Cowboys 100: Facts + Figures for Panthers

The Cowboys are hosting the Panthers in the expansion franchise's first-ever Thanksgiving game! How are the Panthers on Thursdays anyhow? Dallas has never had Ron Torbert as a referee, but Carolina has thrice. What difference has he made? And what can Tony Romo break that no other Cowboys quarterback can claim? We have that and more, so check out our facts! Gobble gobble.

We get you ready for Thanksgiving afternoon and Panthers at Cowboys with our "Cowboys 100'' ... plus all the rest of the big news we're collecting from Cowboys HQ ... including:

*The Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast featuring Fish and KD

*The latest Cowboys-Panthers injury/practice report ... We'll have it for you on CHQ/The Ranch Discussion Boards!

*Top Ten Takes: Scoops from inside Valley Ranch



The Cowboys are 3-7 for the sixth time in club history. The previous five teams never made the playoffs, though the 1990 Cowboys were eliminated from postseason in Week 17 after finishing 7-9.


Since 1990, when playoffs were lasted tinkered with, there have been 87 teams to start 3-7. None of them made the playoffs. In fact, only 2/87 finished with winning records: the ’94 Giants and the ’05 Dolphins.


Since 1978, when the regular season was expanded to 16 games, the ’94 Giants and the ’05 Dolphins are the only 3-7 teams to ever finish with a winning record.


The last time the Cowboys were in last place in the NFC East in November was in 2010 when they sat with a 3-8 record after losing to the Saints 27-24 on Thanksgiving.


The Panthers are 10-0 for the first time in club history. Their longest winning streak to begin a season was 5-0 back in 2003, the same season they went to Super Bowl XXXVIII.


Since 1978, when the wildcard game was instituted and playoff byes introduced, there have been 12 teams to start 10-0. All 12 of those teams earned first-round byes. Among those teams, 3/12 of them were knocked out in the first round. Of the remaining, 8/9 made the Super Bowl with 5/8 winning the championship.


Since 1973, the season after the Dolphins went perfect the previous year, 4/13 of the teams that started 10-0 lost their 11th game. Those teams were the ‘08 Titans, ‘90 49ers, ’90 Giants, and ’75 Vikings.


The Cowboys are 4-1 at home against the Panthers. Here is the breakdown by venue:


Texas Stadium: 3-1

AT&T Stadium: 1-0.


Dallas is 8-6 against the NFC South at home.


The Panthers are 1/6 teams to have an undefeated record against Dallas in the playoffs.


The only other time the Cowboys played the Panthers in November was on Nov. 23, 2003. Dallas prevailed 24-20, and Bill Parcells proclaimed to the Dallas media that they couldn’t call the team “losers” anymore.





Romo’s first ever win in AT&T Stadium was against Carolina on Sept. 28, 2009 when he led Dallas to a 21-7 win. Romo went 22/33 for 255 yards and an 89.8 passer rating.

                                       Mike Fisher's photo.


Romo is 4-0 against the Panthers. The only other teams he is 4-0 against are the Rams and Buccaneers. Last week, he achieved a 3-0 mark against the Dolphins.


Romo is 12-4 against the NFC South with a 5-2 record at home.


With a win Thursday, Romo has a chance to lead the franchise in most career wins on Thanksgiving. Here is the list of how other Cowboys quarterbacks have fared:


Danny White: 6-1

Tony Romo: 6-2

Troy Aikman: 5-5

Roger Staubach: 4-2

Don Meredith: 3-0

Steve Beuerlein: 1-0

Jason Garrett: 1-0

Craig Morton: 1-1-1

Ryan Leaf: 0-1

Chad Hutchinson: 0-1

Quincy Carter: 0-1

Drew Henson: 0-1

Drew Bledsoe: 0-1

Jon Kitna: 0-1

Steve Pelluer: 0-2



Romo is 26-6 in November with a 17-2 record at home.


Last year against Philadelphia was the only year Romo failed to throw a touchdown on Turkey Day. On average, Romo tosses two touchdowns on Thanksgiving.


Romo is 31-32 head-to-head against playoff-winning quarterbacks with a 99.7 passer rating. On average, he goes 22/33 for 263 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.


Head-to-head, Romo, the undrafted free agent from 2003, is 50-34 against first-round quarterbacks.


The 10-0 Panthers are just the second team with a winning record Romo has faced on Thanksgiving.



Romo is 0-1 against teams with winning records on Thanksgiving. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys quarterbacks:


Roger Staubach: 4-2

Danny White: 3-1

Troy Aikman: 4-4

Don Meredith: 2-0

Jason Garrett: 1-0

Craig Morton: 0-1-1

Steve Pelluer: 0-1

Drew Bledsoe: 0-1

Jon Kitna: 0-1

Quincy Carter: 0-1

Tony Romo: 0-1



Romo is 6-7 against undefeated teams.





Newton is 1-2 on Thursdays with a 64.8 passer rating. On average, he goes 16/30 for 205 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and takes three sacks.


Newton is 6-7 against Tampa-2 defenses with an 88.9 passer rating. On average he goes 17/29 for 221 yards, one touchdown, an interception, and takes two sacks.


Newton is tied with Jameis Winston for the third-most yards per completion with 13.1.


Newton’s six rushing touchdowns are tied with four other players for third-most in the league.


Newton is in second place for most wins in Panthers history with 40. He is behind Jake Delhomme for 53. Among expansion teams since 1995, Newton has the fifth-most behind Joe Flacco (Ravens), Mark Brunell (Jaguars), Jake Delhomme, and Matt Schaub (Texans)


Newton is 6-3 against the NFC East with a 2-1 record on the road.


Newton is 30-9 against teams with losing records.


Newton is 17-20 against playoff-winning quarterbacks with a 7-10 record on the road.


Newton is only 1/5 first-round quarterbacks since the 2009 draft to have won a playoff game.


Newton is 1/5 Heisman Trophy winners to have won a playoff game in the NFL.







Garrett is 4-7 against the NFC South with a 2-4 record at home.


Against playoff-winning coaches, Garrett is 25-28 with a 13-12 record at home.


Against teams with winning records, Garrett is 4-11 at home.


Garrett is 3-7 for the second time in his career. The last time was 2010 when he was interim head coach, also holding a 3-7 record ahead of a Thanksgiving showdown with a NFC South juggernaut in New Orleans, who defeated Dallas 27-24.


This is the sixth Thanksgiving game of Garrett’s coaching tenure. Here is how his teams have performed in the pre-Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving games:


2010 – @NYG (W), NO (L)

2011 – @WAS (W-OT), MIA (W)

2012 – CLE (W-OT), WAS (L)

2013 – @NYG (W), Raiders (W)

2014 – @NYG (W), PHI (L)



Garrett is 1-0 against Carolina. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:


Barry Switzer: 0-2

Chan Gailey: 1-0

Dave Campo: 2-0

Bill Parcells: 3-1

Wade Phillips: 2-0

Jason Garrett: 1-0



Garrett is 2-3 on Thanksgiving. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches on Turkey Day:


Tom Landry: 14-6-1

Jimmy Johnson: 3-2

Barry Switzer: 3-1

Wade Phillips: 3-0

Bill Parcells: 2-2

Jason Garrett: 2-3

Chan Gailey: 1-1

Dave Campo: 1-2



Garrett has failed to beat a NFC team on Thanksgiving, a distinction he shares only with Gailey.


All-time, as a player and a coach, Garrett is 7-3 on Thanksgiving.


Against winning teams on Thanksgiving, Garrett is 0-2. Here is how he compares to his predecessors (where applicable):


Tom Landry: 8-5-1

Barry Switzer: 3-0

Chan Gailey: 1-1

Jimmy Johnson: 1-2

Dave Campo: 0-1

Bill Parcells: 0-2

Jason Garrett: 0-2





With a 44-16 win over Washington last week, Rivera is now 11-7 in November.


Rivera is 0-1 against the Cowboys. Here is how he fares with other Panthers head coaches:


Dom Capers: 2-1

George Seifert: 0-1

John Fox: 6-1

Ron Rivera: 0-1



Rivera is 5-3 against the NFC East with a 2-1 record on the road.


A win against Dallas would give Rivera three wins against the NFC East, the most by a Panthers head coach in one season in team history.


Rivera is 0-1 against the Cowboys, having lost to them 19-14 at home on Oct. 21, 2012. In his career, Rivera is 4-6 against teams he lost to initially.


Rivera previously owned an eight-game winning streak from Weeks 6-13 that was the backbone for the club’s 12-4 record and first-round bye. It was tied with Dom Capers’ eight-game winning streak in 1996 as the best in club history. Now, Rivera’s 10-game streak is the new club record.


Rivera is 1-2 on Thursdays. His predecessor, John Fox, was 0-2. Capers and Seifert never coached on Thursdays with Carolina.


Here is how Rivera’s 1-2 record on Thursdays compares to other head coaches in the history of the NFC South:


Sean Payton: 5-3

Mike Smith: 4-1

Jim Mora, Jr.: 1-0

Greg Schiano: 1-1

Ron Rivera: 1-2

Bobby Petrino: 0-1

Joe Vitt: 0-1

Jon Gruden: 0-1

Lovie Smith: 0-1

Dan Quinn: 0-1

John Fox: 0-2



All-time, as a player and a coach, Rivera is 0-2 on Thanksgiving.


Rivera was the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator from 2004-06. Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson worked in the same capacity in Chicago throughout all of Rivera’s tenure.






This is the Panthers’ first ever Thanksgiving game. Now,  the only NFL team to have never played on Thanksgiving are the Jacksonville Jaguars.


Since 2006, when Thursday NFL games ramped up, home teams are 57-48 on Thursdays.


Only the Detroit Lions have played more Thursday games (74) than the Dallas Cowboys (49). However, the Lions only have three more wins on Thursday than the Cowboys (33).


The Dallas Cowboys are 29-17-1 on Thanksgiving. Here is a breakdown by decade:


1960s: 3-0-1

1970s: 5-3

1980s: 6-4

1990s: 7-3

2000s: 6-4

2010s: 2-3


Here’s a list of Cowboys quarterback Thanksgiving records:


Most Touchdowns: 5 (Romo, ’06)

Most Passing Yards: 455 (Aikman, ’98)

Most Completions: 37 (Romo, ’12)

Most Attempts: 62 (Romo, ’12)

Best Completion %: 77.4% (White, ’83)

Most INTs: 3 (Morton, ‘69; White, ’87; Aikman, ’89; Carter, ’03)

Best Passer Rating: Tony Romo, 148.9

Worst Passer Rating: Roger Staubach, 1.7

Best Record — Danny White, Tony Romo: 6-1

Youngest Starter: Troy Aikman, 23

Oldest Starter: Jon Kitna, 38



Here’s a list of the Top 10 Cowboys Passer Ratings on Thanksgiving:

1. Tony Romo — 148.9 (2006)

2. Roger Staubach — 141.4 (1971)

3. Tony Romo — 121.2 (2009)

4. Tony Romo — 113.7 (2008)

5. Troy Aikman — 113.0 (1995)

6. Don Meredith — 110.0 (1967)

7. Jason Garrett — 109.6 (1994)

8. Danny White — 109.2 (1983)

9. Danny White — 108.2 (1985)

10. Danny White — 103.4 (1982)



From 2000-2006, the Dallas Cowboys rolled out seven different starting quarterbacks for Thanksgiving (Troy Aikman, ’00; Ryan Leaf, ’01; Chad Hutchinson, ’02; Quincy Carter, ’03; Drew Henson, ’04; Drew Bledsoe, ’05; Tony Romo, ’06)


In 1975 and 1977, the St. Louis Cardinals replaced the Dallas Cowboys as a Thanksgiving game host with unfavorable results.


The longest Thanksgiving winning streak the Cowboys had was from 1980 to 1985. Their longest losing streak is from 1986 to 1989.


In 1983 and in 1985, the Dallas Cowboys beat the St. Louis Cardinals on CBS with each score being 35-17.


The Dallas Cowboys’ biggest Thanksgiving win was a 51-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.


In 1989 and 1990, the Dallas Cowboys played two NFC East teams back to back (Eagles, Redskins).


The Dallas Cowboys were shutout by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1989 and then pitched their own against the Miami Dolphins in 1999. Troy Aikman started both contests.






The Dallas Cowboys have a 3-game winning streak on CBS, which is their longest since 1990 when they won the 1990, 1992, and 1999 Thanksgiving games. Their longest winning streak on CBS Thanksgivings is 6 games: 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985.


The Cowboys are 18-6-1 on CBS on Thanksgiving and are on a four-game winning streak. Here is how they fare on all networks involved since 1966:


CBS: 18-6-1

FOX: 6-5

NBC: 5-6



The Detroit Lions are 5-5 on FOX on Thanksgiving. Here is how they have performed on all networks involved:


NBC: 11-4

Dumont: 2-0

ABC: 1-0

FOX: 5-5

CBS: 10-22-2



Pat Summerall and John Madden have called the most Thanksgiving games in Dallas together with 11. Here is a list of how the other commentator pairings have fared:


Pat Summerall-John Madden (CBS/FOX): 11

Joe Buck-Troy Aikman (FOX): 7

Dick Enberg-Merlin Olsen (NBC): 6

Jim Nantz-Phil Simms (CBS): 4

Jack Buck-Pat Summerall (CBS): 4



Pat Summerall called the most Cowboys Thanksgiving games for CBS and FOX with 20. Dallas’ record was 14-5-1.


The Dallas Cowboys have the most Thanksgiving game awards with 24. Here is a breakdown by network:


CBS (All-Iron): 11 – Dexter Coakley, Tony Romo (3), Chris Canty, DeMarcus Ware, Terence Newman, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, and Lance Dunbar.


CBS (Madden Turkey Leg): 7 – Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and the Dallas offensive line


FOX (Galloping Gobbler): 4 – Emmitt Smith, Julius Jones, Tony Romo, DeMarcus Ware


FOX (Madden Turkey Leg): 2 – Emmitt Smith and Jason Garrett



This is the first time CBS will broadcast a Cowboys game with an NFC opponent since Jan. 23, 1994 when the Cowboys defeated the 49ers 38-21 in the NFC Championship Game.


The last time a Dallas-Carolina game got “A-team” treatment from a network was Dec. 24, 2005 when FOX had Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call a 24-20 Cowboys victory at Bank of America Stadium.






The Cowboys have never had Torbert as a referee, though he was a side judge on Ed Hochuli’s crew for the Cowboys’ two wins over Washington in 2011 and Tony Corrente’s crew in Dallas’ Opening Day win over the Giants in 2013.


The Panthers are 2-1 when Torbert referees their games. Here are the results:


2014 – PIT, 19-37 – L

2014 – TB, 19-17 – W

2015 – @JAX, 20-9 – W



Carolina has had fewer penalties than their opponents 2/3 times with Torbert:


2014 – PIT: 11/91; CAR: 7/105

2014 – TB: 4/29; CAR: 4/25

2015 – JAX: 3/25; CAR: 3/22




Torbert has the fourth-best home team winning percentage this season:


Bill Vinovich: 1.000

John Parry: .900

Ed Hochuli: .700

Ron Torbert: .667

Terry McAulay: .600

Gene Steratore: .600

Walt Coleman: .600

Jerome Boger: .600

Carl Cheffers: .556

Jeff Triplette: .500

Tony Corrente: .444

Craig Wrolstad: .444

Pete Morelli: .444

Clete Blakeman: .400

Brad Allen: .333

Walt Anderson: .250

John Hussey: .222




Torbert has the third-best percentage of home teams having fewer penalties:



Brad Allen: .778

Terry McAulay: .700

Ron Torbert: .667

Craig Wrolstad: .667

Walt Anderson: .625

John Parry: .600

Jeff Triplette: .600

Pete Morelli: .500

Carl Cheffers: .500

Jerome Boger: .500

Bill Vinovich: .444

Ed Hochuli: .400

Clete Blakeman: .400

Tony Corrente: .333

Gene Steratore: .300

Walt Coleman: .200

John Hussey: .222




Torbert is tied for the fourth-most sacks per game with five:


Jeff Triplette: 5.4

Walt Anderson: 5.5

Terry McAulay: 5.2

Clete Blakeman: 5

Walt Coleman: 5

Ron Torbert: 5

Carl Cheffers: 4.8

Pete Morelli: 4.6

Ed Hochuli: 4.6

John Hussey: 4.6

Craig Wrolstad: 4.4

Gene Steratore: 4.4

Tony Corrente: 4.3

John Parry: 4.3

Jerome Boger: 4.1

Brad Allen: 3.3

Bill Vinovich: 3.2




Torbert is literally in the middle of the pack when it comes to offensive holding calls per game at 3.7:


Jeff Triplette: 4.9

Jerome Boger: 4.5

John Parry: 4.1

Craig Wrolstad: 3.8

Carl Cheffers: 3.8

Terry McAulay: 3.8

Tony Corrente: 3.8

Ron Torbert: 3.7

John Hussey: 3.6

Walt Anderson: 3.3

Walt Coleman: 3.2

Ed Hochuli: 3.1

Clete Blakeman: 2.9

Pete Morelli: 2.8

Brad Allen: 2.8

Bill Vinovich: 2.4

Gene Steratore: 2.2




This is Torbert’s third ever Thursday game as a referee. The home team is 1-1:


2014 – Indianapolis at Houston – 33-28 Indianapolis

2015 – Washington at NY Giants – 32-21 NY Giants



The home team however has not had fewer penalties with Torbert:


2014 – Colts: 5/51; Texans: 5/66

2015 – WAS: 7/58; NYG: 8/67



The Panthers are 1/2 on challenges with Torbert with opponents having yet to challenge one of his calls. Replay Assistant is 0/1 with that lone call going against Carolina.


Torbert is the third attorney/referee in the NFL alongside Ed Hochuli and Clete Blakeman.





In 2013, Greg Hardy’s last full year with the Panthers, he had three sacks and 23 tackles from Oct. 13 to Nov. 18. In Hardy’s six games with Dallas this season, he has 4.5 sacks, 18 tackles, and an interception.


Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee’s last game of the 2012 season was against Carolina. He injured his right big toe and was lost or the year.


Dez Bryant has helped the Cowboys to a 2-3 Thanksgiving record in his time. On average, he catches four balls for 63 yards and a touchdown.


The tenth-best game of Jason Witten’s career came on Thanksgiving when he caught nine passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in a 34-9 win over Seattle in 2008.


Witten has helped the Cowboys to a 7-5 Thanksgiving record in his tenure in Dallas.

Both teams will be wearing "Color Rush'' uniforms ... for Dallas that means an absence of color ... white on white ... 



Dallas holds a record on 11/26. Here are the results:


1961 – @PHI, 13-35 – L

1970 – GB, 16-3 – W

1981 – CHI, 10-9 – W

1987 – MIN, 38-44 – L-OT

1992 – NYG, 30-3 – W

1998 – MIN, 36-46 – L

2009 – Raiders, 24-7 – W


The Cowboys have only one birthday to celebrate on Nov. 26: kicker Martin Gramatica, who is famous for replacing a cut Mike Vanderjagt for the last six games of 2006, including playoffs.


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