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The 2015 Cowboys and One Strike Out Wonders

In 2014, Dallas, behind Tony Romo, went 12-4 (and 12-3 in Romo starts).

In 2015, with Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden, and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys went 4-12 (and 3-1 in Romo games).

In 2016, Dallas, with Dak Prescott at quarterback, went 13-3.

So Dallas saw the team’s win total drop by 8 games from ’14 to ’15, and then bounce back up by 9 more games.  That’s an average change of 8.5 wins, even more extreme than the Panthers change (in the other direction) we discussed yesterday.

Of course, given the quarterback changes in Dallas, it’s not super surprising to see that big swings in wins totals.  The Cowboys are the 3rd team to have an average win swing of 8.5 wins over a 3-year period, with the middle year being really bad. The first two also happened pretty recently:

  • In 2012, the Texans (with Matt Schaub) went 12-4; in ’13, Schaub’s performance fell through the floor, and Houston went 2-14 (-10). The next year, with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston went 9-7 (+7).

RkTeamYear NN-1 W%Yr N W%N+ W%Avg Win Change
1Dallas Cowboys20150.7500.2500.813-8.50
1Houston Texans20130.7500.1250.563-8.50
1Indianapolis Colts20110.6250.1250.688-8.50
4Miami Dolphins20070.3750.0630.688-7.50
4Houston Oilers19940.7500.1250.438-7.50
6New England Patriots19810.6250.1250.556-7.44
7Kansas City Chiefs20120.4380.1250.688-7.00
7Baltimore Ravens20070.8130.3130.688-7.00
7Indianapolis Colts19910.4380.0630.563-7.00
10New England Patriots19750.5000.2140.786-6.86
11Pittsburgh Steelers20030.6560.3750.938-6.75
12Cincinnati Bengals19870.6250.2670.750-6.73
13Tampa Bay Buccaneers20090.5630.1880.625-6.50
13Denver Broncos19990.8750.3750.688-6.50
13Denver Broncos19900.6880.3130.750-6.50
16San Francisco 49ers19820.8130.3330.625-6.17
17Carolina Panthers20140.7500.4690.938-6.00
17Green Bay Packers20080.8130.3750.688-6.00
17Tampa Bay Buccaneers20060.6880.2500.563-6.00
17New York Jets20050.6250.2500.625-6.00
17New Orleans Saints20050.5000.1880.625-6.00
17San Diego Chargers20030.5000.2500.750-6.00
17St. Louis Rams20020.8750.4380.750-6.00
17Chicago Bears20020.8130.2500.438-6.00
17Carolina Panthers20010.4380.0630.438-6.00
17Detroit Lions19920.7500.3130.625-6.00
17Detroit Lions19790.4380.1250.563-6.00

As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

  • Kellen Moore, Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter is a QB depth chart constructed on Madden fantasy draft when you decided to stock up at every other position first.

  • John

    I remember the 1990 Broncos (the year after their SB humiliation against SF). That team went downhill after their wild loss in Buffalo in Week 4.

  • sacramento gold miners

    Many fans, including myself, were dead wrong about Dak Prescott coming out of college. The off season incident before the draft must have dinged his prospects somewhat, but the Cowboys appear set at the QB position for many years to come. Although Elliot had a big year as a rookie too, Prescott delivered repeatedly in crucial situations. And his ability to run when necessary is something the Cowboys didn’t have with Romo in recent years.

    • JoeS

      What’s ironic is that EVEN the Cowboys didn’t have Prescott THAT high in their estimation (of course, they’ve tried to claim otherwise in hindsight). Remember, they had their eyes on Paxton Lynch and Christian Hackenberg (among others). And, even in the Fourth Round they picked DE Charles Tapper earlier! It was largely luck that landed them Prescott.

  • The 2011 Colts were the first team I thought of from the headline (not counting the 2015 Cowboys for actually being IN the headline).

    I find it interesting that the ’03 Steelers are on this list and the ’04 Steelers were on the last list. They went 10-5 in Tommy Maddox’s one good NFL season in ’02, then completely cratered to their worst record since 1988 at 6-10 in ’03 (though that really seems to have been an average team with bad luck), then had a fairly fluky 15-1 season in ’04, then dropped to 11-5 in their Super Bowl winning ’05 season.

  • Richie

    Fun. The 07-08 Dolphins made the top 6 of this list and the top 6 of yesterday’s list.