By: Mark Lane

Cowboys at Colts

SERIES FACTS (7)

The Cowboys are 8-5 for the 13th time in club history. 7/12 of those teams made the playoffs with four of those teams having won the division.


Since 1990, when playoff formats were last realigned, 81/120 teams that started 8-5 made the playoffs with 35/81 of those teams having won the division.


The Colts are 7-6 for the 10th time in franchise history. 2/9 of those teams made the playoffs with only the 2013 team having won the division.


Since 1990, 42/117 teams that started 7-6 made the playoffs with 11/42 teams having won the division.

The Cowboys are 10-6 against the Colts with a 4-4 record in road and neutral site games. Here is the breakdown of road and neutral site games by venue:

Memorial Stadium: 2-1
Orange Bowl: 0-1
RCA Dome/Hoosier Dome: 1-2
Lucas Oil Stadium: 1-0


The Cowboys are 4-1 against the Colts in December with a 2-1 record on the road.

December is the second-most common month for the Cowboys and Colts to meet. Only October possesses more encounters with seven.



DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (10)

Prescott’s 1.7 interception percentage is tied for the sixth-lowest in the league.

Among quarterbacks who have started every game since Week 1, Prescott has thrown the second-fewest touchdowns in the NFL with 17.

Prescott has the ninth-highest completion percentage in the NFL at 68.2 percent.

Prescott is tied with Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers for the 17th-highest yards per attempt in the league at 7.5.

Prescott is tied for the eighth-lowest yards per completion in the NFL at 11.0.

Among quarterbacks who have started every game since Week 1, Prescott’s 240.8 passing yards per game are the second-fewest in the league.

Though Prescott is the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL with 48 drop downs, he is actually not the most-sacked by percentage. That belongs to Marcus Mariota: 11.6 to Prescott’s 10.3.

Prescott is tied for the third-most interceptions inside the 10-yard line with one.

Prescott, Josh Allen, and Drew Brees lead the NFL in red zone rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks with five.

Prescott running the ball accounts for 37.5 percent of the Cowboys’ rushing attack inside the 10-yard line.


ANDREW LUCK FACTS (10)

Luck has attempted the second-most passes in the NFL with 530.

Luck has thrown the second-most touchdowns with 34.

Luck is tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the second-most interceptions with 13.

Luck is tied with Kirk Cousins for the 10th-lowest yards per pass attempt in the NFL at 7.1.

Luck’s 10.5 yards per completion is the third-lowest in the NFL.

Among quarterbacks who have started every game since Week 1, Luck’s 16 sacks are the second-fewest in the NFL.

Luck’s 28 passing touchdowns in the red zone are the second-most in the NFL.

Along with Philip Rivers and Tom Brady, Luck has thrown 36 passes inside the 10-yard line, the sixth-most in the league.

Luck is tied with Rivers and Roethilsberger for the second-most third down interceptions with five.

Luck has converted the most third downs through the air with 67 first downs.


EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (10)

Elliott leads the NFL with 333 touches.

Elliott leads the NFL with 1,764 scrimmage yards.

Among scrimmage yard gainers of at least 1,500 yards (four qualifiers), Elliott has the fewest total touchdowns with nine.

Among players with at least 200 touches, Elliott’s 5.3 yards per touch is the seventh-highest in the NFL.

Among rushers with at least 200 carries, Elliott’s 4.7 yards per carry is the third-highest in the NFL.

Elliott’s 97.1 rushing yards per game is the highest in the NFL.

Among rushers with at least 200 carries (six qualifiers), Elliott’s six rushing touchdowns are the lowest.

Among backs with at least 100 first-down carries, Elliott’s 5.1 yards per carry is the fourth-highest in the NFL.

Elliott has converted 21 first downs into first downs, the sixth-most in the league.

Elliott has taken the most first-down carries in the NFL with 151. He also has the most first-down rushing yards with 771.


JASON GARRETT FACTS (13)


This is the 29th week of Garrett’s career that the Cowboys have been in undisputed first place in the NFC East.

Garrett is 18-13 against the AFC with a 7-8 record on the road.

Garrett is 6-2 against the AFC South with a 3-1 record on the road.

Garrett’s 6-2 record against the AFC South is his second-best against another division in the other conference:
AFC North: 7-1
AFC South: 6-2
AFC East: 3-5
AFC West: 2-5


Garrett’s 19-15 December record contains the second-most such wins in club history:

Tom Landry: 63-43-1
Jason Garrett: 19-15
Jimmy Johnson: 13-7
Bill Parcells: 8-9
Barry Switzer: 7-8
Wade Phillips: 5-7
Dave Campo: 4-9
Chan Gailey: 3-5


Garrett is 12-7 on the road in December. Here is how that compares to other Cowboys head coaches:

Landry: 28-22-1
Garrett: 12-7
Johnson: 6-5
Parcells: 5-5
Phillips: 4-4
Switzer: 4-4
Campo: 1-6
Gailey: 0-4

Garrett is 12-12 against rookie head coaches with a 7-4 record on the road.

The Cowboys have committed 79 penalties, tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the eighth-fewest in the NFL.

The Cowboys’ 79 penalties are tied with the 1983 and 1990 teams for the 20th-fewest in team history.

The Cowboys are the third-worst team in the red zone with a 46.3 percent conversion rate.

Garrett is 21/41 on challenges for his career with a 2/5 record in 2018.

Garrett is currently 36-32 without Tony Romo under center.

Garrett is 19-13 on the road without Romo under center.



FRANK REICH FACTS (10)


Reich is the 12th Colts head coach to have faced the Cowboys. If he defeats them, he will join Weeb Ewbank, Don Shula, Don McCafferty, Lindy Infante, Jim Mora, Sr., and Tony Dungy as the only coaches to have defeated the Dallas in their first try a Colts head coach.

Reich is 3-4 against playoff-winning coaches with a 1-1 record at home.

Reich is 1/4 current NFL coaches who was a NFL quarterback.

Reich is the first Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator to get a NFL head coaching job the next season since Mike Martz when he took over for Dick Vermeil with the St. Louis Rams.

Reich is 1/3 of the 2018 class of coaches to have inherited a playoff-winning quarterback.

The Colts’ 96 penalties are tied with the Cleveland Browns for the sixth-most in the NFL.

The Colts’ 96 penalties are the third-most in franchise history.

The Colts have the seventh-highest red zone conversion rate in the NFL at 68.0 percent.

Reich is 2/4 on challenges.

The only live action Reich saw against the Cowboys in his 13 seasons in the NFL was Super Bowl XXVII when he filled in for an injured Jim Kelly and completed 18 passes on 31 attempts for 194 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions, and took two sacks.


BROADCAST FACTS (9)

This will be the fourth time in the series FOX will broadcast a game, tying them with NBC for the second-most in the series:
CBS: 8
NBC: 4
FOX: 3
ABC: 1

This is the 10th early game in the series, including Super Bowl V.

Dallas is 132-121 all-time on FOX, including postseason.

This week’s broadcast team is Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis, making them the 18th different broadcast team in the series.

Dallas is 23-18 when Burkhardt calls their games.

Indianapolis is 2-0 when Burkhardt calls their games.

The Cowboys are 5-0 when Davis does color commentary for their games.

The Colts are 1-0 when Davis does color commentary for their games.

The Colts and Cowboys are 2/15 franchises to have Super Bowls on CBS.



CARL CHEFFERS FACTS (11)


This week’s referee is Carl Cheffers. The Cowboys are 5-3 when he referees their games. 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
2017 – NYG, 19-3 – W
2018 – @SEA, 13-24 – L
 
Dallas has had fewer penalties than the opposition 5/8 times with 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
2017 – NYG: 6/55; DAL: 5/50
2018 – SEA: 10/67; DAL: 7/55


Cheffers is tied for the third-highest home team winning percentage:
John Hussey: .833
Tony Corrente: .846
Carl Cheffers: .750
Clay Martin: .750
Walt Coleman: .692
Shawn Hochuli: .667
Alex Kemp: .667
Craig Wrolstad: .615
Walt Anderson: .583
Jerome Boger: .538
John Parry: .583
Bill Vinovich: .583
Brad Allen: .583
Pete Morelli: .500
Ron Torbert: .500
Clete Blakeman: .417
Shawn Smith: .292


Cheffers has the absolute lowest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties:
Craig Wrolstad: .923
Pete Morelli: .667
Tony Corrente: .615
Brad Allen: .583
Shawn Hochuli: .583
Bill Vinovich: .583
Walt Coleman: .539
John Hussey: .500
Walt Anderson: .500
Clete Blakeman: .500
Jerome Boger: .462
Alex Kemp: .417
Shawn Smith: .417
John Parry: .333
Ron Torbert: .333
Clay Martin: .333
Carl Cheffers: .167


The Colts have a 7-6 record in Cheffers’ games:
2008 – HTX, 33-27 – W
2009 – @RAM, 42-6 – W
2009* – RAV, 20-3 – W
2010 – @PHI, 24-26 – L
2011 – KC, 24-28 – L
2012 – CLE, 17-13 – W
2013 – DEN, 39-33 – W
2014 – @NYG, 40-24 – W
2014* – CIN, 26-10 – W
2015 – NO, 21-27 – L
2015 – @JAX, 16-51 – L
2017 – CRD, 13-16 – L-OT
2018 – HTX, 34-37 – L-OT

*
playoff game


Indianapolis has had fewer penalties than the opposition 6/13 times:
2008 – HTX: 3/25; CLT: 6/45
2008 – RAM: 5/73; CLT: 6/51
2009* – RAV: 7/64; CLT: 4/25
2010 – PHI: 14/125; CLT: 7/59
2011 – KC: 5/39; CLT: 4/40
2012 – CLE: 9/75; CLT: 7/50
2013 – DEN: 12/103; CLT: 6/52
2014 – NYG: 4/30; CLT: 4/30
2014* – CIN: 6/45; CLT: 9/66
2015 – NO: 12/100; 7/42
2015 – JAX: 5/40; CLT: 8/85
2017 – CRD: 6/41; CLT: 8/70
2018 – HTX: 10/84; CLT: 10/85

*playoff game



Cheffers’ games this season feature the highest sacks on average:
Cheffers: 6.9
Martin: 5.8
Allen: 5.7
Anderson: 5.6
Kemp: 5.4
Coleman: 5.2
Hochuli: 5.2
Smith: 5.1
Hussey: 5.0
Torbert: 4.9
Wrolstad: 4.8
Corrente: 4.8
Morelli: 4.8
Vinovich: 4.6
Blakeman: 4.5
Parry: 4.0
Boger: 3.8


Cheffers is tied for the fourth-highest offensive holds per game on average:
Hochuli: 4.8
Wrolstad: 3.3
Anderson: 3.3
Cheffers: 3.1
Torbert: 3.1
Boger: 2.8
Kemp: 2.8
Parry: 2.8
Blakeman: 2.7
Smith: 2.3
Martin: 2.3
Morelli: 2.0
Allen: 2.0
Coleman: 1.8
Corrente: 1.8
Hussey: 1.6
Vinovich: 0.9


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

The Colts are 6/7 on challenging Cheffers’ calls with opponents succeeding 1/6 times. Replay Assistant is 1/6 with three of those decisions benefiting Indianapolis.


Cheffers is tied for the fifth-highest overturn rate on coach’s challenges this season:
Allen: .800 (4/5)
Anderson: .667 (8/12)
Parry: .571 (4/7)
Hussey: .556 (5/9)
Cheffers: .500 (3/6)
Morelli: .500 (1/2)
Blakeman: .400 (2/5)
Torbert: .375 (3/8)
Vinovich: .375 (3/8)
Corrente: .375 (3/8)
Hochuli: .333 (1/3)
Wrolstad: .300 (3/10)
Coleman: .286 (2/7)
Boger: .222 (2/9)
Kemp: .167 (1/6)
Martin: .167 (1/6)
Smith: .167 (1/6)




MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (20)

Opposing quarterbacks have compiled a 97.6 passer rating against the Colts defense, the 10th-highest in the NFL. Right below them are the Cowboys at 97.3.

The Colts and Cowboys defenses are tied for the 12th-most sacks in the NFL with 35.

The Colts defense is tied with the Ravens for the fifth-fewest yards per carry at 3.8.

The Dallas defense is tied with the Texans and Saints for the fewest yards per carry in the NFL at 3.6.

The Indianapolis defense gives up 102.9 rushing yards per game, the eighth-fewest in the NFL.

The Cowboys defense gives up 18.9 points per game, the second-fewest in the league.

The Indianapolis defense has a 54.1 red zone conversion rate, the 10th-lowest in the league.

The Dallas defense has produced eight interceptions, tied with the Eagles and Buccaneers for the eighth-fewest in the NFL.

The Colts defense has a 41.9 third down conversion rate, the sixth-highest in the league. Right below them are the Cowboys at 41.0.

Indianapolis linebacker Darius Leonard leads the NFL with 135 combined tackles.

Leonard is tied for the fourth-most forced fumbles in the NFL with four.

Dallas cornerback Byron Jones is tied for the ninth-most pass deflections in the NFL with 12.

Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton averages 89.6 yards per game, the eighth-most in the NFL.

Indianapolis tight end Eric Ebron has 126 receiving yards in the red zone, the second-most in the NFL.

Ebron has caught 10 touchdown passes in the red zone, the second-most in the NFL.

Ebron’s 20 targets in the red zone are the second-most behind Travis Kelce’s 23.

Colts running back Marlon Mack has twice as many rushing touchdowns inside the 10-yard line than Ezekiel Elliott with four.

The Cowboys are 5-5 on Dec. 16. Here are the results:

1962 – NYG, 31-41 – L
1967 – @SF, 16-24 – L
1973 – @CRD, 30-3 – W
1979 – WAS, 35-34 – W
1989 – @NYG, 0-15 – L
1990 – CRD, 41-10 – W
2001 – @SEA, 3-29 – L
2006 – @ATL, 38-28 – W
2007 – PHI, 6-10 – L
2012 – PIT, 27-24 – W-OT


The Colts are 7-4 on Dec. 16. Here are the results:

1956 – @SF, 17-30 – L
1961 – @SF, 27-24 – W
1962 – MIN, 42-17 – W
1972 – @MIA, 0-16 – L
1973 – NE, 18-13 – W
1979 – @NYG, 31-7 – W
1984 – @NE, 10-16 – L
1990 – @NYJ, 29-21 – W
2001 – ATL, 41-27 – W
2007 – @RAI, 21-14 – W
2012 – @HTX, 17-29 – L


The Cowboys have five birthdays to celebrate on Dec. 16:

1936 – Jackie Burkett, LB, 1968-69
1951 – Jean Fugett, TE, 1972-75
1960 – Scott McLean, LB, 1983
1962 – Bob Otto, DE, 1986
1979 – Jeff Grau, C, 2002