By: Mark Lane


Cowboys at Cardinals


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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