Oklahoma State football: Will Cowboys spread the ball?
Justin Blackmon is gone, and the Cowboy offense figures to go from a top-heavy receiving corps to a spread-the-wealth system. But here’s what’s funny. In the Dana Holgorsen Air Raid offense of the last two seasons, OSU did not focus more heavily on just one receiver (Blackmon) than in previous years. In fact, in most cases, the Cowboys shared the ball more in 2010 and 2011 than in previous seasons under Mike Gundy.
Here are the percentages of passes caught by the team’s leading receiver, compared to total number of receptions.
2011: 28.3 percent. Blackmon caught 121 of 428.
2010: 31.1 percent. Blackmon caught 111 of 357.
2009: 21.4 percent. Hubert Anyiam caught 42 of 196.
2008: 41.4 percent. Dez Bryant caught 87 of 210.
2007: 29.3 percent. Adarius Bowman caught 67 of 229.
2006: 34.5 percent. Bowman caught 60 of 174.
2005: 35.2 percent. D’Juan Woods caught 56 of 159.
Isn’t that interesting? When the Cowboys weren’t throwing much at all, like in 2005, they focused more heavily on one receiver than in 2010-11, when they were winging it all over the field.
2009 is a year with an asterisk, because that’s the season Dez was ruled ineligible after three games and everything changed. He had 17 catches, 323 yards and four TDs in those three games, so he was headed for a monster year.
And 2008 sticks out, because of Dez’s remarkable 41 percent ratio. If 41 percent of Brandon Weeden’s completions had gone to Blackmon last season, Blackmon would have had 175 catches.
But tossing out 2008 and 2009, and the ratios are all in line, ranging from 28.3 percent to 35.2 percent. Which might tell us this. Wes Lunt figures to end up with a favorite receiver. Probably Tracy Moore. But by all means the Cowboys will spread it around. They spread it around more with Blackmon than in some other seasons.
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