Dallas Cowboys LATEST
*First off, Fish is reporting that we slow our roll on the drawing-and-quartering of C.J. Spillman. Here we have the facts of the sexual-assault investigation. But Fish reports that he's getting the distinct impression from closes source to the situation that the team believes there's been no wrong-doing here. Stay tuned.
*Here's KD and Fish with this week's Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast that takes you inside Valley Ranch!
*In a CowboysHQ exclusive, Dez Bryant explains "Prom Night.''
*Tony Romo took a "Romo Wednesday'' at midweek, as he's now done three straight weeks. Rolando McClain practiced fully yesterday, with Terrell McClain and Henry Melton also participating. Only Bruce Carter (quad) was absent, as he says he'll likely miss the Texans game.
Houston Texans FACTS
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, 42.7% of the qualifiers started 3-1.
The Cowboys have started off 3-1 21 times in club history. 14/21 of those seasons resulted in playoff qualification with 5/14 of those qualifications resulting in Title Game/Super Bowl appearances.
The Texans have been 3-1 only two other times in team history: 2010 and 2011. Only 2011 resulted in a playoff berth.
The Cowboys are 4-7 in the first games of October since 2002.
The Texans are 7-5 in the first games of October since their inception.
It took the Texans ten seasons to qualify for postseason play, which is the third-slowest rate for an expansion team to make its first postseason. Only New Orleans (1967-87) and Atlanta (1966-78) had slower rates.
The Texans’ all-time record is 82-114. They would need to win their next 32 games (all of ’14, ’15, and the first four games of ’16) just to break even.
Houston and Detroit are the only NFL cities to have neither played in a Super Bowl nor hosted a conference championship game.
The Dallas Cowboys are 1-0 against the Houston Texans in October. The Texans are the only Houston-based NFL franchise the Cowboys have played in October.
The Dallas Cowboys have yet to face the Houston Texans in AT&T Stadium. Dallas is 6-4 against the AFC in AT&T Stadium.
The last time the Cowboys lost to a Houston NFL franchise at home was Thanksgiving 1988 as the Oilers beat the Cowboys 25-17.
The only time a Houston NFL team has beaten the Cowboys at home has been on Thanksgiving (1979, 1988).
The last time the Cowboys hosted the Texans was in 2006 when they also had a first-year head coach: Gary Kubiak.
The Texans are 20-28 against the NFC all-time with an 8-16 record on the road.
The Texans are 9-13 on the road in the Central Time Zone.
On road trips with a flight time of two hours or less, the Texans are 6-12.
The Texans' 1-1 start against the NFC East is their third time (2002, 2010) to do so.
The Texans are 3-11 on the road, including playoffs, since December 2012.
In franchise history, the Texans are 3-9 in their fifth games of the season. Comparatively, since 2002, Dallas is 6-6 with their past three losses coming against AFC teams.
The last time the Cowboys started off 2-0 against their AFC opponents was 2008 when they defeated Cleveland on the road in Week 1 and Cincinnati at home in Week 5.
The Texans are 1-2 against the Cowboys. They are also 1-2 against New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, Green Bay, and Arizona. They have yet to defeat Philadelphia (0-3) or Minnesota (0-3).
The Cowboys' 2-1 record against the Texans is tied for their second-best three-game start against post-1960 expansion teams:
Minnesoata Vikings: 3-0
Atlanta Falcons: 3-0
New Orleans Saints: 3-0
Seattle Seahawks: 3-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-0
Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-1
Houston Texans: 2-1
Carolina Panthers: 1-2
Baltimore Ravens: 1-2
This is the first time the Texans will play in AT&T Stadium. Houston is 10-23 when playing for the first time in an NFL venue.
ROMO AND FITZPATRICK FACTS
After starting the season with a horrendous 1-3 TD-INT ratio, Romo is now at 7-4 after four games, which is comparable to his ratios of 7-5 in 2011 and 8-4 in 2008.
Romo's first touchdown pass was a two-yard pass to Terrell Owens to pad extend the Cowboys lead to 34-6 in the fourth quarter.
Tony Romo will make his second start against the Houston Texans, the most in franchise history.
Romo has never faced Romeo Crennel as a defensive coordinator. His only game against Crennel ever was on Opening Day 2008 when Crennel head coached the Cleveland Browns. Romo went 24/32 for 320 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
The most sacks Romo has taken in a game is seven, which occurred on 11/18/12 in a 23-20 overtime win against the Cleveland Browns at home.
Romo is 1/9 Summit Leaguers on an active NFL roster.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1/7 Ivy Leaguers on an active roster in the NFL.
Fitzpatrick is 1/5 active quarterbacks to have a tie on his record.
Fitzpatrick is 1/20 players drafted from Harvard. Not only is he 1/3 quarterbacks, but he is the only quarterback from Harvard to make an active NFL roster.
Fitzpatrick has faced Dallas only once. On 11/13/11 while quarterbacking for the Buffalo Bills, Fitzpatrick went 20/31 for 146 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions, and a 46.6 passer rating in a 44-7 loss.
Fitzpatrick posts a 1-7 record against the Tampa-2. With a 70.0 passer rating, Fitzpatrick goes 20/32 for 213 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
This is the second straight season Fitzpatrick's TD-INT ratio has been even after his first four games.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Texans' ninth starting quarterback in franchise history. Since 2002, the Cowboys have had 10.
Since 2002, the Cowboys have seen a different starting quarterback in each of their past three meetings with the Texans. The only QB they saw twice was David Carr (’02 and ’06).
Jason Garrett FACTS
Jason Garrett is 3-1 against rookie head coaches coming from the college ranks and 3-3 against rookie head coaches overall.
Garrett has not won four consecutive games since Weeks 9-12 of 2011. Since 1997, the Cowboys have had a winning streak of four or more games only seven times.
Garrett is 5-1 against the AFC at AT&T Stadium versus 2-5 on the road.
Garrett is 0-3 in the month of October with all of those losses coming at home in noon, late afternoon, and prime time games.
Last week was only the third blowout of Garrett’s tenure. Since 2010, when the Cowboys win by 21 points or greater, they are 1-2 the following week.
Since 2010, Garrett’s teams have played back-to-back home games eight times. Only 1/8 times have they ever won both home games.
DeMarco Murray FACTS
Last week, DeMarco Murray rushed for 100 yards and a one touchdown for the fourth straight game this season. The only only running backs in NFL history to begin the season with similar stats were Jim Brown (1958), O.J. Simpson (1973, '75), and Emmitt Smith (1995).
Against 3-4 fronts, Murray averages 4.8 yards per carry. His average stat line through 16 games is 18 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown.
DeMarco Murray's biggest rush against a 3-4 front was last year in Washington on 12/22/13 when he went 43 yards on first-and-10 up 7-6.
The Cowboys haven't started out the season with five or more rushing touchdowns since 2009 when they began the season with six.
Murray has fumbled three times this season. Texans safety D.J. Swearinger has forced three fumbles in four games.
Murray has gained 428 yards on first down this season. Second-best is Washington's Alfred Morris with 201. Last year, through four games, Adrian Peterson led the league with 268. Murray was second with 242.
Murray has gained 1,998 yards in his career on first down, the sixth-best in the NFL since 2011. Remember that DeMarco has missed or not started in 16 total games in that span.
Murray has carried the rock 35 times on third down with one to three yards to go. He has a 3.51 yards per carry, ranked 24th in the NFL among running backs in that span.
Since 2013, Murray has the worst YPC on third down with 1 to 3 yards to go at -7.50.
J.J. Watt FACTS
Last week, J.J. Watt intercepted a pass for an 80-yard touchdown return. The last Cowboys defensive lineman to intercept a pass for a touchdown was Greg Ellis on 9/20/99 in a 24-7 versus Atlanta on Monday Night Football.
Through his first 52 games, J.J. Watt has 38.5 sacks. The NFL's all-time sack leader, Bruce Smith, had 40.5 through his first 52 games.
Watt is tied with linebacker Derrick Thomas as as the youngest player to record 20 or more sacks in a season at the age of 23.
Watt's 10-sack drop off from his 20.5 sacks in 2012 to 10.5 in 2013 was the second-biggest drop off in NFL history. The biggest belongs to Michael Strahan, who after setting the NFL record with 22.5 in 2001, only recorded 11.0 the following year.
Watt has recorded 11 sacks and 42 tackles against the NFC.
Watt has already sacked Robert Griffin III and Eli Manning. A sack against Romo would give him a sack against 3/4 of the NFC East’s quarterbacks.
Two of the best pass rushers of the past generation, Dwight Freeney and DeMarcus Ware, were taken with the 11th overall pick, the same slot Watt went in the 2011 draft.
Since CBS took over the AFC package, the Dallas Cowboys are 18-13 on that network. Overall, the Dallas Cowboys are 285-189-6 on CBS.
Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will call the game Sunday for CBS, making them the fourth different team to call a game in the series:
9/8/02 – ESPN – Cowboys-Texans – Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire
10/15/06 – CBS – Texans-Cowboys – Dick Enberg & Randy Cross
9/26/10 – FOX – Cowboys-Texans – Joe Buck & Troy Aikman
Ian Eagle has called 32 Houston Texans games for CBS. The Texans are 20-13.
Ian Eagle has never called a Cowboys game.
Dan Fouts is 9-7 when calling Cowboys games. The last game he called was on 10/15/01 against the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Dallas won 9-7.
PETE MORELLI FACTS
This week’s referee is Pete Morelli, who last refereed a Cowboys game in 2011 and a Texans game last season. Dallas is 6-5 when Morelli officiates their games. Here is the breakdown:
2003 – Cardinals, 24-7 – W
2003 – MIA, 21-40 – L
2004 – @MIN, 17-35 – L
2005 – @SD, 28-24 – W
2005 – KC, 31-28 – W
2006 – NYG, 22-36 – L
2007 – @BUF, 25-24 – W
2007 – NYG, 17-21 – L
2008 – @Cardinals, 24-30 – L-OT
2010 – @Colts, 38-35 – W-OT
2011 – MIA, 20-19 – W
The Cowboys are 4/11 in the penalty battle under Morelli:
2003 – Cardinals: 5/36; DAL: 7/64
2003 – MIA: 6/69; DAL: 5/50
2004 – MIN: 5/40; DAL: 9/119
2005 – SD: 8/62; DAL: 8/46
2005 – KC: 3/17; DAL: 5/45
2006 – NYG: 3/24; DAL: 1/5
2007 – BUF: 5/49; DAL: 5/31
2007 – NYG: 3/28; DAL: 11/84
2008 – Cardinals: 12/70; DAL: 12/93
2010 – Colts: 3/28; DAL: 5/35
2011 – MIA: 6/55; DAL: 11/69
Through four weeks, Morelli’s .667 home team winning percentage is tied with Ed Hochuli and Tony Corrente for third-best in the league:
Bill Vinovich: 1.000
Craig Wrolstad: 1.000
Clete Blakeman: .750
Jerome Boger: .750
Gene Steratore: .750
Walt Anderson: .750
Pete Morelli: .667
Ed Hochuli: .667
Tony Corrente: .667
John Parry: .500
Carl Cheffers: .500
Bill Leavy: .333
Jeff Triplette: .333
Brad Allen: .333
Terry McAulay: .250
Walt Coleman: .000
Morelli is also tied for third-best home team penalty battle percentage:
Terry McAulay: 1.000
Brad Allen: 1.000
Craig Wrolstad: .750
Walt Anderson: .750
Tony Corrente: .667
Jeff Triplette: .667
Pete Morelli: .667
Bill Vinovich: .500
Jerome Boger: .500
Gene Steratore: .500
Walt Coleman: .333
Ed Hochuli: .333
John Parry: .250
Clete Blakeman: .000
Carl Cheffers: .000
Bill Leavy: .000
Morelli has refereed 12 Texans games with the team posting a 3-9 record. Here are the results:
2003 – @NO, 10-31 – L
2003 – Titans, 24-27 – L
2004 – GB, 13-16 – L
2005 – @Colts, 17-31 – L
2006 – PHI, 10-24 – L
2007 – Colts, 24-30 – L
2007 – @Raiders, 24-17 – W
2008 – @GB, 24-21 – W
2009 – SEA, 34-7 – W
2011 – Raiders, 20-25 – L
2012 – @Ravens, 13-20 – L
2013 – NE, 34-31 – L
In winning the penalty battle, Houston has only done so 7/12 times under Morelli:
2003 – NO 9/78; HTX: 11/86
2003 – Titans: 6/42; HTX: 7/75
2004 – GB: 10/90; HTX: 3/25
2005 – Colts: 6/50; HTX: 4/35
2006 – PHI: 5/51; HTX: 3/20
2007 – Colts: 5/30; HTX: 2/15
2007 – Raiders: 6/40; HTX: 9/56
2008 – GB: 6/65; HTX: 4/30
2009 – SEA: 7/63; HTX: 4/35
2011 – Raiders: 11/89; HTX: 6/50
2012 – Ravens: 0/0; HTX: 3/20
2013 – NE: 0/0; HTX: 2/25
Since becoming a referee in 2003, Morelli has officiated only two games between the AFC South and the NFC East:
2006 – Philadelphia at Houston – 24-10 Philadelphia
2010 – Dallas at Indianapolis – 38-35 Dallas
The AFC South is 2/2 in the penalty battle under Morelli:
2006 – PHI: 5/51; HTX: 3/20
2010 – Colts: 3/28; DAL: 5/35
In Morelli-reffed games, Dallas coaches are 2/2 on challenges compared to opposing coaches’ 2/4 and Replay Assistant’s 2/11. Furthermore, 5/11 of Morelli’s decisions on Replay Assistant challenges have benefited the Cowboys.
When Morelli has officiated Texans games, he has overturned 1/4 Texans coach’s challenges as opposed to 1/7 of the opposing coaches’ challenges. He also has overturned 5/10 Replay Assistant challenges with 2/10 of those decisions benefiting the Texans.
Sunday will feature a “battle of the brains” as both the Texans and Cowboys will have Ivy League head coaches in Bill O’Brien (Brown) and Jason Garrett (Princeton).
O'Brien is the third ever head coach in Houston Texans history. The third ever head coach in Houston Oilers history was ex-Cardinals head coach Pop Ivy, who led Houston to a double-overtime loss in the 1962 AFL Title Game against the Dallas Texans.
O’Brien is the second-straight offensive-minded coach the Texans have hired.
The Texans average a head coach every four seasons. Since 2002, the Cowboys average a head coach every three seasons.
To this point, the Titans, Dolphins, Browns and Raiders are the only AFC teams to have scored first in AT&T Stadium history. The Cowboys are 3-1 when this is so.
Since 2011, Dallas has spent 3/4 of their first round draft choices on offensive linemen. In the same span, Houston has spent 3/4 of their first round picks on defensive linemen.
The Texans have taken more quarterbacks in the draft (seven) than the Cowboys have in the entire 25 years of Jerry Jones’ ownership (five).
On fourth-and-1 from their own 39, Texans punter Shane Lechler completed a 10-yard pass to running back Alfred Blue to move the chains. The last Cowboys punter to attempt a pass was Mat McBriar who intentionally grounded a bad snap on a field goal try in Minnesota on Opening Day 2004.
Last year, all four of the Cowboys' interceptions by linebackers were owned by Sean Lee. This season, three different Cowboys linebackers (McClain, Carter, Durant) have an interception.
The Texans defense has forced seven fumbles and leads the league.
The Texans have recovered four out of their seven forced fumbles this year.
When Arian Foster has a YPC of 5.0 or higher, the Texans are 11-7.
In his 12-year career, Andre Johnson has amassed multi-touchdown games 10 times. Just four games into his fifth season, Dez Bryant already has nine.
This is the second-straight season Johnson has failed to catch a touchdown. The only other season prior to 2013 that this occurred through four games was 2005.
The Texans are 19-8 when Foster rushes for 100 yards or more.
Foster was undrafted out of Tennessee in 2009. He is second only to LeSean McCoy for most rushing yards gained with 5,308 to McCoy's 5,648. However, Foster leads the 2009 draft class with 46 rushing touchdowns.
Witten's 15 catches through four games is his lowest total since 2006 when he only had 13 receptions to start the season.
Through four games, Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant account for all of Romo's seven touchdown passes. The last time only two players accounted for all of Dallas' touchdown receptions was 1998 with receivers Ernie Mills and Billy Davis.
Since 2013, Joseph Randle's -4.00 YPC on third down is the worst in the league.
Last week, Dan Bailey extended the Cowboys record for most consecutive field goals made to 29. Bailey needs 13 more to tie Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt's 42 mark set during 2002-04.
Last week, Dallas defeated the Saints by 21 points. It was only the fourth time since 2009 the Cowboys had beaten an opponent by 21 points or more. Previous opponents were St. Louis (2013), Buffalo (2011), and St. Louis (2011).
The last time the Cowboys were shutout was on 11/16/03 at New England. Romeo Crennel was the Patriots' defensive coordinator, and Dallas crossed into the Pats' territory four times in a 12-0 loss.
Out of the eight states that have multiple NFL teams, Texas joins Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and Ohio as the only states to have teams that have not won a Super Bowl.
The Dallas Cowboys are 4-3 on 10/5. Here are the results:
1969 – PHI, 38-7 – W
1980 – NYG, 24-3 – W
1986 – @DEN, 14-29 – L
1992 – @PHI, 7-31 – L
1997 – @NYG, 17-20 – L
2003 – Cardinals, 24-7 – W
2008 – CIN, 31-22 – W
The lone Dallas Cowboys birthday today is that of fullback Oliver Hoyte, who played for the Cowboys from 2006-07, born 10/5/1984.