OUR FULL COVERAGE INCLUDES ...
*Fish reported that Rolando McClain would be OUT for the Jets and that Claiborne would be listed as doubtful ... and here it is:
NEW YORK JETS FACTS
This is the second time in the series that the Jets have entered the game with a better record than the Cowboys. The last time was Oct. 4, 1987 when Dallas defeated New York 38-24 in the first “Replacement Game” due to the players strike.
The Cowboys are 4-9 for the fourth time in team history. None of the previous three (2000-01, 2010) teams made the playoffs. The only team that warranted a top-10 pick was the 2010 team as the ’00 and ’01 teams’ first-rounders went to Seattle for Joey Galloway.
The last time a four-win team earned the number one overall pick was in 2004 after the Chargers finished 4-12.
The Jets are 8-5 for the sixth time in franchise history. Only 1/5 of the previous teams made the playoffs.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, only 72/110 teams that started 8-5 made the playoffs.
This is the ninth time the Jets will trot out a different starting quarterback than their last meeting with the Cowboys. Joe Namath is the only Jets quarterback to start in consecutive games against Dallas.
Formerly known as the New York Titans, the Jets are 1/8 current teams to have had a different mascot.
The Jets are 14-35 against the NFC East with a 6-20 record on the road.
The Cowboys are 32-20 against the AFC East with a 16-10 record at home.
The Cowboys are 2-1 against the Jets at home with all of those matches having taken place in Texas Stadium.
The Cowboys are 4-1 against the Jets in the month of December.
MATT CASSEL FACTS
This is the first time since 2008 when Cassel was with the Patriots that he will face the Jets. He compiled a 1-1 record.
The last time Cassel had a 1-5 record as a starter was in 2012, his final season with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The last time Cassel had two straight games without a touchdown was in 2012, his final season with the Chiefs. Cassel finished his last three starts with an 0-2 touchdown to interception ratio.
Prior to Romo’s return, Cassel led the Cowboys to a 22/54 (40.7 percent) on third down. In his prior two starts, the Cowboys offense has been 2/20 (10 percent) on third down.
Aside from the statistical fluke in Week One with Buffalo this season, Cassel hasn’t won a home game since Dec. 29, 2013 when he led the Vikings to a 14-13 win over the Lions.
Cassel’s 41.5 passer rating last week was the 10th-lowest of his career as a starter.
Cassel’s 44.8 completion percentage last week was his sixth-lowest of his career.
Cassel’s 3.93 yards per attempt last week was the eighth-lowest of his career as a starter.
Cassel is 0-2 on NFL Network.
Cassel is one of two picks from the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft to still be in the NFL. The other pick is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Cassel was 230 overall to New England while Fitzpatrick was 250 overall to St. Louis.
RYAN FITZPATRICK FACTS
With eight seasons as a starting quarterback, Fitzpatrick has the most for any seventh-round signal caller in NFL history.
Fitzpatrick is 1/7 Ivy Leaguers on an active roster in the NFL.
Fitzpatrick is 1/5 active quarterbacks to have a tie on his record.
Fitzpatrick is 1/20 players drafted from Harvard. Not only is he 1/3 quarterbacks, but he is the only quarterback from Harvard to make an active NFL roster.
Fitzpatrick is 0-2 against Dallas with a 54.2 passer rating. On average, he has gone 18/28 for 150 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions, and gets sacked once.
Fitzpatrick’s 46.6 passer rating against Dallas on Nov. 13, 2011 was the ninth-worst passer rating of his career.
This is the sixth straight year that Fitzpatrick has made it to Week 15 with more touchdowns than interceptions.
Fitzpatrick has 25 touchdowns on the year. He needs four more to tie Vinny Testaverde’s franchise record for most in a single season.
Fitzpatrick has only been dropped 15 times thus far through 13 games, the fewest sacks in the league. It is also the Jets’ third-fewest sacks through 13 games since 1982.
With eight wins as a starter, Fitzpatrick has set a new career high with most in a season.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Garrett and Dave Campo are the only Cowboys coaches to preside over 4-9 seasons and to do so twice.
Garrett is 12-7 against the AFC with a 7-2 record at home.
Garrett is 1/3 Cowboys head coaches to have lost to the Jets. The other two are Jimmy Johnson and Chan Gailey.
A loss Saturday night to the Jets would make Garrett the only Dallas head coach to have lost to New York twice in his career.
Garrett has a 12-11 December record with a 4-6 record at home.
Garrett is 1/7 in getting a victory in a rematch against a team that beat him initially.
Garrett is 5-5 against rookie head coaches.
Heading into Week 14, the Cowboys are 1-5 at home. The last time Dallas was 1-5 or worse at home was 2010 under Jason Garrett when the Cowboys were 1-6.
Garrett is 2-1 on NFL Network.
Garrett and Dave Campo are the only head coaches in Cowboys history to post 4-9 records after Week 14, and they have done so twice; Garrett in 2010 and this season, Campo in consecutive years from 2000-01.
TODD BOWLES FACTS
Bowles is 1-1 in prime time games this season. His lone win was on Sept. 21 in a 20-7 win at Indianapolis.
A win Saturday would make Bowles the fifth-straight Jets head coach to lead the club to a winning record in his first season.
Bowles has the Jets 10th in the NFL in points for. The last time New York was in the top-10 was in 2008 when they finished ninth under Eric Mangini, who was fired that off-season.
The Jets are also ninth in yards gained under Bowles. The last time New York finished in the top-10 was 1998 when Bill Parcells led the team to an AFC Championship game berth.
The Jets are eighth-best in the NFL in turnover differential. The last time New York finished in the top-10 was 2010 when Rex Ryan led the club to its second consecutive AFC Championship game appearance.
In 2011, Bowles succeeded Tony Sparano as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins for their final three games. Their season finale was against the Jets and Bowles managed to lead Miami to a 19-17 win over his future team.
Bowles is 1/5 on challenges in his career.
Bowles was the Cowboys secondary coach from 2005-07. His best season was in 2007 when the Cowboys secondary hauled in 19 interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. Safeties Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams made the Pro Bowl along with cornerback Terence Newman.
Though a Cowboys coach, Bowles was a Washington defensive back from 1986-90 and also 1992-93. Bowles led Washington to a 3-2 record and picked off Troy Aikman twice and Steve Pelluer along with recording two sacks against Aikman.
Bowles is the 14th minority head coach hired since the implementation of the Rooney Rule in 2002.
The Cowboys are currently 2-2 in prime time games, which ties their second-best record after four prime time games in the Garrett era (2011-13).
The Cowboys are 16-10 when Jim Nantz calls their games, including postseason.
Dallas is 17-16 when Phil Simms calls their games, including postseason.
Dallas is 6-2 on NFL Network.
The Jets are 3-4 on NFL Network.
The Jets haven’t won a game on NFL Network since 2010 when they defeated the Bengals 26-10 at MetLife Stadium.
Thursday will mark the Cowboys’ ninth appearance on NFL Network, tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the most by any team in the network’s history.
The Cowboys have never lost a Thursday night game broadcast on NFL Network, though they have lost two Saturday night games.
The Colts are the only undefeated team on NFL Network with a whopping 9-0 record.
This is the first NFL Network game from Dallas since Dec. 20, 2008 when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cowboys 33-24 in the final game at Texas Stadium.
CRAIG WROLSTAD FACTS
This week’s referee is second year-referee Craig Wrolstad. Last year, officiated the Arizona game that the Cowboys lost 28-17.
2014 – Cardinals, 17-28 – L
The Cowboys managed to have fewer penalties than the Cardinals:
2014 – Cardinals: 6/62; DAL: 5/33
Wrolstad is tied for the fifth-lowest home team winning percentage in the NFL:
John Parry: .846
Bill Vinovich: .833
Ed Hochuli: .692
Gene Steratore: .667
Carl Cheffers: .583
Walt Coleman: .583
Tony Corrente: .583
Ron Torbert: .583
Terry McAulay: .583
Jerome Boger: .539
Clete Blakeman: .417
Pete Morelli: .417
Craig Wrolstad: .417
Jeff Triplette: .385
Walt Anderson: .364
Brad Allen: .333
John Hussey: .333
Wrolstad is tied for having the second-highest case of home teams having fewer penalties:
Jeff Triplette: .692
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Terry McAulay: .667
Brad Allen: .667
John Parry: .615
Ron Torbert: .583
Walt Anderson: .546
Jerome Boger: .500
Pete Morelli: .500
Bill Vinovich: .500
Ed Hochuli: .461
Carl Cheffers: .458
Gene Steratore: .417
Clete Blakeman: .417
John Hussey: .333
Walt Coleman: .333
Tony Corrente: .333
The Jets are 2-0 in games refereed by Wrolstad with both of those games having come against the Dolphins:
2014 – @MIA, 37-24 – W
2015 – @MIA, 27-14 – W
The Jets have had fewer penalties than their opponents 1.5/2 times with Wrolstad:
2014 – MIA: 5/40; NYJ: 5/40
2015 – MIA: 9/80; NYJ: 14/163
Wroldstad’s games have the third-lowest sacks per game among active referees:
Jeff Triplette: 5.4
John Hussey: 5.1
Terry McAulay: 5
Ron Torbert: 4.9
Walt Coleman: 4.9
Carl Cheffers: 4.8
Pete Morelli: 4.7
Walt Anderson: 4.7
Tony Corrente: 4.6
John Parry: 4.6
Gene Steratore: 4.6
Clete Blakeman: 4.6
Ed Hochuli: 4.3
Jerome Boger: 4.3
Craig Wrolstad: 4.2
Bill Vinovich: 3.6
Brad Allen: 3.3
Wrolstad has the seventh-highest number of holding calls per game:
Jerome Boger: 4.5
Jeff Triplette: 4.4
Terry McAulay: 4
Carl Cheffers: 4
Ron Torbert: 3.8
Tony Corrente: 3.8
Craig Wrolstad: 3.7
John Parry: 3.7
Ed Hochuli: 3.5
John Hussey: 3.4
Brad Allen: 3.3
Walt Coleman: 3.1
Pete Morelli: 3
Clete Blakeman: 2.8
Bill Vinovich: 2.8
Walt Anderson: 2.6
Gene Steratore: 2.1
Dallas and their opponents have yet to challenge one of Wrolstad’s calls. However, Replay Assistant is 0/1 with none of those calls benefiting the Cowboys.
The Jets and Replay Assistant have never had to challenge Wrolstad’s calls. However, their opponents have and are 0/2.
The Cowboys offense averages 4.4 yards per carry this season, good for ninth-best in the NFL. The Jets defense is stingy with just 3.6 yards per carry, the third-best in the league.
The Jets defense has only given up two rushing touchdowns this year, the lowest total in the league. Dallas’ eight rushing touchdowns are 18th in the NFL.
The Cowboys have only thrown 12 touchdown passes this season, the fourth-fewest in the league. The Jets defense has only given up 23 of them, the 19th-fewest in the NFL.
The Jets offense averages 4.0 yards per carry, 15th-best in the NFL. The Cowboys defense gives up 4.1 yards per carry, the 15th-worst in the league.
New York running back Chris Ivory has the fourth-most carries in the NFL with 217, which has helped him get the fifth-highest rushing yards with 914.
Cowboys running back Darren McFadden helped the Raiders earn a 2-1 mark against the Jets from 2008-14 with a 7.1 yards per carry. On average, he carried the ball 10 times for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Last year with the Raiders, McFadden faced Todd Bowles the defensive coordinator with the Cardinals. McFadden carried the ball 14 times for 48 yards and a touchdown, averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
Dez Bryant has been on Revis Island once before: Sept. 11, 2011. In a 27-24 loss to the Jets, Bryant caught three passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Last year when Bowles was coordinating the Arizona Cardinals defense, Bryant caught two passes for 15 yards and a touchdown in a 28-17 loss on Nov. 2.
Jason Witten has helped the Cowboys to a 2-1 record in his games against the Jets. On average, he catches three passes for 55 yards.
Jets receiver Brandon Marshall has helped his teams earn a 3-2 record against the Cowboys. On average, he catches five passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Marshall is fifth in the league with 89 catches and 1,187 yards, but he tied with Seattle’s Doug Baldwin for fourth in the NFL with 11 touchdown catches.
Marshall’s 11 touchdown catches are tied for the second-most in a single season for his career.
Marshall’s 91.3 yards per game in 2015 is the second-most yards per game he has averaged in a single season.
Last year, Cowboys safety Barry Church kneed Marshall in the back and knocked him out of a Dec. 4, 2014 game in Chicago with two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Jets receiver Eric Decker faced the Cowboys once in the famous 51-48 shootout between Dallas and Denver on Oct. 5, 2013. He caught five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley leads the league with 42 punt returns. The next closest player is Darren Sproles with 34.
Against the Jets defense, opposing quarterbacks have compiled an 81.3 passer rating. This season, Matt Cassel has only gone over 81.0 in passer rating once: a 33-27 loss to Philadelphia in overtime.
Against the Cowboys defense, opposing quarterbacks have compiled a 91.2 passer rating. This season, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been held under 90.0 passer rating in just 4/13 of his starts, but still putting up a 1-3 record.
New York defensive tackle Muhammed Wilkerson is fourth in the NFL with 12.0 sacks.
Jets cornerback Marcus Williams is tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions.
Dallas has the highest rate of drives ending in turnover at 15.8 percent. 13.8 percent of the Jets defense’s drives end in takeaways.
Dallas leads the league with time of possession per drive at 2:59.
Last week was the second time this season Dan Bailey was not able to attempt a field goal. In 2011, Bailey also had two games without a field goal attempt.
Jets kicker Nick Folk once made the Pro Bowl with the Cowboys as a rookie in 2007. Since then, he has faced Dallas just once in a 27-24 win on Sept. 11, 2011 where he went 3/3 on extra points and 2/2 on field goals, including a 50-yard field goal to win the game.
Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was the Cowboys head coach from 1998-99. The only time Dallas faced Gailey thereafter was on Nov. 13, 2011 when Gailey coached Buffalo. Dallas trounced the Bills 44-7.
Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was the Cowboys defensive line coach from 2003-07. He was previously the defensive line coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Jerry Jones’ alma mater.
Since 2006, the Dallas Cowboys are 6-1 in Week 15, despite being 14-19 in December in the same span. Comparatively, this is an improvement from 1999-05 when the Cowboys were 11-18 in December and 3-4 in Week 15 games.
The Cowboys are 5-5 on 12/19, including playoffs. Here are the results:
1965 – @NYG, 38-20 – W
1976 – Rams, 12-14 – L
1981 – @NYG, 10-13 – L
1982 – NO, 21-7 – W
1983 – @SF, 17-42 – L
1994 – @NO, 24-16 – W
1999 – NYJ, 21-22 – L
2004 – @PHI, 7-12 – L
2009 – @NO, 24-17 – W
2010 – WAS, 33-30 – W
The Cowboys have three birthdays to celebrate on Dec. 19:
Phil Pozderac, OT, 1982-87 – 12/19/1959
Michael Bates, RB, 2003 – 12/19/1969
Bryant Westbrook, CB, 2002 – 12/19/1974