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Cowboys-Broncos Instant Trivia: Lots of Fun With New Records

cowboys.question.markThe Cowboys’ 51-48 loss to the Broncos was remarkable for many, many reasons. I did not need to look very closely to find the trivia below.

Here we go:

The Cowboys have scored 48 or more points in 12 games in franchise history. Five of those games took place during the 1960s, three in the early 1970s, and two during the 1980 season alone. The Cowboys had not scored 48 points since October 22, 2000, when Dallas beat Arizona 48-7.

The Cowboys’ record in games in which they have scored 48 or more points is now 11-1.

In fact, the no game in which the Cowboys have scored 48 had ever been close until Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.

Here is a list:

Rk Tm Year Date Opp Day Result PF PA
1 DAL 2013 2013-10-06 DEN Sun L 48-51 48 51
2 DAL 2000 2000-10-22 ARI Sun W 48-7 48 7
3 DAL 1980 1980-11-27 SEA Thu W 51-7 51 7
4 DAL 1980 1980-10-12 SFO Sun W 59-14 59 14
5 DAL 1971 1971-12-04 NYJ Sat W 52-10 52 10
6 DAL 1971 1971-09-19 BUF Sun W 49-37 49 37
7 DAL 1970 1970-12-20 HOU Sun W 52-10 52 10
8 DAL 1969 1969-10-19 PHI Sun W 49-14 49 14
9 DAL 1968 1968-09-15 DET Sun W 59-13 59 13
10 DAL 1966 1966-10-30 PIT Sun W 52-21 52 21
11 DAL 1966 1966-10-09 PHI Sun W 56-7 56 7
12 DAL 1966 1966-09-18 NYG Sun W 52-7 52 7
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/8/2013.

* * *

This is the third time the Cowboys have give up 51 or more points.  The previous two games took place in 1970 (54-13 loss to Minnesota) and 1962 (52-20 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals).

* * *

The Cowboys have committed turnovers in the fourth quarter of each of their losses in 2013.

In 2012, the Cowboys committed at least one fourth-quarter turnover in four games and went 1-3 in those games.

In 2011, the Cowboys committed at least one fourth-quarter turnover in three games and went 0-3 in those games.

In 2010, the Cowboys committed at least one fourth-quarter turnover in ten games and went 1-9 in those games.

* * *

The Cowboys have missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. Making the playoffs after a 2-3 start is a bit of a long-shot historically.

Incidentally, the team’s three-year playoff drought is tied for the third-longest in franchise history. If the team misses the playoffs again, the streak will be longer than the one when quarterbacks included the likes of Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Ryan Leaf, and so forth.

* * *

Tony Romo now has the franchise record with 506 passing yards in a game. It broke Don Meredith’s mark of 460 yards set against San Francisco in 1963.

Dallas quarterbacks have thrown for 400 or more yards on eight different occasions. Romo was the quarterback in five of those games.

* * *

The Cowboys record in games in which a quarterback has thrown for 400 or more yards: 1-7.

The only Dallas QB to win a game while throwing for 400 or more yards is Meredith, who threw for 406 in a 31-30 win over Washington in 1966.

* * *

Romo’s passer rating of 140.0 was the eighth-highest of his career. His best rating in a single game was 150.5 in a 38-33 win over Philadelphia in 2012.

The Cowboys’ record in games where the Romo’s QB rating was 140.0 or better: 6-2.

* * *

The Cowboys have given up 500 or more yards in a game 17 times since 1960.

Two of those games came in losses to San Diego and Denver.

In team history, the Cowboys have gone 3-14 in games in which their defense has given up 500 or more yards.

On the other hand, the Cowboys are now 15-5 in games in which their offense has gained 500 or more yards.

* * *

Sunday’s game against Denver was not the first time in which both the Cowboys and their opponent have gained 500 or more yards.

In the season-opener in 1999, the Cowboys gained 541 yards, while the Redskins gained 504, in a 41-35 Dallas win.

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Friday Photo Trivia: Super Bowl XII

Here is today’s Friday Photo Trivia question:

Seven different players had at least one rushing attempt when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII.

Tony Dorsett led the Cowboys in rushing with 66 yards on 15 carries.

The player in the picture below was second on the team in rushing with 55 yards on 14 carries.

The trivia question: did the player in the picture score a rushing touchdown?


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Cowboys-Chargers Instant Trivia: Very Premature Projections

cowboys.question.markThe Cowboys are 2-2 for the third consecutive year. The team is 18-18 since the start of the 2011 season. Heck, the team is 130-130 since the 1997 season.

If everything in the NFL, and especially the NFC East, remains the same for the rest of the season, the Cowboys could make the playoffs even with an 8-8 record.

In fact, if the regular season ended today, the Cowboys would host a playoff game as the NFC East Champions. The team would play the Chicago Bears, who are currently 3-1.

Confident? Anyone?

* * *

As for individual players, Tony Romo is on pace to 4,060 yards, which would mark the fourth season during the past five years where Romo would surpass the 4,000-yard mark.

Romo is also on pace to throw 32 touchdown passes with only 4 interceptions. (And the team will only finish with an 8-8 record?) Romo’s interception rate of 0.7% is lower than his total for any previous season. He also has a completion percentage of 72.4%.

* * *

DeMarco Murray is on pace to rush for 1,424 yards. That would rank as the eighth-highest total in team history. It would also mark the first time since 2006 that a Dallas back has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.

* * *

Dez Bryant is on pace to catch 16 touchdown passes, which would break Terrell Owens’ record of 15 set in 2007. Bryant is on pace to have 1,128 receiving yards.

* * *

Sean Lee now has eight career interceptions and two returns for touchdowns. He is clearly one of the biggest playmakers on the current team.

How does this total rank among other linebackers in team history?

Below is a list showing linebackers with at least 7 career interceptions.

Note that Lee is only on in his fourth season. By Jordan’s fourth season in 1966, he had only 5 career interceptions with 1 touchdown. Howley also had more interceptions later in his career and had only 8 picks during the first 6 years of his career, including 2 years in Chicago.


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Dallas Cowboys Friday Photo Trivia: Cowboys vs. Chargers, 1986

The Cowboys faced the San Diego Chargers on November 16, 1986. The player featured in the puzzle below led the Cowboys in rushing during that game.

Two questions:

1. What was the significance of this game to the Cowboys?

2. What was the significance of this game to the player in the puzzle?


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The Recent Week 4 Curse

The Dallas Cowboys feel good about themselves after their 31-7 win over the St. Louis Rams last Sunday. The team can improve to 3-1 for the first time since 2008 with a win over the Chargers on Sunday.

The Cowboys are hoping to reverse a recent curse that has caused a 1-5 record during week 4 games since 2007.

The Cowboys are hoping to reverse a recent curse that has caused a 1-5 record during week 4 games since 2007.

It will require the Cowboys to win during week 4 for the first time since 2007.

Tony Romo has started during week 4 every season since 2007. The team’s record in those games is 1-5.  He has thrown at least one interception during each of these week 4 games.

The week 4 games during the last three games were especially bad.  He threw three picks against the Titans in 2010, three picks in a dreadful loss to the Lions in 2011, and five picks in a loss to the Bears last year.

Here is a complete list of those games:


Dallas 35, St. Louis 7

Romo: 21 of 33, 339 yards, 3 TD, 1 Int.


Washington 26, Dallas 24

Romo: 28 of 47, 300 yards, 3 TD, 1 Int.


Denver 17, Dallas 10

Romo: 25 of 42, 255 yards, 0 TD, 1 Int.


Tennessee 34, Dallas 27

Romo: 31 of 46, 406 yards, 3 TD, 3 Int.


Detroit 34, Dallas 30

Romo: 34 of 47, 331 yards, 3 TD, 3 Int.


Chicago 34, Dallas 18

Romo: 34 of 43, 307 yards, 1 TD, 5 Int.

Dallas record during week 4 since 2007: 1-5

Romo’s statistics: 173 of 258, 1938 yards, 13 TD, 14 Int.

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Cowboys-Rams Instant Trivia: DeMarcus Ware, the Beast

sacksWith his two sacks on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, DeMarcus Ware became the franchise leader in sacks with 115.0.

The list now appears as follows:

Ware, 115.0

Harvey Martin, 114.0

Randy White, 111.0

Too Tall Jones, 106.0

George Andrie, 97.0

Of course, the numbers for the last four are unofficial stats kept by the team, given that the NFL did not count sacks as an official statistic until 1982. The official sack totals would appear as:

Martin, 10.0

White, 52.0

Jones, 57.5

Andrie, 0.0

* * *

Which player formerly held the official record for team sacks?

It was Jim Jeffcoat with 94.5.

* * *

Ware’s first sack came against San Francisco on September 25, 2005. The quarterback was Tim Rattay.

* * *

Ware had 2.0 sacks against the Rams. It marked the 24th time that Ware had 2.0 or more sacks in a game.

* * *

DeMarco Murray and the offensive line had great games against the Rams.

If Murray only played against the Rams, Emmitt Smith might start worrying about his career rushing mark.

In two games against St. Louis, Murray has had 400 rushing yards on 51 carries. That’s 7.8 yards per carry and 200 yards per game.

In 24 games against everyone else, Murray has had 1446 rushing yards on 332 carries. That’s 4.4 yards per carry and 60.25 yards per game.

* * *

The Cowboys now sit alone in first place in the NFC East with a 2-1 record.

The last time the Cowboys had sole possession of the division was not as long ago as it may seem. In 2011, the Cowboys improved their record to 7-4 with a win over Miami and held first place for two weeks. However, the 7-5 Cowboys lost to the 6-6 Giants at home, and the Cowboys lost again to the Giants in the season finale to lose a chance to make the playoffs.


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A Complete History of Win One, Lose One

I noted on Tuesday that the Cowboys had opened their season with a win followed by a loss five times since 1997. In each of those seasons, the Cowboys won their third game.

win-someIn team history, the Cowboys started with a win followed by a loss 11 times. During those seasons, the Cowboys have an overall 8-3 record during their their third game.

Here is a complete list:

1974: Beat Atlanta, lost to Philadelphia, lost to N.Y. Giants

1980: Beat Washington, lost to Denver, beat Tampa Bay

1984: Beat L.A. Rams, lost to N.Y. Giants, beat Philadelphia

1985: Beat Washington, lost to Detroit, beat Cleveland

1990: Beat San Diego, lost to N.Y. Giants, lost to Washington

1991: Beat Cleveland, lost to Washington, lost to Philadelphia

1997: Beat Pittsburgh, lost to Arizona, beat Philadelphia.

1998: Beat Arizona, lost to Denver, beat N.Y. Giants.

2005: Beat San Diego, lost to Washington, beat San Francisco.

2009: Beat Tampa Bay, lost to N.Y. Giants, beat Carolina.

2012: Beat N.Y. Giants, lost to Seattle, beat Tampa Bay.

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Cowboys-Chiefs Instant Trivia: Another Unique Score


Some random trivia items focusing on yesterday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

The Dallas Cowboys have played 862 regular-season and playoff games. I have no idea what the actual odds of this happening are, but how possible is it for the Cowboys to play back-to-back games with final scores unique to any of the other 860 games?

Last week, the Cowboys beat the Giants 36-31, marking the first time the Cowboys have ever played in a game with that particular score.

Yesterday, the Cowboys lost a game with a final score of 17-16 for the first time ever. The Cowboys had previously played in one game with a score of 17-16, but that was in a win over the New York Giants on October 29, 1961.

* * *

KC quarterback Alex Smith frustrated the Cowboys with his running yesterday, leading all rushers with 57 yards on 8 carries. Andy Reid apparently found a read-option quarterback where one did not previously exist.

Smith’s previous high rushing mark before yesterday was 49 yards against Buffalo in 2012. He has gained 30 or more yards only 7 times during his career.

Smith had faced the Cowboys only once previously in 2011. He had only 21 rushing yards for the 49ers then.

* * *

Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 seasons. He faced the Cowboys 29 times during that period, including the playoffs.

During that time, the Eagles had some athletic quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Jeff Garcia.

Also during that time, a total of 22 Eagles rushed for 57 or more yards against the Cowboys.

How many of those players were quarterbacks?

Just one. McNabb rushed for 67 yards in a 2002 game and 58 yards in a 2000 game.

* * *

Jason Witten now ranks second on the all-time list of receptions by a tight end.

Few doubt that Witten is the greatest tight end in franchise history. Of course, he plays in a different era than the likes of Billy Joe DuPree, Doug Cosbie, and Jay Novacek, but Witten’s numbers are amazing even considering that he plays in such a pass-happy league now.

Consider this: DuPree, Cosbie, and Novacek combined to catch 906 passes for 10,869 yards. Witten’s current numbers include 817 receptions for 9,030 yards.

* * *

During five seasons dating back to 1997, the Cowboys have won their season opener only to lose their second game of the season.

The good news? In each of those five seasons, the Cowboys have won their third game. A review:

1997: Beat Pittsburgh, lost to Arizona, beat Philadelphia.

1998: Beat Arizona, lost to Denver, beat N.Y. Giants.

2005: Beat San Diego, lost to Washington, beat San Francisco.

2009: Beat Tampa Bay, lost to N.Y. Giants, beat Carolina.

2012: Beat N.Y. Giants, lost to Seattle, beat Tampa Bay.

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Recent 1-0 starts by the Dallas Cowboys

It would seem that an opening-game win for an NFL team would be significant.

For the Dallas Cowboys, a fan could point to a huge 45-35 win over the New York Giants in 2007 as a catalyst for a 13-3 season.

A win during Kickoff Weekend is usually good for the Cowboys.

A win during Kickoff Weekend is usually good for the Cowboys.

Conversely, a fan could look at the team’s disappointing loss to the Redskins to open the 2010 season as a major factor in the team’s 6-10 record.

A opening-game win, though, is hardly a predictor. For instance, the 2003 Cowboys opened with a loss to the Falcons, but the Cowboys wound making the playoffs with a 10-6 mark.

One year later, the Cowboys opened with a loss to the Vikings, but the Cowboys reversed their record from a year before by going 6-10.

In 2011, the Cowboys lost a frustrating game in New York, falling to the Jets in a 27-24 loss. The team finished at 8-8.

In 2012, the Cowboys won on the same field, beating the Giants, 24-17. The team finished 8-8.

So how much does the opening-game win mean? Consider this:

The Cowboys won five of their last ten opening games dating back to 2003 (not including the recent win over the Giants).

In the five seasons when the Cowboys have gone 0-1, the team has had a combined record of 39-41 with two playoff appearances.

By comparison, when the team has gone 1-0, the Cowboys have a combined record of 50-30 with two playoff appearances.

Incidentally, the last time the Cowboys went 2-0 was 2008, when the team finished poorly and wound up missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

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Cowboys vs. Giants: Instant Trivia

cowboys.question.markA few trivial items about the Dallas Cowboys’ 36-31 win over the New York Giants, along with tidbits about the series:

  • The Cowboys now lead the overall series 59-42-1.
  • The Giants’  four-game winning streak at Cowboys Stadium was the longest for New York at Dallas. The Giants had won three straight at Texas Stadium between 1988 and 1990.
  • This was the first time the Cowboys had ever played in a game with a final score of 36-31.
  • The game marked the seventh time in the series where the Cowboys scored 36 or more points. The most points scored by the Cowboys against the Giants was 52 in 1966.
  • The Cowboys trailed in every game in 2012. The Cowboys did not trail at all on Sunday night.
  • The Cowboys recorded 6 or more turnovers in 23 previous games.
  • The Giants have turned the ball over six or more times against the Cowboys in 4 previous games.
  • The most turnovers committed by the Giants against the Cowboys was 7 in 1961. Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle threw four interceptions on October 15, 1961, but the Giants still won 31-10 at the Cotton Bowl.
  • Sunday night’s game marked the 7th time where the Cowboys have given up 400 or more passing yards.
  • The Giants have thrown for 400 or more yards against the Cowboys three times: twice by Eli Manning (2011 and 2013) and once by Phil Simms (1985).
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