SEATTLE SEAHAWKS FACTS
The Cowboys are 2-4 for just the eighth time in team history. None of the previous seven teams made the playoffs, though the 1990 Cowboys were a win away from the postseason.
The Seahawks are 3-4 for the eighth time in club history. None of those teams made the playoffs, though the 1978 Seahawks were a win away from the playoffs.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last amended, 14/168 teams that started 2-4 made the playoffs. 7/12 of those teams were division winners.
Since 1990, 29/153 teams that started 3-4 made the playoffs.
In club history, the Cowboys have never endured a four-game losing streak and made the playoffs in the same season.
The last NFC East winner to endure a four-game losing streak and make the postseason were the 2011 New York Giants, who fell to 6-6 before snapping their streak against the Cowboys on Dec. 11, 2011 with a 37-34 win. This is the lone instance in the 45 previous seasons of the NFC East of such a case happening.
Since 2002, when NFL divisions were last realigned, 6/104 of the division winners endured four-game losing streaks or worse: ’02 Jets, ’02 Raiders, ’04 Packers, ’11 Giants, ’13 Packers, and ’14 Panthers. It is worth noting the ’13 Packers had a tie amid their five games without a win.
Seattle is coming off of a win over San Francisco on Thursday Night Football. Since 2012, when the package became a full-season affair, teams coming off a Thursday game are 40-48.
In late afternoon road games in the Central Time Zone, the Seahawks are 3-7, though their last such game was a 24-7 victory in St. Louis.
The Cowboys are 6-6 in late afternoon games at home against teams in the Pacific Time Zone.
Dallas is 6-2 against Seattle at home. Here are the results broken down by venue:
Texas Stadium: 4-2
AT&T Stadium: 2-0
Seattle has not won in Dallas since Oct. 27, 2002 when they beat the Cowboys 17-14.
Dallas is 5-1 against Seattle in the month of November.
Seattle is 1/6 teams the Cowboys have never beaten in the postseason. The other teams are the Colts, Redskins, Panthers, Cardinals, and Giants.
MATT CASSEL FACTS
Cassel is 2-0 as a starter against the Seahawks in his career, though he did relieve Christian Ponder amid Seattle’s 40-21 thrashing of the Vikings. On average, Cassel 18/30 for 193 yards, two touchdowns, and a sack with a 96.6 passer rating.
Cassel is looking for his first win as a Cowboys quarterback. Thus far, Cassel is 0-1 as the Dallas starter. Here is how he compares to other goose eggs in club history:
Brandon Weeden: 0-4
John Roach: 0-4
Ryan Leaf: 0-3
Wade Wilson: 0-1
Kyle Orton: 0-1
Bernie Kosar: 0-1
Don Heinrich: 0-1
Babe Laufenberg: 0-1
Reggie Collier: 0-1
Matt Cassel: 0-1
A win Sunday would put Cassel in the category with Danny White, Troy Aikman, and Vinny Testaverde to beat the Seahawks in their first encounter as the Cowboys quarterback.
Cassel had the 20th multi-interception game of his career last week against New York. In starts afterwards, Cassel is 4-13 with a 74.4 passer rating. On average, he goes 20/33 for 210 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Since 2008, Cassel has had 20 multi-interception games through 71 games started. By comparison, Romo has had 18 through 99 games in the same span.
The only two-point conversion of Cassel’s career came against the Seahawks on Dec. 7, 2008. Cassel threw a pass to Patriots receiver Wes Welker to beat Seattle 24-21.
RUSSELL WILSON FACTS
Wilson has been sacked 31 times through seven games in 2015. Here are the number of sacks the Seahawks allowed from 2012-14:
Last year, the Cowboys defense held Wilson to 14/28 for 126 yards and an interception while also limiting him to two carries for 12 yards and a touchdown. It was only 1/5 times in his career he was 0-1 or greater in his TD-INT ratio.
Wilson has averaged 29 passing attempts this season compared to his 2012-14 average of 26. Seattle is 11-8 when Wilson attempts 29 or more passes versus 25-5 when he attempts 26 or fewer.
Wilson has the second-fewest rushing yards through seven games than he has in his previous three seasons at 271 yards, though his 52 carries are the second-most through seven games.
Last year, Wilson had a 94.8 passer rating inside the Red Zone. This year, through seven games, Wilson has a 60.1 passer rating.
With a loss last year in Super Bowl XLIX, Wilson joined Roger Staubach, Joe Theismann, and Brett Favre as the only defending Super Bowl champions to lose the Super Bowl the following year.
PETE CARROLL FACTS
This is the first time in Carroll’s coaching career he has started off a season 3-4.
Carroll is 11-5 against the NFC East in his coaching career.
Pete Carroll has a 2-2 record against the Dallas Cowboys with his two wins coming at home. As head coach for Seattle, Carroll is 1-2. Here is how he compares to other Seattle coaches:
Mike Holmgren: 4-2
Chuck Knox: 1-1
Pete Carroll: 1-2
Tom Flores: 0-1
Jim Mora, Jr.: 0-1
Dennis Erickson: 0-1
Jack Patera: 0-2
The Seahawks are 7-4 against the NFC East since Pete Carroll took over in 2010. Half of those losses are to the Cowboys.
With a losing record, Carroll is 13-17 as an NFL head coach when he has a losing record.
Carroll is connected to Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson. When Carroll was in Minnesota from 1985-89, Wilson played quarterback for the Vikings.
Another Cowboys connection Carroll has is with Cowboys assistant offensive line coach Frank Pollack. From 1995-96, as Carroll was defensive coordinator in San Francisco, Pollack played on the 49ers’ offensive line.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Garrett has a 13-6 record in November with a 2-2 record without Tony Romo.
Garrett is 6-9 in late afternoon games at home.
Garrett is 6-5 against the NFC West with a 3-2 record at home.
Garrett is 5-2 at home with a losing record.
Garrett is 7-4 against ex-college coaches, here meaning head coaches whose last immediate post was in the collegiate ranks.
Garrett is 5-6 against Super Bowl-winning head coaches. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys coaches with applicable records (Dave Campo and Wade Phillips are ineligible):
Tom Landry: 5-9
Jason Garrett: 5-6
Jimmy Johnson: 2-4
Barry Switzer: 0-2
Bill Parcells: 0-1
Chan Gailey: 0-1
Jason Garrett is 2-1 against the Seattle Seahawks. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Tom Landry: 3-1
Wade Phillips: 2-0
Jason Garrett: 2-1
Jimmy Johnson: 1-0
Chan Gailey: 1-0
Bill Parcells: 1-2
Dave Campo: 0-2
With a four-game losing streak, Garrett has joined the ranks of Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Dave Campo, and Wade Phillips as the only head coaches to have endured a four-game losing streak or greater.
As a player, Garrett was never part of a Cowboys team that started 2-4, but he was part of the 1989 and 1990 Saints teams that started 2-4 as well as the 2003 Giants that also began 2-4.
The last time Garrett was two games under .500 was in 2012 when the Cowboys fell to 3-5. Dallas would go 5-1 in their next six games to hold an 8-6 record heading into the final two weeks of the season.
Despite having a 2-4 record, the Cowboys have managed to earn the FOX A-Team going on now their fourth straight game. The last time this happened was in 2010 when the Cowboys landed the A-team when FOX assigned their B-team for the fifth Cowboys game on FOX.
The Cowboys are 6-4 when Thom Brennaman calls their games.
Brennaman took over for Dick Stockton in 2009 as Joe Buck’s backup when Buck is calling MLB playoff games. Dallas has had the combo of Brennaman and Troy Aikman every season since and posting a 4-3 record.
The Seahawks are 12-10 when Aikman calls their games, including playoffs.
The Seahawks are 2-9 when Brennaman calls their games.
Sunday will be the fourth Cowboys Ring of Honor game FOX will broadcast. Dallas is 2-1 on FOX in such games. Here’s the breakdown by network:
This is the first Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor induction game Aikman will call. Dallas lost agonizingly 14-13 to Washington on Sept. 19, 2005 when Aikman was inducted along with Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith.
Aikman is not the first ex-Cowboys player to call a Ring of Honor game. That distinction belongs to Daryl Johnston, who called a Giants-Cowboys game on Oct. 10, 2004 on FOX alongside Dick Stockton and Tony Siragusa. The inductees that day were Rayfield Wright and Cliff Harris.
CARL CHEFFERS FACTS
This week’s referee is Carl Cheffers, whose last officiated Cowboys contest was the Sept. 22, 2013 Dallas win over St. Louis 31-7. Cheffers has only refereed four Cowboys games in his eight-year career as referee. Dallas is undefeated. Here are the results:
2009 – Raiders, 24-7 – W
2010 – @Texans, 27-13 – W
2010 – DET, 35-19 – W
2013 – Rams, 31-7 – W
When Carl Cheffers has refereed a Dallas Cowboys contest, the Cowboys have won the penalty battle in 2/4 of the contests:
2009 – Raiders: 7/70; DAL: 6/48
2010 – @Texans: 5/32; DAL: 8/49
2010 – DET: 10/76; DAL: 6/39
2013 – Rams: 5/41; DAL: 6/52
Cheffers’ .667 home team winning percentage in 2015 is tied for the fifth-best league-wide:
Bill Vinovich: 1.000
John Parry: .857
Walt Coleman: .833
Ed Hochuli: .833
Carl Cheffers: .667
Ron Torbert: .667
Jeff Triplette: .571
Jerome Boger: .571
Terry McAulay: .571
Pete Morelli: .500
Gene Steratore: .500
Tony Corrente: .400
Walt Anderson: .333
Brad Allen: .333
Clete Blakeman: .333
Craig Wrolstad: .333
John Hussey: .167
Cheffers is tied for fourth place for home teams having fewer penalties in 2015:
Brad Allen: .883
Craig Wrolstad: .833
Terry McAulay: .714
Carl Cheffers: .667
Jeff Triplette: .677
Clete Blakeman: .667
Bill Vinovich: .667
John Parry: .571
Pete Morelli: .500
Ed Hochuli: .500
Walt Anderson: .500
Jerome Boger: .426
Tony Corrente: .400
Gene Steratore: .333
Walt Coleman: .333
Ron Torbert: .333
John Hussey: .167
The Seahawks are 3-4 when Cheffers referees their games:
2008 – NE, 21-24 – L
2009 – Cardinals, 3-27 – L
2010 – @SF, 21-40 – L
2011 – @Rams, 24-7 – W
2012 – Cardinals, 58-0 – W
2013 – Titans, 20-13 – L
2015 – CHI, 26-0 – W
Seattle has had fewer penalties than their opponents 4/7 times:
2008 – NE: 1/15; SEA: 5/39
2009 – Cardinals: 7/76; SEA: 6/56
2010 – SF: 2/15; SEA: 8/75
2011 – Rams: 13/100; SEA: 5/50
2012 – Cardinals: 9/79; SEA: 10/97
2013 – Titans: 7/44; SEA: 6/65
2015 – CHI: 6/40; SEA: 5/41
Cheffers’ games average 5.2 sacks per game, which is the fifth-most through seven weeks:
Walt Anderson: 5.8
Ron Torbert: 5.5
Terry McAulay: 5.3
Jeff Triplette: 5.3
Carl Cheffers: 5.2
John Hussey: 5.2
Clete Blakeman: 5
Ed Hochuli: 4.7
Tony Corrente: 4.6
Walt Coleman: 4.3
John Parry: 4.3
Craig Wrolstad: 4.3
Gene Steratore: 4.2
Jerome Boger: 3.9
Pete Morelli: 3.8
Brad Allen: 3.2
Bill Vinovich: 3.2
Cheffers has the seventh-best average for offensive holding calls per game:
Jeff Triplette: 4.9
John Parry: 4.4
John Hussey: 4.3
Tony Corrente: 4.2
Jerome Boger: 4.1
Terry McAulay: 4.1
Carl Cheffers: 3.8
Pete Morelli: 3.8
Craig Wrolstad: 3.8
Walt Anderson: 3.7
Ed Hochuli: 3.2
Ron Torbert: 3.2
Walt Coleman: 2.8
Brad Allen: 2.5
Bill Vinovich: 2.5
Clete Blakeman: 2.3
Gene Steratore: 2.2
Neither the Cowboys nor their opponents have had to challenge Cheffers’ calls. However, Replay Assistant is 1/2 on its challenges with one of those benefiting the Cowboys.
The Seahawks and their opponents have had to challenge some of Cheffers’ calls. Seattle is 2/3 while their opponents are 0/2. Replay Assistant is 0/3 with only one of those calls benefiting the Seahawks.
It is worth noting that Carl Cheffers is responsible for one of the most comical referee gaffes in the past five years during the Cowboys-Texans contest on Sept. 26, 2010
DARREN WOODSON & RING OF HONOR FACTS
The Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor now includes 21 inductees. Among the 12 NFL teams founded in the 1960’s that have similar enshrinements, including AFL clubs, the Cowboys are tied with the Minnesota Vikings for having the fifth-fewest inductees. The Jets, Titans, Falcons, and Saints have fewer.
The Cowboys are 8-4 when inducting a player into the Ring of Honor.
The last time the Cowboys inducted players into the Ring of Honor was on Nov. 6, 2011 hosting the Seahawks. Dallas won 23-13.
The most common opponent for Dallas in a Ring of Honor induction are the New York Giants with three games. Seattle will tie Philadelphia and Arizona for the second-most common opponent during a Ring of Honor induction.
Darren Woodson is just the second safety inducted into the Ring of Honor and the third defensive back overall, though cornerback Mel Renfro did play free safety for the Cowboys in the 1966, 1967, and 1969 playoffs.
Woodson is the 18th inductee out of the Ring of Honor’s 21 not to have played high school or collegiate football in Texas.
Woodson became the Cowboys all-time leader in tackles against the Seahawks on Oct. 27, 2002. This milestone was overshadowed by teammate Emmitt Smith’s surpassing Walter Payton on the NFL’s all-time leading rusher list.
One of Woodson’s best games was in a Ring of Honor game on Oct. 9, 1994 against the Arizona Cardinals. Before halftime when Tony Dorsett and Randy White would be inducted, Woodson had already picked of Cardinals quarterback Jay Schroeder twice. Woodson would finish the game with five tackles, two interceptions, and one pass defended.
Woodson’s teams were 3-1 in Ring of Honor games.
Woodson’s induction is the 11/15 instance of players on the Cowboys current roster have played with the Ring of Honor inductee. Romo and Witten were Woodson’s teammates on the 2003 Cowboys.
The Cowboys have not recorded a takeaway in the past four games, a new franchise record. The last team to do that were the 2014 New York Jets, who finished 4-12.
Rod Marinelli’s previous high for most games without a takeaway was two. It is now four games and counting.
The Seahawks failed to record a takeaway against San Francisco in their 20-3 win. The last time Seattle had a two-game takeaway drought was in 2011 from Week One to Week Two.
The Cowboys have 13 sacks through six games, tied with Houston and Washington for the 12th-fewest in the league. However, the club only had seven through six games last season.
Over the past three NFL weeks, the Cowboys have recorded seven sacks, tied for 10th-most in that span. Dallas was on a bye in Week Six.
The Seahawks have 19 sacks through seven games, tied with 2012 as the third-most in the first seven games of a season since 2010.
While linebacker Chris Clemons and defensive end Michael Bennett’s seven and 6.5 sacks respectively are impressive, they don’t even crack the top-10 for most sacks through seven games in Seahawks history. The top spot belongs to defensive end Michael Sinclair who notched nine en route to a 16.5-sack season in 1998.
Marinelli’s defenses in Dallas and Chicago have only allowed 11 running backs to gain 100 yards or more. When that happens, Marinelli’s defenses are 4-7.
Since 2010, the Seahawks defense is 5-9 when they allow a 100-yard rusher.
Since 2010, Seattle is 6-6 when their defense allows a 300-yard passer.
Marinelli’s defenses are 5-1 when surrendering 300 yards passing. Despite being on a four-game losing streak and holding a 2-4 record, Drew Brees is the only quarterback this season to pass for 300 or more yards with 359 and it took him an extra period to reach that figure.
Since 2010, the Seahawks are 11-12 when they allow a receiver to gain more than 100 yards through the air.
When Marinelli’s defenses allow a receiver to gain 100 yards or more receiving, the team is 3-4.
Delanie Walker, Jermichael Finley, and Jason Witten are the only tight ends to have 100-yard games against Marinelli’s defenses with the Bears and Cowboys. His teams were 3-0.
Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham has 31 catches for 375 yards and two touchdowns. Through the first seven games of a season, the catches are the third-lowest as are the yards while the touchdowns are second-lowest.
Against Dallas, Graham has helped his teams to a 3-1 record. On average, he catches six catches for 64 yards. Curiously, the lone touchdown Graham caught was in the Saints’ 38-17 loss to the Cowboys.
Dez Bryant has only returned from an injury within a season once: 2011. Bryant missed Week Two at San Francisco with a quadriceps strain. In Week Three against Washington on Monday Night Football, in his first game back from injury, Bryant caught four passes for 63 yards, including a 30-yard reception on third-and-21 late in the fourth quarter to extend the game-winning drive.
Bryant has helped the Cowboys to a 2-1 record over the Seahawks in his career. On average, with all games coming in the Pete Carroll era, Bryant catches four passes for 52 yards. He has yet to score a touchdown against Seattle.
Since 2010, Jason Witten averages three catches for 51 yards against the Seahawks.
Witten has had 20 games of 100 receiving yards or more. One of them came against Seattle on Nov. 27, 2008 when he caught nine passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Cowboys running back Darren McFadden has played two career games against Seattle, aiding his teams to a 1-1 mark and a 3.9 yards per carry. On average, McFadden rushes 17 times for 66 yards.
In his career, McFadden has only had 14 games surpassing the century mark in rushing. One of those games occurred against Seattle on Oct. 31, 2010 when he ran the ball 21 times for 111 yards en route to a 33-3 Raiders win.
McFadden has only carried the ball 20 or more times in 10 games in his career. One of those was in the same 2010 game against the Seahawks.
Marshawn Lynch is averaging 3.7 yards per carry, the lowest total since 2011 when he averaged 3.6 yards per carry through the first seven games.
Against Dallas, Lynch has helped his teams to a 1-3 record with a 4.9 yards per carry. On average, he carries the ball 20 times for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Sunday will be the fourth time in the series that the Cowboys will start a different quarterback against Seattle than the one they had on Opening Day.
The Cowboys are undefeated on 11/1 with a 5-0 record. Here are the results:
1964 – @CHI, 24-10 – W
1970 – PHI, 21-17 – W
1981 – @PHI, 17-14 – W
1992 – PHI, 20-10 – W
2009 – SEA, 38-17 – W
The Cowboys have two birthdays to celebrate on Nov. 1:
Burton Lawless, OG, 1975-79 – 11/1/1953
Barron Wortham, LB, 2000 – 11/1/1969