By: Mark Lane

Washington

Cowboys at Redskins

SERIES FACTS (10)

This is the 10th time in Cowboys history they have started 3-3. 2/9 of those previous teams made the playoffs with only one having won the division: 1996.

This is the 16th time Washington has started 3/3. 2/15 of those previous teams made the playoffs with both qualifiers (1936 and 2012) having won the division.

Since 1990, 67/192 teams that started off 3-3 made the playoffs with 31/67 teams having won the division.

In the history of the NFC East, there have been 51 teams that started 3-3. 18/51 of those teams ended up making the postseason with 7/18 of those teams winning the division. The most recent qualifier was the 2016 Giants, and the most recent division winner was the 2013 Eagles.

One cliché thrown around heading into a Dallas-Washington game is how the respective records need to be thrown out. However, team records are still very predictive:

Dallas with winning record: 29-17-1
Washington with winning record: 23-10
Both teams with same records (Dallas perspective): 15-16-1


The Cowboys are 9-11 against Washington in October with a 4-7 record on the road.

Dallas is 31-28 against the Washington on the road. Here is the breakdown by venue:

Griffith Stadium: 0-1
RFK Stadium: 18-20
FedEx Field: 13-7


The Cowboys’ 13-7 record at FedEx Field is tied for the best in the NFC East:

Dallas: 13-7
Philadelphia: 12-9
NY Giants: 11-8-1


In late afternoon games in the Eastern Time Zone, the Cowboys are 26-26.

Washington is 39-22 in home games in the late afternoon time slot.


DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (10)

Prescott is 1/4 Cowboys quarterbacks to start their career with two consecutive wins against Washington.

Through two games, Prescott already has the 10th-most passing yards against Washington with 487.

Prescott has the fifth-most touchdowns in the league with 14.

Prescott has the eighth-highest passer rating in the NFL with 98.2.

Among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 pass attempts, Prescott has the fourth-lowest sack number in the league with seven.

With a minimum of 50 passes, Prescott has the 10th-highest passer rating on third down with 96.1.

With a minimum of 50 passes, Prescott has the seventh-highest completion percentage on third down at 66.7 percent.

Prescott has a 7.5 yards per pass attempt on first down with Dez Bryant his most targeted receiver at 23. Last year, it was 9.5 through six games and Jason Witten and Ezekiel Elliott were tied for the most targets with eight apiece.

Prescott has an 8.7 yards per pass attempt on second down with Bryant and Witten the most targeted with eight apiece. In 2016 through six games, it was 8.6 yards per attempt with Cole Beasley his most targeted receiver at 14.

Prescott has a 5.7 yards per pass attempt on third down with Bryant and Beasley the most targeted with five apiece. In 2016, it was 9.4 with Beasley his most targeted receiver with eight passes.


KIRK COUSINS FACTS (11)

Cousins is 1-3 against Rod Marinelli with a 111.5 passer rating. On average, he goes 26/36 for 302 yards, two touchdowns, and takes a sack.

Cousins is 7-11 against the NFC East with a 3-6 record at home.

Cousins is 22-24-1 as a starter with a 13-10 record at home.

Cousins has a thrown a pick in each of his last four NFC East games. His last game without an interception was Nov. 24, 2016 versus Dallas in a 31-26 loss.

Cousins is 19-20-1 when he is sacked once or more compared to 4-7 when he is not.

Washington is 13-24-1 when Cousins throws 30-plus times compared to 12-2 when he does not.

Cousins has the third-best passer rating in the NFL at 107.2.

Cousins has the third-highest yards per attempt at 8.3

Cousins has the fourth-highest completion percentage in the league at 68.2 percent.

Cousins has the fifth-best passer rating on third down at 123.5.

Cousins is tied with Aaron Rodgers, Trevor Siemian, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger for the third-most touchdowns on third down with four.


EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (10)

Elliott’s yards per carry on first down have improved since after the Rams game:
Rams: 2.84
Packers: 3.69
49ers: 4.80

Last year, after the first six games, Elliott’s yards per carry was 5.73 on first down.

This year on second down, Elliott averages 3.95 yards per carry. Through the first six games last season, Elliott’s yards per carry was 4.32.

On third down, Elliott has a 4.50 yards per carry and four first downs. In 2016 through the first six games, Elliott had 2.50 yards per carry and four first downs.

Among running backs with a minimum of 100 rushing attempts, Elliott is fifth in the league at 4.1 yards per carry.

Elliott’s 21.8 rushing attempts per game are the second-most in the NFL.

Elliott is tied for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL with four.

Elliott has the fourth-most rushing yards per game at 90.0.

Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Todd Gurley, and Melvin Gordon are the only running backs with multiple rushing and receiving touchdowns.

Elliott is fourth in the NFL with 746 yards from scrimmage.


JASON GARRETT FACTS (11)

Garrett has improved a 3-3 start into 4-3 record 1/3 times.

Garrett is 13-7 in the first games of a series against NFC East foes with a 6-1 record on the road.

This is the 13th back-to-back road trip of Garrett’s career. Here is how his teams have fared:
2010 – @Cardinals (L); @PHI (W)
2011 – @NYJ (L); @SF (W)
2012 – @NYG (W); SEA (L)
2012 – @Ravens, (L); CAR (W)
2012 – @ATL (L); @PHI (W)
2013 – @PHI (W); @DET (L)
2014 – @Titans (W); @Rams (W)
2014 – @CHI (W); @PHI (W)
2015 – @TB (L); @MIA (W)
2015 – @WAS (W); @GB (L)
2016 – @CLE (W); @PIT (W)
2016 – @MIN (W); @NYG (L)

Garrett has a 24-17 record against the NFC East with a 14-6 record on the road.


Garrett is 9-4 against Washington. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:

Tom Landry: 15-16
Jason Garrett: 9-4
Dave Campo: 5-1
Bill Parcells: 5-3
Chan Gailey: 4-0
Wade Phillips: 4-3
Jimmy Johnson: 5-5
Barry Switzer: 4-4


Jimmy Johnson is the only Cowboys head coach to have not swept Washington. Conversely, four out of the Cowboys’ eight head coaches have been swept by Washington (Landry, Switzer, Parcells, Garrett).

The most wins Garrett has tallied against a divisional opponent is eight against both New York and Washington.

NY Giants, Carolina, Green Bay, Arizona, and Washington are the only teams Jason Garrett has defeated as both a starting quarterback and head coach.

Garrett is currently 22-23 without Tony Romo under center, but is 4-1 against Washington without him. Here is how that compares to other divisional foes:
Washington: 4-1
NY Giants: 2-3
Philadelphia: 2-4

Garrett has a 5-1 mark at FedEx Field. Here is how that compares to the rest of the division:
FedEx Field: 5-1
Lincoln Financial Field: 5-2
MetLife Stadium: 4-3


Garrett is 19/33 on challenges in his career with a 1/2 mark in 2017.


JAY GRUDEN FACTS (10)

Gruden is 2-4 against the Cowboys all-time. Here is how he compares to other Washington head coaches:

Joe Gibbs: 16-16
Bill McPeak: 4-4-2
Mike Nixon: 1-0
Richie Petitbon: 1-1
George Allen: 7-8
Norv Turner: 4-9
Mike Shanahan: 3-5
Jay Gruden: 2-4
Otto Graham: 2-4
Jack Pardee: 2-4
Steve Spurrier: 1-3
Jim Zorn: 1-3
Terry Robiskie: 0-1
Vince Lombardi: 0-2
Bill Austin: 0-2
Marty Schottenheimer: 0-2


Gruden is 4-6 in initial division games. His first ever division win was against the Cowboys.


At home, Gruden is 5-5 against the NFC East.

Gruden is 18-16 in early afternoon games with a 12-6 record at home.

Gruden has a 7-3 record in October, by far his winningest month:
September: 3-5
October: 7-3
November: 3-5
December: 4-3
January: 1-2

Gruden is 6-0 in home games in October.

Gruden has not defeated the Cowboys yet at FedEx Field.

Through 55 games, including playoffs, Gruden has started three quarterbacks (Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy). Washington started five quarterbacks in the 55 games leading up to the Gruden era (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck, Griffin, Cousins).

Gruden is 7/18 on challenges for his career with a 1/1 mark in 2017.

Gruden was head coach or the Orlando Predators in the Arena Football League from 1998-01 and then 2004-08. In the 2006 Eastern Conference championship, Gruden’s Predators defeated the Dallas Desperados 45-28. The Desperados were owned by Jerry Jones and coached by assistant director of pro personnel Will McClay.


BROADCAST FACTS (6)

This is the 32nd game in the Dallas-Washington series that FOX will broadcast, and that alone is a little over half the games CBS broadcast in the series with 59 total.

Dallas-Washington has been played on 5/7 possible broadcast networks. Here is a breakdown of the Cowboys’ record against their arch rival by network:

CBS: 32-24-2
FOX: 21-10
NBC: 4-2
ABC: 7-7
ESPN: 4-1

The Cowboys are 124-117 all-time on FOX.

Washington is 119-158-1 all-time on FOX.

Dallas is 39-43 when Aikman calls their games.

The Cowboys are 9-5 when Thom Brennaman calls their games.


WALT ANDERSON FACTS (15)

This week’s referee is Walt Anderson, a native of Sugar Land, Texas. Anderson has refereed 15 Cowboys games in his career. Dallas is 7-8 with a 3-2 record against Washington. Here are the results:

2005 – @NYG, 10-17 – L 2006 – TB, 38-10 – W 2006 – @SEA, 20-21 – L 2007 – Rams, 35-7 – W 2007 – WAS, 28-23 – W 2008 – WAS, 24-26 – L 2008 – NYG, 20-8 – W 2009 – @DEN, 10-17 – L 2009 – @MIN, 3-34 – L 2011 – @NYG, 31-14 – L 2012 – CHI, 34-18 – L 2012 – @WAS, 18-28 – L 2013 – WAS, 31-16 – W
2013 – @NYG, 24-21 – W
2015 – @WAS, 19-16 – W


The Dallas Cowboys have won the penalty battle 8/15 times with Walt Anderson:

2005 – NYG: 6/44; DAL: 7/46 2006 – TB: 5/55; DAL: 2/19 2006 – SEA: 3/15; DAL: 8/74 2007 – Rams: 7/50; DAL: 2/10 2007 – WAS: 3/71; DAL: 7/58 2008 – WAS: 5/30; DAL: 3/15 2008 – NYG: 7/40; DAL: 11/108 2009 – DEN: 7/70; DAL: 10/81 2009 – MIN: 8/50; DAL: 2/10 2011 – NYG: 3/28; DAL: 7/43 2012 – CHI: 4/25; DAL: 2/10 2012 – WAS: 2/20; DAL: 1/6 2013 – WAS: 12/104; DAL: 7/80
2013 – NYG: 11/81; DAL: 11/85
2015 – WAS: 9/73; DAL: 8/70


Anderson is tied for the sixth-best home team winning percentage in the NFL this year:

Gene Steratore: .857
John Hussey: .833
Pete Morelli: .750
John Parry: .667
Brad Allen: .667
Walt Anderson: .571
Walt Coleman: .571

Ron Torbert: .571
Jeff Triplette: .429
Bill Vinovich: .429
Carl Cheffers: .429
Ed Hochuli: .400
Craig Wrolstad: .333
Clete Blakeman: .333
Tony Corrente: .333
Terry McAulay: .300
Jerome Boger: .167



Anderson has the second-highest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties:

Pete Morelli: .875
Walt Anderson: .714
Gene Steratore: .714
Ron Torbert: .714
Bill Vinovich: .714
Clete Blakeman: .667
Brad Allen: .667
John Hussey: .667
Carl Cheffers: .571
Walt Coleman: .571
Tony Corrente: .500
John Parry: .500
Jeff Triplette: .429
Jerome Boger: .417
Craig Wrolstad: .500
Terry McAulay: .333
Ed Hochuli: .000



Washington is 5-9 when Anderson referees their games. Here are the results:

2003 – @BUF, 7-24 – L
2004 – @PHI, 6-28 – L
2005 – SD, 23-17 – L-OT
2006 – NYG, 28-34 – L
2007 – @DAL, 23-28 – L
2008 – @DAL, 26-24 – W
2009 – @Raiders, 34-13 – W
2010 – @CHI, 17-14 – W
2012 – DAL, 28-18 – W
2013 – @DAL, 16-31 – L
2014 – Titans, 19-17 – W
2014 – @SF, 13-17 – L
2015 – DAL, 16-19 – L
2016 – Cardinals, 31-23 – L


Washington has had fewer penalties than the opposition 4/12 times with Anderson:

2003 – BUF: 9/95; WAS: 9/77
2004 – PHI: 9/69; WAS: 12/115
2005 – SD: 6/40; WAS: 7/60
2006 – NYG: 5/41; WAS: 10/100
2007 – DAL: 7/58; WAS: 3/71
2008 – DAL: 3/15; WAS: 5/30
2009 – Raiders: 14/118; WAS: 7/45
2010 – CHI: 6/51; WAS: 7/48
2012 – DAL: 1/6; WAS: 2/20
2013 – DAL: 7/80; WAS: 12/104
2014 – Titans: 11/96; WAS: 7/50
2014 – SF: 5/47; WAS: 7/53
2015 – DAL: 8/70; WAS: 9/73
2016 – Cardinals: 6/51; WAS: 7/35


Anderson’s games average 4.9 sacks per game, the middle of the pack in the NFL:

Parry: 6.2
Coleman: 6.1
Vinovich: 6
Triplette: 5.6
Corrente: 5.5
McAulay: 5.3
Hochuli: 5.2
Cheffers: 5.1
Anderson: 4.9
Wrolstad: 4.8
Steratore: 4.7
Allen: 4.7
Morelli : 4.5
Torbert: 3.9
Blakeman: 3.7
Boger: 3.7
Hussey : 3.5


Anderson calls offensive holding 2.4 times per game, the eighth-fewest in the NFL:

Corrente: 3.5
Morelli : 3.5
Hussey : 3.3
Coleman: 3.3
Torbert : 3
Wrolstad: 3
Parry: 2.7
Cheffers: 2.6
Steratore: 2.4
Anderson: 2.4
Allen: 2.3
Triplette: 2.1
Vinovich: 2
Hochuli: 2
McAulay: 2
Boger: 1.8
Blakeman: 1.6


The Cowboys are 4/4 on challenges under Anderson while opponents are 1/4. Replay Assistant is 3/5 with none of those decisions having favored the Cowboys.


Washington is 4/4 challenging Anderson with opponents going 2/6. Replay Assistant is 3/4 with three of those decisions favoring Washington.


Since becoming an NFL referee in 2003, Walt Anderson has officiated 78 divisional games. Here’s the breakdown by division:

AFC East: 12
NFC South: 12
AFC North: 10
NFC East: 10
NFC North: 9
AFC West: 9
AFC South: 9
NFC West: 7


In NFC East games, the home team is 6-4 when Walt Anderson referees.

Anderson is one of four NFL referees to have a doctorate degree. Clete Blakeman, Ron Torbert, and Ed Hochuli have Juris Doctor degrees while Anderson has a Doctorate of Dentistry.


In addition to refereeing NFL games, Anderson is also the Coordinator of Football Officials for the Big 12.


Walt Anderson was also witness to history as a line judge on Oct. 27, 2002 as Emmitt Smith surpassed Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.



MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (7)

New Cowboys kicker Mike Nugent is 1/4 against Dallas with a 1/2 mark in Texas Stadium.

Much will be made of how Nugent has to fill Bailey’s shoes while the latter recovers from a groin injury. Here is a comparison of the two kickers:
0-19 yards – Bailey: 100 percent; Nugent: 100 percent
20-29 yards – Bailey: 97.6 percent; Nugent: 98.7 percent
30-39 yards – Bailey: 96.7 percent; Nugent: 84.3 percent
40-49 yards – Bailey: 89.5 percent; Nugent: 74.7 percent
50-plus yards – Bailey: 69.4 percent; Nugent: 39.3 percent
On the road – Bailey: 87.0 percent; Nugent: 80.1 percent
Outdoors – Bailey: 88.2 percent; Nugent: 80.4 percent
Inside two minutes of each half – Bailey: 80.0 percent; Nugent: 79.3 percent
Overtime – Bailey: 100 percent; Nugent: 83.3 percent
At FedEx Field – Bailey: 100 percent; Nugent: 55.6 percent

The Cowboys have gone for it second-most in the NFL on fourth down with 11 attempts. The Cowboys’ 6/11 rate is the 10th-best in the NFL and second-best among teams who have a minimum of 10 attempts.

The last Cowboys kicker to miss at FedEx Field was David Buehler from 34 yards on Sept. 12, 2010 in a 13-7 loss on Sunday Night Football.

Dez Bryant is tied for the eighth-most targets on first down in the NFL with 23.

Bryant is tied for the fifth-most touchdown grabs on first down with two.

Bryant is tied with Zach Ertz, Mike Evans, and Amari Cooper for the ninth-most targets in the NFL. However, among the tied, Bryant has the lowest catch percentage at 48.3 percent.

Bryant is tied for the ninth-most touchdown catches in the NFL with four.

Washington tight end Vernon Davis is tied with Houston running back Lamar Miller for the eighth-highest catch percentage in the NFL at 83.3 percent.

Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is tied for the most forced fumbles in the NFL with three.

No doubt Lawrence’s 9.5 sacks are the most for the Cowboys through the first six games since 1982. In the NFL, Lawrence is the 14th player to achieve 9.5 sacks in the first six games since 1982.

The Washington defense is tied with Philadelphia and Cincinnati for the ninth-most sacks in the NFL with 18.

The Washington defense is tied for the 15th-lowest yards yards per carry in the NFL at 4.0.

The Washington defense is tied with New Orleans for the ninth-worst passing yards per attempt at 7.4

The Cowboys are 3-3 on Oct. 29. Here are the results:

1961 – @NYG, 17-16 – W
1967 – @PHI, 14-21 – L
1989 – Cardinals, 10-19 – L
1995 – @ATL, 28-13 – W
2000 – JAX, 17-23 – L-OT
2006 – @CAR, 35-14 – W


Washington is 3-7 on Oct. 29. Here are the results:

1933 – PIT, 14-16 – L
1939 – @GB, 14-24 – L
1944 – Card-Pitt, 42-20 – W
1950 – @PHI, 3-35 – L
1961 – PHI, 24-27 – L
1967 – Colts, 13-17 – L
1972 – @NYG, 23-16 – W
1978 – SF, 38-20 – W
1989 – @Raiders, 24-37 – L
1995 – NYG, 15-24 – L


Dallas has two birthdays to celebrate on Oct. 29:

Darryl Clack, RB, 1986-89 – 10/29/1963
Colston Washington, DE, 2002 – 10/29/1977