GREEN BAY PACKERS FACTS
This is the fourth time in Cowboys history the club has been 4-8. The other previous years were 2000, 2001, and 2010, seasons they failed to make the postseason.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, only 1/83 of the previous 4-8 teams made the playoffs: the ’08 Chargers. Last year, Carolina was 3-8-1. These are the only such teams with comparable winning percentages to make the playoffs since 1978.
This is the ninth time in Packers history the club has posted an 8-4 record. 7/8 of those previous teams went to the playoffs with 4/7 of those clubs winning the division.
Since 1990, 41/92 of the teams that started off 8-4 won their division with 18/41 of those teams earning a first-round bye.
Dallas is 0-3 against Green Bay in December.
Dallas is 49-46-1 in road games played in the Central Time Zone.
According to The Weather Channel, temperatures at Lambeau Field are expected to be 47 degrees. Since 1960, Dallas is 14-15-1 when playing in 47 degrees or colder.
Since 1940, the Packers are 106-66-2 from Week 14 and beyond at Lambeau Field when the temperature is 45 degrees or higher compared to 118-51-3 when the temperature is 44 degrees or lower.
Since 1940, Green Bay is 20-11 when coming off of a Thursday game.
The history books and reference websites may indicate the Dallas Cowboys have beaten the Green Bay Packers at home before, hinting that the Cowboys have won at Lambeau Field prior to Sept. 21, 2008. However, the Packers used to split their home games between Milwaukee County Stadium and Lambeau Field from 1953-94.
The Cowboys are 4-10 against the Packers on the road. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Milwaukee County Stadium: 3-2
Lambeau Field: 1-8
MATT CASSEL FACTS
This is Cassel’s first ever appearance against the Packers. Against the rest of the NFC North, Cassel is 3-1, including a relief role against Chicago on Dec. 1, 2013.
On Sunday, Cassel will join Eddie LeBaron, Don Meredith, Steve Walsh, Troy Aikman, Vinny Testaverde, Tony Romo, and Jon Kitna as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to start at Lambeau Field. Romo is the only one to get a win in his first try.
Last Monday night was the 10th time in Cassel’s career he posted a 0-0 touchdown to interception ratio as a starter. He is now 5-5.
A win last Monday night made Cassel the first Cowboys backup quarterback to post a win since Stephen McGee on Jan. 2, 2011.
In playing back to back road games, Cassel 2/3 at winning the second game after obtaining the first road win.
Cassel has not helmed a winning streak since Weeks 4-7 of 2011.
Cassel is 12-22 when going head to head with playoff-winning quarterbacks.
Cassel has been sacked just five times in his past three road games with the Cowboys.
Cassel has the third-best passer rating on the team at 78.6. Sitting at the top spot is still Brandon Weeden at 92.2.
The last time Cassel posted a 100-plus passer rating on the road was on Sept. 7, 2014 when he was a Viking starting against the Rams.
AARON RODGERS FACTS
This season, Rodgers is 4-2 at Lambeau Field, his worst home record through six games since 2008 when he went 3-3.
This year, Rodgers has the lowest completion percentage of his career through 12 games at 61.0 percent.
Through 12 games, Rodgers has a 97.3 passer rating, the second-worst of his career through the first 12 games to start a season.
Rodgers has 6.9 yards per attempt so far through the first 12 games, the lowest of his career in such a span.
Rodgers has been dropped 29 times so far in 2015, which is tied with New England for the 12-most in the NFL. This is the third-most times Rodgers has been sacked through the first 12 games of a season.
Rodgers is 29-28 when he gets sacked three or more times compared to 55-14 when he is not.
Rodgers is 36-3 at Lambeau Field when he has a passer rating above 100.0 compared to 12-10 when he does not.
Last year, Rodgers had a 100-plus passer rating at home. This year, he has only done it in 3/6 of the games at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers had a 6-1 record and a 101.5 passer rating against Rod Marinelli’s defense in Chicago from 2010-12. On average, he went 23/34 for 268 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and two sacks on average. In the playoffs last year, Rodgers went 24/35 for 316 yards, three touchdowns, and was sacked twice.
On Dec. 25, 2011, Rodgers posted a 142.7 passer rating against the Bears in a 35-21 win. The passer rating was the highest against Marinelli in his time in Chicago. The five touchdowns were also the most against a Marinelli-led defense in that span.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Garrett is 46-40 all-time as the Cowboys head coach. He actually has a better road record (24-18) than he does home record (22-22).
Despite being 2-0 against Green Bay as a player, Garrett is 0-2 against the Packers, making them 1/4 teams he has yet to defeat. The other four teams are New England, Atlanta, and Arizona.
Garrett is 0-2 against the Packers. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Barry Switzer: 6-1
Chan Gailey: 1-0
Jimmy Johnson: 2-2
Wade Phillips: 2-2
Tom Landry: 5-8
Bill Parcells: 0-1
Jason Garrett: 0-2
Garrett is 12-10 in December. A win Sunday would tie him with Jimmy Johnson (13-7) for the second-most December wins in team history.
Garrett has put together a winning streak to start December twice in his career: 2012 and 2014. In ’12, Dallas went three games before dropping the final two while ’14 saw the Cowboys sweep the month 4-0.
When coaching against playoff-winning quarterbacks, Garrett is 18-25 and currently on a six-game losing skid.
Garrett is 14-13 against Super Bowl-winning head coaches with a 7-7 record on the road.
Garrett has a 1-3 record against the NFC North on the road and a 3-3 record against them at home. It is his second-worst winning percentage against any other NFC division:
NFC West: 6-6
NFC North: 4-6
NFC South: 4-8
Garrett is 16/26 all-time on challenges with a 2/5 ledger this season.
Garrett is 25-19 in one-score games in his career with a 13-11 on the road.
MIKE MCCARTHY FACTS
With a 4-2 record at Lambeau Field, this is McCarthy’s fourth-worst home start after six games since taking over as head coach in 2006.
McCarthy is 17-3 at Lambeau Field in the month of December.
McCarthy has only lost one December home game with Rodgers under center: Dec. 7, 2008 when the Texans beat the Packers 24-21 when Kris Brown nailed a 40-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
McCarthy is 5/7 when it comes to making a winning streak out of winning the first game of December.
McCarthy is 13-9 against the NFC East with an 8-4 record at home.
Since 2006, among active head coaches, only Bill Belichick has more division titles than McCarthy’s five.
McCarthy is the second-longest tenured Packers head coach behind Curly Lambeau.
Mike McCarthy has had as many starting quarterbacks (5) as the past four Green Bay head coaches.
Mike McCarthy is 4-2 against the Dallas Cowboys. Here is how he compares with other Green Bay Packers head coaches:
Vince Lombardi: 5-0
Mike McCarthy: 4-2
Lindy Infante: 2-1
Mike Sherman: 1-0
Dan Devine: 1-0
Phil Bengston: 1-1
Bart Starr: 1-3
Forrest Gregg: 0-1
Ray Rhodes: 0-1
Mike Holmgren: 1-7
McCarthy is 38/79 on challenges for his career with a 3/4 record in 2015.
Last year, McCarthy was 1/6 on challenges. That lone win was the Dez Bryant no-catch in the playoffs.
McCarthy is 98-49 when he has his starting quarterback compared to 3-5-1 without.
SCOTT LINEHAN VS. DOM CAPERS FACTS
Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers faced each other 10 times in the NFC North from 2009-13 when Linehan was in the same post for Detroit while Capers has been with Green Bay since 2009. Here are some interesting notes:
Capers held the edge against Linehan with an 8-2 mark. Linehan was only able to average 19 points versus Capers while averaging 20.9 points against the rest of the league. Dallas scored 21 against Green Bay in last year’s playoffs.
Linehan’s only two wins against Capers came in games that Aaron Rodgers missed due to injury. Rodgers was knocked out in the second quarter of a 7-3 loss on Dec. 12, 2010, and missed the 40-10 massacre on Nov. 28, 2013 due to a broken collarbone.
The highest passer rating one of Linehan’s five quarterbacks had against Capers was Matt Stafford on Jan. 1, 2012 when he posted a 103.8 passer rating in a 45-41 loss.
Every game between the two featured Capers’ defense getting a sack. Linehan was 1-2 when his passers were dropped just once compared to 1-6 when they were sacked multiple times. Capers’ defense had three-plus sack games 4/10 times.
Linehan rolled out a backup quarterback three times against Capers. The only one to get a win was Drew Stanton in that aforementioned Dec. 12, 2010 matchup. Stanton posted a 39.4 passer rating.
43 and 41 are the most and the second-most rushing attempts Linehan had against Capers. Coincidentally, those two games were wins for Linehan.
Reggie Bush and Joique Bell have the most and second-most rushing attempts against Capers with 20 and 19 respectively. Those performances both came in the Lions’ 40-10 slaying of the Packers on Thanksgiving 2013.
Similarly, Bush and Bell also have the most and second-most rushing yards against Capers with 117 and 94 respectively, also earned in the previously mentioned game.
Capers defense only allowed five rushing touchdowns through four games. Linehan was 1-3 when his backs managed to score on the ground.
Linehan’s offense only pitched one game without a giveaway: Oct. 6, 2013. Unfortunately, it was still a 22-9 defeat.
The most takeaways Capers had against Linehan was five on Nov. 26, 2009 in a 34-12 win. When Capers’ defense got three or more turnovers, they were 6-1 compared to 1-2 when they did not.
Linehan was 2-3 against Capers when his offense held the ball for 30:00 or more. They were 0-5 when they held it for less.
Under Linehan, receiver Calvin Johnson caught five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown against Capers’ defense.
Tight end Brandon Pettigrew’s career-high in receiving yards happened against Capers on Jan. 1, 2012 when he caught seven passes for 116 yards in the Lions’ 45-41 loss to the Packers.
Sunday will mark the 11th time that FOX has broadcast a game in this series. Here is how their number, adjusted for Sunday, compares to the other networks that have telecast Dallas-Green Bay:
Sunday will mark the fifth time Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have called Packers-Cowboys together, putting them behind Pat Summerall and John Madden for having called the most games in the series with eight.
Pat Summerall called the most games in the series with 10 total with his first game being the 1967 NFL Championship at the Cotton Bowl.
The Cowboys are 1-2 this season when Buck and Aikman call their games compared to the Packers’ 3-2 record this season when Buck and Aikman call their games.
Since Buck and Aikman starting calling games together in 2002, the Green Bay Packers are 39-27 when this pair calls their games, including a 6-8 playoff record.
BRAD ALLEN FACTS
This week’s referee is second-year referee Brad Allen. The Cowboys are 0-1 with Allen:
2015 – @NO, 20-26 – L-OT
Dallas did have fewer penalties than the Saints:
2015 – NO: 8/64; DAL: 6/30
Allen is tied with John Hussey for the worst home team winning percentage in the NFL this season:
John Parry: .917
Bill Vinovich: .909
Ed Hochuli: .667
Gene Steratore: .636
Ron Torbert: .636
Terry McAulay: .583
Walt Coleman: .583
Tony Corrente: .546
Carl Cheffers: .546
Jerome Boger: .500
Clete Blakeman: .456
Craig Wrolstad: .456
Jeff Triplette: .417
Pete Morelli: .367
Walt Anderson: .300
John Hussey: .273
Brad Allen: .273
On the flip side, Allen is tied with Craig Wrolstad for the best percentage of home teams having fewer penalties:
Brad Allen: .727
Craig Wrolstad: .727
Jeff Triplette: .667
Terry McAulay: .667
John Parry: .583
Ron Torbert: .546
Pete Morelli: .546
Jerome Boger: .500
Walt Anderson: .500
Clete Blakeman: .456
Bill Vinovich: .456
Ed Hochuli: .417
Carl Cheffers: .409
Tony Corrente: .364
John Hussey: .364
Gene Steratore: .364
Walt Coleman: .333
Allen is also tied with Bill Vinovich for the lowest number of sacks per game in 2015:
Walt Coleman: 5.7
Walt Anderson: 5.2
Jeff Triplette: 5.1
Terry McAulay: 5
Ron Torbert: 4.8
John Hussey: 4.6
Clete Blakeman: 4.7
Carl Cheffers: 4.7
Jerome Boger: 4.6
John Parry: 4.6
Gene Steratore: 4.6
Pete Morelli: 4.5
Ed Hochuli: 4.5
Craig Wrolstad: 4.5
Tony Corrente: 4.4
Bill Vinovich: 3.2
Brad Allen: 3.2
Allen has the sixth-fewest holding calls per game this year:
Jerome Boger: 5
Jeff Triplette: 4.6
John Parry: 4.2
Terry McAulay: 4
Carl Cheffers: 3.9
Tony Corrente: 3.9
Craig Wrolstad: 3.6
Ron Torbert: 3.6
John Hussey: 3.5
Walt Coleman: 3.5
Ed Hochuli: 3.3
Brad Allen: 3
Pete Morelli: 2.8
Walt Anderson: 2.8
Clete Blakeman: 2.7
Bill Vinovich: 2.7
Gene Steratore: 2.1
Allen has refereed two Packers games with Green Bay going 2-0:
2014 – MIN, 42-10 – W
2015 – Rams, 24-10 – W
The Packers have had fewer penalties than their opponents both times:
2014 – MIN: 9/91; GB: 5/30
2015 – Rams: 8/40; GB: 7/67
The Cowboys and their opponents have not challenged any of Allen’s calls, nor have any of his decisions gone to booth review.
The Packers are 1/2 on challenges with Allen with opponents going 1/1. None of his calls have gone to a booth review.
Originally slated to be an umpire in his first year in the NFL, Allen was promoted to referee upon the retirement of Mike Carey in 2014. This was the first time since Tommy Bell in 1962 that a first-year official was given the referee job.
This is Cowboys running back Darren McFadden’s first career game against the Packers.
Dez Bryant has been a part of a 0-3 mark against Green Bay since 2010. On average, Bryant catches eight passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.
On Dec. 15, 2013, Bryant caught 11 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown in a 37-36 loss at AT&T Stadium. The catches and yards still stand as third-most for Bryant in a single game.
Jason Witten, Doug Free, L.P. Ladouceur, Tony Romo, and Orlando Scandrick are the only Cowboys remaining from that 2008 team that helped Dallas earn its first franchise win at Lambeau Field. Only 3/5 of those players will be available Sunday.
Sean Lee has picked off three of the past six Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks. Rodgers is among the three Lee has yet to pick off.
Packers running backs coach Alex Van Pelt has two connections to Cowboys coaches. The first is with secondary coach Jerome Henderson, as both were teammates on the 1994 Buffalo Bills.
The second is to special teams coach Rich Bisaccia. On the 2010 Buccaneers led by Raheem Morris, Van Pelt coached quarterbacks as Bisaccia coached special teams.
Dom Capers shares a connection to Jason Garrett. In 2006, as Garrett was quarterbacks coach with the Dolphins, Capers was a special assistant to head coach Nick Saban.
Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac was the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line coach from 1995-98 under head coach Ray Rhodes. Cowboys secondary coach Jerome Henderson played as a defensive back on the 1995 Eagles team.
Packers senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith played fullback for the Cowboys from 1990-91. He played 9 games, had 19 carries for 48 yards, and recorded no touchdowns.
The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 8 straight times from 1991-96, including playoffs. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a worse losing streak against the Dallas Cowboys, losing 8 straight, including playoffs, from 1977-90.
It took Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys 11 seasons and six games to defeat the Green Bay Packers, finally doing so on 11/26/1970, a Thanksgiving game. Only the game streak is a franchise record, though Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys tied it with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Baltimore Ravens have since shattered the yearly record, going on 17 years that the Dallas Cowboys have not won their first game against them.
The last Cowboys backup quarterback to win two straight road games was Jason Garrett in 1998.
The last time Dallas went to Lambeau Field with a backup quarterback was on Nov. 14, 2010. The Packers demolished the Cowboys 45-7 and head coach Wade Phillips was fired the next day.
The Cowboys hold a 3-5 record on 12/13. Here are the results:
1964 – PIT, 17-14 – W
1981 – PHI, 21-10 – W
1982 – @Oilers, 37-7 – W
1987 – @WAS, 20-24 – L
1992 – @WAS, 17-20 – L
1998 – @KC, 17-20 – L
2009 – SD, 17-20 – L
The Cowboys have one birthday to celebrate on Dec. 13: linebacker Mike Keller (1949), who played only five games for the club in his rookie year of 1972.