Heading into Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season, the ground game is one of the few things that is working for the Cowboys offense. Ezekiel Elliott leads the league in rushing with 480 yards, is averaging almost 100 yards per game, and is running at a 5.2 yards/attempt rate, a career-high.
Overall, the Cowboys are averaging 5.2 YPA on the ground, the second-best value in the league, and their ground game has contributed 13.56 Expected Points, the best value in the league by quite a margin.
By contrast, the passing game has generated -16.63 Expected Points, the second-worst value in the league.
But who should get the credit for the success on the ground, Elliott or the offensive line, and is such a differentiation even possible?
To see just how much the blocking is contributing to Elliott’s overall numbers, we turn to our friends from Football Outsiders. FO have developed two specific metrics to evaluate blocking and rushing performance that we’ll look at below.
Based on regression analysis, the Adjusted Line Yards (ALY) formula takes all running back carries and assigns responsibility to the offensive line based on the following percentages:...