected points added) per dropback and led both teams in total EPA despite exiting the game early.



(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

It was 364 days since the Cowboys lost 19-3 to the Buccaneers in Week 1 of the 2022 season. Dak Prescott was seriously injured, and the season seemed lost from the moment it began. For Cowboys fans, it was one of the darkest days in recent memory.

What a difference one-day-shy-of-a-year can make.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire