Is Brandon Weeden The Problem in Dallas?

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Well, maybe. A cursory look at the stats would lead you to believe that Weeden hasn’t been as bad as we feared. He’s completing 72.4% of his passes, has 2TD/2INT, a 92.2 QBR, and is averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. Those numbers aren’t as good as Romo before he got hurt but they won’t kill you.

On the other hand, the Cowboys are 0-3 in Weeden starts so something is definitely not working, but what?

Let’s look at a couple of other statistics. Through the first two games, the Cowboys averaged 24 First Downs, over 38 minutes of possession and went 10-23 on third down conversions. Now the third-down conversion rate isn’t great, but let’s see what they’ve done in the last three games with Weeden.

In those three games, it’s 20.67 first downs per game, just about 29 minutes of possession, and 8-32 on third down conversions.

In a nutshell, they aren’t staying on the field as much with Weeden at QB, and that is having an impact on the defense. Any coach will tell you the longer your offense is on the field, the better chance you have to win, because defenses get tired. The Cowboy defense, especially in those games against Atlanta and New Orleans, got gassed, and got shredded late.

Brandon Weeden shouldn’t get blamed for poor defensive play, but he can be faulted for not keeping the offense on the field. Of course, playing without Dez and Dunbar didn’t do him any favors. Could he improve in this area enough with the possibility of Dez coming back after they bye, or is it worth spending the off week getting Matt Cassel ready to start? At this point, the Cowboys are desperate to stay in the NFC East race, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Jason Garrett makes the switch. It’s not like Weeden has run away with the job here.

For my money, it might be worth trying, but I’m not holding out hope that Matt Cassel is going to be that much of an improvement.

 

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