Cowboys V. Giants GameDay Huddle-Up

ARLINGTON - The Cowboys, Eagles and Chargers are all 5-1, tied for the best record in the NFL. But which team has the most impressive 5-1 record? Let's break things down, and get you ready for Giants-at-Cowboys in GameDay Huddle-Up!



The Big Lead: The best 5-1

The Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers are all 5-1, tied for the best record in the NFL. But which team has the most impressive 5-1 record? Let's break things down..

The teams that the Cowboys have beaten this year have a combined record of 11-16. All 5 teams, minus the 1-4 Rams, have at least 2 wins. Their most impressive win was a 30-23 victory of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks IN Seattle.

The teams that the Eagles have beaten this year have a combined record of 9-20. 3 of those 5 teams have 1 win or less, including the winless Jaguars. Their most impressive win was a 30-27 victory over the 4-2 Colts in Indianapolis.

The teams that the Chargers have beaten this year have a combined record of 7-21. 3 of those teams have 1 win or less, including the winless Jags & Raiders. Their most impressive win was a 31-20 win over the Seahawks in San Diego.

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As you can see, the Cowboys quality of competition has been higher than that of the Eagles and Chargers. Still, that doesn't tell the whole story.. Let's take a more in depth look at each team. I'll start with offense..

COWBOYS OFFENSE
3rd down %: 56.0 (1st ranked)
Yards per game: 401 (4th ranked)
Points per game: 27.5 (4th ranked)
Average time of possession: 34:43 (2nd ranked)
1st downs per game: 23.7 (3rd ranked)
Penalties: 36 (8th ranked)
Passing yards per game: 238.2 (16th ranked)
Rushing yards per game: 160.3 (1st ranked)

EAGLES OFFENSE
3rd down %: 41.0 (15th ranked)
Yards per game: 378 (11th ranked)
Points per game: 30.5 (2nd ranked)
Average time of possession: 26:09 (31st ranked)
1st downs per game: 21.2 (17th ranked)
Penalties: 43 (12th ranked)
Passing yards per game: 262.3 (10th ranked)
Rushing yards per game: 116.0 (15th ranked)

CHARGERS OFFENSE
3rd down %: 54.0 (3rd ranked)
Yards per game: 378.2 (12th ranked)
Points per game: 27.3 (5th ranked)
Average time of possession: 34:34 (3rd ranked)
1st downs per game: 20.8 (18th ranked)
Penalties: 37 (9th ranked)
Passing yards per game: 285.5 (6th ranked)
Rushing yards per game: 92.7 (25th ranked)

The Cowboys lead the other two teams in every offensive category except for passing yards per game and points per game. One reason for the Cowboys passing attack being ranked lower is because of their dominant run game. However, that doesn't mean that the Cowboys passing attack hasn't been good this year. Tony Romo is on pace for the second highest QB rating and completion percentage of his career, and Dez Bryant/Terrance Williams have been one of the more productive WR duos in the NFL. As for points per game, all 3 teams are in the top 5 - Eagles #2, Cowboys #4 and Chargers #5. Keep in mind though, the Eagles have seven return TD's this season, which have accounted for 49 of their points. Take those 49 points away and their offense is only averaging 22 points per game.

All in all, the Cowboys lead the Chargers and Eagles in 6 out of 8 major offensive categories, with the Eagles and Chargers leading in just 1 category each.

Now, let's take a look at the defensive stats.

COWBOYS DEFENSE
3rd down %: 42.0 (16th ranked)
Yards per game: 342.5 (15th ranked)
Points per game: 21 (8th ranked)
1st downs per game: 17 (2nd ranked)
Penalties: 41 (20th ranked)
Passing yards per game: 227 (12th ranked)
Rushing yards per game: 115 (17th ranked)

EAGLES DEFENSE
3rd down %: 35.0 (7th ranked)
Yards per game: 380.8 (24th ranked)
Points per game: 22 (13th ranked)
1st downs per game: 21.8 (23rd ranked)
Penalties: 51 (31st ranked)
Passing yards per game: 256.6 (21st ranked)
Rushing yards per game: 124.3 (21st ranked)

CHARGERS DEFENSE
3rd down %: 45.0 (22th ranked)
Yards per game: 308.3 (3rd ranked)
Points per game: 15.2 (2nd ranked)
1st downs per game: 17.2 (3rd ranked)
Penalties: 50 (30th ranked)
Passing yards per game: 209.3 (4th ranked)
Rushing yards per game: 99.0 (9th ranked)

As the Cowboys dominate the majority of the offensive stats, the Chargers do so with the defensive stats. The Chargers lead the teams in 4 out of 7 major categories. The Cowboys lead in 2 categories (1st downs per game and penalties) and the Eagles lead in 1 category (3rd down %). While the Eagles have certainly been impressive on defense, keep in mind that they have faced teams like the Raiders, Jets and Jaguars, some of the worst offensive teams in football. They've yet to face a dominant offense. Meanwhile, the Eagles have played the Colts, the NFL's leading offense, and the Cowboys took care of business vs the Saints, the NFL's #2 unit.

At the beginning of the season, no one expected the Cowboys (8-8 last year) and Chargers (9-7 last year) to be as good as they have been thus far this season. A lot of people expected the Eagles to do well coming off an NFC East division crown, but not many expected them to start the season at 5-1. While their records show that all 3 of these teams are equal, the stats say otherwise. Out of 15 major statistic categories, the Cowboys lead the three teams in 8. The Chargers lead in 5 and the Eagles lead in 2. A lot can happen in the 10 remaining games but as it stands now, the Cowboys have been the most impressive of the three 5-1 team this season.

The stats don't lie - The 2014 Dallas Cowboys are for real ... At least for now.

Cowboys' Playoff What-If's

Last week we wrote an article comparing the Dallas Cowboys playoffs odds with a 5-1 and a 4-2 record. Heading into Seattle to take on the defending Super Bowl champs, most considered a 4-2 record much more likely. However, the Cowboys shocked the world when they beat the Seahawks, 30-23, and flew home with a 5-1 record for the first time since 2007.

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Now, the Boys gearing up to take on the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium this Sunday, which will be the first division game for the Cowboys this season. Barring a tie, they will improve to 6-1 or fall to 5-2. Let's take a look at the playoff odds for each of those records.

The Cowboys have started with a 6-1 record nine times in franchise history.

1968 - Lost the conference championship game
1969 - Lost the conference championship game
1976 - Lost in the divisional round
1979 - Lost in the divisional round
1982 - Lost the NFC championship game
1992 - Won the Super Bowl
1994 - Lost the NFC championship game
1995 - Won the Super Bowl
2007 - Lost in the divisional round

When starting 6-1, the Cowboys have made the playoffs 9 out of 9 times (that's 100% for those who aren't good at math), winning at least one playoff game on 6 of those occasions, reaching the conference championship game six times and winning the Super Bowl twice.

The Cowboys have started with a 5-2 record 14 times in franchise history

1966 - Lost the NFL championship game
1967 - Lost the NFL championship game
1970 - Lost the Super Bowl
1972 - Lost the NFC championship game
1975 - Lost the Super Bowl
1978 - Lost the Super bowl
1980 - Lost the NFC championship game
1981 - Lost the NFC championship game
1985 - Lost in the divisional round
1986 - Did not make the playoffs
1991 - Lost in the divisional round
1993 - Won the Super Bowl
2003 - Lost in the wild card round
2009 - Lost in the divisional round

When starting 4-2, the Cowboys have made the playoffs 13 out of 14 times (about 93% of the time), winning at least one playoff game on 11 of those occasions, reaching the conference championship game 9 times, reaching the Super Bowl/NFL championship game 6 times and winning the Super Bowl once.

While the Cowboys odds of reaching the playoffs are somewhat better at 6-1, they have actually had more overall postseason success when starting out 5-2.

As of now, the Cowboys have 12-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, according to Vegas. That's a long way from the 75-1 odds that they started with at the beginning of the season. Expect those odds to get even better if the Cowboys knock of the New York Giants, over whom they are three-point favorites at home on Sunday.

Romo Vs. Eli

The debate featuring Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo vs. his NY counterpart Eli Manning draws Giants supporters to quickly point to one thing ... Super Bowls!

We choose to go deeper into the numbers, and do so here to establish Romo's statistical superiority over Eli.

Onside kicks

Rolando McClain is ready to go today, his mind not on his groin or his contract but just on the Giants. "We haven't talked about it and I'm not worried about it," McClain responded to CowboysHQ's question about his contractual future. "I'm getting ready for the Giants. I'm just happy to be with the Dallas Cowboys. I'm happy with our success so far. I'm having fun with my teammates. Having a good time, gelling together and playing some good ball right now." ... The Cowboys think their running game might be even better with Parnell at right tackle in place of Doug Free (foot). ... Their strategy for JJP? Run right at him ... Dallas waived Korey Toomer this weekend and brought special-teamer Keith Smith up to the 53. DT Ken Bishop is also waived. ... New York's secondary is hurting. Could be a big matchup edge for Jason Witten. ... Cowboys Jumbotron themes you'll see today: Dez Bryant as "Wolverine'' (X-Man) and his receiving buddy as wrestling star "Stone Cole Beasley.''

Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast

KD Drummond sits down with co-hosts Keith Mullins, Patrik Walker and Mike Fisher to discuss several facets of the Cowboys hot start and whether it's sustainable. Is Garrett employing the Long Con? Did jettisoning Ware kickstart this lean, mean defense? How did they outmuscle Seattle, and will it continue? Why doesn't KD have a Whataburger? Why is 1/4th of the team participating in Romo Wednesday?

We've got it all covered in our Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast! - The Evolution of Dallas.

Mark Lane's 'Cowboys 100'

They're here! Check out our patented facts and figures ahead of this NFC East showdown. Has Tom Coughlin ever gone 3-3? How many times has Dallas improved to 6-1? What have the Cowboys done coming off of West Coast road trips? We've got that and more - - so get set and read up! "Cowboys 100'' -- Facts and Figures for Dallas-vs.-New York -- right here.

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The Final Word

"It is going to be the Cowboys vs. the Broncos, with the Cowboys coming out on top 53-51 in the highest scoring Super Bowl ever."- Mavs owner Mark Cuban, to ABC's "Good Morning America.''


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