This is the 19th time the Cowboys have started 0-1 in club history. Only 6/18 of those previous Opening Day losers ever made the playoffs.
Washington is 0-1 for the 40th time in franchise history. After losing on Opening Day, Washington made the playoffs 7/39 times in club history.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, there have been 401 teams through 2015 that lost on Opening Day. Only 101/401 made the playoffs.
This is the third time in series history that Washington and Dallas will meet with 0-1 records. Both prior meetings were in Dallas and the Cowboys won each time.
Dallas is 30-28 against the Washington on the road. Here is the breakdown by venue:
Griffith Stadium: 0-1
RFK Stadium: 18-20
FedEx Field: 12-7
The Cowboys’ 12-7 record at FedEx Field is tied for the best in the NFC East:
NY Giants: 10-8-1
Dallas is 12-8-1 against Washington in September.
In late afternoon games, the Cowboys are 25-26 in late afternoon games on the East Coast.
Washington is 38-22 in home games in the late afternoon time slot.
This is the fourth straight game Dallas will feature a different starting quarterback. The last time this happened in series history was from 2000-01 when Dallas started Randall Cunningham (Sept. 18, 2000), Troy Aikman (Dec. 10, 2000), Anthony Wright (Oct. 15, 2001), and Quincy Carter (Dec. 2, 2001). Dallas won all three games.
DAK PRESCOTT FACTS
Last week, Prescott became the 13th different starting quarterback for the Cowboys on Opening Day. Here is how his 0-1 record compares to the other starters in chronological order:
Eddie LeBaron: 0-1
Don Meredith: 1-0
Roger Staubach: 1-0
Craig Morton: 1-0
Danny White: 1-0
Gary Hogeboom: 1-0
Steve Pelluer: 0-1
Troy Aikman: 0-1
Quincy Carter: 0-1
Vinny Testaverde: 0-1
Drew Bledsoe: 1-0
Tony Romo: 1-0
Dak Prescott: 0-1
Prescott’s 69.4 passer rating is the 17th-lowest for a Cowboys starting quarterback on Opening Day, but the second-best by a Cowboys rookie QB on Opening Day.
Last week, Prescott threw 45 passes, tied with Andrew Luck for second-most by a rookie quarterback on Opening Day. Only Sam Bradford’s 55 attempts is the most. All three quarterbacks lost, though Prescott had the lowest margin of defeat.
Prescott attempted 45 passes last week and lost. Even with Romo under center, the Cowboys are 11-21 when he passes 45 or more times.
Prescott’s 227 yards passing were the most by a Cowboys rookie in his first start.
Prescott’s 25 completions were not only the most by a Cowboys rookie quarterback in his debut, but also tied the single-game most by Troy Aikman.
Dallas picked off Eli Manning once and the offense never surrendered possession yet still lost. Cowboys rookie quarterbacks are now 9-6 when their team wins the turnover battle.
Prescott is starting in his first road game. Here is how the other previous seven Cowboys rookie quarterbacks fared in their first road starts:
Jerry Rhome: 0-1
Craig Morton: 0-1
Kevin Sweeney: 1-0
Troy Aikman: 0-1
Steve Walsh: 0-1
Quincy Carter: 0-1
Chad Hutchinson: 0-1
Prescott is the fifth Cowboys rookie quarterback to start in the rivalry. Dallas rookies are 3-2 against Washington.
Prescott is the first Cowboys rookie quarterback to make consecutive starts since 2002 when Chad Hutchinson started nine straight games.
KIRK COUSINS FACTS
Cousins is 1-1 against Rod Marinelli with a 128.4 passer rating. On average, he goes 17/23 for 198 yards, two touchdowns, and takes 1.5 sacks.
Cousins is 2-4 against Tampa-2 defenses with a 103.7 passer rating. On average, he goes 25/37, 277 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and gets sacked twice.
Cousins is 4-6 against the NFC East with a 2-3 record at home.
Cousins is 7-14 as a starter with a 6-5 record at home.
Cousins has not thrown an interception in his past five NFC East games. He has a perfect 10-0 TD-INT ratio.
Since last season, Washington is 1-7 when Cousins gets sacked once or more compared to 8-2 when he does not.
Washington is 5-15 when Cousins throws 30 or more passes compared to 6-0 when he does not.
Last week was the third time in Cousin’s career he threw multiple interceptions and no touchdowns.
Failing to throw a touchdown last week, Cousin’s streak of consecutive games with a touchdown fell at 16 games, the second-longest streak behind Sonny Jurgensen’s 23 in Washington history.
Cousins has thrown a touchdown against the Cowboys in three straight games, which is tied as the fifth-longest streak in Washington history.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
The New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, and Washington Redskins are the only teams Jason Garrett has defeated as both a starting quarterback and head coach.
Garrett has six wins apiece against Washington and Philadelphia. The most wins Garrett has against a divisional opponent is seven against the Giants.
Garrett is 10-7 in the month of September.
Garrett is 10-7 in the first games of a series against NFC East foes with a 5-1 record on the road.
Garrett’s teams are 3-2 in road openers.
This is the eighth back-to-back division swing of Garrett’s career. Here is how he fared when facing NFC East teams in consecutive weeks:
2010 – PHI (L), WAS (W)
2011 – PHI (L), @NYG (L)
2012 – WAS (L), PHI (W)
2013 – WAS (W), @PHI (W)
2014 – NYG (W), WAS (L)
2014 – @NYG (W), PHI (L)
2015 – NYG (W), @PHI (W)
Garrett is 3-2 in Week 2 games with every one of them being on the road.
Garrett has a 20-15 record against the NFC East with a 13-4 record on the road.
Garrett is 7-4 against Washington. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Tom Landry: 15-16
Jason Garrett: 7-4
Dave Campo: 5-1
Bill Parcells: 5-3
Chan Gailey: 4-0
Wade Phillips: 4-3
Jimmy Johnson: 5-5
Barry Switzer: 4-4
Jimmy Johnson is the only Cowboys head coach to have not swept Washington. Conversely, four out of the Cowboys’ eight head coaches have been swept by Washington (Landry, Switzer, Parcells, Garrett).
Garrett has never started a season 0-2 as a head coach.
JAY GRUDEN FACTS
Gruden is 0-1 for the third straight time in his career. No other Washington head coach accomplished this feat.
Despite falling 0-1 from 2014-15, Gruden always managed to get Washington to win in Week 2.
Gruden is 2-2 against the Cowboys all-time. Here is how he compares to other Washington head coaches:
Joe Gibbs: 16-16
Bill McPeak: 4-4-2
Mike Nixon: 1-0
Jay Gruden: 2-2
Richie Petitbon: 1-1
George Allen: 7-8
Norv Turner: 4-9
Mike Shanahan: 3-5
Otto Graham: 2-4
Jack Pardee: 2-4
Steve Spurrier: 1-3
Jim Zorn: 1-3
Terry Robiskie: 0-1
Vince Lombardi: 0-2
Bill Austin: 0-2
Marty Schottenheimer: 0-2
Gruden is 2-4 in initial division games. His first ever division win was against the Cowboys.
At home, Gruden is 3-3 against the NFC East.
In early games, Gruden is 10-13 with an 8-4 record at home.
Gruden currently has the fourth-most wins for a Washington head coach at FedEx Field with nine.
Gruden is 5/7 Washington head coaches to start off his playoff career with a loss. The only two who didn’t were Joe Gibbs and Norv Turner.
Gruden is the seventh head coach owner Dan Snyder has hired or promoted since buying the franchise in 1999. Here is how Snyder’s hiring compares to other Washington owners:
George Preston Marshall: 16
Dan Snyder: 7
Jack Kent Cooke: 4
Edward Bennett Williams: 2
Gruden was head coach or the Orlando Predators in the Arena Football League from 1998-01 and then 2004-08. In the 2006 Eastern Conference championship, Gruden’s Predators defeated the Dallas Desperados 45-28. The Desperados were owned by Jerry Jones and coached by assistant director of pro personnel Will McClay.
This week’s commentating pair is Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch, who together have called two Dallas-Washington games all at FedEx Field:
2013 – @WAS, 24-23 – W
2014 – @WAS, 41-14 – W
Burkhardt and Lynch are the eighth of nine broadcast teams to call a game in the series for FOX: Here is a look at the other pairings:
1994-1999 – Pat Summerall and John Madden
1994-1999 – Dick Stockton and Matt Millen
2000-2001 – Sam Rosen and Bill Maas
2002 – Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger
2002-present – Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Cris Collinsworth (until 2004)
2003-04 – Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa
2010-present – Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa
2013-present – Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch
2015-present – Chris Meyers and Ronde Barber
With Lynch doing the color for their games, the Cowboys are 4-2.
Burkhardt was the inaugural play-by-play announcer for Compass Media Networks “America’s Team Radio Network,” that was auxiliary to the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network broadcasts, from 2011-12. Burkhardt’s partner was ex-Cowboy quarterback Danny White, who still does color for Compass.
Washington is 0-3 when Burkhardt calls their games.
Lynch has called four previous Washington games since becoming an analyst in 2008 with the club going 1-5 altogether.
The Cowboys hold a 19-10 advantage over Washington on FOX.
Dallas-Washington has been played on 5/7 possible broadcast networks. Here is a breakdown of the Cowboys’ record against their arch rival by network:
This is the 30th game in the Dallas-Washington series that FOX will broadcast, and that alone is a little over half the games CBS broadcast in the series with 59 total.
This is the fourth straight season that FOX has assigned someone other than their A-team to call a Dallas-Washington game.
This is the 10th time since 1994 that FOX has not sent their A-team to cover a game in the Dallas-Washington series.
The Cowboys are 117-112 on FOX, including playoffs.
BILL VINOVICH FACTS
Sunday’s referee is Bill Vinovich. The Cowboys have a 6-3 record when he officiates their games. Here is record:
2004 – @CIN, 3-26 – L
2004 – WAS, 13-10 – W
2005 – PHI, 33-10 – W
2006 – Colts, 21-14 – W
2012 – @CIN, 20-19 – W
2013 – @DET, 30-31 – L
2014 – @NYG, 31-28 – W
2015 – NYG, 27-26 – W
2015 – @TB, 6-10 – L
The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than their opposition 5/9 times with Vinovich:
2004 – CIN: 4/20; DAL: 7/46
2004 – WAS: 8/69; DAL: 1/13
2005 – PHI: 8/54; DAL: 5/48
2006 – Colts: 5/35; DAL: 7/53
2012 – CIN: 8/70; DAL: 6/49
2013 – DET: 8/61; DAL: 2/31
2014 – NYG: 5/30; DAL: 7/63
2015 – NYG: 5/44; DAL: 3/35
2015 – TB: 7/62; DAL: 6/68
Washington is 2-5 when Vinovich officiates their games. Here are the results:
2004 – @CHI, 13-10 – W
2004 – @DAL, 10-13 – L
2005 – @TB, 35-36 – L
2012 – @CLE, 38-21 – W
2013 – @NYG, 6-20 – L
2014 – TB, 7-27 – L
2015 – @ATL, 19-25 – L-OT
Washington has similarly only had fewer penalties than the opposition 2/7 times:
2004 – CHI: 7/65; WAS: 5/39
2004 – DAL: 1/13; WAS: 8/69
2005 – TB: 2/15; WAS: 6/41
2012 – CLE: 5/30; WAS: 6/45
2013 – NYG: 3/20; WAS: 3/30
2014 – TB: 11/101; WAS: 9/67
2015 – ATL: 4/62; WAS: 5/51
Last year, Vinovich had the second-highest 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
But in terms of home teams having fewer penalties, Vinovich was middle of the pack:
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
Under Vinovich, the Cowboys have won 2/6 of their coaches challenges compared to their opponents winning 2/5 coaches challenges. Additionally, Replay Assistant is 2/7 on challenges with only two of those rulings benefiting the Cowboys.
Washington has won 1/2 challenges under Vinovich with opponents going 1/3. Replay Assistant is 1/5 with one of those calls benefiting Washington.
Vinovich has not only refereed a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLIX), but also a NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament game in 2007 between Illinois and Virginia Tech.
Just before the ’07 season, a heart condition forced Vinovich to retire from being an on-field official and go upstairs and serve as Ed Hochuli’s replay official from 2007-11.
Last week was the third time since 2000 the same head coach and quarterback returned in Opening Day games for Washington.
Last week was the first time since Dec. 29, 2013 that Jason Witten caught nine or more passes. Dallas is 7-11 when this is the case.
Witten is 2-1 against Washington defensive coordinator Joe Barry. On average, he catches nine passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Witten has caught the most passes against Washington since 1960 with 119 receptions. Second-most is Michael Irvin with 96.
If Witten gains 33 yards receiving against Washington, he will surpass Cowboys Tony Hill for third-most receiving yards against that franchise since 1960.
Since 2010, Dez Bryant has caught the second-most passes against Washington with 46. First place goes to Witten with 63.
Witten also leads Bryant for the most receiving yards since 2010 against Washington with 705 to 703.
Bryant has caught the most touchdown passes against Washington since 2010 with seven.
Last week, Bryant only caught one pass for a paltry eight yards. Only seven times has this happened in his career. On average, Bryant bounces back with five catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Bryant’s only game against Barry was last year in a 19-16 win in Washington on Monday Night Football. Bryant caught three passes for 62 yards.
Last week was the first time in Bryant’s career that he played with a rookie quarterback.
The most rushing yards a Cowboys rookie has put on Washington is 150 by Calvin Hill on Nov. 16, 1969. Hill also set the rookie single-game record for most carries with 27.
The most touchdowns a Cowboys rookie has scored on Washington is a tie held between running back Duane Thomas (1970) and Irvin (1988).
If Alfred Morris had stayed in Washington, his seven carries for 35 yards would lead the team after Week 1. Matt Jones carried the ball seven times for 24 yards, and Chris Thompson carried the ball four times for 23 yards.
Last week’s 55 rushing yards by Washington was the second-lowest rushing output by a Bill Callahan-coached offensive line.
DeSean Jackson’s absence from the Jan. 3 season finale for 2015 was the first time he had missed a Cowboys game since 2012.
Rod Marinelli is 4-4 against Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay. On average, Marinelli’s defenses held McVay’s offenses to 22 points and 381 yards. The pass defense limits the offense to 23/32 for 290 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and 2.5 sacks on average. The rush defense averages 3.8 yards per carry and a touchdown.
Newly signed defensive end Ryan Davis joins DeMarcus Lawrence, Sean Lee, Orlando Scandrick, and Kyle Wilber as the only active Cowboys with sacks against Washington with one apiece.
Last week Dan Bailey hit two field goals of 50 yards or more. Dallas is 0-4 when Bailey accomplishes this feat.
Bailey is 11/11 at FedEx Field. He is also perfect at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles, with a 5/5 mark. MetLife Stadium is the only NFC East venue where he has missed a field goal try.
Last year at FedEx Field, Bailey went 4/4 on field goals to help Dallas prevail 19-16 over Washington. The four field goals tied for third-most for Bailey in both the attempts and made departments.
Since 2011, the Cowboys have had one kicker in Bailey. In the same span, Washington has gone through five.
Washington defensive coordinator Joe Barry is Marinelli’s son-in-law and was his defensive coordinator in Detroit from 2007-08.
The Cowboys are 5-1 on Sept. 18. Here are the results:
1966 – NYG, 52-7 – W
1977 – @MIN, 16-10 – W-OT
1983 – NYG, 28-13 – W
1988 – NYG, 10-12 – L
2000 – @WAS, 27-21 – W
2011 – @SF, 27-24 – W-OT
Washington is 4-4-1 on Sept. 18. Here are the results:
1938 – Brooklyn Dodgers, 16-16 – T
1966 – @Cardinals, 7-23 – L
1972 – @MIN, 24-21 – W
1977 – @NYG, 17-20 – L
1983 – KC, 27-12 – W
1988 – PHI, 17-10 – W
1994 – @NYG, 23-31 – L
2000 – DAL, 21-27 – L
2011 – Cardinals, 22-21 – W
The Cowboys have one birthday to celebrate, that of tight end Donnie Davis (9/18/1940) who played for Dallas in 1962.
The Cowboys also have one death to remember on Sept. 18 and it’s that of Hall-of-Famer Bob Hayes. Kidney failure claimed the Bullet on Sept. 18, 2002 after an arduous battle with prostate cancer and liver problems.