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Mick Shots: Upside Down Stats, Scheduling Oddity, A Nod To Leon Lett

FRISCO, Texas – This might be a short week for the Cowboys, probably very few getting to bed much before 5 a.m. on Tuesday following the Monday night game at Arizona and scheduled to play the Rams at noon this Sunday. But let me tell you, there is no shortage of Mick Shots, even if the Cowboys will not have the week's first full practice until Thursday.

         So here we go.

  • After three weeks, these NFL stats have turned upside down. The Cowboys, last season's fifth-ranked offense, are struggling along at 19th, averaging 65.7 yards a game fewer than they did last year. And the Rams, last season's 32nd-ranked offense, is now sixth, averaging 111.6 more a game than they did last year. Oh, and get this, when it comes to points, the Cowboys, who averaged 26.3 last year, and that includes scoring just 13 in the final game they basically punted away, are at 21.3 so far this season. And the Rams – and better not be calling them "the Rams, Dude" anymore – are leading the NFL at a robust 35.4. Last year? Dead last at 14 points a game. Fourteen!
  • Here is a big reason why the Dallas offense is struggling. Over 32 possessions, the Cowboys only have three of at least 10 plays. And in the win over the Cardinals, their longest possession was seven plays. A lot comes down to third-down conversions, and the Cowboys are converting at a 34.2-percent rate. Last year 42.3. And in these last two games, the Cowboys are five for 23, 21.7 percent. To me, a big reason for that is what the Cowboys are doing – or aren't doing – on first down. They are averaging just 3.28 yards on 36 runs and 6.39 yards on 44 pass plays.
  • Maybe someone hacked into the NFL's computer scheduling program. The Rams played Thursday night at San Francisco, so in their own time zone. The Cowboys played Monday night in Glendale Ariz., a two-hour time difference. A huge disparity in time off your feet between games, wouldn't you say? Oh, and next week, the well-rested Green Bay Packers, home Thursday night vs. Chicago, come to town for the 3:25 p.m. Sunday game. I'm just sayin'.
  • To put perspective on DeMarcus Lawrence winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, David Irving winning last year is the only Cowboys player not named Sean Lee (twice) to win the honor over these past five seasons. And check this out: If you consider DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer 3-4 outside linebackers, then Irving and now Lawrence are the first true Cowboys defensive linemen to win the award since now assistant coach Leon Lett did so in 1996.
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