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The Cowboys Have the Best Winning Percentage in NFL History (At Least for Now)

About a month ago, I wrote a post noting that the Cowboys at one time during the 2008 season had the best all-time winning percentage of any team in NFL history. That was just after the Cowboys had lost to the Rams and were about to face Tampa Bay.

A month later, and the Cowboys have a three-game winning streak. Thanks to this streak, the Cowboys currently hold the best all-time winning percentage of any NFL team. I have to note this right now, because if Miami wins on Sunday against the Rams, the Cowboys will fall back into second place. Here is the summary:

1. Dallas Cowboys

Current all-time record: 422-306-6
Winning percentage: .57967

2. Miami Dolphins

Current all-time record: 375-272-4
Winning percentage: .57959

Winning percentage with a win on Sunday vs. Rams: .58024 (376-272-4)

3. Chicago Bears

Current all-time record: 682-496-42
Winning percentage: .57930

Winning percentage with a win on Sunday vs. Vikings: .57966 (684-496-42)

The other franchises in the top 10:

Browns: 475-371-13 (.561)
Packers: 642-509-36 (.557)
Raiders: 403-321-11 (.556)
49ers: 491-401-15 (.550)
Vikings: 391-321-9 (.549)
Giants: 616-507-33 (.548)
Jaguars: 117-102-0 (.534)

Odd Facts About Dallas Quarterbacks and the Cowboy-49er Game

On the radio broadcast of last week’s game against San Francisco, Babe Laufenberg noted that Tony Romo had the same record as a starter in his first 33 starts as both Roger Staubach and Danny White. After the win on Sunday, Romo still has the same record in his first 34 starts as those two quarterbacks. The other quarterbacks with at least 34 career starts had fewer wins than the trio of Romo, Staubach, and White. Here are the summaries:

Tony Romo

2006: 6-4 record
2007: 13-3 record
2008, first eight starts: 6-2 record

Overall record as a starter, 34 games: 25-9

Roger Staubach

1969: 1-0 record
1970: 2-1 record
1971: 10-0 record
1973: 10-4 record
1974, first six starts: 2-4 record

Overall record as a starter, 34 games: 25-9

Danny White

1978: 1-0 record
1980: 12-4 record
1981: 11-4 record
1982, first two starts: 1-1 record

Overall record as a starter, 34 games: 25-9

Others with at least 34 career starts:

Craig Morton: 23-10-1 overall record

Don Meredith: 13-18-3 overall record

Troy Aikman: 12-22 overall record

* * *

Some good news, if any of the above means anything: Staubach won his 35th, 36th, and 37th starts. Similarly, White won starts 35 through 39 in 1982.

In fact, this is a little bit unusual: the only quarterback in team history to lose his 35th career start with the Cowboys was Don Meredith, who lost his 35th start on November 22, 1964 to the Redskins.

* * *

Several stories noted that the 11-10 score in the Steelers’ win over San Diego on November 16 was the only time in NFL history that a game has ended with that score.

The Cowboys 35-22 win over San Francisco was not quite as unusual, but this score has been the result in only three games in league history, and one of those games was an AFL game:

1964: Buffalo 35, Kansas City 22

2006: Baltimore Ravens 35, New Orleans 22

2008: Dallas 35, San Francisco 22

* * *

The Cowboys have scored 30 or more points against the 49ers eight times, and Dallas has won all eight of those games (including playoffs). The 35 points was the most scored by the Cowboys against the 49ers since the 1993 NFC Championship Game, when Dallas won 38-21.

All About Terrell Owens

At one point in yesterday’s game, I noted in the chat room at The Blue and Silver that some team is going to put Terrell Owens in single coverage and shut him down, thus proving that he was over-the-hill.

That was about two plays before Tony Romo hit Owens on a 75-yard touchdown after Owens had burned Nate Clements, who is a quality corner (I think). I wanted to mention something about Owens dropping some passes in the first quarter, but then he had catches of 45 yards and 52 yards, along with a few shorter receptions, and there wasn’t much to complain about.

So, in honor of Owens return to glory, here are ten trivia questions about Owens:
Make your own Quiz!

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Here’s a clip of Owens from Sunday:

* * *

The articles about Owens today were all over the board:

Dallas Cowboys’ Owens ‘unleashed’ by 49ers’ inane defense (Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News)

‘System’ works for T.O., at least for one game (Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Startle Gram)

Monday Musings: Is ‘the system’ any different? That depends on who’s making the catches (Jennifer Floyd Engel, also of the Startle Gram)

Unleashed? Owens is mostly understood (Buck Harvey, San Antonio Express News)

* * *

And just for fun, this is plain wrong:

My apologies for my boredom. No, really.

The Cowboys’ First NFC Championship

There is, of course, lots of history associated with the Cowboys and 49ers. I have a few clips of the 1971 NFC Championship Game, but since we’ve featured a few posts on the 1970 team (here, here), I thought I’d show a couple of clips from the Cowboys’ first win in an NFC championship game.

San Francisco won the NFC West division in 1970 with a 10-3-1 record, while Dallas won the East at 10-4. Dallas knocked off the Lions 5-0, while the 49ers beat the defending NFL champion Minnesota Vikings 17-14.

In the final game played at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, against a 49er team coached by former Tom Landry assistant Dick Nolan, the Cowboys pulled out a 17-10 win.

Imagine if Tony Romo put up these sorts of stats: 7 of 22, 101 yards, 1 TD. One wide receiver– Reggie Rucker– caught a pass. Them blogs wouldn’t be happy.

But Duane Thomas’ 143 rushing yards on 27 attempts, coupled with Walt Garrison’s 71 yards in 17 attempts, rendered Craig Morton’s passing performance a non-issue. John Brodie and Gene Washington did what they could to keep San Francisco in the game. However, interceptions by Lee Roy Jordan and Mel Renfro led to two Dallas touchdowns.

In the first clip, the Dave Edwards had just sacked Brodie back at the San Francisco 14. On the play shown here, Larry Cole put tremendous pressure on Brodie, who threw a pass over the middle. Jordan stepped in front of fullback Ken Willard and picked off Brodie’s pass, leading to a 13-yard touchdown run by Thomas (also shown) to give Dallas a 10-3 lead.

(You might note that Pat Summerall at that time worked as a color analyst. Ray Scott is the play-by-play announcer).

Renfro’s pick occurred later in the third quarter, and after Dallas drove the ball downfield, the Cowboys faced a first-and-goal from the San Francisco 5. Morton hit Garrison in the flat for a touchdown, giving Dallas a 17-3 lead.

For more…

Cowboys Do It … in the Big One! (Dallas Morning News, Jan. 4, 1971)

Box Score (Pro Football Reference)

Instant Trivia: Cowboys vs. Redskins

Here are ten trivia questions about the Cowboys’ 14-10 win over Washington on Sunday night:

Make your own Quiz!

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Tom Stincic

Tom Stincic

Steve Liskey at conducted a great interview with former Dallas linebacker Tom Stincic, who played in both Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI. The interview offers great insight and is well worth reading. Here is a brief snippet:

Q (Liskey): What was the Staubach/Morton QB shuffle like?
A (Stincic): From my perspective, it wasn’t as big a deal as the press made it. I think the older guys were more comfortable with Morton in there at first. The best players played, there was no controversy.

Click here for the rest of the article.

“A Roman’s Appetite for Victory, but Never a Spartan’s Will to Suffer for It”

It’s November. Disappointed by two straight seasons in which the Cowboys lost their first game in the playoffs, Dallas entered the year with high hopes. Sure, beating the Eagles was satisfying, but the Cowboys were stung by losses to St. Louis and the New York Giants. The 5-4 Cowboys travel to Washington desperately needing a win to have any realistic playoff hopes.

In this circumstance, how would you like to know that the following could be heard on the team’s highlight film at the end of the season?

The Cowboys have always had a Roman’s appetite for victory, but never a Spartan’s will to suffer for it.

Against Washington, not only a new philosophy, but a new attitude won.

Victory came from [a rookie’s] willowly strides. Victory came from the offensive line . . . .

It came from three [rushing] touchdowns. It came from a team, working and playing as one, not from the individual brilliance of one or two players.

Sounds pretty good, except the rookie in this instance was Mark Washington. The offensive linemen were Tony Liscio, Blaine Nye, John Niland, Ralph Neely, Rayfield Wright, and Dave Manders. And the running back was Duane Thomas.

If you read this blog a little bit less than a month ago, you might have seen the post looking back at the 1970 Cowboys, who were blown out 38-0 by the St. Louis Cardinals to fall to 5-4. The team headed into its November 22 game at Washington, with Dallas needing to win its final five games to have a shot at the NFC East title.

Dallas pulled out a 45-21 win. By season’s end, Dallas was 10-4 and would reach the Super Bowl.

Here is a video clip of the win over the Redskins:

Bob St. John began his story on this game with the following:

It remains undecided whether the burial of the Dallas Cowboys Monday night was or was not premature. Anyway, to whom it may concern, the Cowboys can still kick on a given day. Here on a bright Sunday afternoon was a given day and the Cowboys ripped the Washington Redskins.

This probably only proves one of two things, however: It either proves that the Cowboys can still beat the Redskins or that the Redskins still can’t beat the Cowboys.

So, there’s some glimmer of hope, but some sort of run has to begin this Sunday at Washington. And I couldn’t state anything more obvious right now . . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Check out the picture below, which is from the end of the clip above:

The sign below the scoreboard reads, “Bring Instant Replay to the Field.” Anyone know that fans were advocating for instant replay for officials as early as 1970? I didn’t.

Dallas Cowboys Trivia: Coming Off the Bye Week

Here are ten questions about the Cowboys’ history following bye weeks.

Make your own Quiz!

Cowboys-Related Odds Not Looking Good

On August 30, I wrote a post that summarized the Cowboys’ betting odds for the season. Here were the basic odds then:

Odds to win the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII
Dallas Cowboys 6/1

Odds to win the 2008 NFC Championship
Dallas Cowboys 9/5

Odds to win the NFC East Division
Dallas Cowboys 4/5

A little bit more than two months later, and things are looking pretty bleak– at least though the eyes of oddsmakers. The folks at Bodog have established the following odds as of week 10.

Odds to win the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII
Dallas Cowboys 20/1

Odds to win the 2008 NFC Championship
Dallas Cowboys 10/1

Odds to win the NFC East Division
Dallas Cowboys 8/1

Teams with a better chance to reach the Super Bowl?  Chicago, Arizona, Washington, Philadelphia, Carolina, and the New York Giants.

Teams with a better chance to win the NFC East? All three of the other NFC East teams.


The Worst Backup in the History of the Dallas Cowboys?

On October 13, I optimistically suggested that the Cowboys could have good fortune with Brad Johnson coming off the bench. That was dumb.  We’ve since been treated to quarterback play worse than what we had endured for much of this decade prior to the arrival of Tony Romo.

The Dallas Observer’s blog ran a piece today listing the worst quarterbacks in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. Here are the results from that story:

10. Tony Banks
Heralded as Troy Aikman’s successor in ’01, was beat out by Quincy Carter and cut in training camp

9. Ryan Leaf
Ugly ’01 stint included one TD, three picks and a 57.7 rating

8. Reggie Collier
Spot duty in ’86 resulted in two interceptions and a 55.8 rating

7. Drew Henson
Former Michigan star was harmless in short Dallas gig, throwing only one TD and one interception

6. Kevin Sweeney
’87 scab hero faltered in ’88 with 42-percent completions, five interceptions and 40.2 rating

5. Anthony Wright
’00 cameo littered with no TDs, three interceptions and a 31.7 rating

4. Clint Stoerner
Threw four picks in the second half of an ’01 loss at the Giants

3. John Roach
Filled in for Don Meredith in ’64 with one TD, six interceptions and a 31.1 rating

2. Babe Laufenberg
Backed up Aikman in ’90 with one TD, six interceptions and a woeful 16.9 rating.

1. Brad Johnson
Sunday’s repulsive performance, equipped with a 27.3 rating, set a new standard for Dallas dysfunction.

I personally disagree that some of these QBs should be on a list such as this.

* Banks never really played for the Cowboys, so I don’t see how anyone could add him to the list. There are quite a few busts who played for Dallas in training camp.

* Leaf only played because of injuries to Quincy Carter. The same is true of Wright and Stoerner. None of them were good quarterbacks by any stretch of the imagination, but they were really third-stringers (or in the case of Leaf, a player the Cowboys hoped could be rehabilitated and were willing to pay a small price to give him a shot).

* Collier was a third-stringer who saw action after Danny White broke his wrist in 1986.

* Sweeney only saw action in 1988 because the team was so bad and fans thought he showed some magic when given the chance in the scab games in 1987 and the preseason in 1988.

I would prefer to focus on those quarterbacks who backed up established starters on the Cowboys. So I would add the following two players:

Wade Wilson

Wilson was only 36 when he became Troy Aikman’s backup in 1995. He only had to start one game, but he hardly struck fear into opposing defenses. In three years as a backup, he threw one touchdown and four interceptions, earning a passer rating of 63.9.

Jerry Rhome

Rhome is better known now as a quarterbacks coach than for his pro football career. There wasn’t much to remember about his playing days. In four seasons with Dallas, he started three games, going 1-2 as a starter. He threw a total of one touchdown pass for the Cowboys along with three interceptions and finished with a 60.7 passer rating. There is no reason to wonder why Craig Morton emerged as the primary backup.

Gary Hogeboom

Hogeboom seldom played before being thrown into the starting role in 1984 in one of Tom Landry’s worst moves (at least in the 1980s). Hogeboom won half of his starts, but he could only manage a 65.4 career passer rating with the Cowboys (thanks to 13 touchdowns and 23 interceptions).

For good measure, let’s also throw in the names of Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson.

So who was the worst? Let’s have a poll.

Worst Backup Quarterback in Team History

View Results

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My vote: Laufenberg

Babe Laufenberg

The original can’t-complete-a-pass-to-save-my-life-or-my-team backup was Laufenberg, who came off the bench in 1990 when the Cowboys needed one win to secure a playoff berth. His one start came against the 4-11 Falcons, who held the Cowboys to 151 total yards of offense in a 26-7 win over Dallas.

Puzzle Trivia: Cowboys vs. Giants

Trying some new things, including this one: first, go to the single post page (click here) so that the puzzle does not rescramble when you go to the comments to look at the answers. Second, solve the puzzle below. Third, skip to the bottom of this entry and answer the five trivia questions.

provided by

Here are the trivia questions.  If you’d like, please provide answers in the comments section below.

1. Who was the quarterback in the picture above?

2. In what year was this photograph taken?

3. When was the first time that the Cowboys visited the Meadowlands?

4. When was the first time that the Giants beat the Cowboys at the Meadowlands?

5. Who was the Giants’ coach in the game shown in the picture.

6. How many sacks did Dallas have in this game?

7. How many net yards passing did the Giants have in this game?

8. Who beat the Cowboys in the week that followed the Giants’ game shown in the picture? (Hint: it was the Cowboys’ first loss of that season).