Again, I'll be using the stats provided by Football Outsiders.
As a short primer on the stats used:
"Teams are ranked according to Adjusted Line Yards. Based on regression analysis, the Adjusted Line Yards formula takes all running back carries and assigns responsibility to the offensive line based on the following percentages:Here are the numbers:
These numbers are then adjusted based on down, distance, and situation, and normalized so that the league average for Adjusted Line Yards per carry is the same as the league average for RB yards per carry. Defensive line stats (more accurately, defensive front seven stats) represent the performance of offensive lines against each defense, adjusted for the quality of offensive opponents. More info on ALY can be seen here.
- Losses: 120% value
- 0-4 Yards: 100% value
- 5-10 Yards: 50% value
- 11+ Yards: 0% value
The following stats are not adjusted for opponent:
As far as pass rushing, teams are ranked according to adjusted sack rate, which gives sacks per pass attempt adjusted for opponent, down, and distance."
- RB Yards: Yards per carry by running backs against this defense, according to standard NFL numbers.
- 10+ Yards: Percentage of rushing yards against this team more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. Represents yardage not reflected in Adjusted Line Yards stat. Teams are ranked from smallest number of 10+ Yards (#1) to largest number of 10+ Yards (#32).
- Power Success: Percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Also includes runs on first-and-goal or second-and-goal from the two-yard line or closer. This is the only statistic on this page that includes quarterbacks. Teams are ranked from lowest power success percentage allowed (#1) to highest power success percentage allowed (#32).
- Stuffed: Percentage of runs that result in (on first down) zero or negative gain or (on second through fourth down) less than one-fourth the yards needed for another first down. Ranked from most stuffs (#1) to fewest stuffs (#32).
|Adj. Line Yards||RB Yards||Power Success||Power Rank||10+ Yards||10+ Rank||Stuffed||Stuffed Rank||Sack Rank||Sacks||Adj. Sack Rate|
|2005 Cowboys||4.63 (30th)||4.16||74%||27||12%||3||24%||22||12||39||7.3%|
|2006 Cowboys||4.37 (20th)||3.81||60%||10||11%||3||26%||11||12||34||6.5%|
|2007 Cowboys||3.93 (8th)||4.01||67%||21||19%||22||28%||7||4||46||7.8%|
|2007 Dolphins||4.57 (31st)||4.58||70%||24||18%||19||20%||28||8||30||7.3%|
From 2005-06, the numbers put up by Dallas' defensive line were emblematic of a 3-4 defense (The Cowboys installed the 3-4 in 2005, the year of Rodgers' promotion to defensive line coach). The units' Adj. Line Yards ranks were low (30th and 20th), but their 10+ ranks were very high (3rd both years). This means that Dallas' defensive lines, in general, were letting opposing runners get past them and into the second level, where the linebackers and secondary succeeded at bringing the runners down before breaking long runs. That is generally the pattern of 3-4 defenses, since there are only three down lineman who are charged more with taking up blockers and funneling the runners into certain lanes where the linebackers can come up and make the play. So in that sense, despite the low Adj. Line Yard numbers, these defensive lines were doing a relatively good job.
However, in 2007, the pattern was reversed, with the defensive line posting a great Adj. Line Yards but a poor 10+ percentage. That's more a mark of poor secondary/linebacker help mixed with good defensive line play. As far as I know, the scheme in Dallas remained the same this year, so I'm not sure what would lead to a discrepancy in numbers like this.
As far as the running game goes, Rodgers' defensive line units improved over the course of his three years in the Stuffed % category. What wasn't a very effective "stuffing" unit, turned into a very good one by 2007, stuffing the run on 28% of the plays.
Whereas Dallas' success against the run was rather inconsistent, Rodgers' D-lines have been consistently above-average when rushing the QB. His Dallas lines never ranked lower than 12th in Adj. Sack Rates. Amazingly, Miami ranked 8th in that category last season, so Rodgers has a solid foundation to build on. He also average approximately 40 sacks in his three years as D-line coach.
Overall, Rodgers' experience with Dallas shows that he is quite a capable coach. He was able to improve the unit over the years in most categories, and his pass rushing successes are notable. Given that he is only 38 years old, he should still have plenty of room to improve and tweak his methods with Miami.