Cowboys 100: Facts + Figures for Giants

Our patented facts are here just in time for Opening Day! How many times have the Cowboys started a rookie QB and RB? How many times on Opening Day? Is there any edge that can be had with third-year referee Ronald Torbert? We have that and more, so check out our facts!



Not only are the Cowboys 21-6 against the Giants in September, but also hold an 8-0 record against New York on Opening Day.


The Giants are on a five-game losing streak on Opening Day, the longest such streak in franchise history.


The Dallas Cowboys are 34-18-1 (.642) on Opening Day while the Giants are 48-33-5 (.558)


1965-66 were special years for Dallas in their rivalry with the Giants. In 1965, Dallas opened Week 1 with a 31-2 slaying of the Giants and then pulverized them 52-7 in 1966’s Week 1. Both contests were in the Cotton Bowl.


The Giants are 20-34-1 on the road in Dallas. Here is the breakdown by venue:


Cotton Bowl: 4-6-1

Texas Stadium: 12-25

AT&T Stadium: 4-3




Dallas lost to Houston 28-17 in the preseason finale. Here is a comparative list of preseason finale results and subsequent Opening Day results since 2002:

2002: W-L

2003: W-L

2004: W-L

2005: W-W

2006: T-L

2007: L-W

2008: W-W

2009: W-W

2010: W-L

2011: L-L

2012: W-W

2013: L-W

2014: L-L

2015: W-W


The New York Giants were victorious in their preseason finale with the New England Patriots 17-9. Here is a comparative list of pre-season finale results and subsequent Opening Day results since 2002:

2002: W-L

2003: W-W

2004: L-L

2005: W-W

2006: W-L

2007: L-L

2008: W-W

2009: L-W

2010: W-W

2011: W-W

2012: W-L

2013: L-L

2014: W-L

2015: W-L


In Week 1’s following seasons wherein the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs, Dallas is 10-11-1.

In Opening Day games at home, Dallas is 16-8-1.

In Opening Day games on the road, the Giants are 32-25-5.






Garrett is 7-4 against the Giants. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:


Tom Landry: 35-16-2

Jason Garrett: 7-4

Chan Gailey: 3-1

Jimmy Johnson: 5-5

Barry Switzer: 4-4

Bill Parcells: 4-4

Wade Phillips: 3-5

Dave Campo: 1-5




Garrett is 5-6 against rookie head coaches.


Garrett held a 7-4 advantage over Tom Coughlin, Ben McAdoo’s predecessor. Here are Garrett’s ledgers over every NFC East coach he has faced all-time:


Coughlin: 7-4

Shanahan: 5-2

Reid: 3-3

Kelly: 3-3

Gruden: 2-2


Garrett holds a 3-2 record against the Giants in late afternoon games.


Garrett is 3-2 in season openers. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches after five games (where applicable):


Jimmy Johnson: 3-2

Barry Switzer: 3-1

Wade Phillips: 3-1

Jason Garrett: 3-2

Tom Landry: 1-3-1

Bill Parcells: 1-3


Sunday will be Garrett’s fourth Week 1 home game, which is second-most to Landry’s 15.


Garrett is 7-10 against the NFC East at home. As bad as it appears, the ledger is on par with the rest of the NFC East’s records at home since 2010:


New York: 8-10

Philadelphia: 8-10

Washington: 8-10

Garrett: 7-10


When coaching against playoff-winning quarterbacks, Garrett is 18-26 and currently on a seven-game losing skid.


Garrett is 10-6 in the month of September.


Garrett is 10-6 in the first games of a series against NFC East foes with a 5-5 record at home.


Garrett has a 20-14 record against the NFC East with a 7-10 record at home.





Prescott is the ninth rookie quarterback to play in this series, but the first ever to make his career debut in the rivalry.


Prescott is 1/4 Cowboys rookie quarterbacks to start on Opening Day. The other three are Roger Staubach (1969), Troy Aikman (1989), and Quincy Carter (2001).



Staubach is the only Cowboys rookie quarterback to earn a win on Opening Day defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 24-3 at home. Aikman was blown out 28-0 in New Orleans, and Carter lost 10-6 to Tampa Bay at home.


Prescott is the second rookie quarterback to make his debut on Opening Day against a divisional opponent.


Prescott is the 13th different quarterback to start on Opening Day for the Cowboys.


Prescott is the sixth player from Mississippi State to make the Cowboys 53-man roster.


Prescott is the sixth player in Cowboys history to wear the number 4 and the first to be a quarterback.


Prescott is the fourth Cowboys quarterback to come from the SEC. The others were Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, and Quincy Carter.


Prescott is 1/4 Mississippi State quarterbacks to be drafted. Charlie Furlow and David Marler never played a down in the NFL, while Joe Reed played for eight seasons and was Detroit’s starter in 1975.


Prescott is the highest-drafted Mississippi State quarterback taken 135th (fourth round). The previous highest, Marler, went 253 overall (10th round) to the Buffalo Bills in 1979.


There have been 550 quarterbacks taken at pick 135 or later in NFL draft history. Only 82/550 quarterbacks were ever considered their team’s starter for at least a season. Only 30/82 of those field generals ever made it to Pro Bowls, and only 4/30 of those players ever led their teams to a Super Bowl: Tom Brady, Brad Johnson, Mark Rypien, and Bart Starr.


Prescott was 1-2 against Ole Miss, Mississippi State’s rival and also the alma mater of Giants quarterback Eli Manning.





Eli Manning is 4-7 on Opening Day with a 2-5 record against the NFC East.


Manning has yet to win an Opening Day game on the road, owning an 0-5 record.


Sunday will be Manning’s 23rd game against the Cowboys, including playoffs, the most ever for an opposing quarterback. Sonny Jurgensen is second with 22.


Manning has thrown 46 touchdowns against Dallas, the most in franchise history. It is also the most he has thrown against any specific team.


Manning has thrown 23 interceptions against the Cowboys, possessing fifth place on the most-thrown list.


In his career, Manning goes from an 83.7 passer rating from the first through third quarters to an 83.5 rating in the fourth.


Against Rod Marinelli’s defenses, Manning has a 2-3 record with a 92.7 passer rating. On average, he goes 20/33 for 229 yards, one touchdown, and takes one sack.


Manning is 8-4 against the Cowboys when he sustains a sack or less compared to 5-7 when he sacked twice or more.


Manning was 2-1 against Mississippi State when he was with Ole Miss.





McAdoo is the 17th head coach in Giants franchise history, interim or otherwise. Here is how other Giants head coaches have done in their inaugural games:


Joe Alexander: 1-0

Earl Potteiger: 1-0

Steve Owen: 1-0

Jim Lee Howell: 1-0

Alex Webster: 1-0

Ray Handley: 1-0

Dan Reeves: 1-0

Jim Fassel: 1-0

LeRoy Andrews: 0-0-1

Bob Folwell: 0-1

Allie Sherman: 0-1

Bill Arnsparger: 0-1

John McVay: 0-1

Ray Perkins: 0-1

Bill Parcells: 0-1

Tom Coughlin: 0-1



The past two Giants head coaches have defeated the Cowboys in their first meeting. Here are the results in chronological order:


Jim Lee Howell: 0-0-1

Allie Sherman: 1-0

Alex Webster: 0-1

Bill Arnsparger: 1-0

John McVay: 0-1

Ray Perkins: 0-1

Bill Parcells: 0-1

Ray Handley: 0-1

Dan Reeves: 0-1

Jim Fassel: 1-0

Tom Coughlin: 1-0


McAdoo is a rookie head coach going against a rookie quarterback. In Week 1 matchups, rookie head coaches are 1-2 since 1970. Here are the results:


1971 – Archie Manning (Saints) vs. Tommy Prothro (Rams), 24-20 Saints

1982 – Mike Pagel (Colts) vs. Ron Meyer (Patriots), 24-13 Patriots

2012 – Robert Griffin III (Washington) vs. Aaron Kromer (New Orleans), 40-32 Washington



Since 1999, rookie quarterbacks have been 8-12 against the Giants.






This is the ninth-straight year the NFL on FOX’s A-team is calling a game in the Cowboys-Giants series. In 2011, NBC aired both games in the series and FOX had no opportunity.


Dallas is 117-111 on FOX, including playoffs.


Since 1994, the Cowboys are 8-5 when hosting the Giants on FOX.


Overall, the Cowboys are 12-15 against the Giants on FOX.


The Cowboys are 15-12 against the Giants in late afternoon games.


Since 1994, when FOX took over the NFC package from CBS, the Cowboys are 7-6 in Week 1 games on that network.


Since 1994, when FOX took over the NFC package from CBS, the Giants are 9-2 in Week 1 games on that network.


This is the 15th time since FOX took over the NFC package that the Cowboys will debut a new starting quarterback.


The Cowboys have had five former players serve as TV commentators in the series: Eddie LeBaron (CBS), Roger Staubach (CBS), Troy Aikman (FOX), Daryl Johnston (FOX), and Brian Baldinger (FOX).


The New York Giants have played in Week 1 on all of the NFL’s past and present broadcast partners allowed to carry Week 1 games: FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN, ABC, and TNT.





This week’s referee is third-year Ronald Torbert. Torbert refereed only one Cowboys game thus far, last year’s 33-14 loss to Carolina on Thanksgiving. Dallas did have fewer penalties: 8/40 to Carolina’s 8/53.


The Giants have also had Torbert just one time in his career. On Sept. 24, 2015, New York defeated Washington 32-21 but lost the penalty battle 8/67 to Washington’s 7/58.


Last year, Torbert was middle of the pack in terms of home team winning percentage:


John Parry: .800

Bill Vinovich: .733

Ed Hochuli: .688

Carl Cheffers: .667

Walt Coleman: .600

Jerome Boger: .600

Gene Steratore: .600

Tony Corrente: .600

Ron Torbert: .600

Terry McAulay: .600

Clete Blakeman: .533

Walt Anderson: .429

Craig Wrolstad: .400

Jeff Triplette: .400

John Hussey: .333

Pete Morelli: .333

Brad Allen: .333





Torbert had the fourth-highest rate for home teams having fewer penalties:


Brad Allen: .667

Craig Wrolstad: .667

Jeff Triplette: .667

Ron Torbert: .600

John Parry: .600

Terry McAulay: .600

Walt Anderson: .571

Pete Morelli: .533

Jerome Boger: .500

Bill Vinovich: .467

Ed Hochuli: .438

Carl Cheffers: .433

Walt Coleman: .400

Clete Blakeman: .400

Gene Steratore: .400

Tony Corrente: .400

John Hussey: .400



Dallas is 0/1 on challenges under Torbert while the Giants have yet to challenge one of his calls or have it go to a booth review.


Like Clete Blakeman and Ed Hochuli, Torbert is a lawyer when off the football field.





Tony Romo would have tied with Roger Staubach (1978) as the third-oldest Cowboys quarterback to start an Opening Day game.


Romo is 6-3 in Week 1 starts. Only Tom Brady’s 8-1 and Peyton Manning’s 6-2 marks in that span are better in the NFL.


Tony Romo has started 16 games against the Giants, including playoffs, with his longest streak being eight games (12/11/11-9/13/15). Troy Aikman has not only started the most games against the Giants with 22, but he also holds the longest streak of consecutive games with 18 from 1989-1997.


Romo has thrown 42 touchdowns against the Giants, the most of any passer since 1960.


Romo has thrown for 4,840 yards against New York, the most of any quarterback since 1960. Next closest is Troy Aikman with 4,164.


Mark Sanchez is the ninth former first round pick who will be a backup for the Cowboys.


Sanchez is the eighth Cowboys backup to have had conference championship game experience.


Much is made of the Cowboys starting a rookie quarterback and running back in the same game. Here is a look at the four other times it happened in Dallas history:


1969 – Roger Staubach and Calvin Hill – Cardinals, 24-3 – W

1987 – Kevin Sweeney and Alvin Blount – NYJ, 38-24 – W

1987 – Kevin Sweeney and Alvin Blount – PHI, 41-22 – W

2004 – Drew Henson and Julius Jones – CHI, 21-7 – W



The Cowboys rookie record for most rushing yards on Opening Day is 75 set by Derrick Lassic on Sept. 6, 1993 in a 35-16 loss in Washington.



The Cowboys rookie record for most rushing yards in a game is 253 set by DeMarco Murray on Oct. 23, 2011 in a 34-7 win over the St. Louis Rams.


Ezekiel Elliott is the first Cowboys rookie running back to start on Opening Day since Calvin Hill on Sept. 21, 1969 in a 24-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.


Elliott is the fifth running back the Cowboys have had from Ohio State in franchise history. The fourth is current fullback Rod Smith.


The Cowboys have had 16 100-yard rushing performances on Opening Day with Murray owning the most recent in 2012 (131 at NY Giants) and 2014 (118 vs. San Francisco).


The record for most rushing yards for a rookie against the New York Giants is 208 set by Bills running back Terry Miller in a 41-17 win on Nov. 26, 1978.


Dez Bryant’s average stat line through six Opening Day games is five catches for 56 yards.


Bryant has never had a 100-yard performance on Opening Day.


The last Cowboys receiver to have a 100-yard Opening Day was Kevin Ogletree on Sept. 5, 2012 when he caught eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns at the Giants in a 24-17 win.


Antonio Bryant, the other Cowboys 88 receiver from 2002-04, actually has a 100-yard receiving Opening Day catching eight passes for 112 yards in a 35-17 loss in Minnesota on Sept. 12, 2004.


Bryant’s career game for yards (224) on Dec. 23, 2012 came against the New Orleans Saints, whose defense was coordinated by Steve Spagnuolo.


On average, Bryant catches seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.


Since 2010, Bryant has caught 22/59 of his touchdowns on third or fourth down.


Since 2010, Bryant has the second-most touchdown catches against the Giants with six. Who has more is his teammate, tight end Jason Witten with eight.


Witten is 4-4 against Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. On average, he catches five passes for 56 yards.


Odell Beckham, Jr. is just the third LSU receiver to have been named to the Pro Bowl. The other two are Dwayne Bowe (2010) and Eric Martin (1988).


Beckham’s fourth-best game for receptions was Nov. 23, 2014 when he caught 10 balls in a 31-28 loss to the Cowboys.


Beckham’s sixth-best game for receiving yards was the same game where he gained 146 yards.


The Cowboys are 1/7 teams Beckham has attempted a run against, and Beckham has done it twice. He has carried the ball twice for 11 yards.


Of the entire eligible roster for the Cowboys in Week 1, only Tyrone and Jack Crawford have sacks against the Giants.


Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is 2-1 against rookie quarterbacks and limiting them to an 86.8 passer rating. On average, the rookies go 19/32 for 244 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and get sacked once.


Last year, the Giants were 4-6 when giving up 100 yards or more rushing compared to 2-4 when they did not.


Last year, the Giants were 3-5 when intercepting an opposing quarterback once or more compared to 3-5 when they did not.


Last year, Jason Pierre-Paul did not play against the Cowboys in any of the two meetings. The Giants are 3-2 against Dallas when Pierre-Paul gets a sack versus 1-4 when he does not.


Eli Apple is the fifth secondary player the Giants have taken in the first round since 2000, second to the Raiders for the most in that span.


The last time the Giants went undefeated in preseason was 2014 when they went 5-0. New York would finish 6-10.


Cowboys tight ends coach Mike Pope was the team’s tight ends coach from 1983-91 and also 2000-13. He is the only coach to have his name inscribed on all four of the franchise’s Lombardi Trophies.



The Cowboys are 3-1 all-time on Sept. 11. Here are the results:


1983 – @Cardinals, 34-17 – W

1994 – Oilers, 20-17 – W

2005 – @SD, 28-24 – W

2011 – @NYJ, 24-27 – L



The Giants are 4-3-1 on Sept. 11. Here are the results:


1938 – @PIT, 27-14 – W

1966 – @PIT, 34-34 – T

1983 – @ATL, 16-13 – W-OT

1988 – SF, 17-20 – L

1989 – @WAS, 27-24 – W

1994 – @Cardinals, 20-17 – L

2005 – Cardinals, 42-19 – W

2011 – @WAS, 14-28 – L



The Cowboys have four birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 11:


Tom Landry, head coach, 1960-88 – 9/11/1924

Jim Boeke, OT, 1964-67 – 9/11/1938

Sean Lissemore, DT, 2010-12 – 9/11/1987



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