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Stat Pack: Closer Look at Half-Dozen Statistics From Cowboys’ 24-19 Win
Here’s a deeper look at six statistics from the Cowboys’ win over the Colts in their third game of the preseason:
With the victory over Indianapolis, the Cowboys are now 5-5 all-time against the Colts in the preseason. It marked the first time Dallas has played the Colts since 2007, which was a 23-10 Cowboys win, and only the second time since that franchise moved to Indianapolis. Dallas played the Baltimore Colts eight times in the preseason from 1960 to 1977. The Cowboys went 1-5 in their first six preseason meetings against the Colts, but have since won four straight.
After averaging 322 yards of offensive per game in the first two preseason games, which was tied for 13th in the NFL, the Cowboys erupted for 476 yards of total offense against the Colts. That’s the highest single-game total in the league thus far this preseason. Dallas averaged 376.7 total yards per game last year, ranking fifth in the NFL.
Through three preseason games, the Cowboys have now recorded just one turnover, a fumble recovery in their second exhibition contest against the Rams. Creating turnovers, of course, has been an issue for Dallas over the last two years. Last season the Cowboys totaled 20 turnovers, (11 interceptions, 9 fumble recoveries), which tied for 19th in the NFL. In 2015, Dallas was last in the league (8, 3). In turnover ratio, they are now minus-3 for the 2017 preseason.
Despite Ezekiel Elliott not seeing any action in the game, the Cowboys totaled 160 yards rushing. Darren McFadden led the way with 59 yards, all of which came during the team’s first two possessions, while Rod Smith wrapped up the night with 53 rushing yards, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Alfred Morris also added 49 yards on the ground. Of course, the Colts are coming off a season in which they surrendered 120.4 rushing yards per game, a total that ranked 25th in the NFL.
An abundance of flags is often the norm during the preseason, as young players try to learn the NFL game, and the Cowboys have certainly continued that trend. They finished with eight penalties for 70 yards against the Colts, bringing their totals for the three preseason games to 26 flags for 226 yards. That’s an average of 8.6 penalties per game for a whopping 75 yards. But again, it’s not a sign of things to come. Last season, the Cowboys averaged 9.25 penalties per game in the preseason for an average of 81 yards, but during the regular season averaged 6.6 penalties for 55 yards, which ranked in the middle of the NFL pack.
Cooper Rush finished the game by completing 8 of his 9 pass attempts. His 88.9 completion percentage was tied for the second-highest mark among league quarterbacks in Week 2 of the NFL’s preseason schedule. That was even better than teammate Dak Prescott, who finished the night with an 87.5 completion percentage. Rush now has a 68.4 completion percentage overall in three preseason games. Read