As you might have noticed, the Dallas Cowboys have been struggling with third downs of late, on both sides of the ball.
In a piece published Wednesday, ESPN Dallas’s Todd Archer breaks down these struggles, and it isn’t pretty. In the team’s past five games, a stretch during which they’ve gone 2-3, they’ve converted just 32 percent of third down chances on offense. In the first seven games, they converted better than 55 percent of these chances.
On defense, during that same span, they’ve allowed opposing offenses to convert better than 46 percent of third down chances.
It’s an issue that must be addressed, and Jason Garrett has made third downs a point of emphasis in their preparation for the Bears.
“Third downs are critical, you have to keep drive alive (and) you have to get off the field and you have to do it on a consistent basis,” Garrett said. “One of the best things we’ve done as a team offensively this year is convert on third down. It’s been a good thing for us. I think it’s helped our entire team. We have to get back to where we’ve been for most of the year. We have to get more stops on defense because just by nature it’s a turnover if you’re not able to convert, they’re getting the ball back. And similarly, if they convert you’re giving them another opportunity. It’s a huge point of emphasis for us."
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