By: Mark Lane


Cowboys at Rams

This is the Cowboys’ 63rd postseason game, the most in NFL history.

The Cowboys broke a tie last week with the New England Patriots for the second-most postseason wins with 35. Now, if the Cowboys win, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with 36.

This will be the Cowboys’ 25th road playoff game, tying them with the Indianapolis Colts, who will also be playing in their 25th road playoff game, for the most in NFL history.

The Cowboys are 9-15 on the road in the postseason. A win would untie them with the Colts for third-most and tie them with the Baltimore Ravens for the second-most in NFL history.

A loss would untie the Cowboys with the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, and Colts for the second-most road playoff losses with 16.

Dallas is 12-7 against the NFC West in the postseason with a 6-4 record on the road.

The Cowboys will break a tie with the Steelers for the most divisional playoff appearances with 27.

The last playoff game to be played at the L.A. Coliseum was the 1978 NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys shutout the Rams 28-0 en route to Super Bowl XIII.

A loss will tie the Cowboys with the Vikings for the most divisional round losses in NFL history with 12.

The last Cowboys team to have a 3-5 road record were the 1985 Cowboys, who lost 20-0 at the Rams in the 1985 NFC divisional playoffs.

Since 1990, 14/50 teams that had a losing road record in the regular season went on to win road playoff games.

The Cowboys have never won a road playoff game when they have had a losing record on the road that regular season.

The Cowboys have not won a road playoff game since the 1992 NFC Championship Game. However, there are streaks as long or longer:
1992 – Buffalo Bills
1980 – Oakland Raiders
1969 – Cleveland Browns
1957 – Detroit Lions

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last adjusted to include two wildcard teams per conference, 28/112 of the wildcard round winners ended up winning in the divisional round.

Dallas is 2-2 in night playoff games, not including Super Bowls, with a 0-2 record on the road.

The Rams are 0-2 in night playoff games, not including Super Bowls, with a 0-1 record at home.


Prescott has the seventh-most playoff passing yards in Cowboys history with 528.

Prescott is tied with Craig Morton for the fifth-most playoff passing touchdowns in Dallas history with four.

Jason Garrett has a better playoff passer rating than Prescott: 95.8 to 94.1. However, among qualifiers with at least 75 attempts, Prescott’s number is the best in Cowboys playoff history.

Prescott is currently tied with Tony Romo and Gary Hogeboom for the sixth-most playoff interceptions in Dallas history with two.

Through the first nine weeks of the season, Prescott had an 88.9 passer rating, took 3.5 sacks per game, and had a 7.00 yards per pass attempt. In the wild-card playoffs, he had an 83.6 passer rating, took one sack, and had a 6.85 yards per pass attempt.

Prescott’s eight carries in the playoffs are the sixth-most for a quarterback in Dallas history.

Prescott’s 42 rushing yards in the playoffs are the third-most for a quarterback in Cowboys history.

Prescott, Morton, and Troy Aikman are the only Cowboys quarterbacks to have a playoff rushing touchdown.

Prescott’s 5.25 yards per carry is the second-best for a Cowboys quarterback in the playoffs.

A win would join Prescott with Morton, Aikman, Roger Staubach, Danny White, and Steve Beuerlein as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to win a road playoff game in their first try.


Goff has thrown 32 touchdown passes, the same as Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, tied for sixth-most in the NFL.

Goff is tied for the ninth-most interceptions in the NFL with 12.

Goff’s 8.4 yards per pass attempt is the fourth-highest in the league.

Goff’s 12.9 yards per completion is tied with Nick Mullens for the fourth-highest in the NFL.

Goff’s 101.1 passer rating is the eighth-highest in the NFL.

Goff’s four fourth quarter comebacks were the third-highest in the league.

Goff’s four game-winning drives were tied for the fourth-highest in 2018.

Goff’s 101 red zone passes were the third-most in 2018.

Goff threw 23 red zone touchdown passes, tied with Matt Ryan for the fourth-highest in 2018.

Goff’s two interceptions inside the 10-yard line were tied with Ben Roethlisberger and Case Keenum for the most in 2018.

Goff’s 96.5 passer rating on third down was the eighth-highest among quarterbacks with at least 75 passes.

Goff’s third down conversions through the air were the ninth-most in 2018.


Garrett is the longest-tenured head coach to have not coached in a conference championship game.

Garrett is 3-1 against the Rams franchise. Here is how other Cowboys head coaches have done against the Rams:

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

Garrett is 10-9 against the NFC West with a 6-4 record on the road.

Garrett’s 6-4 record against the NFC West on the road is the best compared to the other NFC divisions sans the East:
NFC West: 6-4
NFC North: 3-4
NFC South: 3-6

A loss would give Garrett three postseason losses, the second-most in Dallas history behind Landry’s 16.

A win would join Garrett with Landry and Johnson as the only Cowboys coaches to win a road playoff game.

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

Garrett has never thrown the challenge flag in a playoff game.


A win would make McVay the first Rams coach since Ray Malavasi to win a playoff game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

McVay is 2-3 against the NFC East with a 0-3 record at home.

McVay is the first Rams coach since Ray Malavasi to lead the team to two consecutive division titles in his first two seasons.

McVay is the first Rams coach since Mike Martz to lead the team to consecutive top-2 finishes in points in his first two seasons.

A loss would join McVay as the first Rams coach since George Allen to lose his first two playoff games.

The Rams had the seventh-lowest penalties in 2018 with 96.

The Rams’ 96 penalties were the 33rd-most in franchise history.

The Rams have the 15th-lowest red zone conversion rate at 57.5 percent.

McVay is 6/13 on challenges for his career with a 3/7 record in 2018.


Elliott has the ninth-most playoff rushing yards in Dallas history with 262.

Elliott’s 5.46 yards per carry in the playoffs is third-highest in Cowboys history.

Elliott is currently tied with Felix Jones and Marion Barber for the 11th-most playoff rushing touchdowns in Dallas history with one.

Elliott has 30 receiving yards in the playoffs, the 58th-most in Cowboys history. Even Deion Sanders has more with 95 (34th).

A win would make Elliott the first NFL rushing champion since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007 to reach a conference championship game.

Elliott’s 411 touches through the wild-card round are tied for 16th-fewest in NFL history for a single-season among 400-touch qualifiers.

The Cowboys are 8-3 on the road when Elliott averages 4.5 yards per carry or higher compared to 4-4 when he does not.

The Cowboys are 10-1 on the road when Elliott scores a rushing touchdown compared to 2-6 when he does not.

When Elliott rushes for 100-plus yards on the road, the Cowboy are 8-2 compared to 4-5 when he does not.

Elliott’s 2.08 first down yards per carry are the third-lowest against the Rams since 2017 among backs with at least 10 attempts.

Elliott’s 8.00 second down yards per carry are tied with Devonta Freeman for the third-highest against the Rams since 2017 among backs with at least five attempts.


This is the eighth game between the Cowboys and Rams on FOX, and the first in the postseason. Here is the breakdown by network:
CBS: 19 (eight playoff games)
ABC: 6
FOX: 7

The Cowboys are 5-7 on FOX in the postseason.

The Rams are 4-2 on FOX in the postseason.

The Rams have never had the team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call one of their playoff games.

The Cowboys are 2-4 when Buck calls their playoff games.

Dallas is 2-4 when Aikman calls their postseason contests.

This is the third time in FOX’s history they will have the A-team broadcast a Saturday night divisional playoff game.

This is the first time since the 1985 NFC Divisional playoffs the Cowboys will play a Saturday divisional game. Dallas is 5-2 in such games with a 2-2 record on the road.

This is the first time since the 2004 NFC Divisional playoffs the Rams will play a Saturday divisional game. The Rams are 2-4 in such games with a 2-1 record at home.

Pat Summerall and Frank Gifford are tied for the most games called in the series with six.


This week’s referee is John Parry. Dallas is 9-6 when he referees and this will be the third time this season he will be their referee. Here are the results:
2007 – GB, 37-27 – W
2008 – @Rams, 14-34 – L
2008 – SEA, 34-9 – W
2009 – @WAS, 17-0 – W
2010 – @NYG, 35-41 – L
2011 – DET, 30-34 – L
2012 – @ATL, 13-19 – L
2013 – @PHI, 17-3 – W
2014 – @JAX, 31-17 – W
2015 – @NYG, 20-27 – L
2015 – WAS, 23-34 – L
2016 – @Ravens, 27-17 – W
2017 – @PHI, 6-0 – W
2018 – NYG, 20-13 – W
2018 – @PHI, 27-20 – W

The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than the opposition 6/15 times with Parry:

2007 – GB: 9/142; DAL: 10/65
2008 – Rams: 5/32; DAL: 8/56
2008 – SEA: 5/46; DAL: 5/38
2009 – WAS: 4/33; DAL: 4/21
2010 – NYG: 6/46; DAL: 5/42
2011 – DET: 10/75; DAL: 7/33
2012 – ATL: 2/15; DAL: 7/50
2013 – PHI: 5/33; DAL: 12/75
2014 – JAX: 2/19; DAL: 9/65
2015 – NYG: 3/13; DAL: 7/46
2015 – WAS: 3/20; DAL: 4/44
2016 – Ravens: 12/136; DAL: 5/45
2017 – PHI: 7/49; DAL: 7/64
2018 – NYG: 3/24; DAL: 6/47
2018 – PHI: 0/0; DAL: 5/37

Parry was tied for the sixth-highest home team winning percentage in 2018:
John Hussey: .867
Carl Cheffers: .800
Tony Corrente: .750
Shawn Hochuli: .667
Walt Coleman: .625
Jerome Boger: .600
Alex Kemp: .600
Clay Martin: .600
Craig Wrolstad: .600
Brad Allen: .533
Pete Morelli: .533
Ron Torbert: .533
Bill Vinovich: .533
Walt Anderson: .467
Shawn Smith: .433
Clete Blakeman: .333

Anderson was tied for the lowest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties:
Craig Wrolstad: .867
Pete Morelli: .667
Tony Corrente: .643
John Hussey: .600
Bill Vinovich: .600
Walt Anderson: .533
Brad Allen: .533
Walt Coleman: .531
Clete Blakeman: .467
Jerome Boger: .467
Shawn Hochuli: .467
Shawn Smith: .400
Ron Torbert: .333
Carl Cheffers: .333
Alex Kemp: .333
Clay Martin: .333

The Rams are a perfect 6-0 with John Parry. Here are the results.
2008 – DAL, 34-14 – W
2012 – CRD, 17-3 – W
2013 – TB, 23-13 – W
2015 – @CRD, 24-22 – W
2017 – NO, 26-20 – W
2018 – @DET, 30-16 – W

The Rams have had fewer penalties 1/6 times with Parry:

2008 – DAL: 8/56; RAM: 5/32
2012 – CRD: 5/35; RAM: 7/60
2013 – TB: 3/26; RAM: 7/85
2015 – CRD: 3/20; RAM: 7/66
2017 – NO: 7/112; RAM: 9/90
2018 – DET: 8/54; RAM: 7/105

Parry’s games averaged the second-fewest sacks in 2018:
Cheffers: 6.2
Martin: 5.8
Coleman: 5.6
Anderson: 5.3
Torbert: 5.3
Hussey: 5.1
Morelli: 5.1
Blakeman: 4.9
Hochuli: 4.9
Vinovich: 4.9
Wrolstad: 4.9
Smith: 4.9
Corrente: 4.7
Allen: 4.0
Kemp: 4.0
PARRY: 3.9
Boger: 3.6

Parry’s games featured the fourth-most offensive holding calls in 2018:
Hochuli: 4.5
Anderson: 3.5
Cheffers: 3.4
PARRY: 3.3
Torbert: 3.1
Wrolstad: 3.1
Blakeman: 2.7
Boger: 2.7
Martin: 2.6
Kemp: 2.5
Morelli: 2.4
Smith: 2.3
Allen: 2.1
Corrente: 2.0
Coleman: 1.9
Hussey: 1.6
Vinovich: 1.2

Under Parry, the Cowboys are 0/4 on challenges while their opponents are 7/8. Replay Assistant is 2/4 with none of the calls benefiting the Cowboys.

Under Parry, the Rams are 0/1 on challenges while opponents are 1/2. Replay Assistant has yet to make a decision in a Rams game with Parry as referee.

Parry had the sixth-highest overturn rate on coaches’ challenges in 2018:
Allen: .800 (4/5)
Anderson: .692 (9/13)
Morelli: .667 (2/3)
Cheffers: .625 (5/8)
Hussey: .556 (5/9)
PARRY: .500 (4/8)
Vinovich: .444 (4/9)
Corrente: .417 (5/12)
Hochuli: .400 (2/5)
Martin: .375 (3/8)
Wrolstad: .364 (4/11)
Coleman: .333 (3/9)
Torbert: .333 (3/9)
Blakeman: .333 (2/6)
Boger: .182 (2/11)
Smith: .167 (1/6)
Kemp: .125 (1/8)

This is Parry’s first playoff game in three seasons. Home teams are 2-2 and have had fewer penalties 2/4 times.


The Rams have qualified for the playoffs once since 2004. Still, despite their lone playoff appearance in the past 14 seasons, they have more postseason wins since 1997 (six) than do the Cowboys (three).

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.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald produced 20.5 sacks in 2018. Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor is the only one of the 12 defenders to record 20-plus sacks since 1982 and reach the Super Bowl.

Donald has 20.5 sacks. However, the Rams finished 15th in the NFL with 41.

Donald also led the NFL with 25 tackles for loss.

Rams safety Josh Johnson has produced four interceptions in 2018, tied for the seventh-most in the league.

Rams running back Todd Gurley’s 4.74 yards per carry on first down is the 12th-highest in 2018 among backs with at least 100 such carries.

Gurley’s 27 first downs on first down were the second-highest in the NFL behind James Conner’s 32.

In 2018, when the Rams have been trailing with less than four minutes to play, Gurley has had three carries for seven yards and two catches for 16 yards on four targets.

Saturday is the first time in Cowboys history they will play on Jan. 12.

The Rams are 0-1 on Jan. 12. Their lone game was a 24-0 loss at the Chicago Bears in the 1985 NFC Championship Game.

The Cowboys have four birthdays to celebrate on Jan. 12:

1947 – Otto Brown, DB, 1969
1951 – Drew Pearson, WR, 1973-83
1971 – Oscar Sturgis, DE, 1995
1972 – Dominique Ross, RB, 1995-96