By: Mark Lane

Los Angeles

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