14.4 C
New York
Sunday, May 28, 2023

Buy now

No Empty Calories: Prescott top 5 in telling passing statistic

Quarterback Dak Prescott is coming off quite a polarizing season for the Dallas Cowboys. On the one hand, he ranked third in success rate in 2022 and top-10 in EPA + CPOE composite scores (expected points added and higher-than-expected completion percentage). On the other hand, he also led the NFL in interceptions (15) after missing five games.

Anyone who has spent time reading and debating sports knows that different statistics can tell different stories. Many league leaders are a direct byproduct of heavy workloads and statements of quantity rather than quality. In much the same way some stats paint a picture of Prescott’s 2022 season, while another, more focused stat, may paint an entirely different picture.

Football Outsiders, well-known for its DVOA scores, advanced statistics and contributions to the analytics community, recently relinquished its results to “fail completion” in 2022.

“A failed completion is any completed pass that fails to gain 45% of the required yards on first down, 60% on second down, or 100% on third or fourth down.”

Those familiar with “success rates” know that these are not arbitrarily chosen ranges. For a play to be considered a win for the offense it needs to improve the offense’s chances of scoring on the drive.

For example: completion of two yards on the 4th-and-1 a spectacular success while a 7-yard completion on 3rdthird-and -8 is not successful. The latter is therefore classified as a “failed completion”.

Its purpose is to weed out dump-off passes that inflate volume statistics like yards and clarify obscure effectiveness statistics like completion percentage.

Geno Smith (69.8) and Joe Burrows (68.3) lead the NFL in completion percentage in 2022. Prescott? He was down at number 14. Daniel Jones and Jalen Hurts both surpassed Prescott in completion percentage last season, so it’s understandable that some were critical of Prescott’s most recent season.

But a deep dive into the quality and effectiveness of these passes paints a completely different picture.

With a failed completion percentage of just 19.5, Prescott ranks fourth in the NFL in 2022. , ranked 14th and 24th respectively.

It appears that these players’ impressive completion percentages were inflated somewhat with empty calories (completions that were unsuccessful plays). Prescott’s completion percentage struggled simply because he was pressing downfield more. He was trying (and succeeding) to make the play a success by increasing the Cowboys’ scoring odds.

Does this explain Prescott’s high interception total?

It’s probably no coincidence Josh Allen, the 2022 leader in failed completion percentage (with the lowest number), finished behind Prescott with 14 interceptions. Aggressive passers move the ball more. It is not controversial to say this.

But looking into 2021, Prescott has only thrown 10 interceptions (18th in the NFL) and yet he still ranks top-10 in low failed completion percentage. This appears to be a pattern of performance with the Cowboys’ signal collar. In 2020, Prescott was again ranked fourth in the NFL. And in 2019, he was the NFL leader with the fewest failed completion percentage at 17.3.

At the end of the day, Prescott is the embodiment of an anti-dump-off passer. He is consistently in the top tier of NFL passers in unsuccessful completion percentage, indicating that his completions are not empty calories, but legitimate attempts to score the ball.

As such, the interceptions in 2022 appear to be an anomaly not related to his impressively low completion percentage.

Will this elite ranking continue to be a part of Prescott’s DNA in 2023 or will it leave when Kellen Moore leaves the city of Dallas?


Related articles

Share article

Latest articles


Subscribe to stay updated.