By: Edward Egros

Vikings at Cowboys Preview

Pasted GraphicSERIES FACTS (11)

This is the 12th time in franchise history the Cowboys have started 5-3. 7/11 of those previous teams made the playoffs with five of them having won the division.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last altered, 99/136 teams that started 6-3 made the playoffs with 54 of them having won the division.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last realigned, 77/161 of teams that started 5-4 made the playoffs.

The Vikings are 6-3 for the fifth time in franchise history. Only 2/4 of those previous teams made the playoffs.

Since 1990, 99/119 teams that started 7-3 made the playoffs with 62 of those teams having won the division.

Since 1990, 87/145 teams that started 6-4 made the playoffs with 34 of them having won the division.

The Cowboys are 1-5 against the Vikings in November with a 1-4 record at home.

The Cowboys are 6-7 against the Vikings at home, including playoffs. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Cotton Bowl: 2-0
Texas Stadium: 3-7
AT&T Stadium: 1-0

The Vikings are 1/3 teams the Cowboys have faced in every round of the playoffs. The other two teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams.

The Cowboys are 147-107-2 all-time in November with a 91-51-2 record at home.

The Vikings are 133-102-5 all-time in November with a 47-62-3 record on the road.


DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (11)

With a minimum of 50 pass attempts, Prescott’s 62.9 completion percentage on third down is the 10th-highest in the NFL.

With a minimum of 70 pass attempts on second down, Prescott’s 112.5 passer rating is the fifth-best in the league.

Half of Prescott’s eight interceptions have occurred on first down.

Prescott is tied with Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, and Andy Dalton for the fourth-most red zone rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with three.

Prescott is 1/8 quarterbacks who has thrown at least 35 red zone passes without an interception.

Prescott is tied with Philip Rivers for the third-most hits taken with 28.

Prescott is tied with Baker Mayfield for the most pass attempts dropped with 19.

Prescott has the fifth-highest average depth of target at 9.6.

Prescott is tied with Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, and Carson Wentz for the seventh-highest touchdown passes in the NFL with 15.

Prescott has the eighth-highest passer rating in the league at 102.5.

Prescott has an 8.7 yards per attempt, the third-highest in the NFL. Second-highest is Kirk Cousins at 8.8.


KIRK COUSINS FACTS (11)

Cousins’ 100.9 passer rating is the seventh-highest in the NFL on first down among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes.

Cousins’ five passing touchdowns on first down is tied for the sixth-highest in the league.

Cousins’ 68.8 completion percentage is the seventh-highest in the league.

Cousins’ 1.2 interception percentage is the fifth-lowest in the NFL.

Cousins’ three interceptions through the first nine games are the fewest of his career.

Cousins’ 112.0 passer rating is the third-highest in the NFL.

Cousins’ 112.0 passer rating is the highest of his career through the first nine games of his career.

Cousins has benefited from 1,114 yards after the catch, the sixth-highest in the league.

Cousins is tied with Jameis Winston and Derek Carr for the seventh-most red zone passing touchdowns with 10.

Cousins is tied for the 10th-most red zone interceptions in the league with one.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (11)

Elliott’s six rushing touchdowns are tied for the fifth-most in the NFL.

Among running backs with at least 100 rushes, Elliott’s 4.7 yards per carry is the eighth-highest in the league.

Elliott’s 92.6 rushing yards per game are the fourth-most in the NFL.

Elliott is tied with Dalvin Cook for the second-most first downs rushing with 43.

Elliott’s 405 yards before contact are tied with Nick Chubb for the third-most in the league.

Elliott’s 336 yards after contact are the ninth-most in the league.

Elliott’s six rushing touchdowns in the red zone are tied for the fourth-most in the league.

Elliott has been the target of 43 of the Cowboys’ 82 red zone plays.

Elliott has a 4.51 yards per carry on first down, tied with Marlon Mack for the seventh-most in the NFL among backs with at least 100 first down carries.

Elliott has 451 yards on first down, the seventh-most in the league.

Elliott has taken 44 second down carries, tied with Aaron Jones for the eighth-most in the NFL.


JASON GARRETT FACTS (11)

This is the 37th week of Garrett’s career that the Cowboys have been in undisputed first place in the NFC East.

Garrett is 2-4 against former Cowboys coordinator though all of those games were against Sean Payton.

Garrett’s 2-0 record against the Vikings is his best against an NFC North opponent:
Vikings: 2-0
Lions: 3-2
Bears: 2-2
Packers: 1-6

Garrett is 8-11 against the NFC North with a 6-6 record at home.

Garrett’s 6-6 home record against the NFC North is his best compared to the rest of the conference:
NFC South: 5-4
NFC North: 6-6
NFC West: 3-5

Garrett is 40-38 against playoff-winning head coaches with a 22-15 record at home and is currently on a five-game home winning streak.

Garrett is 25-14 in November with a 13-10 record at home.

Garrett is 1-6 in games immediately following Monday Night Football games with an 0-4 record at home.

Garrett is 8-8 against road teams from the Central Time Zone.

Garrett is 23/44 on challenges for his career with a 2/3 record in 2019.

Garrett challenged pass interference once so far. He lost in the Green Bay game in Week 5.


MIKE ZIMMER FACTS (11)

Zimmer is the second Vikings head coach to have previously been a defensive coordinator.

This is Zimmer’s first time to face Dallas. 2/7 of Vikings head coaches who initially faced the Cowboys won: Jerry Burns and Mike Tice.

Zimmer is the ninth former Cowboys coordinator to face Dallas. Ex-Cowboys coordinators are 16-30-1 against their former team. Here is the list:
Sean Payton: 5-3
Dan Reeves: 5-8
Norv Turner: 4-9
Dave Wanndstedt: 1-2
Dick Nolan: 1-5-1
Butch Davis: 0-1
Dave Shula: 0-1
Tony Sparano: 0-1

Zimmer is 7-3 against the NFC East with a 2-3 record on the road.

Zimmer is 5-0 indoors this season with just road game indoors: Week 7 at Detroit.

Zimmer is 33-23-1 against playoff-winning head coaches with a 22-10 record at home.

Zimmer is 15/34 on challenges for his career with a 3/6 record in 2019.

Zimmer is 0/3 on pass interference challenges this season.

Zimmer is 5-2 on NBC Sunday Night Football with a 1-1 record on the road.

Zimmer is 12-8 in November with a 5-5 record on the road.

Zimmer is 6-9-1 as the road team in the Central Time Zone.


BROADCAST FACTS (11)

The Vikings are the 11th team the Cowboys will face on the NBC Sunday Night Football package, including playoffs.

The last time Dallas and Minnesota played on a Sunday night was in 1995 on TNT Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys beat the Vikings 23-17 in overtime in the Metrodome.

Cowboys-Vikings will be played on all three incarnations of Sunday Night Football:
1988 (ESPN)
1995 (TNT)
2019 (NBC)

Cowboys-Vikings has been televised on every available TV network. Here is the Cowboys’ record by network:
CBS: 11-4
FOX: 2-6
ABC: 1-4
ESPN: 0-1
NBC: 1-0
NFL Network: 1-0*

*simulcast of an NBC game on Dec. 1, 2016.

Dallas is 27-21 on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoff games and NFL Specials.

Minnesota is 7-11 on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoff games and NFL Specials.

The Cowboys are 54-37 when Al Michaels calls their games, including postseason.

The Vikings are 20-25 when Michaels calls their games, including postseason.

The Cowboys are 28-22 when Collinsworth does color commentary for their games.

The Vikings are 9-19 when Collinsworth does color commentary for their games.

On KXAS, the NBC affiliate for Dallas-Fort Worth, the Cowboys are an all-time 53-36, including simulcast cable games from 1987-90.


SHAWN HOCHULI FACTS (10)

This week’s referee is Shawn Hochuli. The Cowboys have a 2-0 record with the son of former unofficial arch-referee, Ed Hochuli. Here are the results:
2018 – TB, 27-20 – W
2019 – @WAS, 31-21 – W

The Cowboys have never had fewer penalties than the opposition under the younger Hochuli:
2018 – TB: 9/72; DAL: 10/67
2019 – WAS: 6/44; DAL: 8/67


This is the first Vikings game Hochuli will referee.

Hochuli is tied for the lowest home team winning percentage in the NFL:
Brad Allen: .750
Alex Kemp: .750
Scott Novak: .688
Carl Cheffers: .625
Jerome Boger: .571
Tony Corrente: .500
John Hussey: .500
Ron Torbert: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Craig Wrolstad: .500
Walt Anderson: .500
Adrian Hill: .500
Brad Rogers: .375
Shawn Smith: .375
Clete Blakeman: .375
Clay Martin: .250
Shawn Hochuli: .250


Hochuli is tied for the fourth-lowest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties:
Scott Novak: .875
Clete Blakeman: .750
Tony Corrente: .750
John Hussey: .625
Alex Kemp: .625
Brad Allen: .625
Shawn Smith: .625
Clay Martin: .625
Jerome Boger: .571
Ron Torbert: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Walt Anderson: .500
Adrian Hill: .500
Shawn Hochuli: .500
Craig Wrolstad: .375
Brad Rogers: .375
Carl Cheffers: .375


Hochuli has the lowest sacks per game rate in the NFL:
Vinovich: 6.5
Smith: 6.3
Hill: 6.3
Allen: 6.0
Corrente: 5.6
Rogers: 5.5
Anderson: 5.4
Boger: 5.1
Martin: 5.0
Wrolstad: 4.6
Blakeman: 4.6
Torbert : 4.4
Kemp: 4.4
Novak: 4.3
Hussey : 4.3
Cheffers: 4.1
Hochuli: 3.5


Hochuli is tied for the second-highest offensive holding calls per game in the NFL:
Cheffers: 5.4
Hochuli: 4.1
Rogers: 4.1
Torbert : 4.1
Corrente: 4.0
Hill: 3.6
Kemp: 3.6
Blakeman: 3.6
Allen: 3.4
Anderson: 3.4
Wrolstad: 3.1
Boger: 3.1
Novak: 2.8
Martin: 2.5
Hussey : 2.4
Smith: 2.1
Vinovich: 1.5


The Cowboys, nor their opponents, nor Replay Assistant has had to challenge Hochuli so far.


Hochuli is tied for the fifth-lowest challenge overturn rate in the NFL:
Blakeman: .571 (4/7)
Novak: .556 (5/9)
Kemp: .500 (3/6)
Hussey: .500 (4/8)
Vinovich: .462 (6/13)
Torbert : .429 (3/7)
Corrente: .429 (3/7)
Anderson: .375 (3/8)
Cheffers: .333 (1/3)
Rogers: .333 (2/6)
Smith: .250 (1/4)
Boger: .250 (2/8)
Hochuli: .167 (1/6)
Allen: .167 (2/12)
Martin: .111 (1/9)
Hill: .000 (0/5)
Wrolstad: .000 (0/6)


Hochuli is 1/14 referees this season who has not overturned decisions on the field related to pass interference:
Cheffers: 1.000 (1/1)
Vinovich: .400 (2/5)
Anderson: .333 (1/3)
Smith: .000 (0/1)
Novak: .000 (0/2)
Blakeman: .000 (0/2)
Boger: .000 (0/2)
Hill: .000 (0/2)
Hussey: .000 (0/2)
Rogers: .000 (0/2)
Hochuli: .000 (0/3)
Corrente: .000 (0/3)
Kemp: .000 (0/3)
Torbert : .000 (0/3)
Wrolstad: .000 (0/3)
Martin: .000 (0/7)
Allen: .000 (0/7)


MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (13)

The Vikings defense has allowed 38 missed tackles, the second-fewest in the NFL.

The Vikings have produced 28 sacks, the sixth-most this season.

The Vikings have broken up 49 passes, the second-most in the league.

Minnesota’s defense is tied for the sixth-most interceptions with eight.

The Vikings have tallied 47 tackles for loss, the fourth-most in the league.

The Vikings defense has allowed just two rushing touchdowns, the fewest in the NFL.

Vikings safety Anthony Harris’ three interceptions are tied for the fourth-most in the league.

Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has been sent on 55 blitzes this season, the 10th-most in the NFL.

Stefon Diggs’ 13.1 yards per target is tied with Kenny Stills for the most in the NFL. Amari Cooper is third with 12.3.

Diggs’ four fumbles are the most by a receiver this season.

The Cowboys are 3-5 on Nov. 10. Here are the results:
1963 – @SF, 24-31 – L
1968 – NYG, 21-27 – L
1974 – SF, 20-14 – W
1975 – KC, 31-34 – L
1985 – @WAS, 13-7 – W
1991 – @OTI, 23-26 – L-OT
1996 – @SF, 20-17 – W-OT
2013 – @NO, 17-49 – L


The Vikings are 1-4 on Nov. 10. Here are the results:
1963 – @GB, 7-28 – L
1968 – GB, 14-10 – W
1985 – GB, 17-27 – L
1996 – @SEA, 23-42 – L
2002 – NYG, 20-27 – L


The Cowboys have two birthdays to celebrate on Nov. 10:
1940 – Lance Poimbeouf, G, 1963
1982 – Chris Canty, DE, 2005-08