By: Edward Egros

Night

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

Cowboys at Saints Preview

Pasted Graphic

SERIES FACTS (12)

The Cowboys are 3-0 for the 16th time in franchise history. 14/15 of those previous teams made the playoffs. The lone team that didn’t was the most recent: 2008.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, 104/141 teams that started 3-0 made the playoffs.

The Saints are 2-1 for the 11th time in franchise history. 5/10 of those previous teams made the playoffs and three of them had quarterback Drew Brees playing for the full season.

Since 1990, when playoff formats were last revised, 164/304 teams that started 2-1 made the playoffs.

Dallas is 6-8 in New Orleans with their last win coming on Dec. 19, 2009. Here are the results by venue:
Tulane Stadium: 3-1
Mercedes-Benz Superdome: 3-7

The Cowboys are 5-1 against the Saints in September with a 2-1 record on the road.


The Cowboys are 68-70-1 in their blue jerseys.

The Cowboys are wearing their blue jerseys for the second time in New Orleans since 2015. Prior to that, they had not worn their blue jerseys in New Orleans since 1971, ending a 45-season drought. The city with the longest blue jersey drought is Pittsburgh at 51.


The Cowboys are 2-2 in their blue jerseys against the Saints with a 0-1 record in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.


The Saints are the only NFC team the Cowboys have not played in the postseason. Comparatively, Dallas is among four NFC teams that New Orleans hasn’t faced in the playoffs. The other three are Tampa Bay, New York, and Washington.


From 1967-69, the Cowboys amassed five wins over the expansion Saints. This ties with the Falcons for the Cowboys’ second-best start against an expansion team. Franchise first place is over the Buccaneers with six straight wins.


The Saints are one of four teams to have once been division opponents with Dallas for more than a season. The other three teams are the Cardinals, Browns, and Steelers.



DAK PRESC
OTT FACTS (12)

Pres
cott is 7-3 on Sunday Night Football with a 2-2 record on the road.

Last year was the first time Prescott faced Dennis Allen’s defense. Prescott went 24-of-28 for 249 yards, a touchdowns, took seven sacks, and rushed five times for 22 yards in a 13-10 win over the Saints on Nov. 29, 2018.

Prescott is 18-8 against 4-3 defenses with an 88.8 passer rating and a 4.6 yards per carry. His average stat line is 19-of-30 for 217 yards, one touchdown, an interception, taking three sacks, and rushing four times for 18 yards.

Prescott’s 32 first-down passes rank 24th in the NFL.

Among quarterbacks with at least 30 passes, Prescott’s 8.7 yards per pass attempt on first down is tied with Matthew Stafford for the seventh-highest in the NFL.
Prescott has not been sacked on first down this season. Last year through the first three games, he took five sacks, tied with Eli Manning and Jimmy Garoppolo for the most in the NFL.

Prescott has the highest passer rating in the NFL on second down at 148.7. Second-highest is Kyle Allen at 132.5. Jacoby Brissett is third with 132.0.

Prescott’s second down conversions by pass are tied with Keenum for the most in the NFL with 22.

Prescott’s 10.2 yards per pass attempt on second down are the most in the NFL among starting quarterbacks.

Among quarterbacks with at least 10 pass attempts, Prescott’s 84.62 completion percentage in the red zone is the highest in the NFL.

Prescott’s five red zone passing touchdowns are tied with Case Keenum, Russell Wilson, and Matt Ryan for the second-most in the NFL. Jacoby Brissett has the most with seven.

Prescott is tied with Brissett, Ryan, and Keenum for the most passing touchdowns inside the 10-yard line with four.


TEDDY BRIDGEWATER FACTS (12)

Last week was one of Bridgewater’s five career games where he did not sustain a sack.

Bridgewater is 7-9 when he gets sacked three-plus times compared to 11-3 when he is sacked twice or fewer.

The last quarterback to start in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome not named Drew Brees was, in fact, Bridgewater on Dec. 30, 2018, in a 33-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Bridgewater’s 70.37 completion percentage in Seattle was tied for the ninth-highest of his career.

Bridgewater has an 85.7 completion percentage on play-action.

Bridgewater has the third-shortest “time to throw” last week, according to Next Gen Stats, with at 2.44 seconds.

According to Next Gen Stats, Bridgewater had the absolute lowest “intended air yards” at 3.3 yards.

Bridgewater, according to Next Gen Stats, had the lowest “air yards to sticks” in Week 3 at minus-6.7 yards. In other words, Bridgewater was throwing 6.7 yards behind the sticks on average.

According to Next Gen Stats, Bridgewater had the sixth-lowest “aggressiveness” with his passes in Week 3 at 7.4.

Bridgewater is the first quarterback not named Drew Brees to start in a prime tim
e game for New Orleans. On Dec. 12, 2005, Aaron Brooks started for the Saints on Monday Night Football in Atlanta in a 36-17 losing effort.

Bridgewater is 1/4 backup quarterbacks on active rosters this season who were once Pro Bowlers.

Bridgewater is the only Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year since 2011 to still not be with his original draft team.


JASON GARRETT FACTS (10)

Garrett is 3-0 for the first time in his career. He now joins Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, and Wade Phillips as the only Cowboys coaches to start 3-0.


Against head coaches who used to coach him or be his offensive coordinator, Garrett is 3-3:

2010 – NO (Sean Payton), 27-30 – L
2011 – BUF (Chan Gailey), 44-7 – W
2013 – NO (Sean Payton), 17-49 – L
2014 – NO (Sean Payton), 38-17 – W
2015 – @NO (Sean Payton), 20-26 – L-OT
2018 – NO (Sean Payton), 13-10 – W


Garrett is 20-10 in September with an 8-7 record on the road.

Garrett owns a 25-22 record in prime time, including playoffs, with a 10-12 record on the road.


Garrett is 15-14 on NBC Sunday Night Football, including NFL specials, with a 4-9 record on the road. Here is how Garrett’s overall SNF record, including playoffs and NFL specials, compares to other qualifying Cowboys coaches:
Bill Parcells: 2-3
Wade Phillips: 9-3
Jason Garrett: 15-14


Garrett’s 2-4 record is the worst record against the Saints since Bill Parcells. Here is how other Cowboys coaches have fared against New Orleans:

Tom Landry: 11-2
Barry Switzer: 1-0
Wade Phillips: 1-0
Jimmy Johnson: 2-1
Jason Garrett: 2-4
Chan Gailey: 0-2
Bill Parcells: 0-3


Garrett is 8-10 against the NFC South with a 3-6 record on the road.

Garrett’s 3-6 record against the NFC South on the road is his worst against other divisions in the conference sans the NFC East:
NFC West: 6-5
NFC North: 3-4
NFC South: 3-6


Garrett is 12-12 against Super Bowl-winning head coaches and on a three-game winning streak.

Jason Garrett was a member of the 1989 and 1990 Saints. Against teams Garrett once was on the roster for (Saints, Giants, Buccaneers, Dolphins), he holds a 21-11 record.


SEAN PAYTON FACTS (9)

Payton is now 1-3 with backup quarterbacks.

Sean Payton has the most wins against the Dallas Cowboys than any other head coach in Saints history:
Tom Fears: 0-5
J.D. Roberts: 1-0
John North: 0-1
Hank Stram: 0-1
Dick Nolan: 0-1
Bum Phillips: 0-3
Jim Mora: 2-3
Mike Ditka: 2-0
Jim Haslett: 2-0
Joe Vitt: 1-0
Sean Payton: 4-3


All of Sean Payton’s professional coaching experience came as an assistant in the NFC East. Here is his record against NFC East teams:
New York: 5-1
Philadelphia: 6-2
Dallas: 4-3
Washington: 3-3


Payton leads all New Orleans coaches with a 28-17 record in prime time, including playoffs. Here is how he fares with other Saints coaches:
J.D. Roberts: 0-1
John North: 0-2
Dick Nolan: 0-2
Bum Phillips: 1-2
Jim Mora, Sr.: 11-11
Rick Venturi: 0-1
Mike Ditka: 1-2
Jim Haslett: 4-7
Sean Payton: 28-17
Aaron Kromer: 1-0
Joe Vitt: 1-2

The Saints are eighth in the NFL scoring on 41.4% of their drives.

The Saints are tied for the eighth-fewest first downs in the NFL with 12.

The Saints and Lions are smack in the middle as a red zone offense with a 57.1% conversion rate apiece.

Payton is 49/112 on challenges for his career with a 2/2 overturn rate in 2019. He has not yet challenged pass interference.

Payton was the first among six assistant coaches on the 2005 Cowboys staff to be hired as a head coach. The other four were the late Tony Sparano (2008 Dolphins), Todd Haley (2009 Chiefs), Mike Zimmer (2014 Vikings), Todd Bowles (2015 Jets), and Anthony Lynn (2017 Chargers). Payton, Zimmer, and Lynn are still in their original posts, and are also the only ones to have won a playoff game.


EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (11)

Among running backs with at least 50 carries, Elliott has the third-highest yards per carry in the NFL at 5.3.

Elliott’s 289 rushing yards through the first three games are the 11th-most in Cowboys history.

Elliott’s 5.25 yards per carry through the first three games are actually lower than his 5.71 through the first three games of 2018, which were the best of his career.

Elliott is tied with San Francisco’s Matt Brieda and New England’s Rex Burkhead for the sixth-most yards before contact in the NFL at 3.0.

Elliott has the second-most first downs rushing in the NFL with 16. Only the Colts’ Marlon Mack has more with 22.

According to Next Gen Stats, Elliott sees an eight-man box 18.18% of the time, ranking 20th-most in the NFL.

According to Next Gen Stats via NFLSavant.com, on first down, Elliott has run the most behind center Travis Frederick the most this season with nine attempts. Second-most is right guard Zack Martin with eight.

According to Next Gen Stats via NFLSavant.com, 45 of Elliott’s 203 rushing yards gained on first down have come behind left tackle Tyron Smith.

According to Next Gen Stats via NFLSavant.com, 34 of Elliott’s 82 second-down rushing yards have been gained behind Frederick, the most behind any Cowboys offensive lineman.

Elliott has the most rushing yards on third down with 56 and the most first downs by rushing with six. Second-most third down rushing yards belongs to Dak Prescott.

Elliott has the second-most rushing yards (12) and second-most rushing yards (45) inside the red zone. However, his two rushing touchdowns inside the red zone are tied with 10 other players for the sixth-most in the NFL.


BROADCAST FACTS (11)

The Saints began playing in 1967 and have appeared in 96 prime time games. Since 1995, the Cowboys have appeared in 107.

Dallas and New Orleans have played nine prime time games in their series with the Cowboys holding a 5-4 advantage:
1973 – Saints-Cowboys – ABC – 40-3 Cowboys
1984 – Saints-Cowboys – ABC* – 30-27 Cowboys
1988 – Cowboys-Saints – ABC – 20-17 Saints
1994 – Cowboys-Saints – ABC – 24-16 Cowboys
2006 – Saints-Cowboys – NBC – 42-17 Saints
2009 – Co
wboys-Saints – NFLN – 24-17 Cowboys
2013 – Cowboys-Saints – NBC – 49-17 Saints
2014 – Sain
ts-Cowboys – NBC – 38-17 Cowboys
2015 – Cowboys-Saints – NBC – 26-20 Saints
2018 – Saints-Cowboys – FOX/NFL Network – 13-10 Cowboys
*Sunday night special, delayed 9:45 p.m. Central due to Reagan-Mondale presidential debate

Thursday’s game makes the 11th prime time game in the series. This series has seen 16 early games and 3 late games. Here’s the Cowboys’ records for each time slot:
Early games: 9-7
Late games: 2-1
Prime time: 6-4

The Cowboys are 53-36 when Michaels calls their games.

New Orleans is 20-14 when Al Michaels calls their games

The ledger favors the Saints at 4-2 when Al Michaels calls a game in this series.

The Cowboys are 27-21 when Collinsworth does color commentary for their games.

The Saints are 15-5 when Cris Collinsworth calls their games.

On KXAS, the NBC affiliate for Dallas-Fort Worth, th
e Cowboys are an all-time 52-35, including simulcast cable games from 1987-90.

Since their 1964 inception, the Cowboys are 10-14 in their road blue jerseys in prime time and on a two-game losing streak.

Dallas is 3-1 in their blue jerseys on Sunday Night Football.


CARL CHEFFERS FACTS (12)

This week’s referee is Carl Cheffers. The Cowboys are 5-4 when he referees their games. 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
2017 – NYG, 19-3 – W
2018 – @SEA, 13-24 – L
2018 – @CLT, 0-23 – L


Dallas has had fewer penalties than the opposition 5/9 times with 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
2017 – NYG: 6/55; DAL: 5/50
2018 – SEA: 10/67; DAL: 7/55
2018 – CLT: 6/55; DAL: 9/74


Cheffers is tied for the third-lowest home team winning percentage this season:
John Hussey: 1.000
Brad Rogers: 1.000
Scott Novak: .833
Walt Anderson: .667
Ron Torbert: .667
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Clete Blakeman: .667
Adrian Hill: .500
Brad Allen: .500
Jerome Boger: .333
Shawn Hochuli: .333
Alex Kemp: .333
Shawn Smith: .333
Bill Vinovich: .333
Carl Cheffers: .333
Clay Martin: .000
Tony Corrente: .000


Cheffers is tied for the fifth-lowest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties this season:
John Hussey: 1.000
Scott Novak: 1.000
Ron Torbert: .667
Walt Anderson: .667
Clete Blakeman: .667
Jerome Boger: .667
Alex Kemp: .667
Shawn Hochuli: .667
Bill Vinovich: .667
Shawn Smith: .333
Clay Martin: .333
Tony Corrente: .333
Carl Cheffers: .333
Brad Allen: .000
Adrian Hill: .000
Brad Rogers: .000
Craig Wrolstad: .000


The Saints are 12-1 with Cheffers. Here are the results:
2009 – @WAS, 33-30 – W-OT
2011 – TB, 27-16 – W
2012 – SDG, 31-24 – W
2013 – TB, 42-17 – W
2014 – TB, 37-31 – W-OT
2014 – @CHI, 31-15 – W
2015 – TB, 19-26 – L
2015 – @CLT, 27-21 – W
2016 – @CRD, 48-41 – W
2017 – CHI, 20-12 – W
2018 – WAS, 43-19 – W
2018 – PHI, 48-7 – W
2018 – PHI, 20-14 – W


The Saints have had fewer penalties than the opposition 5/12 times with Cheffers:
2009 – WAS: 2/15; NO: 7/102
2011 – TB: 9/80; NO: 8/63
2012 – SDG: 7/56; NO: 10/99
2013 – TB: 8/78; NO: 9/94
2014 – TB: 15/113; NO: 6/50
2014 – CHI: 9/74; NO: 3/25
2015 – TB: 11/90; NO: 10/115
2015 – CLT: 7/42; NO: 12/100
2016 – CRD: 7/52; NO: 5/46
2017 – CHI: 4/31; NO: 7/51
2018 – WAS: 6/38; NO: 4/45
2018 – PHI: 6/49; NO: 8/69
2018 – PHI: 4/30; NO: 11/84


Cheffers’ games feature the fifth-highest sacks per game:
Vinovich: 7.7
Rogers: 7.5
Allen: 6.5
Novak: 6.3
Cheffers: 6.0
Corrente: 5.7
Martin: 5.7
Hochuli: 5.0
Smith: 5.0
Boger: 4.7
Hussey : 4.7
Wrolstad: 4.7
Anderson: 4.3
Blakeman: 4.0
Kemp: 4.0
Hill: 3.0
Torbert: 2.3



Cheffers is tied for the second-highest offensive holding calls per game in 2019:
Allen: 6.5
Cheffers: 5.7
Hochuli: 5.7
Corrente: 5.3
Hill: 5.0
Torbert : 5.0
Anderson: 4.7
Novak: 4.0
Rogers: 4.0
Hussey : 3.7
Kemp: 3.7
Boger: 3.3
Martin: 3.3
Wrolstad: 3.0
Blakeman: 2.7
Vinovich: 2.0
Smith: 1.3


Dallas has not challenged Cheffers’ calls. However, opponents are 2/2. Replay Assistant is 1/2 on its challenges with one of those benefiting the Cowboys.

New Orleans is 0/6 when challenging Cheffers’ calls. Opponents are 1/3, and Replay Assistant is 2/8 with five of those decisions benefiting the Saints.

Cheffers is tied for the seventh-highest challenge overturn rate in the NFL:
Anderson: 1.000 (1/1)
Vinovich: .500 (3/6)
Kemp: .500 (1/2)
Blakeman: .500 (1/2)
Novak: .500 (1/2)
Hussey : .400 (2/5)
Cheffers: .333 (1/3)
Corrente: .333 (1/3)
Rogers: .250 (1/4)
Wrolstad: .000 (0/1)
Allen: .000 (0/1)
Hochuli: .000 (0/1)
Smith: .000 (0/2)
Boger: .000 (0/2)
Martin: .000 (0/2)
Torbert : .000 (0/3)


Cheffers is the only referee this season to have a perfect overturn rate on pass interference challenges:
Cheffers: 1.000 (1/1)
Vinovich: .500 (2/4)
Allen: .000 (0/1)
Boger: .000 (0/1)
Hussey : .000 (0/1)
Kemp: .000 (0/1)
Novak: .000 (0/1)
Smith: .000 (0/1)
Corrente: .000 (0/2)
Martin: .000 (0/2)
Rogers : .000 (0/2)
Torbert : .000 (0/2)


MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (11)

The Saints have had three ex-Cowboys assistants as head coaches: Dick Nolan, Mike Ditka, and Sean Payton. Nolan is the only one who did not get a win against the Cowboys.

Cowboys pro scouting director Alex Loomis is the son of Saints general manager Mickey Loomis.

The late Tom Benson bought the New Orleans Saints in 1985. Along with Jerry Jones, they are two of six current owners who began their tenures in the 1980s. The other four owners are Virginia Halas McCaskey (1983), the late Alex Spanos (1984), the late Pat Bowlen (1984), and the late Dan Rooney (1988).


Not even a year into his NFL ownership, Jerry Jones led a group known as the Chicago 11 to block the installation of then-Saints GM Jim Finks as Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s replacement. Ultimately, Paul Tagliabue succeeded Rozelle thanks to Jones and the Chicago 11.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara has the third-highest yards after catch in the NFL at 177, which is second-highest among running backs. The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler has the most at 226.

Kamara is tied with Duke Johnson and Le’Veon Bell for the most broken tackles on receptions in the NFL with six.

Saints tight end Jared Cook and Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper are tied with Bears running back Tarik Cohen for the fourth-most drops with three apiece.

Saints receiver Michael Thomas is tied with Giants tight end Evan Engram and Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton for the fourth-most first downs in the NFL with 14.

The Cowboys are 6-2 on Sept. 29. Here are the results:

1963 – @WAS, 17-21 – L
1968 – @PHI, 45-13 – W
1974 – NYG, 6-14 – W
1985 – @OTI, 17-10 – W
1986 – @CR
D, 31-7 – W
1991 – NYG, 21-16 – W
2002 – RAM, 13-10 – W
2013 – @SDG, 21-30 – L


The Saints are 3-3 on Sept. 29. Here are the results:

1968 – CRD, 20-21 – L
1974 – ATL, 14-13 – W
1985 – @SF, 20-17 – W
1991 – @ATL, 27-6 – W
1996 – @RAV, 10-17 – L
2002 – @DET, 21-26 – L


The Cowboys have four birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 29:

1935 – QB Buddy Humphrey, 1961
1966 – LB Ken Norton, Jr., 1988-93
1974 – WR Dedric Ward, 2004
1987 – CB Bryan McCann, 2010