Breakdowns

Week 12 Discipline Index: Cowboys Are the NFL’s Most Penalized Team

Week 12 Discipline Index: Cowboys Are the NFL's Most Penalized Team

With an upset loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11, the Green Bay Packers no longer find themselves on top of the 33rd Team’s Discipline Index. Instead, it is the Seattle Seahawks who are making their first appearance at the very top of these rankings despite not being able to pull off the upset victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle was still able to play a disciplined brand of football in a tough loss. 

Here is how the top 10 of the Discipline Index shapes up heading into Week 12:

As a reminder, the 33rd Team’s Discipline Index combines the number of penalties, penalty yardage and turnovers on a per-game basis in order to show which teams are able to play the most mistake-free football in any given week.


While they sit with a comfortable 2.5 game lead atop the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys are currently No. 31 in the discipline index, grading out at the NFL’s most penalized team. With the Eagles rounding into form, Dallas will need to improve their discipline as they try to maintain their status in the playoff picture.

Despite the shake up at the top of the rankings, it is a Week 12 playoff contention matchup that steals the show this week between the 5-5 Minnesota Vikings and the 5-5 San Francisco 49ers. Both of these teams are attempting to make playoff pushes, especially after huge victories this past week. Winning this matchup will go a long way towards helping either of these teams to gain the inside edge to the playoffs in a very competitive NFC. 

Even though the Vikings were playing a red hot Green Bay Packers team, they were still able to play a disciplined brand of football, resulting in an upset win over the Packers and a rise of six spots in the Discipline Index. In this win, the Vikings only committed three penalties for 25 yards against Green Bay. This went a long way towards the Vikings being able to win this one as it allowed them to capitalize on Green Bay’s inability to score a lot in the first half.

Moreover, the Vikings were able to secure the ball throughout this one as they did not have a single turnover on the game, resulting in less chances for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams to burn them down the stretch. Minnesota will need to play a similar style of football in Week 12 in order to defeat the upstart San Francisco 49ers. 

As for the aforementioned 49ers, they had a little bit of an easier time in Week 11 as they cruised to a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and rose four spots in the Discipline Index. Still, the Jaguars have pulled off some upset victories this year, so it was certainly a team that the Niners could not take lightly.

This showed in the Niners’ ability to take care of the ball and to not commit game-changing penalties. San Francisco did not turn the ball over once, and they managed to only commit one penalty on the day for 12 yards. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, this is a pretty impressive feat in the modern day NFL. The 49ers did not take the Jaguars lightly, and they will need a similar effort in Week 12 in order to continue their hot play as of late against the Vikings. 

Here is the full list of the Discipline Index rankings heading into Week 12: 

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