ReFo: Cowboys @ Titans, Week 2
Both the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys and managed to play the complete opposite from their respective Week 1 games. The Titans looked out of their depth on the offensive side of the ball, while the Cowboys went back to running behind their heavily invested offensive line and fed the ball to DeMarco Murray — and he did not disappoint.
In a dominant display the Cowboys gained 220 yards on 43 attempts and never looked in any danger of being stopped by the Titans.
Dallas Cowboys – Performances of Note
DeMarco Murray, RB: +3.6
Breakdown: Murray has always had the ability to perform at a high level, the only question has been his health concerns. Murray forced eight missed tackles and ended the game against the Titans with an 80.9 Elusive Rating. For a running back to finish with a +3.6 despite a fumble and a dropped pass is rare.
Signature Stat: Murray finished with 88 yards after contact and averaged 3.03 yards after contact per attempt.
Tyronne Crawford: +4.7
Breakdown: The often-maligned Cowboys defense performed at a good level vs. the Titans. Crawford provided the Cowboys with a pass rush they missed all of last year. With five pressures on 22 pass rushing snaps he was more than the Titans offensive line could cope with.
Signature Play: 3Q 13:24 – Crawford was able to get into Michael Oher’s body and push him back creating enough space inside to get through and make a hit on Locker as he threw the ball.
Henry Melton, DE: +2.8
Breakdown: In Week 1 Melton seemed to still be rounding into his old – penetrating 4-3 defensive tackle – self. In Week 2 this was all evident. Melton even managed to record a battered pass, which led to the interception by Rolando McClain. Melton may not be ready to take on the full work load in the early part of the season, but with performances like this, he will be there sooner rather than later.
Signature Stat: Melton had four pressures on 23 pass-rushing snaps, giving him a 14.1 Pass Rushing Productivity mark for the day.
Tennessee Titans – Performances of Note
Jake Locker, QB: -4.2
Breakdown: After a solid first game, Jake Locker’s second game of 2014 couldn’t get much worse. He threw multiple ill-advised passes against a Cowboys defense who where happy to sit back and frustrate Locker into making errant passes. Outside of the 61-yard touchdown pass to Delaine Walker, Locker only had 76 yards on passes over 10 yards in the air.
Signature Play: 2Q 15:00 – Locker’s day is summed up in this play. Locker had an open man in the flat of a short gain, but was eager to make something happen. Locker unwisely forced the ball to Justin Hunter. Thankfully for the Tennessee QB, Hunter was able to turn defensive back and swat the ball out of Morris Calibourne’s grasp for an incompletion.
Ropati Pitoitua, DE: +4.0
Breakdown: Against the Chiefs, Pitoitua played on just 26 snaps, however in Week 2, Ray Horton found a bigger role for him. With the Cowboys gashing the Titans’ run defense, Pitoitua was the one player who consistently gave the Dallas O-line problems. Though Pitoitua only came away with two tackles he was able to effect the point of attack on multiple occasions.
Signature Stat: Pitoitua had a Run Stop Percentage of 7.7% thanks to two stops on 26 run snaps.
Nate Washington, WR: -2.3
Breakdown: The normally dependable Nate Washington was targeted six times but ended up with only one catch for a single yard and a drop. While the passing game as a whole struggled, Washington had problems in separating from Brandon Carr for most of the game, apart from the drop, Washington also had the ball knocked loose in the end zone with just over six minutes left when the Titans were trying desperately to comeback.
Signature Stat: Since 2009 Washington has only had two games with less than 1 yard receiving.
PFF Game Ball
With half of his yards coming after contact and a +4.5 rushing grade the PFF Game Ball goes to DeMarco Murray.