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Cowboys 100: Facts and stats for Monday Night matchup against Cardinals

The Dallas Cowboys will play their former division mates from Arizona on Monday night as Kyler Murray and the Cardinals come to AT&T Stadium.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) can't get to the ball as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

The Dallas Cowboys found the win column against the New York Giants in Week 5 but it came with the bitter cost of Dak Prescott’s season. 

Now, with a chance to move back to .500 with a win, the Cowboys and Andy Dalton will welcome Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals to Dallas for a showdown between former NFC East rivals.

With that in mind, here are 100 facts and stats as Dallas aims for their third win of the season:

SERIES FACTS (10)

-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 14th time in club history the Cowboys have started 2-3. Only 2 of 13 of those previous teams made the playoffs, and coincidentally they won the NFC East: 1996 and 2018.

-In the history of the NFC East (which was founded in 1970), there have been 65 teams that started 2-3. 14 of 65 of those teams made the playoffs. 8 of those 14 teams won the division.

-The Cardinals are 3-2 for the 17th time in franchise history. 4 of 16 of those previous teams made the playoffs with 3 of 4 of those teams ultimately winning the division.

-Since 1990, when playoff formats were last reformatted, 138 of 214 teams that started 4-2 made the playoffs.

-Since 1990, 76 of 218 teams that started off 3-3 made the playoffs with 36 of those 76 teams having won the division.

-Since 1990, 19 of 182 teams that started 2-4 made the playoffs with 9 of 19 having won the division.

-The Cowboys are 14-13-1 against the Cardinals in October with a 9-4 record at home.

-The Cowboys are 32-11 against the Cardinals at home in total. Here are the results broken down by venue:

  • Cotton Bowl: 4-5

  • Texas Stadium: 27-5

  • AT&T Stadium: 0-1

-The Cardinals are one of four teams that have remained undefeated against Dallas in postseason play. The other three teams are Carolina, Washington, and the Colts.

ANDY DALTON FACTS (10)

-Dalton will become the 41st different starting quarterback in Cowboys history.

-Dalton is the eighth-oldest quarterback to make his first career start for the Cowboys:

  • Week 1, 2004 – Vinny Testaverde, 40

  • Week 7, 2008 – Brad Johnson, 40

  • Week 7, 2010 – Jon Kitna, 38

  • Week 17, 1996 – Wade Wilson, 37

  • Week 2, 2000 – Randall Cunningham, 37

  • Week 1, 2005 – Drew Bledsoe, 33

  • Week 7, 2015 – Matt Cassel, 33

  • Week 6, 2020 – Andy Dalton, 32

-Dalton will be the first quarterback from TCU to start for the Cowboys.

-Dalton will be the seventh Cowboys quarterback to have played Texas High School Football. Here is a look at the other six:

  • 1960-68 – Don Meredith (Mount Vernon): 47-32-4

  • 1964 – John Roach (Highland Park): 0-4

  • 1965-66 – Jerry Rhome (Dallas Sunset): 1-2

  • 1995-97 – Wade Wilson (Commerce): 0-1

  • 2000-02 – Clint Stoerner (Baytown Lee): 1-1

  • 2010 – Stephen McGee (Burnet): 1-0

-Dalton will be the second Cowboys quarterback to make his starting debut on Monday Night Football and the fifth to do so in prime time. Here is how other Dallas quarterbacks have fared:

  • Week 1 (Monday Night Football), 1984 – Gary Hogeboom – @RAM, 20-13 – W

  • Week 2 (Sunday Night Football), 2000 – Randall Cunningham – @CRD, 31-32 – L

  • Week 16 (Sunday Night Football), 2000 – Anthony Wright – NYG, 13-17 – L

  • Week 8 (Sunday Night Football), 2006 – Tony Romo – @CAR, 35-14 – W

-Dalton is making his first start against the Cardinals. Here is how other Cowboys quarterbacks fared in their first starts against the Arizona franchise:

  • Eddie LeBaron: Loss

  • Don Meredith: Loss

  • Roger Staubach: Win

  • Craig Morton: Loss

  • Danny White: Win

  • Gary Hogeboom: Loss

  • Steve Pelluer: Win

  • Steve Walsh: Loss

  • Troy Aikman: Loss

  • Jason Garrett: Win

  • Randall Cunningham: Loss

  • Clint Stoerner: Loss

  • Quincy Carter: Loss

  • Drew Bledsoe: Win

  • Tony Romo: Win

  • Jon Kitna: Loss

  • Brandon Weeden: Loss

  • Dak Prescott: Win

-Dalton had the sixth-highest passer rating on first down last week at 116.7.

-Dalton was the only quarterback to be perfect on multiple second down passes in Week 5 (4 for 4).

-Dalton had the 14th-highest third-down passer rating last week at 86.8.

-Dalton and Dak Prescott are two of 20 quarterbacks to have a game-winning drive and a fourth-quarter comeback this season. One of those other 20 quarterbacks is Kyler Murray.

KYLER MURRAY FACTS (11)

-Murray’s six interceptions are the third-most in the NFL.

-Murray’s eight sacks taken are tied for the ninth-fewest among quarterbacks who have started since Week 1.

-Murray’s 10.3 yards per completion is the seventh-lowest in the league.

-Murray has had just four passes dropped, tied for the second-fewest among quarterbacks who have started every game this year.

-Murray is tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick with 13 scrambles, the fifth-most in the league.

-Murray has been pressured on 16.3% of his dropbacks, the fifth-fewest in the NFL.

-Murray gets 2.3 seconds of time to throw in the pocket, tied for fifth-fewest in the league.

-Murray has executed the most run-pass option plays in the league with 58. Next closest are Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen with 36.

-Murray has passed the most from the run-pass option with 43 for 380 yards, also the most in the NFL. Murray’s 12 rush attempts from run-pass option are second-most, and his 85 yards are also second-most.

-Murray is tied with Dak Prescott and Josh Allen for the second-most red zone rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with three.

-Murray is tied with Todd Gurley, Josh Jacobs, and Ezekiel Elliott for the second-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (8)

-Elliott has the seventh-most rushing yards in the league with 364.

-Elliott has produced 26 first downs by rush, the second-most in the NFL.

-Elliott’s 1.8 yards before contact are the ninth-lowest among running backs with at least 50 carries.

-Elliott’s 208 yards after contact are the fifth-most in the NFL.

-Elliott is tied with Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the seventh-most broken tackles with nine.

-Elliott and Josh Jacobs have the second-most red zone rushing touchdowns in the NFL with five.

-Elliott’s 56 carries on first down are the fourth-most in the league.

-Elliott and Dak Prescott are tied for the most fumbles in the NFL with three.

MIKE MCCARTHY FACTS (7)

-The Cardinals were the team that got McCarthy fired with four games to go in the 2018 season. Arizona beat Green Bay 20-17 at Lambeau Field on Dec. 2, 2018.

-McCarthy is 3-4 against the Cardinals, including the playoffs, with a 2-1 record at home.

-As a Cowboys coach, McCarthy is facing the Cardinals for the first time. Here is how other Cowboys head coaches have fared against the Cardinals:

  • 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: 1-3

-McCarthy is 33-16 in October with a 19-7 record at home.

-McCarthy is 19-15 against the NFC West with a 12-4 record at home.

-McCarthy’s 19-15 record against the NFC West is his third-best against a particular NFC division:

  • NFC North: 53-25-2

  • NFC East: 21-12

  • NFC West: 19-15

  • NFC South: 13-14

-McCarthy is 6-11-1 with backup quarterbacks with a 2-6-1 record at home.

KLIFF KINGSBURGY FACTS (8)

-If Kingsbury beats the Cowboys, he will join Pop Ivy (1960), Ray Willsey (1961), Ray Prochaska (1961), Chuck Drulis (1961), Wally Lemm (1962), Joe Bugel (1990), Dave McGinnis (2000), Ken Whisenhunt (2008), and Bruce Arians (2014) as the only Cardinals coaches to defeat the Cowboys in their first try.

-Kingsbury is 2-0 against the NFC East with a 1-0 record on the road.

-Kingsbury is 0-1 in prime time.

-Kingsbury is 0-1 in the Central Time Zone.

-Kingsbury is the 13th coach in Cardinals franchise history to start 3-2.

-Kingsbury is the second member of the 2003 New England Patriots actively coaching in the NFL. The other is Mike Vrabel with the Tennessee Titans.

-Kingsbury is 3 for 6 on challenges for his career, but has yet to challenge in 2020.

-The Cardinals’ 42 penalties are tied with the 2005 and 1989 teams for the fifth-most through the first five games in franchise history since 1940.

BROADCAST FACTS (19)

-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 games on cable and the Cowboys’ records:

  • KXAS (1987-90): 1-2

  • KTXA (1991-2012): 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

  • WFAA (2017) 1-0

  • WFAA (2018) 0-1

  • WFAA (2019) 1-0

-The Cowboys are 49-36 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 beat down.

-The only quarterback the Cowboys faced on both of ESPN’s telecasts is Eli Manning, who went 3-0 against the Cowboys and faced them in three different venues (2004: Giants Stadium; 2006: Texas Stadium; 2010: AT&T Stadium).

-Going back to 2000, the Cowboys have had six 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, 2019).

-Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded the most sacks in an ESPN game with three in 2017 on the road against the Cardinals. 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 (Jan. 1, 2006, and Oct. 23, 2006).

-The Cowboys are 8-13 in their white jerseys on ESPN compared to 2-5 in their blues.

-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. 

-Dallas has played on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on ESPN during their franchise history.

-For ESPN telecasts since 1987, September is the most-played month for the Cowboys, who hold a 4-3 record. Here is the Cowboys’ record in the months in which they have played on ESPN:

  • September: 4-3

  • October: 1-5

  • November: 2-5

  • December: 3-4

  • January: 0-2

-The Cowboys have been on both sides of one-point contests on ESPN. The first was a 32-31 loss to the Cardinals on Sept. 10, 2000, while their victory was the 25-24 thriller in Buffalo on Oct. 8, 2007.

-L.P. Ladouceur is the only remaining Cowboy to have played on both ESPN Sunday Night Football and ESPN Monday Night Football.

-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.

-Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick are the new play-by-play team for ESPN. 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: 5-4

  • Ron Jaworski: 4-1

  • Ed Werder (2011, Cowboys sideline): 1-0

  • Lisa Salters: 3-3

  • Sean McDonough: 2-0

  • Joe Tessitore: 1-1

  • Anthony McFarland: 1-1

  • Jason Witten: 0-1

-Lisa Salters is former running back Tony Dorsett’s cousin.

-Another quoted statistic going into this game is how the Cowboys have the second-most Monday Night Football appearances with 81. The Dolphins have 85. 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 14 MNF appearances since 2006 versus the Cowboys’ 14. However, since 2006, the Cowboys have had 50 SNF appearances versus the Dolphins’ two. So, actually, the correct way to look at this statistic is the Cowboys lead the league with 164 marquee game appearances versus the Dolphins’ 128.

CLETE BLAKEMAN FACTS (13)

-This week’s referee is Clete Blakeman. The Cowboys are 4-5 when he referees their games. 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

  • 2017 – Rams, 30-35 – L

  • 2018 – OTI, 14-28 – L

  • 2018 – PHI, 29-23 – W-OT

 -The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than the opposition 4/9 time with Blakeman:

  • 2010 – JAX: 6/36; DAL: 3/20

  • 2012 – PIT: 0/0; DAL: 8/61

  • 2014 – RAM: 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

  • 2017 – RAM: 7/41; DAL: 4/45

  • 2018 – OTI: 3/20; DAL: 6/52

  • 2018 – PHI: 5/49; DAL: 11/110

-Blakeman is tied for the sixth-lowest home team winning percentage at .500.

-Blakeman is tied for the sixth-lowest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties at .500.

-The Cardinals are 4-3 with Blakeman as the referee:

  • 2010 – RAM, 6-19 – L

  • 2013 – @RAM, 24-27 – L

  • 2014 – @RAI, 24-13 – W

  • 2015 – @SEA, 39-32 – W

  • 2015* – GB, 26-20 – W-OT

  • 2016 – @MIN, 24-30 – L

  • 2017 – JAX, 27-24 – W

*playoffs

-The Cardinals have had fewer penalties 4 of 7 times with Blakeman:

  • 2010 – RAM: 2/15; CRD: 6/54

  • 2013 – RAM: 6/68; CRD: 7/59

  • 2014 – RAI: 8/74; CRD: 6/43

  • 2015 – SEA: 14/131; CRD: 9/66

  • 2015* – GB: 8/55; CRD: 3/26

  • 2016 – MIN: 10/73; CRD: 8/96

  • 2017 – JAX: 5/45; CRD: 10/98

 *playoffs

-Blakeman’s games have the eighth-fewest sacks per game at 4.5.

-Blakeman’s crew calls the fifth-most offensive holding calls per game at 2.3.

-With Blakeman under the hood, the Cowboys are 2 for 4 on challenges with the opposition going 1 for 6. Meanwhile, Replay Assistant is 3 for 9 with only one call benefitting Dallas.

-The Cardinals are 4 for 6 challenging Blakeman with the opposition going 2 for 4. Replay Assistant is 0 for 4 with none of those calls benefiting the Cardinals.

-Blakeman is tied for the fifth-highest challenge overturn rate at .667 (2 of 3).

-Blakeman is an attorney, specializing in personal injury for Carlson & Burnett in Omaha, Nebraska.

-Blakeman was a backup quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1984-87.

MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (14)

-Monday night will be the first time two former Texas High School football quarterbacks will square off in an NFL game inside AT&T Stadium, the site of most UIL football championship games since 2010.

-DeAndre Hopkins leads the NFL in catches (45) and receiving yards (528).

-Hopkins’ catches have produced 29 first downs, the most in the league.

-Hopkins’ catches have logged 307 yards in the air before being caught, the sixth-most in the NFL.

-Hopkins has broken nine tackles after the catch, the second-most in the NFL.

-Hopkins’ 221 yards after the catch are the fourth-most in the league.

-Amari Cooper has actually been targeted more than Hopkins: 55 to 53. Allen Robinson has the most targets in the league with 57.

-Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds is tied for the third-most fumbles in the league with two.

-CeeDee Lamb’s receptions have logged 313 yards before being caught, the fifth-highest in the NFL.

-Michael Gallup’s catches have logged 296 yards in the air before being caught, the ninth-most in the league.

-The average depth of target on a pass to Gallup is 16.9 yards, the eighth-highest in the NFL.

-The Cowboys are 4-4 on Oct. 19. Here are the results:

  • 1969 – PHI, 49-14 – W

  • 1975 – GB, 17-19 – L

  • 1980 – @PHI, 10-17 – L

  • 1986 – @PHI, 17-14 – W

  • 1987 – WAS, 7-13 – L

  • 1997 – JAX, 26-22 – W

  • 2003 – @DET, 38-7 – W

  • 2008 – @Rams, 14-34 – L

  • 2014 – NYG, 31-21 – W

-The Cardinals are 5-7 on Oct. 19. Here are the results:

  • 1924 – @CHI, 0-6 – L

  • 1930 – CHI, 6-32 – L

  • 1941 – @Brooklyn Dodgers, 20-6 – W

  • 1947 – @RAM, 7-27 – L

  • 1952 – @NYG, 24-23 – W

  • 1958 – @NYG, 23-6 – W

  • 1969 – MIN, 10-27 – L

  • 1975 – PHI, 31-20 – W

  • 1980 – @WAS, 0-23 – L

  • 1986 – @WAS, 21-28 – L

  • 1997 – @PHI, 10-13 – L-OT

  • 2014 – @RAI, 24-13 – W

-The Cowboys have two birthdays to celebrate on Oct. 19:

  • 1944 – Dick Daniels, DB, 1966-1968

  • 1968 – Greg Briggs, S, 1995

Did you know that the Cowboys went 17-4 against the Cardinals throughout the 1990s? Share your favorite facts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.