DALLAS COWBOYS CATCH-UPS
*Fish joins the conversation with Tony Romo, who explains why he sat out of Wednesday's workout but vows to return today.
*Speaking of Romo, Fish chides the Cowboys fans who hoot at the QB when he's asked to be Houdini and fails ... and then also hoot at Romo when he's a "bus driver'' in a win, as was the case in Tennessee. "Fish on Cowboys'' here.
*Orlando Scandrick's return is part of a busy, newsy Wednesday practice report featuring Dez, McClain and Spencer ... and of course CowboysHQ is loaded for action today from inside Valley Ranch as well!
*And a Thursday update with who's who in practice, featuring the absence of Rolando McClain.
ST. LOUIS RAMS FACTS
83.9% of the playoff participants since 1990 have started 1-1.
The Dallas Cowboys have been 1-1 only 22/54 seasons. Out of those 22 seasons, Dallas ultimately qualified for the playoffs 9/22 times.
The Cowboys are 6-1 against the Rams franchise in the month of September.
The Cowboys are 4-2 against the Rams in early games in the series.
Observers are quick to point out the 294 rushing yards Dallas put on St. Louis in their 2011 encounter. However, the most rushing yards the Cowboys gained against the Rams was 338 on 12/28/80 in the NFC Wildcard game.
The Dallas Cowboys are 1-1 at Edward Jones Dome. Here is how they have performed at other Rams home venues:
L.A. Memorial Coliseum: 5-1
Anaheim Stadium: 3-3
Among NFC East teams, the Dallas Cowboys’ two appearances at Edward Jones Dome are the lowest in the NFC East behind the Washington Redskins (eight), New York Giants (five), and Philadelphia Eagles (four).
The Rams franchise is the only one in the NFL to have shutout the Dallas Cowboys in postseason play, which occurred on 01/04/86.
The Rams have forced the Cowboys to wear their blue jerseys five times since 1964. The Rams hold a 1-4 advantage over Dallas in their blue jerseys.
Dallas has worn their blue jerseys in St. Louis 16 times since 1964 and hold a 9-6-1 record in the city, the best in any NFL city with a minimum of 15 games played.
The Cowboys are again playing on the road in the Central Time zone. The last back-to-back road trip they had in the Central Time zone was from Week 14-15 of 1998 when Dallas lost 22-3 in New Orleans and then went to Kansas City to lose 20-17.
The Dallas Cowboys are 17-15-1 in the state of Missouri. Here’s how their record in similar states compares, not including playoffs:
New York: 14-4-1
New Jersey: 20-22
The St. Louis Rams haven’t made the playoffs since 2004. Still, despite their nine-year playoff appearance drought, they have more postseason wins since 1997 (6) than do the Dallas Cowboys.
The Rams are the only NFL franchise to have defeated the Dallas Cowboys with two interim head coaches: Joe Vitt in 2005 and Jim Haslett in 2008.
TONY ROMO FACTS
Tony Romo has two touchdowns and three interceptions through two games, the first time in his career his touchdowns haven’t outweighed his interceptions through the first two weeks.
This is the third-straight game Romo has yet to throw for 300 yards passing. His longest streak is seven games from Week 7-12 of 2011. Dallas went 5-2 in that stretch.
Last week, Romo only attempted 29 passes. In his career in completed games with 29 or fewer passes, the Cowboys are 23-6.
The St. Louis Rams join the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only NFC teams against whom Tony Romo remains undefeated.
Tony Romo has yet to play in Edward Jones Dome. The only other active NFL venues remaining are Lucas Oil Stadium, O.co Coliseum, EverBank Field, TCF Bank Stadium, and Levi’s Stadium.
Currently, Romo is tied with Roger Staubach for third-most wins in the blue jerseys with 9. Only Danny White (12) and Troy Aikman (10) rank higher.
A loss Sunday would tie Romo with Don Meredith for fewest losses (5) in the road blue jerseys with a minimum of 10 games played.
Since 2007, when Tony Romo began his first full season as a starter, the St. Louis Rams have had 12 different starting quarterbacks.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Jason Garrett has started the season 1-1 for the past four seasons. He is now tied with Bill Parcells for the second-most 1-1 starts in franchise history. Only Tom Landry has more with eight.
Jason Garrett is 2-0 against the Rams franchise. Here is how other Dallas Cowboys head coaches have done against the Rams:
Tom Landry: 11-11
Jimmy Johnson: 1-2
Dave Campo: 1-0
Bill Parcells: 0-1
Wade Phillips: 1-1
Jason Garrett: 2-0
Since becoming head coach in Week 10 of 2010, Jason Garrett is 19-9 when his team scores first compared to 11-19 when they don’t.
Garrett’s Cowboys are 5-10 when they fail to score first on the road compared to 9-5 when they do.
The Cowboys under Garrett are 7-6 on the road against teams that failed to make the playoffs versus 7-9 against teams that posted winning records.
To this point, if Garrett’s team trails at any point during a road game, they are 10-15.
The Cowboys starting their first two games with a minus-three turnover differential is the worst two-game start in Jason Garrett’s career. It’s the worst since 2010 when Dallas was minus-four after two games.
The St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only NFC teams against whom Garrett holds an undefeated record at 2-0 each.
Last week, Jason Garrett coached his first road victory in the Central Time zone, bringing his record to 1-3.
JEFF FISHER FACTS
Jeff Fisher is 3-3 all-time against the Dallas Cowboys with a 0-1 record as the St. Louis Rams’ head coach. Here is how other Rams coaches have fared against the Cowboys:
Bob Waterfield: 1-1
George Allen: 0-2
Tom Prothro: 1-0
Chuck Knox: 4-2
Ray Malasavi: 4-3
John Robinson: 4-3
Mike Martz: 0-1
Joe Vitt: 1-0
Scott Linehan: 0-1
Jim Haslett: 1-0
Steve Spagnoulo: 0-1
Jeff Fisher: 0-1
Jeff Fisher is 1/11 coaches whose team pitched a shutout against the Dallas Cowboys. On 12/25/00, Fisher’s Tennessee Titans demolished the Cowboys 31-0.
Jeff Fisher has been shutout four times in his career, but never once at home.
Jeff Fisher has started the year 1-2 eight out of his 18 seasons, and has done so in every one of his years with the Rams.
Jeff Fisher is only one of two head coaches to coach for the franchise that defeated him in the Super Bowl. Dan Reeves is the other coach, who coached the Broncos in a Super Bowl XXI loss to the hands of the Giants, the team he later took over from 1993-96.
In his first 34 games with the Rams, Fisher has started four different quarterbacks compared to only three in his final 34 games with the Tennessee Titans.
Jeff Fisher and Carolina head coach Ron Rivera are the only two members of the ’85 Bears remaining as active NFL head coaches.
The Dallas Cowboys are 108-102 on FOX.
This week’s commentators are Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa. The Cowboys are 10-5 when this team calls their games.
In Week 3 of last season, Albert, Johnston, and Siragusa called the Cowboys-Rams game in AT&T Stadium where Dallas defeated St. Louis 31-7 behind 26 carries for 175 yards and one touchdown.
The last time Albert, Johnston, and Siragusa called a Cowboys-Rams game in St. Louis was 10/19/08, and the Rams prevailed 34-14 over the Cowboys.
“Kenny, Moose, and Goose,” as they are affectionately known on Fox Sports, have called two out of the past three Cowboys-Rams games.
The last time the Cowboys had the same announcers for the same match up in the same week was Week 1 of 2013 when Dallas hosted the New York Giants in AT&T Stadium on NBC with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth calling the action. In Week 1 of 2012, the Cowboys played the Giants in New York on NBC with Michaels and Collinsworth.
Pat Summerall and Frank Gifford are tied for most games called in the series as play-by-play announcers with four apiece.
The final ESPN Sunday Night Football contest was Cowboys-Rams in Texas Stadium on 1/1/06. The Rams defeated the Cowboys 20-10 and dropped them to 9-7 on the year.
CLETE BLAKEMAN FACTS
Sunday’s referee is Clete Blakeman, who first became a referee in 2010. This is his first Cowboys game to officiate while Dallas is on the road. Since 2010, the Cowboys are 1-1 when he referees their games:
2010 – JAX, 17-35 – L
2012 – PIT, 27-24 – W-OT
Only once has Dallas won the penalty battle:
2010 – JAX: 6/36; DAL: 3/20
2012 – PIT: 0/0; DAL: 8/61
Blakeman has refereed five St. Louis Rams games since 2010. Here are the results:
2010 – @Cardinals, 19-6 – W
2011 – @CLE, 13-12 – W
2011 – @PIT, 0-27 – L
2012 – @SF, 24-24 – T
2013 – Cardinals, 27-24 – W
The Rams are 4/5 when it comes to winning the penalty battle:
2010 – Cardinals: 6/54; Rams: 2/15
2011 – CLE: 6/60; Rams: 7/55
2011 – PIT: 7/50; Rams: 4/21
2012 – SF: 7/66; Rams: 13/85
2013 – Cardinals: 6/68; Rams: 7/59
Last week, Clete Blakeman refereed the Dolphins-Bills game, and Buffalo won 29-10. Here is how Blakeman’s home team winning percentage compared to the rest of his peers last season:
Tony Corrente: .813
Jerome Boger: .733
Clete Blakeman: .688
Pete Morelli: .688
Ed Hochuli: .625
Walt Anderson: .625
Gene Steratore: .625
Jeff Triplette: .625
Walt Coleman: .600
Bill Vinovich: .563
John Parry: .533
Scott Green: .533
Terry McAulay: .529
Bill Leavy: .438
Ron Winter: .400
Carl Cheffers: .375
Here is how Blakeman fared in how many times the home team won the penalty battle:
Walt Anderson: .750
Scott Green: .633
Bill Vinovich: .625
Pete Morelli: .625
Gene Steratore: .563
Clete Blakeman: .563
Ed Hochuli: .563
Jerome Boger: .533
Bill Leavy: .500
Tony Corrente: .500
Jeff Triplette: .500
Walt Coleman: .467
Ron Winter: .467
Terry McAulay: .375
Carl Cheffers: .375
John Parry: .267
Since becoming a referee in 2010, Blakeman has refereed only one inter-division game between the NFC East and the NFC West:
2011 – Washington at Seattle – 23-17 Washington
Seattle won the penalty battle 9/91 to Washington’s 10/115.
Through two games this season, Blakeman has had a Replay Assistant challenge and a Coaches challenge each. He is 0/1 on Replay Assistant and 1/1 on Coaches for a 1/2 rate thus far. In his two Cowboys games officiates, he has overturned 3/5 Coaches challenges and 2/6 Replay Assistant challenges with Dallas being the beneficiary of 3/9 of those decisions.
Blakeman was the referee for last year’s infamous Monday Night Football game between the Patriots and Panthers that ended with a controversial no-call as Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly grabbed tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Like Ed Hochuli, Blakeman is an attorney, specializing in personal injury for Carlson & Burnett in Omaha, Nebraska.
DeMarco Murray’s yards per carry is 5.6, which is tied for fourth-best among running backs with 20 or more attempts.
Murray’s 285 rushing yards is better than the totals of 24 other teams.
Murray leads the league in rushing yards with 285. Houston’s Arian Foster trails by 44 yards.
Murray has 285 rushing yards through two games. This is the best start a Cowboys running back has had to start the season’s first two games in franchise history.
Last week, Rolando McClain picked off a Jake Locker pass. The Cowboys linebacker to record an interception was Sean Lee on 10/27/13 at Detroit.
The last time the Cowboys defense had two takeaways was on Thanksgiving last year against Oakland.
The last time Dallas had two interceptions in a game was in the aforementioned Detroit game from last season, and Sean Lee owned both of those picks.
Through two games, Rod Marinelli’s defense has two takeaways. These are his lowest totals as a defensive coordinator.
Through two games last season, the Cowboys defense had already surrendered 627 passing yards and 48 points.
Dallas leads the league in 36:18 average time of possession.
The Cowboys also lead the league per drive, holding onto the ball 3:27 per possession.
The St. Louis Rams defense only has one sack and one turnover through two games.
Dan Bailey is 79/84 (94.0%) on artificial turf and 39/45 (86.7%) in venues in which he’s yet to kick a field goal.
In truly indoor stadiums, like Edward Jones Dome, Bailey is 6/7 (85.7%).
Bailey is 3/4 against the St. Louis Rams in his career. His lone miss came last season, and still remains Bailey’s last missed field goal at AT&T Stadium.
This is the fourth straight time in Bailey’s career he has started the season 100% through two games.
In games where Bailey does not attempt a field goal, the Cowboys are 0-4.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein is 31/36 (86.15) in Edward Jones Dome. He is 2/3 on the season.
Last week, Zuerlein went 4/4 on grass in Tampa Bay, just as Bailey went 4/4 on grass in Tennessee.
Rams quarterback Austin Davis joins Tony Romo and Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer as the only undrafted free agent quarterbacks starting in the NFL.
The Rams are the only team in the NFL to have multiple passers yet zero touchdowns through the first two games.
The last quarterback to throw a touchdown pass for the Rams, Kellen Clemens, isn’t even on the roster.
The last Dallas Cowboy to record an interception against the St. Louis Rams was Mike Jenkins on 10/23/11, DeMarco Murray’s breakout game.
The Rams have six points off of two turnovers this season, while the Cowboys have 10 points off of turnovers.
St. Louis running back Zac Stacy has 30 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. DeMarco Murray recorded 29 carries last week, 118 yards in Week 1, and already has two rushing touchdowns on the season.
The Rams defense gives up 5.5 yards per carry through two games, ranking third-worst in the NFL.
Rams assistant head coach Dave McGinnis has the distinction of working with two former Cowboys assistant coaches who became Bears head coaches: Mike Ditka and Dave Wannstedt.
Dave McGinnis also shares part in two rotten moments in Dallas Cowboys history. First, he was defensive coordinator of the 1998 Arizona Cardinals that defeated Dallas 20-7 in the wild card playoffs. Secondly, he was Emmitt Smith’s first head coach with the Arizona Cardinals.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke shares a distinction with Jerry Jones as being owners of an NFL franchise and an Arena Football League franchise. Stan Kroenke owned the Colorado Crush from 2002-08, as Jones owned the Dallas Despradoes in the same time frame.
Before becoming the Cowboys’ general manager in 1959, Tex Schramm was the general manager of the Los Angeles Rams from 1947-56. The Rams went to four NFL Title games, winning one of them in 1951.
The Rams have only ever given up 294 or more rushing yards on 10 occasions in franchise history. Not surprisingly, the Rams are 0-10 with two of those games occurring in the playoffs.
The last time the St. Louis Rams had a .500 or better season was when Scott Linehan was head coach in 2006.
The last time the Cowboys were shutout was 11/16/03 at New England. In the same span, the Rams have been shutout five times.
The Rams have taken a quarterback three times their first overall pick. Only the Colts have done it more with five top selections used on quarterbacks.
The St. Louis Rams have only taken four quarterbacks in the first round since 1960. In the same span, the Cowboys have taken two.
Since 2005, six teams have taken a defensive tackle in the first round 2/3 years the way the Rams did in 2011 with Michael Brockers and this year with Aaron Donald. Only 2/6 of the teams that made such a move made the playoffs.
In 2012, the Cowboys traded up to pick 6 to take cornerback Morris Claiborne. Comparatively, the Rams have only taken a defensive back at pick 6 once in franchise history: 1991’s Todd Lyght from Notre Dame. Lyght played 10 seasons with the Rams and won a Super Bowl with them in 1999.
The only Cowboys head coach to not coach against the Rams was Barry Switzer since his tenure (1994-97) occurred during the ten-year gap the two teams didn’t face one another (1992-02).
In that same span, the Rams had two coaches who never faced Dallas: Rich Brooks and Dick Vermeil.
Like the Cowboys this preseason, the 2002 Rams finished winless during preseason and ultimately recorded a 7-9 record that year.
The Dallas Cowboys are 6-1 on 9/21 with a 2-0 record against St. Louis NFL teams and the Rams. Here are the results:
1969 – Cardinals, 24-3 – W
1975 – Rams, 18-7 – W
1980 – TB, 28-17 – W
1981 – @NE, 35-21 – W
1986 – @ATL, 35-37 – L
1998 – @NYG, 31-7 – W
2008 – @GB, 27-16 – W
The Dallas Cowboys have five birthdays to celebrate on 9/21, including that of linebacker Justin Durant, who turns 29 this Sunday:
Reggie Rucker, WR, 1970-1971 – 9/21/1947
Leon Gonzalez, WR, 1985 – 9/21/1963
Jon Kitna, QB, 2009-2011, 2013 – 9/21/1972
Brady Poppinga, LB, 2012 – 9/21/1979
Justin Durant, LB, 2013-present – 9/21/1985