The Cowboys had a light day on Wednesday and an even lighter mood when the starting five offensive linemen exited the meeting room at Valley Ranch to find their locker stalls stuffed with a gift: brand-new iMac computers valued at $1,300, a token of appreciation from NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray.
Said left guard Ron Leary, laughing: "If it's free, I'll take it!''
Murray is leading the NFL in rushing with 913 yards, nearly 300 more than his competitors. He is on pace to rush for over 2,000 yards for the 6-1 Cowboys, who are preparing for next Monday night's visit from the Redskins. (Much more below on all of this, of course.)
The recipients appeared to be Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Doug Free, Leary and rookie Zack Martin, who joked, "Once you go mac, you never go back.''
*The Cowboys (and Dez Jr) Teach The Giants a History Lesson
*Charting Romo's perfect second half against NY
*Cowboys Brass: The latest from Jerry, Stephen and Garrett
*It's "Washington Week'' ... But is Dallas-Washington still a rivalry?
One cliché thrown around heading into a Cowboys-Redskins game is how the respective records need to be thrown out. However, team records are still very predictive:
Cowboys with winning record: 27/44 (one tie)
Redskins with winning record: 22/32
Both teams with same records: 14/31 (one tie)
When Dallas has had a three-game win margin or more over Washington, they have an 18-5 record. Comparatively, when Washington has had three wins or more, Dallas has won 5/6 times with 3/5 of those wins coming on the road.
This is the largest win column disparity between the Cowboys and Redskins in the history of Monday Night Football.
This is the third time in the history of prime time TV Dallas has had three or more wins than Washington coming into the game. Washington has only had three wins or more than the Cowboys once: 1989 on ESPN Sunday Night Football.
The last team to jump out to a 6-1 start after losing on Opening Day were the 2001 Chicago Bears, who ultimately went 13-3 and earned a bye in the playoffs.
The last team to fail to reach the postseason despite a 6-1 start were the 2003 Minnesota Vikings, who went 3-6 down the stretch to a 9-7 finish.
In 1976, the Cowboys defeated the Redskins on 10/31 to advance to 7-1 on the year. Never have the Cowboys fallen to 6-2 at the hands of the Redskins.
The Dallas Cowboys are 9-10 against Washington in the month of October.
Dallas is 8-7 against Washington on Monday Night Football.
The Dallas Cowboys are 36-14-2 against the Washington Redskins at home. Here is the breakdown by stadium:
Cotton Bowl: 6-3-2
Texas Stadium: 26-10
AT&T Stadium: 4-1
The last time the Cowboys were 3-1 in AT&T Stadium was in 2011 and 2009.
Following seasons wherein the Cowboys have swept Washington, Dallas has opened with a win 10/15 times.
The longest win streak against Washington that Dallas has sustained coming off a season sweep is seven games (1999-2002).
The two clubs have only faced each other three times in overtime with Dallas holding a 2-1 advantage. This is noteworthy because Washington’s .628 overtime winning percentage through 39 games is the best in the NFL. Dallas has a fourth-best .588 through 34 games.
With a win against Washington, Romo would tie Roger Staubach for the most wins on Monday Night Football. Here is how he compares to the rest of the franchise:
Troy Aikman: 13-9
Danny White: 12-11
Tony Romo: 5-5
Roger Staubach: 6-8
Vinny Testaverde: 2-1
Steve Pelluer: 2-1
Craig Morton: 1-1
Quincy Carter: 1-0
Randall Cunningham: 1-0
Jason Garrett: 1-0
Gary Hogeboom: 1-0
Drew Bledsoe: 1-2
With a touchdown pass Monday night, Romo will tie Donovon McNabb for most touchdown passes against Washington since 2000. Romo is currently at 24.
Romo’s 24 touchdown passes against Washington are the most in franchise history. His game-winning toss to Murray on 12/22/13 in FedEx Field last year moved him ahead of Troy Aikman.
Romo leads the franchise with five game-winning drives against Washington, which is also tied with Randall Cunningham for most game-winning drives against Washington in their team history.
On 9/26/11, Romo threw a third-and-21 pass to Dez Bryant. Its conversion made it the longest third-down conversion of Romo’s career.
Washington has only sacked Romo 19 times since 2006. While second-most against an NFC East QB in that time, Eli Manning is safely ahead with 27.
Speaking of Eli Manning, who Washington has picked off the most since 2006, Romo’s 15 interceptions against Washington are the second-most in that same time.
Romo’s first pass attempt Monday night will be his 500th against Washington, the most against any NFC East opponent.
Tony Romo has had two games with no touchdowns thrown on ESPN Monday Night Football. Oddly enough, they were both victories (9/28/09: Panthers; 9/26/11: Redskins).
Tony Romo holds a 4-3 record on ESPN. Here’s how other Cowboys quarterbacks have fared:
Troy Aikman: 1-2
Quincy Carter: 0-2
Anthony Wright: 0-2
Steve Walsh: 1-0
Steve Pelluer: 0-1
Kevin Sweeney: 0-1
Randall Cunningham: 0-1
Chad Hutchinson: 0-1
Vinny Testaverde: 0-1
Drew Bledsoe: 0-2
Both of Tony Romo’s 5-INT games came on ESPN Monday Night Football (2007: Bills; 2012: Bears).
Since 2007, when Romo began his first full season as a starter, Dallas has used four total quarterbacks while Washington has used eight different signal callers.
Romo has taken every offensive snap through seven games this season. The last time that happened was 2009, when Romo took every snap the entire season and set a Cowboys franchise record in the process.
Speaking of 2009, this is the first time since then that Romo has posted two 135+ passer rating games in the first seven games of the year.
The New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, and Washington Redskins are the only teams Jason Garrett has defeated as both a starting quarterback and head coach.
Jason Garrett is 5-2 against the Washington Redskins, which is his best record against a divisional opponent to date. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches through their first seven games against the Redskins (where applicable):
Tom Landry: 2-3-2
Jimmy Johnson: 4-3
Barry Switzer: 3-4
Bill Parcells: 5-2
Wade Phillips: 4-3
Jason Garrett: 5-2
Every head coach of the Dallas Cowboys has swept the Redskins. Conversely, four out of the Cowboys’ eight head coaches have been swept by the Redskins (Landry, Switzer, Parcells, Garrett).
This is the sixth back-to-back division swing of Garrett’s career. Here is how he fared when facing NFC East teams in consecutive weeks:
2010 – PHI (L), WAS (W)
2011 – PHI (L), @NYG (L)
2012 – WAS (L), PHI (W)
2013 – WAS (W), @PHI (W)
2013 – @WAS (W), PHI (L)
Jason Garrett is 1-2 on ESPN Monday Night Football. Here are other Cowboys head coaches’ records on ESPN:
Tom Landry: 0-2
Jimmy Johnson: 1-1
Chan Gailey: 1-1
Dave Campo: 0-3
Bill Parcells: 0-4 (one MNF game)
Wade Phillips: 3-1
Jason Garrett: 1-1
Garrett is 4-3 against rookie head coaches.
Jason Garrett is 12/16 on challenges in his career. The only coach is remotely close to that .750 record is Sean Payton at 12/21 (.571), though he missed all of 2012 due to suspension.
Chan Gailey: 0/2
Dave Campo: 5/18
Bill Parcells: 12/26
Wade Phillips: 17/24
Garrett is 8/11 on challenges at AT&T Stadium. All other head coaches, including Wade Phillips, are 16/27. Here is the breakdown of how other coaches have fared:
Jason Garrett: 8/11
Greg Schiano: 2/2
Tom Coughlin: 2/2
Mike Shanahan: 1/1
Jim Schwartz: 1/1
Andy Reid: 1/1
John Fox: 1/1
Mike Smith: 1/1
Jeff Fisher: 1/1
Mike Tomlin: 1/1
Wade Phillips: 4/7
Pat Shurmur: 1/2
Steve Spagnoulo: 0/1
Pete Carroll: 0/1
Jim Mora, Jr.: 0/1
Chan Gailey: 0/1
Jack Del Rio: 0/1
Sean Payton: 0/1
When Eric Dickerson set the league record for rushing yards in a season at 2,105, he had 780 yards through seven games. Thus far, DeMarco Murray has 913 yards.
In his previous three seasons, Murray had a career 15 rushing touchdowns. Currently, he is on pace to have 16 for the year.
This season, Murray at home has carried the ball 105 times for 531 yards, four scores, and averaged 5.06 on the ground compared to 82 carries, 382 yards, three touchdowns, and a 4.66 YPC on the road.
With a touchdown Monday night, Murray would untie himself from Troy Hambrick’s two rushing touchdowns and join Marion Barber for 12th-most rushing touchdowns against Washington since 1998.
In his three career Monday Night Football games, Murray has rushed 31 times for 176 yards. In only his first two such games, Emmitt Smith had 38 carries for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
Through seven games last season, Murray had 95 carries for 459 yards and three touchdowns.
Last year, Murray’s 10-yard touchdown catch joined him with Dan Reeves, Drew Pearson, Tony Hill, Michael Irvin, Raghib Ismail, Patrick Crayton, and Martellus Bennett as the only Cowboys to have caught game-winning touchdown passes against Washington.
The Dallas Cowboys are 6-16 on ESPN.
The Washington Redskins are 11-17-1 on ESPN.
The NFL began playing games on cable television on 11/8/1987 when the New England Patriots played the New York Giants on ESPN Sunday Night Football. The Dallas Cowboys are 14-18 on cable television. Here is the breakdown by network:
NFL Network: 5-2
The Cowboys were 2-12 on ESPN Sunday Night Football. Since Monday Night Football found a home on ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys have gone 4-4.
KTXD will simulcast the game, and are the third Metroplex station to do so since 1987. Here is a list of the other stations that have simulcast Cowboys cable games and the Cowboys’ records:
KXAS (1987-90): 1-2
KTXA (1991-12): 13-15
KTXD (2013-present): 0-1
The 11/13/88 ESPN Sunday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys was blacked out in Dallas-Fort Worth, and probably for good reason. The Vikings handed the Cowboys their largest margin of defeat on ESPN with a 43-3 drumming.
Going back to 2000, the Dallas Cowboys have only had three rushers go over 100 yards in an ESPN telecast: Troy Hambrick (2001), Julius Jones (2004), and Felix Jones (2011).
Dallas Cowboy Victor Butler recorded the most sacks in an ESPN game with two, while DeMarcus Ware’s 7.5 sacks is the most for a career on ESPN.
Bill Parcells holds the distinction as being the only NFL head coach to have coached on ESPN Sunday Night Football and ESPN Monday Night Football in the same calendar year (1/1/06 and 10/23/06)
All three of the Dallas Cowboys’ African-American quarterbacks started on ESPN Sunday Night Football.
On ESPN Monday Night Football, the Dallas Cowboys have worn only their white jerseys. However, they had occasions to wear their “cursed blues” on ESPN Sunday Night Football. Here’s their record in their blue and white jerseys:
The Dallas Cowboys are 3-0 against the Washington Redskins on ESPN telecasts (1989, 1998, 2011).
The Dallas Cowboys have played on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on ESPN.
For ESPN telecasts since 1987, September is the most-played month for the Cowboys, who hold a 3-3 record. Here is the Cowboys’ record in the other months in which they have played on ESPN:
On ESPN telecasts, the Dallas Cowboys are 0-2 when surrendering 20 points, yet are 1-1 when only scoring 13.
The Cowboys have been on both sides of one-point contests on ESPN. The first was a 31-32 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on 9/10/00, while their victory was the 25-24 thriller in Buffalo on 10/8/07.
Only three current Cowboys have played on both of ESPN’s telecasts: Jason Witten, L.P. Ladouceur, and Tony Romo (holder).
Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips are the only two Cowboys head coaches to have coached against their former teams on ESPN telecasts (Parcells: Patriots in ’03 and Giants in ’06; Phillips: Bills in ’07). Only Wade Phillips defeated his former team.
Another quoted statistic going into this game is how the Cowboys have the second-most Monday Night Football appearances with 75. The Dolphins have 80. The reality behind that statistic is in 2006 the NFL moved its marquee game from Monday Night Football to Sunday Night Football. The truth is the Dolphins have had 11 MNF appearances since 2006 versus the Cowboys’ 8. However, since 2006, the Cowboys have had 29 SNF appearances versus the Dolphins’ 2. So, actually, the correct way to look at this statistic is the Cowboys lead the league with 97 marquee game appearances versus the Dolphins’ 84.
Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will be calling the action for ESPN. Here’s the breakdown of Cowboys games:
Mike Tirico – 4-4
Jon Gruden – 2-3
This week’s referee is Tony Corrente, who last refereed Dallas’ 2013 season opener against the Giants. Since the year 1999, Corrente has refereed nine games with the Cowboys, who have posted a 4-5 record:
2000 – MIN, 15-27 – L
2001 — @SEA, 3-29 — L
2004 — NO, 13-27 — L
2005 — Rams, 10-20 — L
2006 — WAS, 27-10 — W
2009 — CAR, 21-7 — W
2010 — @WAS, 7-13 — L
2010 — @PHI, 14-13 — W
2013 – NYG, 36-31 – W
The Dallas Cowboys have only ever had fewer penalties than their opponent 3/9 times under Tony Corrente:
2000 — MIN: 4/21; DAL: 5/45
2001 — SEA: 0/0; DAL: 6/70
2004 — NO: 9/136; DAL: 11/76
2005 — Rams: 7/40; DAL: 10/78
2006 — WAS: 11/117; DAL: 9/90
2009 — CAR: 6/60; DAL: 9/80
2010 — WAS: 5/42; DAL: 12/81
2010 — PHI: 4/40; DAL: 6/45
2013 – NYG: 6/52; DAL: 5/40
Corrente ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of home team winning percentage:
Ed Hochuli: .833
Bill Vinovich: .714
Jerome Boger: .714
Walt Anderson: .714
Clete Blakeman: .667
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Gene Steratore: .667
Pete Morelli: .667
Tony Corrente: .667
John Parry: .600
Carl Cheffers: .583
Brad Allen: .500
Bill Leavy: .500
Jeff Triplette: .500
Walt Coleman: .333
Terry McAulay: .333
Though still .667, Corrente’s home team penalty battle percentage is near the top:
Brad Allen: 1.000
Terry McAulay: 1.000
Jerome Boger: .714
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Tony Corrente: .667
Jeff Triplette: .667
Walt Anderson: .571
Bill Vinovich: .571
Pete Morelli: .500
Gene Steratore: .500
Ed Hochuli: .500
Walt Coleman: .333
Carl Cheffers: .286
John Parry: .200
Clete Blakeman: .167
Bill Leavy: .000
Washington is 3-8 when Corrente referees their games:
1999 – Cardinals, 28-3 – W
2005 – @KC, 21-28 – L
2006 – @DAL, 10-27 – L
2007 – BUF, 16-17 – L
2008 – NYG, 7-23 – L
2009 – @KC, 6-14 – L
2010 – DAL, 13-7 – W
2011 – MIN, 26-33 – L
2012 – MIN, 38-26 – W
2013 – @GB, 20-38 – L
2014 – @PHI, 34-37 – L
Washington has only had fewer penalties than their opponents 3/11 times under Corrente:
1999 – Cardinals: 5/42; WAS: 12/97
2005 – KC: 4/24; WAS: 5/54
2006 – DAL: 9/90; WAS: 11/117
2007 – BUF: 8/101; WAS: 4/34
2008 – NYG: 3/19; WAS: 7/47
2009 – KC: 4/30; WAS: 7/63
2010 – DAL: 12/81; WAS: 5/42
2011 – MIN: 4/40; WAS: 8/64
2012 – MIN: 5/29; WAS: 7/66
2013 – GB: 7/78; WAS: 4/40
2014 – PHI: 9/70; WAS: 10/131
This season, Corrente has called 12 offensive holding penalties.
When Corrente has officiated Cowboys games, the Cowboys are 0/2 on coaches challenges compared to opponents being 1/1. However, while Replay Assistant is also 0/2, both of those calls benefited Dallas.
With Washington, Corrente has overturned 3/5 of their challenges compared to 3/3 for their opponents. Replay Assistant is 2/4 with two of those calls benefiting Washington.
Dan Snyder has had more head coaches (seven) in his 15 years of ownership than the 30 years prior to his takeover 1999.
Jay Gruden was head coach or the Orlando Predators in the Arena Football League from 1998-01 and then 2004-08. In the 2006 Eastern Conference championship, Gruden’s Predators defeated the Dallas Desperados 45-28. The Desperados were owned by Jerry Jones and coached by Will McClay.
Jim Haslett shares the distinction with Pat Peppler and Joe Vitt as being the only interim head coaches to have beaten the Dallas Cowboys. In 2008, Haslett’s Rams crushed the Cowboys 34-14.
Alfred Morris has the second-most rushing touchdowns since 2012 with 23. Only Marshawn Lynch has more with 26.
Since 2000, Jason Witten has logged 99 catches against Washington, which are the most in that span. Second closest is ex-Giants receiver Amani Toomer with 71.
Witten’s 1,100 yards since 2000 are also the most in that span against Washington.
With a touchdown catch Monday night, Witten would tie Terrell Owens and Anquan Boldin with seven touchdowns against Washington, the most since 2000.
Gavin Escobar’s three touchdowns are the most for a Cowboys tight end not named Jason Witten since 2008 when rookie Martellus Bennett hauled in four for the year.
Escobar’s five touchdowns are the second-most for tight ends in the 2013 draft class behind Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz with six.
Dez Bryant’s 85-yard touchdown catch against Washington on Thanksgiving 2012 was the third-longest Cowboys play from scrimmage since 1998.
Through seven games, Dez has 45 catches (career best) for 590 yards (career best) and four touchdowns (second-best; 2011).
Through his first two career games against Washington, Dez amassed 12 catches for 119 yards. Last year, in Terrance Williams’ two such games, he caught six passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Center Travis Frederick and guard Ron Leary are tied for third-most holding penalties in the league with three apiece.
Left tackle Tyron Smith has three holding penalties, which are one more than he had in 2012 and 2013. His career high is four (2011).
Last season, through seven games, the Cowboys defense had given up 390 or more yards passing on three occasions. This year, they have yet to give up 350 yards passing.
Also through seven games last year, the defense had given up 155 points. So far, the defense has only surrendered 147 points.
In 2013, through seven games, the defense had forced 15 takeaways. In 2014, through seven games, the defense has only come up with 12.
For the past three games, the Cowboys have yet to record a sack. In 2013, there were only three games all season where the defense went without a sack.
Dan Bailey and Tim Seder (2000-01) are the only Cowboys kickers who have single-handedly defeated Washington in a game.
This season, opponents are responsible for eight offensive pre-snap penalties in AT&T Stadium. This is more than in notoriously loud venues like CenturyLink Field and Arrowhead Stadium combined (five).
The Cowboys average two holding penalties per game, the most in the NFL.
The Cowboys are 4-7 against Texas High School quarterbacks in AT&T Stadium.
University of Texas quarterbacks are 4-3 against the Dallas Cowboys with a 3-1 record in Dallas.
The only Cowboys owner who had a losing record against the Redskins was H.R. “Bum” Bright with a 4-6 record. All Washington owners since 1960 (Marshall, Williams, Cooke, Snyder) have had a losing record against Dallas.
10/27 is a special date for the Dallas Cowboys franchise, for it was on this date in 2002 that Emmitt Smith became the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, surpassing Walter Payton’s 16,726-yard mark. However, the Cowboys are an even 4-4 on that date:
1963 – @PIT, 21-27 – L
1969 – NYG, 25-3 – W
1974 – @NYG, 21-7 – W
1985 – ATL, 24-10 – W
1991 – @DET, 10-34 – L
1996 – @MIA, 29-10 – W
2002 – SEA, 14-17 – L
2013 – DET, 30-31 – L
The Dallas Cowboys have only one birthday to celebrate in franchise history: Peerless Price, wide receiver in 2005, was born on 10/27/76.
For the first time this season, the Dallas Cowboys also have a death to remember in franchise history: Fred Whittingham, linebacker in 1969, who died on 10/27/03 at the age of 64 from back surgery complications.