By: Mark Lane


Giants at Cowboys


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.


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.


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.


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 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).


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.


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.


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