By: Mark Lane

Sep 2017

Rams at Cowboys

SERIES FACTS (13)

The Cowboys are 2-1 for the 28th time in franchise history. 15/27 of the previous teams made the playoffs.

The Rams are 2-1 for the 17th time in club history. 7/16 of the previous teams made the postseason.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last revised, 151/276 teams that started 2-1 made the playoffs.

The Cowboys are 3-3 against the Rams in October.

The Cowboys are 9-8 against the Rams at home. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Cotton Bowl: 0-2
Texas Stadium: 6-6
AT&T Stadium: 3-0

The Rams are 0-1 in Central Time Zone games since moving back to Los Angeles. The last such game they won was Sept. 25, 1994 when they shutout the Kansas City Chiefs 16-0 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Dallas is 24-23-1 against West Coast teams that visit the Metroplex.

This is the only early game Dallas will play in 2017. The Cowboys are 153-117 all-time in early games with a 75-39 record at home.

Los Angeles is 555-557-20 in early games with a 244-315-11 record on the road.

The Cowboys are 5-2 against the Rams in early games in the series.

Los Angeles is on a three-game losing streak against the NFC East. The last such win was a 24-0 shutout in Washington on Dec. 7, 2014.

The Rams haven’t made the playoffs since 2004. Still, despite their nine-year playoff appearance drought, they have more postseason wins since 1997 (six) than do the Cowboys (two).


The Rams are the only NFL franchise to have defeated the Cowboys with two interim head coaches: Joe Vitt in 2005 and Jim Haslett in 2008.


DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (7)

Prescott is 2-1 against fellow quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class.

Among quarterbacks with a minimum of 25 attempts, Prescott’s 74.9 passer rating on third down is the 13th-best in the NFL.

Last week’s 28-17 win at Arizona helped Prescott earn his first game-winning drive of the season, tying him with 10 other quarterbacks for the second-most in 2017.

Prescott’s 88.9 passer rating through the first three games is the first time since Tony Romo in 2012 that a Cowboys starting quarterback has registered in the 80’s in passer rating through the first three games.

Prescott’s four sacks through the first three games match his 2016 total, which is still the fewest by a Dallas starting quarterback through the first three games since 1981 when Danny White sacked just four times.

Prescott’s adjusted yards per attempt is 6.53 through the first three games. Last season, through the first three games, it was 7.95.

Prescott’s 107 pass attempts through the first three games are the sixth-most in Cowboys history.


JARED GOFF FACTS (7)

Goff has the third-best passer rating on third down this season at 139.4

Goff’s 13 third down conversions are tied for the ninth-most in the NFL.

Goff’s 8.6 yards per attempt on third down is the seventh-best in the NFL.

Goff is tied with Trevor Siemian for the most touchdowns thrown on third down with four.

Goff’s 233 passing yards on third down are the eighth-most in the NFL.

Goff’s 817 passing yards are the seventh-most in the league.

Goff owns the league’s third-best passer rating at 118.2.

JASON GARRETT FACTS (10)

Jason Garrett is 3-0 against the Rams franchise. Here is how other Cowboys head coaches have done against the Rams:

Tom Landry: 11-11
Jason Garrett: 3-0
Dave Campo: 1-0
Wade Phillips: 1-1
Jimmy Johnson: 1-2
Bill Parcells: 0-1


The Rams join the Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Colts, and Dolphins as the only teams Garrett has an undefeated mark against in multiple games.

Garrett is 8-6 against the NFC West with a 3-3 record at home.

Garrett’s 3-3 home record against the NFC West is his second-best compared to the rest of the conference:
NFC North: 5-4
NFC West: 3-3
NFC South: 3-4


Garrett has started 2-1 in every one of his seven seasons as the Cowboys head coach. Only Tom Landry has more such starts with 13. Landry has a better playoff rate with 8/13 of his 2-1 squads making the playoffs compared to 2/6 for Garrett.

Garrett is currently 21-21 without Tony Romo under center.

Garrett is 10-9 against rookie head coaches with a 4-5 record at home.

Garrett is 23-14 against quarterbacks who have never been to the playoffs with a 13-8 on the road.

The Cowboys’ 64 points for are the second-fewest through the first three games in the Garrett era.

The Cowboys’ 22 penalties through the first three games are the third-most in the Garrett era.


SEAN MCVAY FACTS (10)

A win against the Cowboys would join McVay with Bob Waterfield, George Allen, Chuck Knox, Ray Malavasi, Joe Vitt, and Jim Haslett as the only first-year Rams head coaches to earn a win against the Cowboys in their first meeting.

McVay’s 2-1 mark joins him with Scott Linehan, John Robinson, George Allen, John Stydahar, and Bob Snyder as the only first-year Rams head coaches to lead the club to a 2-1 record.

A win against the Cowboys would also make McVay the first Rams first-year head coach since Mike Martz in 2000 to lead the club to two road wins with no losses.

McVay’s Rams have 107 points for through the first three games, the second-highest such total since 1940.

The last time the Rams led the NFL in points for after three games was 2000 when they had 119, the franchise record. Of course, Martz was also in his first year as head coach.

McVay’s Rams have a point differential of plus-32 through the first three games, the 14th-best in Rams history. Never have any of the 13 teams ahead of the 2017 Rams finished with a losing record.

McVay has yet to throw his challenge flag through three games.

McVay is the first Rams first-year head coach to have a first-round quarterback in his second year under center.

The last time a Rams head coach with his first year in the team had a Super Bowl-winning coordinator was Jeff Fisher in 2012 when he hired Gregg Williams. Unfortunately, Williams was suspended indefinitely due to his involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.

McVay was a coaching assistant on the 2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was serving in the same capacity for the Bucs from 2002-10.

BROADCAST FACTS (10)

The Cowboys are 123-115 all-time on FOX.

The Rams are 132-194-1 all-time on FOX.

The Cowboys are 63-55 in early games on FOX with a 53-47 record at home.

The Rams are 102-136 in early games on FOX with a 32-64 record on the road.

The Cowboys are 21-13 with Daryl Johnston as color commentator.

The Rams are 8-13 with Johnston as color commentator.

Dallas is 1-2 with Chris Myers as play-by-play.

Los Angeles is 9-19-1 when Myers is play-by-play.

Johnston is 1/5 ex-Cowboys to call Dallas games on television. The other four are Eddie Le Baron, Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, and Troy Aikman.

The final ESPN Sunday Night Football contest was Cowboys-Rams in Texas Stadium on Jan. 1, 2006. The Rams defeated the Cowboys 20-10 and dropped them to 9-7 on the year.


CLETE BLAKEMAN FACTS (10)

This week’s referee is Clete Blakeman. The Cowboys are 3-3 when Blakeman referees. Here are the results:

2010 – JAX, 17-35 – L
2012 – PIT, 27-24 – W-OT
2014 – @Rams, 34-31 – W
2014 – PHI, 10-33 – L
2015 – NE, 6-30 – L
2016 – @PIT, 35-30 – W


The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than opposition 3/6 times:

2010 – JAX: 6/36; DAL: 3/20
2012 – PIT: 0/0; DAL: 8/61
2014 – Rams: 8/119; DAL: 3/15
2014 – PHI: 4/20; DAL: 6/42
2015 – NE: 9/65; DAL: 7/50
2016 – PIT: 4/40; DAL: 10/98



Blakeman is tied with five other referees for the second-lowest home team winning percentage thus far:

John Hussey: 1.000
Terry McAulay: 1.000
Pete Morelli: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Ron Torbert: 1.000
John Parry: .667
Walt Anderson: .667
Carl Cheffers: .667
Brad Allen: .500
Ed Hochuli: .500
Jeff Triplette: .333
Bill Vinovich: .333
Jerome Boger: .333
Walt Coleman: .333
Tony Corrente: .333
Clete Blakeman: .333
Craig Wrolstad: .000


Blakeman is also tied with five other referees for the second-most games with home teams having fewer penalties:

Brad Allen: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Pete Morelli: 1.000
Clete Blakeman: .667
Walt Anderson: .667
Carl Cheffers: .667
Ron Torbert: .667
Bill Vinovich: .667
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Jerome Boger: .500
John Hussey: .500
Walt Coleman: .333
Tony Corrente: .333
Terry McAulay: .333
Jeff Triplette: .333
John Parry: .333
Ed Hochuli: .000


The Rams have a 3-3-1 record with Blakeman:

2010 – @Cardinals, 19-6 – W
2011 – @CLE, 13-12 – W
2011 – @PIT, 0-27 – L
2012 – @SF, 24-24 – T
2013 – Cardinals, 27-24 – W
2014 – DAL, 31-34 – L
2016 – ATL, 14-42 – L


The Rams have had fewer penalties 3/7 times with Blakeman:

2010 – Cardinals: 6/54; Rams: 2/15
2011 – CLE: 6/60; Rams: 7/55
2011 – PIT: 7/50; Rams: 4/21
2012 – SF: 13/85; Rams: 7/66
2013 – Cardinals: 6/68; Rams: 7/59
2014 – DAL: 3/15; Rams: 8/119
2016 – ATL: 5/40; Rams: 11/105


Blakeman is in the middle of the pack in terms of sacks per game:

Parry: 7.3
McAulay: 6.7
Cheffers: 6.3
Coleman: 6.3
Wrolstad: 6
Corrente: 6
Vinovich: 5.3
Steratore: 5.3
Blakeman: 5
Allen: 5
Anderson: 5
Triplette: 4.7
Hochuli: 4.5
Boger: 3.3
Morelli : 3
Torbert : 3
Hussey: 2.5


Blakeman is tied with Gene Steratore for the fifth-fewest offensive holding calls per game:

Coleman: 4.7
Morelli : 4.5
Torbert : 4
Corrente: 4
Hussey: 4
Wrolstad: 3.7
Parry: 3.3
Cheffers: 3.3
Vinovich: 2.7
Anderson: 2.7
McAulay: 2.3
Steratore: 2
Blakeman: 2
Triplette: 1.7
Hochuli: 1.5
Allen: 1
Boger: 1


With Blakeman under the hood, the Cowboys are 2/3 on challenges with the opposition going 1/3 while Replay Assistant is 3/9 with only one call benefitting Dallas.


The Rams are 0/1 on challenges under Blakeman while opponents are 1/1. Replay Assistant is 1/5 with two of those decisions favoring the Rams.




MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (33)


The Rams became the first NFL champion to move the season after winning it all when they moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles for the 1946 season.

This is the third straight season Dez Bryant has failed to catch more than 15 passes and eclipse the 200-yard mark through the first three games.

Bryant’s 40.7 catch percentage through the first three games is the lowest of his career.

This is the third straight season Bryant has not led the Cowboys in receiving yards after the first three games. Subsequently, this is the third straight season the Cowboys have had a different receiving yards leader through three games than the year before.

Witten currently leads the Cowboys in receiving yards with 159 through three games. The last time Witten led Dallas in receiving yards through the first three games was 2010 when he had 272.

Receiver Terrance Williams’ 81.3 catch percentage through the first three games is the second-best of his career. His best was last season when he had an 87.3 percentage.

Williams’ 13 catches for 132 yards through the first three games is the best of his career in terms of catches and yards.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s 29.0 sacks are the most by an interior defensive lineman since 2014.

Donald’s solo sack through the first three games are tied for the second-lowest total of his career.

Donald’s 120 solo tackles are the sixth-most since 2014.

Rams linebacker Robert Quinn has six total tackles against the Cowboys through three career games.

With 241 rushing yards, this is the first time in Rams running back Todd Gurley’s career he has started in the top-5 in rushing yards in the first three games.

Gurley’s 241 rushing yards as the 23rd-most by a Rams running back through the first three games to start the season since 1950.

Gurley has exactly 63 attempts through three games, same as last season. However, Gurley has scored four touchdowns to two, posted 241 yards to 183, and averages 3.83 yards per carry versus 2.90.

Rams receiver Sammy Watkins has 13 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns through the first three games, his best such start in his career. His previous best start was his rookie season when he caught 13 balls for 167 yards and a touchdown.

Last week was the fourth multi-touchdown game of Watkins’ career.

Watkins’ 166 catches are eighth-most by a receiver among the 2014 draft class.

Watkins’ 19 touchdowns are tied with Jordan Matthews for the fifth-most by a receiver among the 2014 draft class.

Watkins remains with Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks as the only first round receivers in the 2014 draft who have yet to make a Pro Bowl.

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp’s grandfather Jake Kupp was drafted by the Cowboys in 1964, and his father Craig Kupp played for the Cowboys in 1991.

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey is 3/4 on field goals at home against the Rams in his career.

The Cowboys are tied with five other teams for being the beneficiary for the most offensive holding calls with six.

All four of the Rams’ offensive holding calls this season have been declined.

The Cowboys are tied with the Buffalo Bills for the eighth-shortest drives on average at 2:29 time of possession per drive.

The Rams defense averages the fewest plays per drive with 5.2.

The Rams defense is tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the eighth-shortest drives per possession at 2:25.

The Cowboys have the fourth-best average starting field position per drive at the 32.6-yard line per drive. However, they are the absolute median in terms of drives ending in scores (35.3 percent).

The Dallas defense is the ninth-best in the league in terms of fewest points per drive at 1.62.

The Cowboys and the Rams are tied with three other teams for the second-most false starts in the NFL with six.

Tyron Smith is tied with eight other players for the most false starts in the NFL with two. None of those players include a Rams offensive lineman.

The Cowboys are 2-6 on Oct. 1. Here are the results:

1961 – @CLE, 7-25 – L
1967 – Rams, 13-35 – L
1972 – @GB, 13-16 – L
1989 – NYG, 13-30 – L
1995 – @WAS, 23-27 – L
2000 – @CAR, 16-13 – W-OT
2006 – @OTI, 45-14 – W
2012 – CHI, 18-34 – L

The Rams are 8-2 on Oct. 1. Here are the results:
1939 – @GB, 27-24 – W
1950 – @SFO, 35-14 – W
1961 – PIT, 24-14 – W
1967 – @DAL, 35-13 – W
1972 – @ATL, 3-31 – L
1978 – @NO, 26-20 – W
1989 – @SFO, 13-12 – W
1995 – @Colts, 18-21 – L
2000 – Chargers, 57-31 – W
2006 – DET, 41-34 – W

Dallas has two birthdays to celebrate on Oct. 1:

Kyle Davis, C, 1975 – 10/1/1952
Kenny Duckett, WR, 1985 – 10/1/1959

Cowboys at Cardinals

SERIES FACTS (11)

The Cowboys’ first ever Monday Night Football appearance was a 38-0 loss to the Cardinals in the Cotton Bowl on Nov. 16, 1970.


This is the 25th time in club history the Cowboys have started 1-1. 11/24 of those previous 1-1 teams made the playoffs.


This is the 39th time in franchise history Arizona has started 1-1. 11/97 of those previous teams made the postseason.


Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, teams that started 1-1 made the playoffs only 159/389 times.

The Cowboys are 15-5 against the Cardinals in September with a 7-3 record on the road.

Dallas is making its fifth trip to University of Phoenix Stadium. Here is a breakdown of the Cowboys’ record in each Cardinals venue:
Sportsman’s Park: 2-4
Busch Memorial Stadium: 12-7-1
Sun Devil Stadium: 8-7
University of Phoenix Stadium: 1-3


University of Phoenix Stadium is the site of the Cowboys’ longest active multi-game losing streak in an opposing venue at three games.

The Cowboys are 5-6 against the Cardinals in prime time with a 5-4 record on the road.

Dallas was 5-3 against Arizona in its final eight games in the NFC East. Since realignment in 2002, the Cardinals are now 5-3 against the Cowboys.

Dallas is 21-20 in the Pacific Time Zone.

Since 1997, the Cowboys are 14-3 in Week 3 games with an 8-2 record on the road.


DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (10)

Prescott is making his first start against the Cardinals. Here is how other Cowboys starters fared in their first outings:
Eddie LeBaron: 0-1
Don Meredith: 0-1
Roger Staubach: 1-0
Craig Morton: 0-1
Danny White: 1-0
Gary Hogeboom: 0-1
Steve Pelluer: 1-0
Steve Walsh: 0-1
Troy Aikman: 0-1
Jason Garrett: 1-0
Randall Cunningham: 0-1
Clint Stoerner: 0-1
Quincy Carter: 0-1
Drew Bledsoe: 1-0
Tony Romo: 1-0
Jon Kitna: 0-1
Brandon Weeden: 0-1


In the regular season, Prescott has never been on a losing streak.

Prescott’s 68.6 passer rating last week was the third-lowest of his career.

Last week, Prescott threw 50 passes in the Cowboys’ 42-17 loss in Denver. The last Cowboys quarterback to throw for 50-plus passes was Tony Romo in a 27-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 3, 2013.

Prescott’s 50 pass attempts joins him with Troy Aikman, Vinny Testaverde, and Romo as the only Dallas quarterbacks to have thrown 50 or more passes in a game.

Prescott’s 4.8 yards per attempt in Denver was the third-lowest of his career and 2.8 yards lower than his career average.

Last week was the second time in Prescott’s career he completed 30 or more passes in a game.

Prescott has the 15th-best completion percentage on third down at 60.9 percent.

Prescott’s average yards per attempt on third down is 5.5, a dip of 2.3 yards from his 2016 totals.

Prescott is tied for the eighth-most all-purpose third down conversions with 10.

CARSON PALMER FACTS (11)

Not only is Palmer the only quarterback from the 2003 NFL Draft class still in the league, he is 1/4 players from the draft still in the league.


Palmer’s 65.6 passer rating is the second-lowest of his career through the first two games of a season. The only season worse was 2008 when he 37.1 passer rating.


Since 1950, Palmer’s 65.6 passer rating is the 28th-worst for a quarterback 37 years old or older through the first two games to start a season.


Palmer has been sacked five times through two games, tying it for the second-most sacks through two games in his career. The most is six sustained in his rookie year in 2004.


Palmer has a 56.6 passer rating on third down, the sixth-worst in the NFL in 2017.


Palmer is tied with Aaron Rodgers for the sixth-most third down conversions in 2017 with 10.


Palmer is 1/16 quarterbacks who has rushed for a first down on third down in 2017.


Palmer is tied with DeShone Kizer and Andy Dalton for the most interceptions thrown in 2017 with four.


Palmer is the first Cardinals quarterback to make consecutive starts against the Cowboys since Jake Plummer from 2000-02.


Last week’s 16-13 win over the Colts joined Palmer with Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford, and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks thus far in 2017 who have a fourth quarter comeback.


Palmer is fourth in the NFL in yards per pass completion at 13.0.


JASON GARRETT FACTS (10)

Last week, the Broncos beat the Cowboys 42-17, making it the third game in Garrett’s career he has lost by 25-plus points. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:

Tom Landry: 18
Dave Campo: 7
Bill Parcells: 4
Jason Garrett: 3
Jimmy Johnson: 2
Barry Switzer: 2
Wade Phillips: 2



Jason Garrett has a 0-3 record thus far against the Arizona Cardinals. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:

Tom Landry: 33-19-1
Jimmy Johnson: 7-3
Barry Switzer: 7-1
Bill Parcells: 3-0
Chan Gailey: 3-2
Dave Campo: 2-3
Wade Phillips: 0-1
Jason Garrett: 0-3


The Cardinals are 1/7 NFL teams Garrett has not beaten (Jets, Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers, Falcons, Cardinals).

Garrett’s first ever start as a quarterback was against the Phoenix Cardinals on Nov. 14, 1993. Garrett completed 2/6 for 25 yards before being replaced by backup Bernie Kosar who led Dallas to a 20-15 win.

Garrett is 26-21 on the road with a 4-3 record on the road against the NFC West.

Garrett has the Cowboys with a 3-2 record in the Pacific Time Zone. Here is how that compares to other time zones:

Eastern: 22-12
Pacific: 3-2
Central: 5-4
Mountain: 0-3


Garrett’s 3-2 record in the Pacific Time Zone since 2010 is third-best to the Vikings’ 4-1 mark and the Texans’ 3-1 record.

Garrett is 14-8 in the month of September with a 6-5 record on the road.

A loss Sunday would mean Garrett’s 12th losing streak of his career.

Garrett is 20-21 without Tony Romo under center.

BRUCE ARIANS FACTS (10)

With a win over the Cowboys in his first meeting on Nov. 2, 2014, Arians joined Pop Ivy (1960), Ray Willsey (1961), Ray Prochaska (1961), Chuck Drulis (1961), Wally Lemm (1962), Joe Bugel (1990), Dave McGinnis (2000), and Ken Whisenhunt (2008) as the only Cardinals coaches to defeat the Cowboys in their first try.

Arians is 6-1 against the NFC East with a 3-0 record at home.

Arians is 11-4-1 in prime time with a 6-3-1 record at home.

With 10 wins in 2013, Arians joined Norman Barry as the only Cardinals coaches to lead the franchise to a 10-win season in his first year.


Arians and Don Coryell are the only Cardinals head coaches to lead the club to three consecutive 10-plus wins seasons.


2016 was the only season where Arians began the year with a 1-1 record at home.


Arians and Texans head coach Bill O’Brien are the only head coaches since 2014 to lead their teams in back-to-back playoff appearances with multiple quarterbacks.


Since 2013, the Cardinals have committed the sixth-fewest penalties in the NFL with 397.


Arians is 13/31 on coaches challenges in his career.


Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was the tight ends coach for the 1996 New Orleans Saints, which was the rookie season of wide receiver Brett Bech, who is now the Cowboys assistant strength and conditioning coach.



BROADCAST FACTS (22)

WFAA will simulcast the game in Dallas-Fort Worth, and are the fifth Metroplex station to do so since 1987. Here is a list of the other stations that have simulcast Cowboys cable games and the Cowboys’ records:

KXAS (1987-90): 1-2
KTXA (1991-12): 13-15
KTXD (2013): 0-1
WFAA (2014): 0-1
KTVT (2014): 1-0
WFAA (2015): 1-0
KTVT (2015): 0-1
WFAA (2016) 1-0


The Cowboys are 47-35 on WFAA, including simulcast games.

The Nov. 13, 1988 ESPN Sunday Night Football game between Minnesota and Dallas was blacked out in Dallas-Fort Worth, and probably for good reason. The Vikings handed the Cowboys their largest margin of defeat on ESPN with a 43-3 drumming.

The only quarterback the Cowboys have faced on both of ESPN’s telecasts is Eli Manning, who remains a perfect 3-0 against the Cowboys having played them in three different venues (2004: Giants Stadium; 2006: Texas Stadium; 2010: AT&T Stadium).

Going back to 2000, the Cowboys have had four rushers go over 100 yards in an ESPN telecast: Troy Hambrick (2001), Julius Jones (2004), Felix Jones (2011), DeMarco Murray (2014), and Ezekiel Elliott (2016).

Cowboys linebacker Victor Butler (2009) and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (2015) recorded the most sacks in an ESPN game with two, while DeMarcus Ware’s 7.5 sacks is the most for a Cowboys career on ESPN.

Bill Parcells holds the distinction as being the only NFL head coach to have coached on ESPN Sunday Night Football and ESPN Monday Night Football in the same calendar year (1/1/06 and 10/23/06)

All of the Cowboys’ African-American quarterbacks started on ESPN: Randall Cunningham (2000), Anthony Wright (2000-01), Quincy Carter (2002-03), and Dak Prescott (2016)

On ESPN Monday Night Football, the Dallas has worn only their white jerseys. However, they had occasions to wear their “cursed blues” on ESPN Sunday Night Football. Here’s their record in their blue and white jerseys:

White: 7-13
Blue: 1-4

ESPN only showed Sunday night games during the second half of the season from 1987-97. From 1990-97, TNT carried the first half of the season’s Sunday night contests. The Cowboys actually had a better record of 3-1 on TNT than their 2-12 record on ESPN Sunday Night Football.

The Cowboys have kicked off ESPN’s telecasts for the year only twice: 1989 and 1990. While many remember the Cowboys’ infamous Week 1 loss to the expansion Houston Texans, this was not ESPN’s first telecast of the season. That was three days prior on Sept. 5 when Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul Maguire called the 49ers-Giants matchup, which became the basis for the NFL’s Kickoff Special.

Dallas has played on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on ESPN.

For ESPN telecasts since 1987, September is the most-played month for the Cowboys, who hold a 3-3 record. Here is the Cowboys’ record in the other months in which they have played on ESPN:

September: 3-3
October: 1-5
November: 1-4
December: 3-4
January: 0-2


The Cowboys have been on both sides of one-point contests on ESPN. The first was a 31-32 loss to the Cardinals on Sept. 10, 2000, while their victory was the 25-24 thriller in Buffalo on Oct. 8, 2007.

Only two current Cowboys have played on both of ESPN’s telecasts: Jason Witten and L.P. Ladouceur.

Andy Reid and Tom Coughlin are the only two coaches to have faced the Cowboys on both of ESPN’s NFL packages. However, Coughlin is the only coach to have defeated the Cowboys on both packages.

Parcells and Wade Phillips are the only two Cowboys head coaches to have coached against their former teams on ESPN telecasts (Parcells: Patriots in ’03 and Giants in ’06; Phillips: Bills in ’07). Only Phillips defeated his former team.

Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, and Lisa Salters are the current talent for ESPN Monday Night Football. Here is the Cowboys’ record for all talent that participated in ESPN’s coverage of Dallas Cowboys football since 1987:

Mike Patrick: 2-12
Roy Firestone: 0-1
Joe Theismann: 2-12
Paul Maguire: 1-9
Solomon Wilcots: 1-4
Suzy Kolber: 4-8
Mike Tirico: 5-5
Tony Kornheiser: 2-1
Michele Tafoya: 3-2
Jon Gruden: 4-4
Ron Jaworski: 4-1
Ed Werder (2011, Cowboys sideline): 1-0
Lisa Salters: 2-3
Sean McDonough: 1-0


Out of past and present ESPN talent, one has a connection to the Cowboys. Lisa Salters is former running back Tony Dorsett’s cousin.

This is only the third time in Monday Night Football’s history that there has been a two-man team covering the game. In 1986, ABC experimented with Al Michaels and Frank Gifford calling the action before adding Dan Dierdorf in 1987. ABC went back to the two-man team in 2002 by adding only John Madden.

Another quoted statistic going into this game is how the Cowboys have the second-most Monday Night Football appearances with 78. The Dolphins have 82. The reality behind that statistic is in 2006 the NFL moved its marquee game from Monday Night Football to Sunday Night Football. The truth is the Dolphins have had 11 MNF appearances since 2006 versus the Cowboys’ 11. However, since 2006, the Cowboys have had 41 SNF appearances versus the Dolphins’ one. So, actually, the correct way to look at this statistic is the Cowboys lead the league with 153 marquee game appearances versus the Dolphins’ 126.


CRAIG WROLSTAD FACTS (12)

This week’s referee is Craig Wrolstad. The Cowboys have a 2-2 record with Wrolstad. Here are the results:

2014 – Cardinals, 17-28 – L
2015 – NYJ, 16-19 – L
2016 – CHI, 31-17 – W
2016 – WAS, 31-26 – W



The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than the opposition 4/4 times with Wrolstad:

2014 – Cardinals: 6/62; DAL: 5/33
2015 – NYJ: 8/61; DAL: 6/54
2016 – CHI: 6/45; DAL: 4/45
2016 – WAS: 3/30; DAL: 3/25

Wrolstad is tied for the absolute worst home team winning percentage thus far in the NFL:
Pete Morelli: 1.000
John Hussey: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Ron Torbert: 1.000
Walt Anderson: 1.000
Terry McAulay: 1.000
Jeff Triplette: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Brad Allen: .500
Carl Cheffers: .500
Walt Coleman: .500
John Parry: .500
Craig Wrolstad: .000
Tony Corrente: .000
Clete Blakeman: .000
Jerome Boger: .000
Ed Hochuli: .000


In terms of home teams having fewer penalties, Wrolstad is tied for the absolute best overall:
Craig Wrolstad: 1.000
Brad Allen: 1.000
Clete Blakeman: 1.000
Pete Morelli: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Walt Anderson: .500
Carl Cheffers: .500
Terry McAulay: .500
Ron Torbert: .500
Jeff Triplette: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Walt Coleman: .500
Tony Corrente: .500
Jerome Boger: .250
Ed Hochuli: .000
John Parry: .000
John Hussey: .000


The Cardinals are 3-0 with Wrolstad:
2014 – @DAL, 28-17 – W
2014 – KC, 17-14 – W
2016 – @Rams, 44-6 – W


With Wrolstad, Arizona is 2/3 in having fewer penalties than the opposition:
2014 – DAL: 5/33; Cardinals: 6/62
2014 – KC: 9/75; Cardinals: 6/40
2016 – Rams: 9/61; Cardinals: 4/51


Through two weeks, Wrolstad is tied with Bill Vinovich for the fifth-most sacks per game:
Coleman: 7.5
McAulay: 7.5
Parry: 7.5
Corrente: 6.5
Cheffers: 6
Wrolstad: 5.5
Vinovich: 5.5
Triplette: 5
Allen: 5
Blakeman: 5
Torbert: 4
Anderson: 4
Morelli : 4
Steratore: 3.5
Boger: 3.5
Hochuli: 3
Hussey : 3



Wrolstad is tied with Walt Coleman for the third-most holding calls per game through two weeks:
Hussey : 5
Morelli : 5
Wrolstad: 4.5
Coleman: 4.5
Vinovich: 4
Parry: 4
Torbert : 3.5
Cheffers: 3.5
Steratore: 3
Corrente: 2.5
Anderson: 2.5
Hochuli: 2
McAulay: 1.5
Blakeman: 1.5
Triplette: 1.5
Boger: 1
Allen: 1



Dallas is 0/1 when challenging Wrolstad while opponents are 2/2. Replay Assistant is 0/1 with none of those calls benefiting the Cowboys.

The Cardinals are 1/1 on challenges with Wrolstad with the opposition going 0/1. Replay Assistant is 1/4 with two of those decisions having favored Arizona.

Wrolstad was a field judge on Ed Hochuli’s crew on Jan. 9, 2010 when Dallas defeated Philadelphia 34-14 to win their first playoff game in 13 years.

Away from pro football, Wrolstad is a high school athletic director for Seattle Christian Schools in Tukwila, Washington.


MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (7)

The Cowboys have the 13th-worst third down conversion rate at 36.7 percent.


The Cardinals offense is right in the middle of the pack in the NFL in third down conversions at 38.7 percent.


The Cowboys defense is tied with Washington and Tampa Bay for the fifth-worst third down conversion rate at 50 percent.


Arizona’s defense is the ninth-worst in the NFL in third down conversion rate at 47.1 percent.


The Cowboys defense is tied with eight other teams for the fourth-most touchdowns surrendered on third down with two.


The Cowboys defense is tied with six other teams for the fifth-most sacks on third down with three. All of them belong to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.


Dallas kicker Dan Bailey joins Cincinnati kicker Randy Bullock and Seattle kicker Blair Walsh as the only kickers thus far to have attempt field goals on third down in 2017.


The only former divisional foe the Cardinals have struggled against is Washington, posting a 2-6 record since 2002. Against Philadelphia and New York, Arizona is 6-3 and 4-3 respectively.


The Cardinals are 1/5 teams that has remained undefeated against the Cowboys in postseason play. The other four teams are Indianapolis, Washington, Carolina, and Seattle.


In the history of the NFL, the Rams and Cardinals franchises are the only ones to have called three different cities home. Coincidentally, both of them share St. Louis.


Emmitt Smith holds the 10th-best single-season touchdown record for both the Cardinals and Cowboys franchises.




The Cowboys are 6-0 on Sept. 25. Here are the results:

1966 – MIN, 28-17 – W
1977 – NYG, 41-21 – W
1983 – NO, 21-20 – W
1988 – ATL, 26-20 – W
2005 – @SF, 34-31 – W
2016 – CHI, 31-17 – W

The Cardinals are 5-5 on Sept. 25. Here are the results:

1927 – @CHI, 0-9 – L
1938 – @GB, 7-28 – L
1940 – CHI, 21-7 – W
1966 – @CLE, 34-28 – W
1977 – CHI, 16-13 – W
1983 – @PHI, 14-11 – W
1988 – WAS, 30-21 – W
2005 – @SEA, 12-37 – L
2011 – @SEA, 10-13 – L
2016 – @BUF, 18-33 – L

Dallas has three birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 25:

Sonny Davis, LB, 1961 – 9/25/1938
Ray Perkins, DE, 1987 – 9/25/1964
Dat Nguyen, LB, 1999-2005 – 9/25/1975

Cowboys at Broncos

SERIES FACTS (11)

The Cowboys are 1-0 for the 38th time in franchise history. 25 of those 37 previous teams made the playoffs.

The Broncos are 1-0 for the 38th time in franchise history. 19 of those previous 37 teams made the playoffs.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, 220/415 teams that started 1-0 made the playoffs.

This is the 12th time the Cowboys will play an AFC team in the second game of the season. Dallas is currently 6-5.

This is the 19th time the Broncos will play an NFC team in the second game of the season. They are 9-7-1.

This is the first time since 2008 the Cowboys will play two teams to start the season who had winning records the year before.

The Cowboys are 1-2 against the Broncos in September:
1980 – @DEN, 21-40 – L
1995 – DEN, 31-21 – W
1998 – @DEN, 23-42 – L

Dallas is 37-20 in Week 2 games with a 10-5 mark in late afternoon match-ups.

Denver is 35-19-2 in Week 2 games with a 26-7-1 mark in late afternoon games.

The Cowboys are 2-4 against the Broncos on the road. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Mile High Stadium: 2-3
Sports Authority Field: 0-1

The last match-up between these two teams combined for 99 points in a 51-48 Broncos win. The 99 points are tied for the fourth-most combined in a single game since 1940.

DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (10)

Prescott is making his first start against the Broncos. Here is how other Cowboys quarterbacks fared:
1973 – Roger Staubach – W
1980 – Danny White – L
1986 – Steve Pelluer – L
1992 – Troy Aikman – W
2001 – Ryan Leaf – L
2005 – Drew Bledsoe – L
2009 – Tony Romo – L

A win Sunday will improve Prescott’s consecutive winning streak against the AFC to five. White has the longest such streak at seven games, and Romo and Aikman each have a streak of six games.

A win Sunday would join Prescott with Don Meredith, Craig Morton, Staubach, White, Aikman, and Romo as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to start the season 2-0.

On the road, Prescott averages two sacks. The Cowboys were 7-1 in 2016 when Prescott was sacked twice or more.

3/4 of Prescott’s interceptions came on the road in 2016.

Prescott has a 102.6 passer rating in the second half compared to a 104.3 first half passer rating.

Dez Bryant is Prescott’s most targeted receiver with 107 targets. Tight end Jason Witten is second with 103, and receiver Cole Beasley is third with 101.

On third down, Prescott has targeted Beasley the most with 32 targets. Bryant is second with 26 and Witten is third with 24.

In the fourth quarter and overtime, Beasley remains Prescott’s most targeted receiver with 34 targets. Bryant is a close second with 31, and Witten is a distant third with 24.

Prescott’s 8.0 yards per carry against the Giants last week is tied for the fourth-best single game total in his career.

TREVOR SIEMIAN FACTS (11)

Siemian is making his first start against the Cowboys. Here is how other Broncos quarterbacks fared in their first starts against Dallas:
1973 – Charley Johnson – L
1977 – Craig Penrose – L
1977 – Craig Morton – L
1980 – Matt Robinson – W
1986 – John Elway – W
1992 – Tommy Maddox – L
2001 – Brian Griese – W
2005 – Jake Plummer – W
2009 – Kyle Orton – W
2013 – Peyton Manning – W

Siemian is the 45th starting quarterback for the Broncos.

A win Sunday will tie Siemian with Steve Tensi for the 11th-most wins in Broncos history.

Drafted in the seventh round by Denver, Siemian joined Randy Dean and Otto Graham as the only quarterbacks drafted out of Northwestern.

With a 9-6 mark, Siemian trails Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (15-17) and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (11-17) for the most wins by quarterbacks in the 2015 draft class.

Siemian trails Ryan Fitzpatrick (46-69-1) and Matt Cassel (36-44) for the most wins by a seventh-round quarterback since 2002.

Siemian has a career 91.8 passer rating on third down, the 10th-best since 2016 among quarterbacks with a minimum of 130 attempts.

Siemian is tied with Tom Brady and Mariota for the fourth-most touchdowns on third down since 2016 among quarterbacks with a minimum of 130 attempts.

Siemian’s 7.4 yards per attempt on third down are 12th-most since 2016 among quarterbacks with a minimum of 130 attempts.

Siemian’s three fourth quarter comebacks are tied with John McCormick, Gary Kubiak, and Brian Griese for the 10th-most in Broncos history.

Since 2016, Siemian has been sacked 12 times on first down, the seventh-most in that span.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (10)

With 1,735 rushing yards, Elliott has the third-most yards through the first 17 career games, trailing only Eric Dickerson’s 1,946 and George Rogers’ 1,739.

Among running backs who gained at least 1,500 yards through their first 17 career games, Elliott’s 5.01 yards per carry is fourth-best behind Adrian Peterson (5.55), Clinton Portis (5.48), and Barry Sanders (5.14).

Elliott is tied with eight other players for the most 100-yard rushing games through the first 16 career games with seven. If he rushes for 100 yards against Denver, Arizona, the Rams, and Green Bay, he will surpass Edgerrin James for the most (10) through the first 20 games to start a career.

While Elliott has had more 100-yard games on artificial turf with six compared to three on grass, he has a better yards per carry on grass (5.26) than on an artificial surface (4.97).

Elliott’s five receptions last week against the Giants were the most in his career.

Elliott’s 29 touches were tied for the third-most in a single game in his career.

Elliott’s 4.33 yards per carry against New York last week was actually the fifth-lowest total of his career.

The lowest rushing yard total Elliott gained on the road was 83 in Washington on Sept. 18, 2016 when he carried the ball 21 times for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Elliott has not scored a touchdown, playoffs included, since the Cowboys’ 42-21 win over Detroit on Dec. 26 when Elliott rushed for two. This ties the longest such streak in his career.

Last season against the AFC, Elliott rushed for 100 yards twice in contests against Cincinnati (134) and Pittsburgh (114).

VON MILLER FACTS (10)

Since 2011, only Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has had more sacks than Von Miller’s 73.5 with 76.0.

32 of Miller’s 73.5 sacks have come on third down.

30 of Miller’s 73.5 sacks have also come in the fourth quarter.

Six of Miller’s 20 career forced fumbles have come in the fourth quarter.

Aside from 2013 when Miller served a six-game suspension to start the season, Miller has never played the first two games without registering at least one sack.

Miller is tied with Hall-of-Famer Yale Lary for the second-most All Pro selections by a Texas A&M Aggie with three. The most is held by punter Shane Lechler with six.

Miller has sacked a total of 15 quarterbacks from the NFC a total of 21 takedowns.

Miller has sacked no quarterback more than Philip Rivers with 13.

Miller is 1/43 draft picks taken within the first two selections to be a defensive player. 25/43 were Pro Bowlers, 20/43 made All Pro, and 8/43 made it to the Hall of Fame.

Miller, a DeSoto native, has never played his hometown team since being drafted in 2011. It will be the 29th NFL team he has faced to date with the Giants and Eagles remaining.

JASON GARRETT FACTS (10)

Garrett is 19-18 in late afternoon games.

Garrett is 0-2 in the Mountain Time Zone.

In initial road games, Garrett is 4-2 and on a two-game winning streak.

Last year, Garrett went 4-0 against the AFC North, his second time to sweep the AFC complement of games in a season. Only Tom Landry has more such sweeps with four (1970-72, 1981).

Garrett is 16-9 against the AFC with an 8-5 record on the road.

Garrett’s 16-9 record against the AFC is the best in the NFC East since Week 10, 2010:
Philadelphia: 15-10
NY Giants: 14-11
Washington: 11-14-1

Garrett is 0-1 against the Broncos. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Tom Landry: 3-2
Jimmy Johnson: 1-0
Barry Switzer: 1-0
Chan Gailey: 0-1
Dave Campo: 0-1
Bill Parcells: 0-1
Wade Phillips: 0-1
Jason Garrett: 0-1

Garrett is currently 20-20 without Tony Romo under center.

Garrett is 7-9 against rookie head coaches with a 6-4 record on the road.

Garrett is 23-13 against quarterbacks who have never been to the playoffs with a 13-7 on the road.

VANCE JOSEPH FACTS (10)

With a win over the Chargers Monday night, Joseph joined Frank Filchock, Lou Saban, John Ralston, Red Miller, Dan Reeves, Wade Phillips, Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, and Gary Kubiak as the only Broncos head coaches to win their first game with the team.

A win Sunday would join Joseph with McDaniels, Phillips, Miller, Filchock, and Jack Faulkner as the only Broncos head coaches to start their tenure with a two-game winning streak.

Joseph will join John Fox and Miller as the only first-time Denver head coaches to coach two straight home games to start their tenure.

A win over the Cowboys would join Joseph with Reeves, McDaniels, and Fox as the only Denver head coaches to defeat Dallas in their first meeting.

The Broncos managed a 24-21 win over the Chargers and forced a turnover and sacked Philip Rivers once. As the Dolphins defensive coordinator in 2016, Joseph’s unit 10/16 times recorded at least a sack and a takeaway throughout the season.

Joseph is the 16th head coach in Broncos history, meaning an average head coach’s tenure is 3.6 seasons.

Joseph is the 11th rookie head coach in Broncos history.

Joseph is just the fourth Broncos head coach to come from a defensive background. The other three are John Fox, Wade Phillips, and Ray Malavasi.

The only other time Joseph coached against the Cowboys was as San Francisco’s defensive backs coach on Nov. 23, 2008. Receiver Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 213 yards and a touchdown.

Joseph is an alumnus of Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero, Louisiana, where former Pittsburgh and Washington safety Ryan Clark also attended high school.

BROADCAST FACTS (8)

FOX will be broadcasting a game from the series for the third time. Here is the breakdown of the series by network:
CBS: 8
FOX: 2
NBC: 2

This is the first time Denver will have Joe Buck and Troy Aikman since Oct. 5, 2014 when Denver beat the Arizona Cardinals 41-20.

The Cowboys are 123-114 all-time on FOX.

The Broncos are 29-10 all-time on FOX.

The Cowboys are 33-36 when Buck calls their games.

Denver is 6-3 when Buck calls their games.

Dallas is 38-42 when Aikman calls their games.

The Broncos are 8-1 when Aikman calls their games.


BRAD ALLEN FACTS (10)


This week’s referee is Brad Allen. The Cowboys are 1-2 with Allen. Here are the results:
2015 – @NO, 20-26 – L-OT
2015 – @GB, 7-28 – L
2016 – @GB, 30-16 – W


The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than the opposition 2/3 times with Allen:
2015 – NO: 8/64; DAL: 6/30
2015 – GB: 8/69; DAL: 6/30
2016 – GB: 5/23; DAL: 7/60


Allen was one of seven referees in Week 1 whose crew did not officiate a home team win:
Walt Anderson: 1.000
Carl Cheffers: 1.000
John Hussey: 1.000
Terry McAulay: 1.000
John Parry: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Ron Torbert: 1.000
Brad Allen: .000
Walt Coleman: .000
Clete Blakeman: .000
Jerome Boger: .000
Tony Corrente: .000
Jeff Triplette: .000
Bill Vinovich: .000
Craig Wrolstad: .000
Ed Hochuli: N/A
Pete Morelli: N/A


Allen was one of nine referees whose crew called fewer penalties on home teams in Week 1:
Brad Allen: 1.000
Clete Blakeman: 1.000
Carl Cheffers: 1.000
Gene Steratore: 1.000
Jeff Triplette: 1.000
Bill Vinovich: 1.000
Craig Wrolstad: 1.000
Walt Coleman: 1.000
Tony Corrente: 1.000
Jerome Boger: .500
Walt Anderson: .000
John Hussey: .000
Terry McAulay: .000
John Parry: .000
Ron Torbert: .000
Ed Hochuli: N/A
Pete Morelli: N/A


Last week, Allen was tied with Walt Coleman and Jeff Triplette for the fourth-most in Week 1:
Corrente: 10
Wrolstad: 8
Parry: 7
Allen: 6
Coleman: 6
Triplette: 6
Vinovich: 6
McAulay: 5
Torbert : 5
Blakeman: 4
Cheffers: 4
Boger: 3
Hussey : 3
Anderson: 2
Steratore: 2
Hochuli: N/A
Morelli : N/A


Allen called only one offensive holding penalty in Week 1, the second-fewest among active referees:
Coleman: 7
Hussey : 5
Wrolstad 5
Torbert: 4
Anderson: 4
Vinovich: 4
Cheffers: 4
Triplette: 3
Corrente: 3
Steratore: 3
Parry: 2
Blakeman: 2
McAulay: 1
Allen: 1
Boger: 0
Hochuli: N/A
Morelli: N/A


The Broncos are 2-1 with Allen:
2014 – @NYJ, 31-17 – W
2015 – Colts, 24-27 – L
2016 – Raiders, 24-6 – W


Denver is 1/3 in having fewer penalties than the opposition under Allen:
2014 – NYJ: 2/9; DEN: 11/101
2015 – Colts: 4/30; DEN: 8/56
2016 – Raiders: 13/125; DEN: 5/43

The Cowboys have yet to challenge one of Allen’s calls and neither has Replay Assistant. But opponents are 1/1.

Denver is 0/1 when challenging Allen while opponents are 1/2. Replay assistant is 0/1 with that lone call benefiting the Broncos.


MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (10)

Since switching to a 3-4 defense in 2015, the Broncos have allowed only three 100-yard rushers with Latavius Murray being the last with Oakland on Nov. 6, 2016 when he gained 114 and three touchdowns on 20 carries.

Since 2015, only the Carolina Panthers can match the Broncos’ 95 sacks for most sacks in that span.

Since 2015, the Broncos have recorded 55 takeaways, the fifth-most in that time.

Last week the Cowboys recorded a takeaway, making it two straight seasons Dallas has opened the season with a takeaway. The last time this happened was from 2011-13.

Since 2015, the Broncos have had seven 100-yard rushing games with C.J. Anderson having done it three times, most recently on Oct. 24, 2016 versus Houston in a 27-6 win.

The last time the Cowboys gave up 100 yards to a single rusher was Jan. 3, 2016 when Alfred Morris gained 100 yards on 19 carries for Washington.

The last time a Cowboys running back caught five passes or more was Jan. 3, 2016 when Darren McFadden caught five for 53 yards in a 34-23 loss to Washington.

The Cowboys are 5-2 on Sept. 17. Here are the results:

1961 – PIT, 27-24 – W
1967 – @CLE, 21-14 – W
1972 – PHI, 28-6 – W
1978 – @Rams, 14-27 – L
1989 – @ATL, 21-27 – L
1995 – @MIN, 23-17 – W-OT
2006 – WAS, 27-10 – W

The Broncos are on Sept. 17. Here are the results:

1967 – @MIA, 21-35 – L
1972 – OTI, 30-17 – W
1978 – Chargers, 27-14 – W
1990 – KC, 24-23 – W
1995 – WAS, 38-31 – W
2000 – @Raiders, 33-24 – W
2006 – KC, 9-6 – W-OT

The Cowboys have three birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 17:

Derek Ware, TE, 1996 – 9/17/1967
Tim Seder, K, 2000-01 – 9/17/1974
Akin Ayodele, LB, 2006-07 – 9/17/1979

Giants at Cowboys

SERIES FACTS (13)

Not only are the Cowboys 21-7 against the Giants in September, but also hold an 8-1 record against New York on Opening Day.

Last year’s 20-19 win over Dallas snapped a five-game Opening Day losing streak by New York, the longest such streak in franchise history.

The Cowboys are 34-19-1 (.627) on Opening Day while the Giants are 49-33-5 (.592).

Sunday night’s game with the Giants will set a Dallas franchise record for most Opening Day games against one opponent with 10, breaking a tie with Washington for most-common Opening Day opponent.

For the Giants, Sunday night’s game with the Cowboys will be their ninth, making it the third-most common Opening Day opponent in club history. Most common is Philadelphia with 15 encounters.

The Giants are 20-35-1 on the road in Dallas. Here is the breakdown by venue:

Cotton Bowl: 4-6-1
Texas Stadium: 12-25
AT&T Stadium: 4-4

Dallas did not play their preseason finale against Houston. Here is a comparative list of preseason finale results and subsequent Opening Day results since 2002:
2002: W-L
2003: W-L
2004: W-L
2005: W-W
2006: T-L
2007: L-W
2008: W-W
2009: W-W
2010: W-L
2011: L-L
2012: W-W
2013: L-W
2014: L-L
2015: W-W
2016: L-L

The New York Giants were victorious in their preseason finale with the New England Patriots 40-38. Here is a comparative list of pre-season finale results and subsequent Opening Day results since 2002:
2002: W-L
2003: W-W
2004: L-L
2005: W-W
2006: W-L
2007: L-L
2008: W-W
2009: L-W
2010: W-W
2011: W-W
2012: W-L
2013: L-L
2014: W-L
2015: W-L
2016: W-W

In Week 1’s following seasons wherein the Cowboys made the playoffs, they are 25-6 on Opening Day.
In Opening Day games at home, Dallas is 16-8-1.
In Opening Day games on the road, the Giants are 32-25-5.
The Cowboys are 7-1 in prime time Opening Day games at home.
New York is 2-7 in prime time Opening Day games on the road.


DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (10)

Prescott went 3-1 on Sunday Night Football in 2016 with an 86.0 passer rating. On average, he went 22-of-34 for 245 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and took two sacks.

Prescott went 0-2 against the Giants last season. Only Vinny Testaverde, Troy Aikman, and Don Meredith were the other Cowboys quarterbacks who lost their first two games to the Giants.

Prescott’s worst and third-worst games of his rookie season in terms of passer rating occurred against the Giants at 45.4 (Dec. 12) and 69.4 (Sept. 11).

A win would make Prescott the first second-year Cowboys quarterback since Roger Staubach on Sept. 27, 1970 to earn a win against the Giants.

Prescott is the fifth second-year Cowboys quarterback to start on Opening Day. Here are the results:
1961 – Don Meredith vs. Pittsburgh – W
1970 – Roger Staubach at Philadelphia – W
1990 – Troy Aikman vs. San Diego – W
2002 – Quincy Carter at Houston – L


Prescott will join Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Quincy Carter as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to have started every Opening Day through their first two seasons.

Among quarterbacks who started 12 or more games in 2016, Prescott had the eighth-highest passer rating on third down at 94.6.

Prescott had the eighth-highest yards per attempt on third downs at 7.8.

Five of Prescott’s eight turnovers in 2016 occurred on third down.

Prescott’s 25 sacks last season were the eighth-fewest among quarterbacks who started 12 or more games.


ELI MANNING FACTS (13)

Manning has the most career touchdowns against the Cowboys on Opening Day with 12.

The Giants are 37-57 when Manning gets sacked two or more times compared to 72-37 when he is sacked once or not at all.

The Giants are 19-40 when Manning throws two or more interceptions compared to 89-52 when he does not.

If Manning is sacked three or more times and throws two or more interceptions, the Giants are 1-14.

Manning is 7-7 against the Cowboys when he is sacked two or more times compared to 7-5 when he is not.

Manning has the second-most career interceptions on Opening Day against the Cowboy with five. Washington quarterback Joe Theismann owns the top spot with 11.

No opposing quarterback has started more games on Opening Day against the Cowboys than Manning with six.

The only three 100-plus passer rating games for Manning on Opening Day have come at the expense of the Dallas defense (2007: 113.1; 2013: 102.3; 2016: 110.3).

Manning’s 5-7 record on Opening Day is the second-highest in Giants history in terms of wins and most in terms of losses.

Manning had the ninth-most touchdown passes on third down in 2016 with eight.

Since 2004, no one has thrown more interceptions on third down than Manning with 77.

Manning is in company with Joe Namath, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Terry Bradshaw as the only Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks to have thrown 20-plus interceptions in multiple seasons.

Since 2004, Manning is the only active quarterback to have the most fourth quarter comebacks with 30.


JASON GARRETT FACTS (11)

Garrett is 7-6 against the Giants. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:

Tom Landry: 35-16-2
Jason Garrett: 7-6
Chan Gailey: 3-1
Jimmy Johnson: 5-5
Barry Switzer: 4-4
Bill Parcells: 4-4
Wade Phillips: 3-5
Dave Campo: 1-5


Garrett has a 23-17 record against the NFC East with a 9-11 record at home.

Garrett holds a 4-2 record against the Giants in late afternoon games.

Garrett is 3-3 in season openers. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches after five games (where applicable):

Jimmy Johnson: 3-2
Barry Switzer: 3-1
Wade Phillips: 3-1
Jason Garrett: 3-3
Tom Landry: 1-3-1
Bill Parcells: 1-3

Sunday night will be Garrett’s fifth Week 1 home game, which is second-most to Landry’s 15.

Garrett is 9-11 against the NFC East at home. As bad as it appears, the ledger is on par with the rest of the NFC East’s records at home since 2010:

New York: 10-11
Philadelphia: 10-11
Garrett: 9-11
Washington: 9-12


When coaching against playoff-winning quarterbacks, Garrett is 21-29 and currently on a two-game losing skid.

Garrett is 12-7 in the month of September.

Garrett is 12-7 in the first games of a series against NFC East foes with a 6-6 record at home.

Garrett went 1/3 (.333) on challenges in 2016, his second-lowest overturn percentage of his career.

Garrett’s .333 overturn rate on challenges in 2016 was also tied for the sixth-lowest in team history.


BEN MCADOO FACTS (11)

Ben McAdoo is 2-0 against the Cowboys. Here is how he compares to other Giants head coaches against Dallas:

Tom Coughlin: 13-12
Bill Parcells: 9-7
Jim Fassel: 8-6
Ben McAdoo: 2-0
Jim Lee Howell: 1-0-1
Allie Sherman: 6-8-1
Ray Handley: 1-3
Bill Arnsparger: 1-4
Alex Webster: 2-7
Dan Reeves: 2-6
Ray Perkins: 2-4
John McVay: 0-5


McAdoo’s .667 winning percentage in the NFC East in 2016 was the second-highest by a first-year Giants head coach behind Jim Fassel’s .938 mark in 1997.

McAdoo’s .667 winning percentage on the road in the NFC East in 2016 was also the second-highest by a first-year Giants head coach with Fassel holding the top spot with .875 in 1997.

McAdoo’s .500 winning percentage on the road in 2016 was tied for the fifth-highest by a first-year Giants head coach in club history.

With a wildcard playoff berth last season, McAdoo joined Fassel, Dan Reeves, and Allie Sherman as the only Giants head coaches to achieve postseason play in their first season.

In 2016, McAdoo joined Fassel and Tom Coughlin as the only Giants head coaches to sweep the Cowboys in his first year.

McAdoo is 7-3 against playoff-winning head coaches.

A win would join McAdoo with Coughlin, Fassel, Dan Reeves, John McVay, and Earl Potteiger as the only Giants head coaches to win their first two consecutive Opening Day games.

McAdoo’s 2-3 record (.400) in prime time games in 2016 was sixth-highest by a first-year Giants head coach in team history.

McAdoo went 1/3 (.333) on challenges in 2016, tied for the fourth-lowest overturn rate for a Giants head coach since 1999.

The Giants had 88 accepted penalties in 2016, tied for ninth-fewest in club history during a 16-game season (absent strike-shortened years).


BROADCAST FACTS (9)

Last season, the Cowboys set a franchise record with four victories on NBC in 2016.

Cowboys-Giants has the second-longest active prime time game streak with 12 games going back to 2006. Longest is Cowboys-Eagles with 14 games going back to 2004.

The Cowboys are 58-39 on NBC, including postseason play.

The Giants are 37-39 on NBC, including postseason play.

The Cowboys are 49-34 when Al Michaels calls their games.

New York is 26-37 when Michaels calls their games.

The Cowboys are 22-19 when Cris Collinsworth calls their games.

New York is 18-18 when Collinsworth calls their games.

On KXAS, the NBC affiliate for Dallas-Fort Worth, the Cowboys are an all-time 48-33, including simulcast cable games from 1987-90.


CARL CHEFFERS FACTS (9)


This week’s referee is Carl Cheffers, who was the referee the last time New York and Dallas played on Dec. 11, 2016. Dallas is 4-2. When Cheffers referees. Here are the results:


2009 – Raiders, 24-7 – W 2010 – @Texans, 27-13 – W 2010 – DET, 35-19 – W
2013 – Rams, 31-7 – W
2015 – SEA, 12-13 – L
2016 – @NYG, 7-10 – L
 
Dallas has had fewer penalties than the opposition 3/6 times under Cheffers:
2009 – Raiders: 7/70; DAL: 6/48
2010 – @Texans: 5/32; DAL: 8/49
2010 – DET: 10/76; DAL: 6/39
2013 – Rams: 5/41; DAL: 6/52
2015 – SEA: 5/40; DAL: 5/40
2016 – NYG: 7/50; DAL: 5/54


In 2016, Cheffers was tied for the fifth-highest home team winning percentage among active referees:

Walt Anderson: .733
John Hussey: .688
John Parry: .667
Walt Coleman: .643
Carl Cheffers: .625
Brad Allen: .625
Tony Corrente: .600
Bill Vinovich: .600
Gene Steratore: .600
Jeff Triplette: .600
Jerome Boger: .600
Clete Blakeman: .563
Craig Wrolstad: .500
Ron Torbert: .500
Pete Morelli: .500
Ed Hochuli: .500
Terry McAulay: .333




Cheffers also had the third-highest rate of home teams having fewer penalties in 2016:


Tony Corrente: .800
Walt Coleman: .769
Carl Cheffers: .688
John Parry: .667
Ed Hochuli: .588
Terry McAulay: .583
Pete Morelli: .567
Brad Allen: .562
Jeff Triplette: .533
Gene Steratore: .500
Ron Torbert: .500
Walt Anderson: .467
Clete Blakeman: .438
Craig Wrolstad: .438
John Hussey: .438
Bill Vinovich: .400
Jerome Boger: .400

The Giants are 5-5 when Cheffers referees their games. Here are the results:


2009 – @PHI, 17-40 – L
2010 – CHI, 17-3 – W
2011 – ATL, 24-2 – W
2012 – @Ravens, 14-33 – L
2013 – @PHI, 15-7 – W
2014 – @WAS, 45-14 – W
2014 – Colts, 24-40 – L
2015 – @PHI, 7-27 – L
2015 – @WAS, 14-20 – L
2016 – DAL, 10-7 – W



The Giants have had fewer penalties 5/10 times with Cheffers:

2009 – PHI: 5/45; NYG: 4/25
2010 – CHI: 8/40; NYG: 6/44
2011 – ATL: 3/15; NYG: 7/73
2012 – Ravens: 9/92; NYG: 6/52
2013 – PHI: 4/48; NYG: 11/92
2014 – WAS: 11/88; NYG: 7/66
2014 – Colts: 4/30; NYG: 4/30
2015 – PHI: 9/72; NYG: 12/92
2015 – WAS: 7/80; NYG: 4/35
2016 – NYG: 7/50; DAL: 5/54


Dallas has not challenged Cheffers’ calls. However, opponents are 1/1. Replay Assistant is 1/2 on its challenges with one of those benefiting the Cowboys.

The Giants are 1/2 in challenging Cheffers with opponents going 3/4. Replay Assistant is 2/5 with three of those calls favoring New York.


It is worth noting that Carl Cheffers is responsible for one of the most comical referee gaffes in the past five years during the Cowboys-Texans contest on 9/26/10.



MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (24)

Ezekiel Elliott is the first offensive player on the Cowboys’ 53-man roster to be suspended since Michael Irvin in 1996 when the receiver missed the first five games in 1996 for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

This is the first time since Sept. 8, 2013 Darren McFadden has started on Opening Day. As the Oakland Raiders running back, he gained 48 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in a 21-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

McFadden posted 102 yards on 20 carries for a 5.0 yards per carry in the preseason, his highest such preseason total since 2012 when he carried the ball 20 times for 81 yards and a touchdown with Oakland.

McFadden is the oldest starting running back for the Cowboys since 2004 when Eddie George (30 years, 353 days) started for Dallas at Minnesota in a 35-17 loss.

Tight end Jason Witten is tied with Terrell Owens for the most career touchdown receptions against the Giants in Week 1 with five.

Witten also has the most receiving yards with 322.

Witten also has the most receptions with 33.

Legendary Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown has the most career rushing yards against the Giants in Week 1 with 223. Second-most belongs to former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray with 217.

Emmitt Smith has the most career rushing touchdowns in Week 1 against the Giants with four.

Former Cardinals defensive end Curtis Greer has the most career sacks against the Cowboys on Opening Day with three, all earned in Week 1 of 1987.

Former Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware is tied with 10 other players for the most sacks against the Giants on Opening Day with 2.0. Most is held by former linebacker Wilber Marshall with three.

Former Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr is tied with six other players for the most interceptions against the Giants in Week 1 with two. Carr’s picks all came in a Sept. 8, 2013 win over the Giants 36-31.

The Giants have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw gained 1,015 in 2012.

Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown gained 1,063 yards for the Giants in 1998, one of 23 players in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since 1950.

Odell Beckham has only had one game with 100-plus receiver yards against the Cowboys. However, he has scored five touchdowns against Dallas through six games.

2016 was the first time in Beckham’s three-year career he played a full 16 games. He caught 101 passes for 1,367 yards for 10 touchdowns.

Giants receiver Brandon Marshall is 4-2 against the Cowboys. On average, he catches five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.

The Giants are 3-2 when Jason Pierre-Paul gets a sack versus Dallas compared to 2-4 when he does not.

Pierre-Paul has not had a sack against Dallas since Oct. 19, 2014 when he sacked Tony Romo twice in a 31-21 New York loss.

Giants safety Landon Collins has recorded 25 tackles against the Cowboys through four games.

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee has racked up 87 tackles against the Giants through 10 games. If Lee’s totals were divided out by 14, the number of total games played in the series since 2010, Lee would average 6.2 tackles per game.

The Cowboys are 2-3 on Sept. 10. Here are the results:

1978 – @NYG, 34-24 – W
1989 – @NOR, 0-28 – L
1995 – DEN, 31-21 – W
2000 – @Cardinals, 31-32 – L
2006 – @JAX, 17-24 – L


The Giants are on 1-4 Sept. 10. Here are the results:

1978 – DAL, 24-34 – L
1995 – @KC, 17-20 – L-OT
2000 – @PHI, 33-18 – W
2001 – @DEN, 20-31 – L
2006 – Colts, 21-26 – L


The Cowboys have three birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 10:

L.G. Dupree, RB, 1960-61 – 9/10/1932
Roy Schoenke, G, 1964-65 – 9/10/1941
Charlie Waters, S, 1970-81 – 9/10/1948