Trivia and Stats
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After a poor performance to open the 2014 season, the Dallas Cowboys have stunned many people by winning six consecutive games.
Historical context: this is the eighth time in team history that the Cowboys have won six straight regular season games. The team made the playoffs during each of the previous seven times. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl during three of those seasons.
The Cowboys opened the season by going 6-0 and finished the regular season with a 12-2 record. However, the Cowboys fell apart in the playoffs, losing to Cleveland.
For the second consecutive season, Dallas started with a 6-0 record. However, after finishing 11-2-1, the Cowboys stumbled again in the playoffs, losing to the Browns.
The Cowboys stumbled out of the gate in 1971, recording a 4-3 record after seven weeks. However, Roger Staubach took over as the full-time starter and led Dallas to an 11-3 finish. The Cowboys won their first Super Bowl that year.
Dallas had its strongest start in team history in 1977, going 8-0. The Cowboys finished the season 12-2 and won Super Bowl XII.
The Cowboys looked like world-beaters in 1983, starting at 7-0. However, the team stumbled in the season half of the season and was knocked out of the playoffs in the wildcard round.
Dallas started the 1993 season by going 0-2 while Emmitt Smith held out. Once Smith returned, the Cowboys won seven straight and finished the regular season at 12-4 before winning Super Bowl XXVIII.
The last time anyone considered the Cowboys to be among the best in the league was 2007. Dallas started at 5-0 and won seven straight later in the season to improve to 12-1. However, the team lost two of its last three and finished 13-3. Dallas then lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in the playoffs.
Here is an animated GIF from an old-school game between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams. Trivia questions are below the image.
1. The Cowboys beat the Rams on Thanksgiving Day. During which season did this game take place?
2. Who was the L.A. running back being tackled by Bob Lilly and Cornell Green?
3. Which former Cowboy caught a 41-yard pass for the Rams?
4. Which Dallas player scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter?
5. The Rams had changed from their gold-and-blue uniforms to blue-and-white uniforms in 1965. When did the Rams return to gold and blue?
Jason Witten will someday become a member of the Ring of Honor, and he has a chance to become a member of the Hall of Fame.
His career, though, appears to be on the decline. After two weeks, he has only 46 yards on six receptions.
He now has 9,845 receiving yards, meaning he needs 155 more yards to surpass 10,000. He ranks 42nd in NFL history in receiving yards. Among tight ends, he ranks third behind Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe. Witten should surpass Sharpe soon, as Witten trails Sharpe by 215 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys did not play starters Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, or Jason Witten against the San Diego Chargers. That meant we saw Brandon Weeden, Joseph Randle, Terrance Williams, and James Hanna.
The Cowboys lost 27-7 in a game featuring no defense by the Cowboys. San Diego did not have a single incomplete pass until the beginning of the fourth quarter.
As you can see from the GIF, Hanna scored the Cowboys’ lone touchdown. Given the lack of other highlights, here is some trivia about Hanna:
- Hanna is one of two players from the University of Oklahoma on the Cowboys’ roster. The other is, of course, Murray. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have six players who played at Oklahoma State on the roster right now.
- The Cowboys selected Hanna in the 6th round (#186 overall) of the 2012 draft. He was among 12 tight ends taken in that year’s draft. Another of those tight ends was Ladarius Green, who had two receptions for the Chargers tonight.
- Hanna has never scored a touchdown in a regular season game, having caught just 20 career passes in two seasons. However, he did score seven touchdowns for the Sooners in 2010. That was the year that Weeden threw 34 touchdowns to the likes of Justin Blackmon at Oklahoma State.
- This was Weeden’s first game since starting for the Cleveland Browns against the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 1, 2013 in a 32-28 loss for the Browns.
- True or False? This was Hanna’s first preseason touchdown of his career.
- True or False? Hanna did not catch a single pass during the 2013 preseason.
Tony Romo is not likely to play in the Cowboys’ first preseason game on Thursday night as he tries to stay healthy for the team’s season-opener.
If he can stay healthy during his eighth full season as a starter, Romo could break a significant franchise career record.
He already has the most career touchdown passes, and his career 95.8 passer rating his higher than any other starter in team history.
The next mark would be career passing yards. He currently has thrown for 29,565 yards, putting him 3,377 behind Troy Aikman. The only time Romo has thrown fewer than that since 2007 was 2010, when he was limited to six games because of an injury.
Here is a list of the top 10 Dallas passers by career passing yards.
It will take Romo at least two seasons to surpass Aikman for most career attempts and completions.
The Dallas Cowboys faced the Green Bay Packers in three consecutive NFC playoffs during the 1990s and won all three. Here is an animated GIF from one of those games.
At the time, this was the longest TD reception in NFL playoff history. Here are some questions about the game and that play.
(1) Who was on the receiving end of this touchdown pass from Troy Aikman?
(2) The play was a 94-yard touchdown. Who later broke this record?
(3) The receiver in the GIF signed with another team the following year. Which team?
(4) Which Dallas running back scored two touchdowns in this win?
Continuing my summer of fun with animated GIFs…
Here is an animation showing Randy White tackling a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Questions appear below the image.
(1) During which season did this game take place?
(2) The Cowboys and Rams had quite a history in playoff games during the 1970s and 1980s. What was significant about this game?
(3) For fans of the L.A. Rams: Who was the quarterback in this animation, and what happened to him after this season?
(4) What did Tony Dorsett accomplish in this game?