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Football Outsiders: "Dallas Likes To Draw"

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This may or may not come as any surprise to you, but in the midst of a slow off-season, Football Outsiders released a snippet of their game charting data, specifically the rate at which teams run draw plays. And the Cowboys do it a lot. In 2010, the Cowboys ran draws 20% of the time, 7% ahead of the 2nd place Lions.

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They note that they were no more successful on the draws than on runs in general, but I think that may well mean they run draws just often enough. By their measures (and probably most people's common sense), the Cowboys were one of the most successful teams at a rate on the ground in the NFL. Following Chris Brown's game theory on run/pass balance, and applying it to types of run plays, if your draws have been more successful than the rest of your running plays, you should probably be running more draws until there's a balance of success. With overall success that's right in line with the success of the draw plays, it seems the Cowboys have a pretty good weapon and I'm certainly not led to believe it's something they went to too often last year.

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And it helps to have an explosive first step like Felix Jones.

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They were slightly below average against the draw, by the way. At least against FO's reckoning.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.