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Hard to believe that football returned to NBC seven years ago as NBC Sunday Night Football. The Dallas Cowboys played in the second regular season game on this program, beating the Washington Redskins 27-10 on September 17, 2006.
The Cowboys will appear on Sunday Night Football for the 22nd time on November 10. It is also the third time this season for Dallas to play in primetime.
Including the two previous games this year, the Cowboys have a combined record of 12-9 in the previous 21 games. Here are a few trivia items about those games:
- The Cowboys have played division opponents on Sunday Night Football 15 times, including 5 games against the Redskins, 4 games against the Eagles, and 6 games against the Giants.
- The only AFC team the Cowboys have faced on Sunday night since 2006 were the Jets in 2011.
- The Cowboys had a 10-2 record on Sunday night between 2006 and 2009. However, after the Cowboys lost to the Redskins to open the 2010 season, the Cowboys lost 7 straight between 2010 and 2012.
- The Cowboys’ first loss on Sunday night was against the Saints, who the Cowboys play this Sunday. That was a matchup between Bill Parcells and his former assistant, Sean Payton. New Orleans destroyed Dallas, 42-17.
- ESPN (and for some time, TNT) aired games on Sunday night from 1987 through 2005. The Cowboys appeared on Sunday night 17 times during those years and had a total record of 5-12.
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In the Saints’ win over the Cowboys in 2006, one player for New Orleans scored 3 touchdowns.
In his career, this player scored a total of 7 touchdowns.
Who was it?
When Jimmy Johnson became head coach in 1989, he retained the 4-3 but discarded the flex defense that Landry had used for many years. Johnson’s defense relied on speed more than size. The Cowboys continued to use a version of this 4-3 until the third year of Bill Parcells‘ tenure.
Since 2005, Dallas has run the 3-4, which features larger linemen and larger linebackers. The Cowboys have spent a number of draft picks trying to find inside and outside linebackers as well as defensive linemen to fit the system.
Trivia question for the day: who were the last defensive linemen drafted when the Cowboys still used the 4-3?
Here’s a hint: The Cowboys did not draft a single defensive lineman between 2002 and 2004.
Check out the Facebook page for the answer.
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More about the Cowboys’ use of the 4-3:
In 2004, the Cowboys’ starters along the defensive line included DE Greg Ellis, DE Marcellus Wiley, DT Leonardo Carson, and DT La’Roi Glover. Glover moved to nose tackle in 2005, while Ellis remained at end. Ellis then moved to outside linebacker in 2006.