We dug up the most interesting data points and player metrics in the Pro Football Focus database to identify the hidden keys on every NFL team -- from players and position groups to defensive schemes and beyond -- leaning on data from this season but also taking into account numbers from previous seasons.
Here are the secrets to success for every team:
The Cowboys made a conscious effort this offseason to get back to the zone coverages that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli schemes best. In 2016, Dallas ran man coverage the eighth most of any team in the NFL and was successful in it, but the team parted ways with man corners such as Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne in the offseason. Now the Cowboys are back to almost exclusively zone and have had their most success with two-deep safety coverages. On 50 snaps of coverages that feature split safeties, they've allowed only 5.6 yards per play, the fourth-best figure in the league. That number jumps up to 6.3 on all single-high safety coverages.
Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson
Tomlinson was one of the relatively unheralded players on a loaded Alabama defense. He has played 125 snaps in the first three games and has generated the highest run-stop percentage of any rookie defensive lineman with at least 25 snaps versus the run. His 9.2 run-stop percentage would've been the second highest by any rookie defensive lineman last season as well.