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Mailbag: Reasons For Tight Coverage Throws?


Dak Prescott has one of the highest percentages in the NFL throwing into tight coverage. Why, in your opinion, is this stat so high? Is it mostly a function of receivers not getting separation, Prescott's decision-making, the play-calling? How do we bring this number down? – Adam Page/Wheaton, IL

Patrik: To me, it boils down to one thing leading to the other. With the Cowboys wideouts struggling to consistently get separation at times, it forces Prescott to make a decision: trust the WR will make the catch in a tight window or don't throw the ball at all. There's only so many times you can tuck and run, unless you're Lamar Jackson or Jalen Hurts, so the Cowboys QB is tasked with firing into tight windows more often than not. Kudos to him for being able to make the accurate throw on these, more often than not, but a throw is ultimately only as good as what happens on the other end of it. That is to say, well, make the catch. As far as separation goes, Lamb does a great job at it on underneath routes (when he's not double- and triple-teamed) and I'd expect T.Y. Hilton will as well when he joins the mix.

Kyle: That's a great question that comes without a perfect answer because it's different with each play and each result. Sometimes Dak's confidence level can get the best of him, while others it falls on a faulty play call or just good coverage. However, if there was a reason that outweighed the others? I'd say it's a lack of separation from the wide receiver group. Outside of CeeDee Lamb this season, there has been a lack of burst from guys like Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown. Not because they're playing poorly, but because that's their identity as pass catchers, ones with a possession-first mentality. Gallup hasn't had the same explosion off the line of scrimmage and in his route running as he did prior to the injury either. But as a whole, this isn't a wide receiver room that separates, they're more inclined to body up a defender for a catch than run past them.

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