*Rookie Zack Martin is among the Cowboys who sit atop Pro Bowl voting. He leads all NFL guards in the selection process.
“We’re focusing on New York,'' Martin said, "and if it really doesn’t have anything to do with that then we’re not worried about it.''
Running back DeMarco Murray, center Travis Frederick, tackle Tyron Smith and kicker Dan Bailey also lead in votes at their positions.
*Speaking of DeMarco: CowboysHQ takes you inside the team's contract talks with him, with news that includes a shift in policy, some specific dollars and sense, and out feel where the conversation involving the NFL's leading rusher will land. Premium stuff ... and a great time to take our free 7-day trial and a sign-up for just pennies a day!
*Tony Romo and Tyler Patmon were the only two Cowboys who didn't practice on Wednesday. With Romo, it's just a matter of continuing a "rhythm'' that's worked, coach Jason Garrett said.
“Tony seems to be feeling well,” Garrett said. “We feel like given the circumstances and how we’ve done things all year long it seems like the right thing to do right now to keep him in that same rhythm.''
Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford and linebacker Rolando McClain were among the recently sidelined who participated in Wednesday's work.
*CowboysHQ asked Bruce Carter about his presence on what we termed "Contract Row,'' where his locker is bunched next to the stalls belonging to Dez, DeMarco and Harris.
“I don’t think we really talk about it, but I think it’s one of those things where it’s already understood,” Carter said. “Me, Dwayne and DeMarco, and you can even throw Dez in there, there’s a bunch of us who are in our last year –- in a contract year -– but for all of us, we’ve just got to go out there and play football,'' Carter said. "We really don’t want to think about any individual things like that right now. We just want to focus on the Giants.”
Carter made it clear he wishes to remain a Cowboy.
“I love it here,” Carter said. “It’s been a great organization, since Day 1 when I got the first call when I was getting drafted. So it’ll be a nice place to stay. But it is a business, so we’ll just see how it goes.”
The only thing taking away from Carter's football focus at the moment? He's trying to encourage teammates to join him in growing a beard for "Mowvember.'' Problem is, he can't even get his own family members to endorse the idea. His mom, Bruce admits, hates his beard.
Since 39/42 teams that have reached 8-3 have made the postseason with 15/39 ultimately securing a first round bye.
Comparatively, since 2000, 48/73 teams that were 7-4 made the playoffs with only 3/48 securing a first round bye. The last team to do so was the 2006 New Orleans Saints, who secured a first round bye with a 10-6 record.
The Cowboys are 11-3 in Week 12 Sunday games (since Week 12 has included Thanksgiving some years) since 1989 with a 4-3 record on the road.
The Dallas Cowboys are 14-11 against the New York Giants in November.
The Dallas Cowboys are 27-23-1 against the New York Giants on the road. Here is the record broken down by venue:
Yankee Stadium: 7-3-1
Yale Bowl: 2-0
Shea Stadium: 1-0
Giants Stadium: 14-19
MetLife Stadium: 3-1
The Cowboys are 3-1 in MetLife Stadium. In Giants Stadium, the Cowboys were 4-0, tying their best four-game start in an NFC East opponent’s new digs.
The Cowboys have been 7-3 only 11 previous times in team history. 10/11 of those times they have made the playoffs. The only instance where they did not was 2005.
When the Cowboys have been 7-3, 7/11 times they advanced to 8-3.
The New York Giants have been 3-7 only seven other times in club history. The best they have improved is to 9-7, which culminated with a Christmas Eve win over the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. The worst the Giants have finished is 5-11 the very next season.
The last time the Giants had the 20th or worse ranked offense and defense in terms of yards was 2003, the last year of Jim Fassel’s coaching tenure and the year before Tom Coughlin was hired.
Last week’s five turnovers were the most the Giants gave away since 12/15/13 when hosting Seattle, who shut New York out 23-0.
Jason Garrett has completed a series sweep 4/6 times since taking over as the Cowboys head coach in 2010.
A sweep against the Giants would be only Garrett’s second, but would tie the most number of sweeps he has against a divisional opponent. The other team is Washington.
In completing a sweep on the road, Garrett has done so 3/3 times.
Garrett’s four sweeps in the NFC East through 66 regular season games is tied with third-best in franchise history:
Barry Switzer: 6
Chan Gailey: 5
Bill Parcells: 4
Jason Garrett: 4
Dave Campo: 2
Tom Landry: 0
Garrett is 8-3 in the NFC East on the road compared to 6-7 at home.
In Tom Coughlin’s NFL career, he has staved off a series sweep 11/22 times.
Coughlin is 3-7 for only the third time in his head coaching career, and is 1/14 Super Bowl-winning head coaches to later post a 3-7 record.
Coughlin is 16-14 against the NFC East at home.
In the past two seasons, Coughlin has had a 31st-ranked defense in terms of yards. In all his time with Jacksonville, Coughlin’s defenses never ranked the second-worst in the league.
The Giants’ 1,003 rushing yards through 10 games is the fourth-lowest total in Coughlin’s career. The only team that had fewer yards that made the postseason were the 2011 Giants.
Coughlin is 11-14 on Sunday Night Football, including Thursday kickoff specials and Super Bowls.
Tony Romo has a 104.2 passer rating in MetLife Stadium through four games, which also includes the Week 1, 2011 contest against the Jets. It is the highest for any opposing quarterback who has played a minimum of two games there.
Romo is one of five quarterbacks to have a game-winning drive in MetLife Stadium, whether against the Giants or Jets. The other four are Aaron Rodgers, Charlie Whitehurst, Ben Roethlisberger, and Vince Young.
Romo has a 111.1 passer rating in the fourth quarter in MetLife Stadium against the Giants.
Romo has also tossed the most fourth quarter touchdown passes in MetLife Stadium against the Giants with two.
Romo’s 14 touchdowns thrown on the road against the Giants are the most in Cowboys history, and are also second-most in Giants history. Only Rams and Browns quarterback Frank Ryan has tossed more on the road in New York (17).
Romo is 4-3 on the road against the Giants. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys quarterbacks who took the team to the postseason:
Roger Staubach: 8-0
Quincy Carter: 1-0
Craig Morton: 4-1
Danny White: 7-4
Don Meredith: 3-2
Tony Romo: 4-3
Troy Aikman: 3-8
In the same category, Romo also holds the highest passer rating with 102.9. Staubach places second at 99.3.
The last interception Romo threw was against the Giants earlier this year.
In the past seven games against the Giants, Romo has thrown at least two touchdowns. The only time he didn’t was on 10/24/12, only throwing for one. However, he did rush for a touchdown.
Romo has three career rushing touchdowns against the Giants, which is second to only Michael Vick for the most by a quarterback against New York since 2006.
Romo’s highest number of completions in a single-game came against New York on 12/06/09 when he completed 41 passes.
A win Sunday night would give Romo five regular season wins against the Giants, which he already has against Washington and Philadelphia.
The last time Romo only had one 300-yard game this late into November was in 2006 when he replaced Drew Bledsoe six games.
Manning’s first ever win against the NFC East was a 28-24 win at home against the Dallas Cowboys on 1/2/2005.
Much is made of how Eli Manning has a 4-2 record in AT&T Stadium, including a 4-0 record to start off the venue. However, Manning is 5-5 against the Cowboys in both Giants Stadium and MetLife Stadium.
Only Philadelphia has more wins against Manning at home with seven.
Eli’s 3-7 record through 10 games is the first time since Peyton’s rookie year in 1998 that a Manning has had three or fewer wins to show through 10 games.
Eli’s 11 picks so far are the fourth-most interceptions he’s thrown through 10 games.
Last week, Eli threw five interceptions. He is 0-2 when this happens compared to Tony Romo who is 1-1.
The last time Eli had a rushing touchdown was in 2011 in a Week 1 loss in Washington.
Murray’s 1,233 rushing yards is currently the 13th-best single-season totals in franchise history.
Murray’s 123.3 yards per game average, if held until the end of the season, would be the best single-season total in franchise history.
Through the past two games, DeMarco Murray has not lost a fumble, tying his longest streak of the season.
Murray’s 5.24 yards per carry is eighth-best for a running back against the Giants in their team history.
Murray’s 5.24 yards per carry is also the second-best against the Giants for a starting running back in Cowboys history. Only Amos Marsh’s 6.13 yards per carry is higher.
Linebacker Jacquian Williams has tackled Murray 11 times, the most for a New York Giant defender.
Murray’s 128 rushing yards in the teams’ 10/19 meeting earlier this season was the ninth-best performance against the Giants in Cowboys history.
Against the Giants on Opening Day 2013, Murray caught eight receptions for 39 yards, which was the most number of catches in his career. It was the third-most by a running back against the Giants in team history.
Murray has not gone over 20 carries for three straight weeks with Dallas having a 1-2 record. The last time this happened was from Weeks 4 to 14 of 2013, and they had a 4-5 mark.
Murray has not scored a rushing touchdown in the past three games. The last time this happened was from Week 16 of 2012 to Week 2 of 2013.
In the history of Sunday Night Football, there have only been five three-win teams to appear in Week 10 and beyond. The three-win teams are 1-4 with the lone win being the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles, who defeated the New York Giants 17-10 in MetLife Stadium.
Visiting teams are 4-3 in MetLife Stadium on NBC-televised games with division opponents of the Giants and Jets being 4-1. The lone loss was on 1/1/2012 in the Cowboys’ first of three Week 17 “win and get in” games.
In NFC East games on Sunday Night Football, including NFL Specials, the visiting team is 15-16 with the Cowboys holding a 5-4 record as the visiting team.
Cowboys at Giants hasn’t either been a prime time game or earned anything other than FOX’s A-team since 12/15/02 when Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger called the game for FOX.
This week’s referee is Bill Vinovich, whose last Cowboys game was last year’s Week 8 31-30 last-second loss in Detroit. Vinovich has been a full time referee since 2004, though he retired from 2007-11 due to a heart condition. In the interim, he served as Ed Hochuli’s replay official. Vinovich returned to refereeing in 2012, and the Cowboys are 4-2 when he officiates their games. Here are the results:
2004 – @CIN, 3-26 – L
2004 – WAS, 13-10 – W
2005 – PHI, 33-10 – W
2006 – Colts, 21-14 – W
2012 – @CIN, 20-19 – W
2013 – @DET, 30-31 – L
The Dallas Cowboys have won the penalty battle 4/6 times with Bill Vinovich:
2004 – CIN: 4/20; DAL: 7/46
2004 – WAS: 8/69; DAL: 1/13
2005 – PHI: 8/54; DAL: 5/48
2006 – Colts: 5/35; DAL: 7/53
2012 – CIN: 8/70; DAL: 6/49
2013 – DET: 8/61; DAL: 2/31
Vinovich is tied with Jerome Boger for having the fifth-highest home team winning percentage in the NFL:
Ed Hochuli: .778
Walt Anderson: .700
Gene Steratore: .700
Tony Corrente: .667
Bill Vinovich: .600
Jerome Boger: .600
Bill Leavy: .556
Jeff Triplette: .556
Pete Morelli: .556
Clete Blakeman: .556
Terry McAulay: .556
Craig Wrolstad: .500
Brad Allen: .500
Carl Cheffers: .500
Walt Coleman: .444
John Parry: .444
Vinovich’s percentage of the home team winning the penalty battle is just below the league average:
Terry McAulay: .889
Tony Corrente: .889
Brad Allen: .800
Jerome Boger: .800
Jeff Triplette: .778
Walt Anderson: .700
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Walt Coleman: .667
Bill Vinovich: .600
Carl Cheffers: .450
Pete Morelli: .444
Ed Hochuli: .333
Gene Steratore: .300
Clete Blakeman: .222
John Parry: .222
Bill Leavy: .222
The Giants are 2-0 when Vinovich referees their games:
2006 – HTX, 14-10 – W
2013 – WAS, 20-6 – W
Similarly, the Giants have won the penalty battle 2/2 times under Vinovich:
2006 – HTX: 8/65; NYG: 6/53
2013 – WAS: 3/30; NYG: 3/20
Under Vinovich, the Cowboys have won 1/3 of their coaches challenges compared to their opponents winning 2/5 coaches challenges. Additionally, Replay Assistant is 1/4 on challenges with only one of those rulings benefiting the Cowboys.
The Giants are 1/2 on coaches challenges under Vinovich with opponents being 0/1. Replay Assistant is 0/1 on challenges with that lone call benefiting the Giants.
Bill Vinovich has refereed two playoff games in his career as a referee. He refereed the 2006 AFC Wildcard game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets, and last year’s 2012 AFC Divisional game between the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens.
This is the third time in Perry Fewell’s career as a defensive coordinator he’s had the second-worst defense in terms of yards. (’07 Buffalo, ’12 NYG, ’14 NYG)
Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins’ two sacks last year against the Cowboys on 11/24/13 were the sixth-most single-game sacks against Dallas in Giants history.
Stevie Brown’s two interceptions on 10/24/12 were the second-most picks a Giants defender has had against the Cowboys.
Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle are the only active Giants who have picked Tony Romo off the most, each having two picks apiece.
The Cowboys are leading the league with 18 offensive holding penalties. Tied for fourth-most are the Giants with 15.
The Cowboys are tied for fifth-fewest false starts in the NFL with nine with only two on the road, which is second-fewest in the league.
The Giants defense has only been called for two defensive pass interferences this year, tied for second-fewest in the NFL. They have also been the beneficiary of eight defensive pass interference calls, ranking third-most in the NFL.
Dallas has been the beneficiary of only two defensive holding calls all year, ranking the lowest in the NFL.
The Giants have been called for four illegal contact penalties, tying them for third-most in the league.
The Cowboys and Giants defenses are only 1/7 in the NFL that have yet to earn a roughing the passer penalty.
The Cowboys defense has been called for defensive 12 men once this year while the Giants have not.
The Dallas defense has yet to be called for an offside penalty this year.
The Giants offense has not had a defense commit offsides against them all season.
Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham is ninth in his draft class in catches (31), and eighth in both yards (463) and touchdowns (3).
Ex-LSU teammate Jarvis Landry has more catches than Beckham (42) and the same number of touchdowns.
Dez Bryant already has tied his most number of touchdowns through 10 games with eight.
The only time Bryant has scored a touchdown in Week 12 was on Thanksgiving 2012 against Washington when he had two.
Through 10 games, Bryant has more 150-yards receiving games in his career than he had in the 59 previous.
A win Sunday night would bring Bryant’s career win total to an even 35-35.
The top three highest yards per reception games Bryant has had in his career has come against New York. The highest came on 12/11/11 when he had 50 yards per reception, and the third-highest came on 11/14/10 when he had 34.7 yards per reception.
Bryant has not scored a receiving touchdown against the Giants since 12/11/11.
Against Jacksonville, Terrance Williams was held without a catch. The last time this happened was Week 3 in 2013 against the St. Louis Rams.
Williams’ last touchdown was caught against the Giants earlier this season.
Williams is on a three-game streak without a touchdown catch, tying the second-longest drought of his career.
Jason Witten has the fifth-most receiving yards in Cowboys history against the Giants on the road with 471.
Witten’s 66 targets on the road against the Giants are the most in Cowboys history, as are his 44 receptions, which also are the most any NFL player has had against New York since 1960.
Sunday marks the six years since Dallas last scored a safety. In that span, the Giants have scored two against the Cowboys, both coming against Tony Romo.
MetLife Stadium is a venue where Cowboys special teams weapon Dan Bailey is actually human. Among kickers who have kicked in at least two games there against the Giants, Bailey is 2/3, which is tied with Green Bay’s Mason Crosby for the worst make percentage.
Bailey has nailed the most extra points against the Giants in MetLife Stadium with 8.
With 484 attempts, 2,027 yards, and 21 touchdowns, Emmitt Smith has the most of each category against the New York Giants in their team history.
The Dallas Cowboys are 8-6 on 11/23. Here are the results:
1967 – Cardinals, 46-21 – W
1969 – @Rams, 23-24 – L
1972 – SF, 10-31 – L
1975 – PHI, 27-17 – W
1978 – WAS, 38-10 – W
1980 – WAS, 14-10 – W
1986 – @WAS, 14-41 – L
1989 – PHI, 0-27 – L
1995 – KC, 24-12 – W
1997 – @GB, 17-45 – L
2000 – MIN, 15-27 – L
2003 – CAR, 24-20 – W
2006 – TB, 38-10 – W
2008 – SF, 35-22 – W
The Dallas Cowboys have four birthdays to celebrate on 11/23:
Mike Lucky, TE, 1999-2002 – 11/23/1975
Tony Parrish, S, 2006 – 11/23/1975
Scott Shanle, LB, 2004-2005 – 11/23/1979
Micah Pellerin, CB, 2013-present – 11/23/1988
The Dallas Cowboys also have a death to remember this Sunday. George Peoples played running back for the team in 1982. Peoples only played eight games for the Cowboys as a rookie with his biggest performance coming against the Cleveland Browns on Thanksgiving. Peoples rushed seven times for 22 yards in a 31-14 victory. He died on 11/23/2003 at the age of 43 from a drug overdose.