By: Edward Egros

MIami

Dolphins at Cowboys Preview

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SERIES FACTS (13)

This is the 26th time the Cowboys have started 2-0. 20/25 of those teams made the playoffs with 17 of those teams having won the division.

Since playoff formats were last tinkered with in 1990, 144/245 that started 2-0 made the playoffs.

This is the 12th time the Dolphins have started 0-2. 2/11 of those teams finished with a winning record with the 2008 team winning the division and the 2016 team qualifying as a wild-card.

Since playoff formats were last reformatted in 1990, 39/238 that started 0-2 finished with a winning record.

Ahead of the 15th game in the series, this is the sixth time the Cowboys will have a better record than the Dolphins. Dallas is 4-1 when this is so.

Dallas is wearing their Color Rush jerseys versus the Dolphins. The Cowboys are 3-1 in their Color Rush jerseys, and this is the first time they will wear them on a Sunday.

The Cowboys are 1-0 against the Dolphins in September with that lone game played on the road on Sept. 16, 2007 in 37-20 win.

The Cowboys are 3-5 against the Dolphins at home. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Texas Stadium: 2-5
AT&T Stadium: 1-0

The Cowboys are 26-20 against current AFC East teams with a 13-10 record at home.
Dolphins: 3-5
Bills: 4-1
Patriots: 4-2
Jets: 2-2

This is the second early afternoon game in the series with the record split between the two sides 1-1.

Since 1970, the Cowboys are 150-112 in early afternoon games with a 70-39 record at home.

The Dolphins are 38-36 in the Central Time Zone, including postseason.

The Dolphins are 12-14 in the state of Texas, including postseason.


DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (20)

Prescott has an 82.3 completion percentage through the first two weeks, the best in the NFL among qualifiers.

Prescott’s completion percentage is the highest in the NFL among quarterbacks since 1950 through the first two weeks of the season.

Prescott is third in the NFL with 674 yards. In the past three seasons, his yardage totals were 519 (2016), 506 (2017), and 330 (2018).

Prescott’s seven passing touchdowns are tied with Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes for the most in the NFL.

To match seven touchdowns in 2018, it took Prescott six games to throw seven touchdowns.

Prescott has the second-highest touchdown percentage in the NFL at 11.3. Only Jackson’s 12.3 is higher.

Among the three passers tied for the most touchdowns, Prescott is the only one to have thrown an interception.

Prescott has the highest yards per attempt in the NFL at 10.9. Mahomes is second at 10.7 and Jackson is third at 10.5.

Prescott’s lowest yards per attempt through the first two weeks was in 2017 when it was 5.69.

Prescott’s passing yards per game are the third-most in the NFL at 337.0.

Only Jackson has a higher quarterback rating than Prescott: 145.2 to 142.9.

Prescott never eclipsed 100.0 passer rating through the first two games of his previous three seasons: 83.1 (2016), 78.2 (2017), and 87.7 (2018).

Prescott has taken one sack through the first two games. Last season, he took six.

Prescott is a perfect 100.0% in the red zone. He is tied for the ninth-most passes in the red zone with nine.

Prescott is tied for the second-most red zone touchdown passes in the NFL with three.

Prescott is tied with Carson Wentz for the ninth-shortest “time to throw” in the NFL at 2.56, according to Next Gen Stats.

According to Next Gen Stats, Prescott has the 12th-longest “completed air distance” in the NFL at 50.8 yards.

Next Gen Stats has Prescott as ninth in terms of “air yards to the sticks” at 0.1. In other words, Prescott’s throws are 0.1 yards beyond the line to gain on average.

Prescott is 18-8 against 4-3 defenses with a 90.2 passer rating.

A win against the Dolphins would join Prescott with Roger Staubach, Danny White, and Tony Romo as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to defeat Miami in his first try.



JOSH ROSEN FACTS (7)

A win over the Cowboys would join Rosen with Dan Marino, Steve DeBerg, and Jay Fiedler as the only Dolphins quarterbacks to defeat Dallas in their first encounter.

A win would make Rosen the first UCLA quarterback taken after Troy Aikman to defeat the Cowboys.

Rose’s two interceptions passes are the most by a quarterback who has yet to start a game this season.

Rosen’s 21 passes are the third-most by a quarterback who has yet to start a game this season.

Rosen’s 102 passing yards are the fourth-most from a quarterback who has yet to start a game this season.

Rosen’s four sacks are the most by a quarterback who has to start a game this season.

Rosen is one of eight quarterbacks this season to have thrown a pass inside the red zone.


EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (11)

According to Next Gen Stats, Elliott sees eight-man boxes on 27.78% of his runs in 2019, the 10th-most in the NFL.

According to Next Gen Stats, Elliott’s 2.64 seconds behind the line of scrimmage are the sixth-most in the league.

Elliott has the eighth-most rushing yards in the NFL with 164. Strangely, these are the most rushing yards he has tallied through the first two games of a season.

Elliott’s 4.6 yards per carry are the 12th-most in the NFL among running backs with at least 25 carries.

Elliott’s 4.6 yards per carry through the first two games is tied with 2018 for his career best.

Elliott is tied with Aaron Jones and Sony Michel for the fourth-most rushing attempts in the NFL with 36.

Elliott is tied with Todd Gurley for the most third down conversions on the ground with four. Only Marlon Mack has more with five.

Elliott is 1/6 running backs this season to have scored a touchdown on third down.

Elliott is tied for the fourth-most third-down carries in the league with four. Only Marlon Mack (six), Todd Gurley (five), and Josh Jacobs (five) have more.

Elliott has taken four carries for 47 yards and scored a touchdown on his third down carries this season.

Elliott has the second-most third-down rushing yards in the NFL with 47. Dak Prescott has the most with 50.

JASON GARRETT FACTS (5)

Garrett is 2-0 against the Dolphins. Here is how that compares to other Cowboys coaches:
Tom Landry: 2-4
Jimmy Johnson: 0-2
Barry Switzer: 1-0
Chan Gailey: 1-0
Bill Parcells: 0-1
Wade Phillips: 1-0

Garrett is 3-5 against the AFC East with a 2-2 record at home.

Garrett’s 2-2 home record against the AFC East is tied for his worst against any AFC division:
AFC North: 4-0
AFC South: 3-1
AFC West: 2-2
AFC East: 2-2


Garrett is 10-14 against rookie coaches with a 6-8 record at home.

Garrett is 19-10 in September with an 11-3 record at home.


BRIAN FLORES FACTS (2)

Flores joins George Wilson, Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, and Adam Gase as the only Dolphins coaches to start their tenures with 0-2 records.

A win Sunday would join Flores with Wannstedt as the only Dolphins head coaches to have defeated the Cowboys in an initial encounter. Shula, Johnson, Cameron, Sparano, and Campbell are a combined 0-5.



BROADCAST FACTS (10)

This is the second time the Cowboys have played their first three games on FOX. The other time was 2014.

This is the sixth time the Cowboys have started out 2-0 in their FOX games.

This is the third cross-flexed game the Cowboys will play in. Dallas is 0-2 in such games. Here are the results:
2015 – CAR, 14-33 – L
2018 – @WAS 17-20 – L

FOX will air its fourth game in the series between these two teams. Here is the Cowboys’ record broken down by network:

CBS: 3-2
FOX: 3-0
NBC: 1-3
ABC: 0-1
ESPN: 0-1


This week’s commentators are Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis. While it is Davis’ first game in the series, because of the cross-flex, Burkhardt will join Greg Gumbel as the only TV play-by-play to call consecutive games in the series. Burkhardt called the last game between the two teams in 2015, and Gumbel called the two teams’ consecutive meetings in 1999 and 2003 on CBS.

Dallas is 26-18 when Kevin Burkhardt calls their games, including radio.

The Cowboys are 7-1 when Charles Davis does color commentary for their games

The Dolphins have a 29-19 record on FOX.

Dallas is 137-123 all-time on FOX, including postseason.

The Cowboys are 21-21 against the AFC on FOX.


ADRIAN HILL FACTS (7)

Hill is 1/3 rookie referees this season alongside Brad Rogers and Scott Novak. Last season, there were four rookie referees: Shawn Hochuli, Shawn Smith, Alex Kemp, and Clay Martin.

Hill is one of seven referees who has not had a home team win in one of his games through two weeks:

Walt Anderson: 1.000
John Hussey: 1.000
Brad Rogers: 1.000
Ron Torbert: 1.000
Craig Wrolstad: 1.000
Scott Novak: .500
Clete Blakeman: .500
Brad Allen: .500
Shawn Smith: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Jerome Boger: .000
Carl Cheffers: .000
Tony Corrente: .000
Shawn Hochuli: .000
Alex Kemp: .000
Clay Martin: .000
Adrian Hill: .000


Hill is one of four referees to have not yet had a home team have fewer penalties in one of his games:
Walt Anderson: 1.000
John Hussey: 1.000
Scott Novak: 1.000
Alex Kemp: .500
Shawn Hochuli: .500
Clay Martin: .500
Shawn Smith: .500
Ron Torbert: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Clete Blakeman: .500
Jerome Boger: .500
Carl Cheffers: .500
Tony Corrente: .500
Brad Allen: .000
Brad Rogers: .000
Craig Wrolstad: .000
Adrian Hill: .000


Sacks per game:
Rogers: 9
Novak: 8
Corrente: 7
Vinovich: 7
Allen: 6.5
Kemp: 5.5
Hussey : 5
Martin: 5
Smith: 5
Boger: 5
Blakeman: 4.5
Torbert: 3.5
Cheffers: 3
Anderson: 3
Hochuli: 3
Hill: 2
Wrolstad: 2



Hill calls the second-most offensive holding calls per game:
Corrente: 8
Hill: 7
Cheffers: 6.5
Allen: 6.5
Torbert : 6
Anderson: 5.5
Novak: 4.6
Hochuli: 4.5
Kemp: 4
Rogers: 4
Hussey: 3.5
Blakeman: 3.5
Boger: 3.5
Wrolstad: 3.5
Vinovich: 3
Martin: 2.5
Smith: 1.5

Hill has not been challenged so far. Nonetheless, here is how other referees have gone relative to overturn rates:
Anderson: 1.000 (1/1)
Kemp: 1.000 (1/1)
Vinovich: .500 (2/4)
Cheffers: .500 (1/2)
Corrente: .500 (1/2)
Novak: .500 (1/2)
Hussey: .333 (1/3)
Allen: .000 (0/1)
Hochuli: .000 (0/1)
Martin: .000 (0/1)
Smith: .000 (0/1)
Wrolstad: .000 (0/1)
Torbert: .000 (0/2)
Rogers: .000 (0/2)
Boger: .000 (0/2)


Cheffers is the only referee who has called pass interference after a challenge. Here are the results:
Cheffers: 1/1
Vinovich: 1/2
Allen: 0/1
Boger: 0/1
Corrente: 0/1
Martin: 0/1
Novak: 0/1
Rogers: 0/1
Torbert: 0/1



MISCELLAENOUS FACTS (25)

The Cowboys defense is one of nine teams to have not forced an interception.

The Cowboys have generated two sacks, tied with the Chargers, Eagles, and Washington for the second-fewest in the NFL.

The Cowboys defense has given up 273 passing yards, the seventh fewest in the NFL.

The Cowboys defense has surrendered 16 passes to tight ends, tied for the third-most in the NFL.

Dallas has given up 164 receiving yards to tight ends, tied with the Buccaneers for third-most in the NFL.

Cowboys safety Jeff Heath is tied for the seventh-most pass breakups in the NFL with three.

Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is one of seven players to have a forced fumble and a fumble recovery so far.

Dallas has given up 527 passing yards, the 12th-most in the NFL.

Opposing quarterbacks have a 69.4 completion percentage against Dallas, the 11th-highest in the league.

The Cowboys defense gives up 5.8 yards per carry, tied with the Packers for the third-highest in the NFL.

The Dolphins defense has given up the worst passer rating in the NFL at 155.9.

The Dolphins defense has produced five quarterback hits through two games, the second-fewest in the league.

The Dolphins defense is tied with the Giants for the fewest tackles for loss produced on passing plays. The Cowboys are the worst with two.

The Dolphins are tied with the Giants for the second-highest yards per completion surrendered at 15.0.

The Dolphins defense has tipped away four passes, tied for the fifth-fewest in the NFL.

The Dolphins defense has given up the most passing touchdowns in the NFL with eight.

The Dolphins defense has given up the most rushing yards per game at 195.5.

The Dolphins defense has a 59.1% third down conversion rate, the second-highest in the NFL. Washington has the highest at 64.3%.

In his career, Witten has helped the Cowboys to a 3-1 record over Miami. On average, he catches four passes for 39 yards.

The Dolphins are 1/7 NFL teams against whom Witten has not scored a touchdown.

Since 1996, Dallas and Miami have faced each other six times, and in all six encounters either the Dolphins or the Cowboys have had a different head coach than the last time they faced each other.

6/12 of the Dolphins head coaches have been ex-Cowboys whether as head coaches (Jimmy Johnson), assistants (Dave Wannstedt, Jim Bates, Tony Sparano, Todd Bowles), or players (Dan Campbell).

The Cowboys are 4-3 on Sept. 22. Here are the results:
1963 – CLE, 24-41 – L
1968 – CLE, 28-7 – W
1985 – CLE, 20-7 – W
1991 – @CRD, 17-9 – W
1996 – @BUF, 7-10 – L
2002 – @PHI, 13-44 – L
2013 – RAM, 31-7 – W


The Dolphins are on 5-1 Sept. 22. Here are the results:
1974 – @BUF, 24-16 – W
1
975 – RAI, 21-31 – L
1985 – KC, 31-0 – W
1991 – GB, 16-13 – W
2002 – NYJ, 30-3 – W
2013 – ATL, 27-23 – W


The Cowboys have six birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 22:
1932 – DE Nate Borden, 1960-61
1939 – DT Guy Reese, 1962-63
1949 – WR Harold Carmichael, 1984
1952 – G Gene Killian, 1974
1958 – LB Godfrey Myles, 1991-96
1993 – S Darian Thompson, 2018-present