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CHICAGO BEARS FACTS
More is at stake Sunday for these two clubs than most realize. A win for Dallas Sunday would give them all-time winning percentage of .569 and drop Chicago, current first-place holder, down to .568.
This is the 24th time in club history the Cowboys have started 1-1. 10/23 of those previous 1-1 teams made the playoffs.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, teams that started 1-1 made the playoffs only 152/373 times.
This is the 20th time in franchise history Chicago has started out 0-2. They never made the playoffs the previous 19 times.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, teams that started 0-2 made the playoffs only 26/214 times.
This is the 12th time the Cowboys will have a better record than the Bears ahead of the match-up. Dallas has won 9/11 times.
Chicago is 5-7 in Dallas. Here are the results broken down by venue:
Cotton Bowl: 1-0
Texas Stadium: 2-7
AT&T Stadium: 2-0
The Bears are the only team remaining in the NFL that is undefeated against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in multiple visits with a 2-0 record.
The Cowboys are 5-2 against the Bears in September.
This is the ninth time Dallas and Chicago will face each other during Hispanic Heritage Month. The Cowboys are 4-4 against Chicago in that span.
The last time Dallas and Chicago played each other with their backup quarterbacks was Nov. 25, 2004 on Thanksgiving when the Cowboys started rookie Drew Henson and the Bears rookie Craig Krenzel. Both were replaced.
DAK PRESCOTT FACTS
Last week, Prescott’s 103.7 passer rating was the fourth-highest passer rating for a starting Cowboys quarterback at FedEx Field.
Prescott is the third Cowboys rookie to start against Chicago:
1986 – Reggie Collier, 10-24 – L
2004 – Drew Henson, 21-7 – W
Incidentally, Collier and Henson were both pulled for poor performances.
No Cowboys rookie quarterback has ever thrown a touchdown against the Bears.
Prescott is the first Cowboys quarterback to start the season’s first two games and not throw a touchdown.
Conversely, Prescott is the 11th quarterback in the history of the Cowboys to start the first two games and yet to throw an interception.
With an 83.1 passer rating, Prescott has the second-highest passer rating for a Cowboys rookie quarterback’s first two starts. The highest goes to Kevin Sweeney with 111.8.
Since 1999, Prescott’s 83.1 passer rating ranks as the 11th-highest by a rookie quarterback through the first two games of his career.
Prescott is the first Cowboys rookie to lead them to a 1-1 record to start the season. Troy Aikman was the only other Cowboys rookie quarterback to start the season’s first two games, but he led them to an 0-2 mark in 1989.
This is the second time in franchise history a Cowboys rookie quarterback will start against an 0-2 team. The first time was on Sept. 24, 1989 versus Washington when Aikman went 6/21 for 83 yards and two interceptions.
Sunday night will be Prescott’s first-ever start in prime time, and the second for a Cowboys rookie quarterback in team history. The last rookie to do so was Steve Walsh on Nov. 5, 1989 when he led Dallas to a 13-3 win at Washington on ESPN Sunday Night Football.
BRIAN HOYER FACTS
This is the third time in Hoyer’s career that he has to relieve the incumbent due to injury. He is 1-1 when doing so.
Hoyer is the sixth different backup quarterback to start in place of Cutler since 2009.
Hoyer has a 6-6 record as a starting quarterback on the road.
This is Hoyer’s first game against the NFC East as a starter.
This is the first time since playing in Cleveland in 2014 with Josh Gordon that Hoyer will have a Pro Bowl receiver (Alshon Jeffrey).
Sunday will be Hoyer’s second ever Sunday Night Football game. Last year, he started for the Texans and went 11/22 for 155 yards and a 73.1 passer rating in a 27-6 loss to New England.
In prime time games overall, Hoyer is 2-1 with both wins having come with Cleveland.
Against the Tampa-2, Hoyer is 4-1 with a 77.7 passer rating. On average, he goes 23/41 for 276 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and takes three sacks.
There were 11 quarterbacks drafted in the 2009 NFL draft. Only two of them are still in the league: Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez. Hoyer went undrafted. One of the other nine failed quarterbacks was Stephen McGee, who Dallas took in the fourth round.
Hoyer is 1/18 players in NFL history to throw four or more interceptions and no touchdowns in a playoff game since 1960 and 1/5 to have his team be shutout.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Garrett is 1-2 against the Bears. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Tom Landry: 8-6
Jimmy Johnson: 2-0
Bill Parcells: 1-0
Wade Phillips: 1-1
Barry Switzer: 1-1
Jason Garrett: 1-2
Chan Gailey: 0-1
Garrett has a 1-4 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: 4-7
NFC South: 4-8
Garrett is 0-1 against John Fox. In rematches against coaches who first beat him, Garrett is 3-6.
Garrett is 7-4 when his team faces a backup quarterback.
Garrett is 11-7 in the month of September.
Garrett is 4-1 in Week 3 games in his career.
Garrett has an 8-11 record on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoffs and NFL Specials.
Garrett is 0-4 on NBC Sunday Night Football without Romo.
Garrett has not sustained a winning streak without Tony Romo under center since November 2010 when Dallas defeated the Giants in Garrett’s first game and then beat Detroit at home. It is the only such winning streak without Romo Garrett has in his career.
Garrett and Tony Romo are the only two Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks to have defeated Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Romo did it in Week 2 of 2011 in San Francisco, while Garrett beat him in Week 6 of 1998 when Fangio coached the Panthers’ defense. Both Garrett and Romo threw two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Garrett and Bears head coach John Fox were a part of the New York Giants from 2000-01 when Garrett was a backup quarterback and Fox was the defensive coordinator under head coach Jim Fassel. Also a part of this connection is Dallas tight ends coach Mike Pope, who was also coaching tight ends for New York during that span.
JOHN FOX FACTS
As the Bears head coach, Fox has yet to face the Cowboys. Only 3/8 of Bears head coaches since 1960 have defeated the Cowboys in their first meeting: George Halas, Dave Wannstedt, and Marc Trestman.
This is the fourth time Fox has started off 0-2, the past three instances happening in Carolina where he failed to reach the postseason in those years.
Fox is 23-25 in September games with an 0-6 losing streak going back to Denver.
This is the 50th time Fox will coach with a backup quarterback. His record is currently 24-25.
Fox is currently 5-4 in his first nine road games with the Bears, his second-best start with a new team. Only his 7-2 record with Denver is better.
Fox is 7-3 on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoff games and NFL Specials. He is 1-2 without Peyton Manning as quarterback in such games.
Fox is 8-2 coming off of Monday Night Football games.
Fox has an 11-16 record against the NFC East with a 6-8 record on the road.
Fox is 2-6 against the Cowboys with a 1-0 record against Jason Garrett.
Fox is 1/14 head coaches to have earned a playoff win against Dallas and not suffered a loss.
This is the 15th time that a rookie quarterback will start on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoff games and NFL Specials. Rookies are 8-6.
Dallas is 19-17 on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoff games and NFL Specials.
Chicago is 9-11 on NBC Sunday Night Football, including playoff games and NFL Specials.
The Cowboys are 45-33 when Al Michaels calls their games.
The Cowboys are 18-18 when Cris Collinsworth calls their games.
Pat Summerall & John Madden (CBS and FOX) have called the most matches between Dallas and Chicago than any other commentating team with eight.
On KXAS, the NBC affiliate for Dallas-Fort Worth, the Cowboys are an all-time 44-32, including simulcast cable games from 1987-90.
CRAIG WROLSTAD FACTS
This week’s referee is second year-referee Craig Wrolstad. Dallas has an 0-2 record with Wrolstad refereeing games:
2014 – Cardinals, 17-28 – L
2015 – NYJ, 16-19 – L
The Cowboys managed to have fewer penalties through two games with Wrolstad:
2014 – Cardinals: 6/62; DAL: 5/33
2015 – NYJ: 8/61; DAL: 6/54
Last year, Wroldstad was tied for the fourth-lowest home team winning percentage in the NFL:
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
Despite this, Wroldstad tied for the highest percentage of home teams winning the penalty battle:
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Brad Allen: .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
The Bears are 1-1 when Wrolstad referees their games:
2015 – GB, 23-31 – L
2015 – @SD, 22-19 – W
Chicago is similarly .500 in having fewer penalties with Wroldstad:
2015 – GB: 10/74; CHI: 6/64
2015 – SD: 8/54; CHI: 6/55
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.
Chicago has yet to challenge one of Wrolstad’s calls, though the opposition is 0/1. Similarly, Replay Assistant has yet to challenge one of Wrolstad’s calls.
Wrolstad was a field judge on Ed Hochuli’s crew on Jan. 9, 2010 when Dallas defeated Philadelphia 34-14 to win their first playoff game in 13 years.
Away from pro football, Wrolstad is a high school athletic director for Seattle Christian Schools in Tukwila, Washington.
Scott Linehan has faced 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on three different occasions.
When Linehan was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator and Fangio Houston’s defensive coordinator, on 10/10/04, the Vikings beat the Texans 34-28 in overtime. Daunte Culpepper went 36/50 for 396 yards, five touchdowns, and had a 128.4 passer rating while taking three sacks. The ground game gained 122 yards on 26 carries, and the offense had no giveaways.
The second time Linehan and Fangio faced off was when Linehan was in Detroit and Fangio with San Francisco on 10/16/11. The 49ers beat the Lions 25-19. Matt Stafford went 28/50 for 293 yards, two touchdowns, and had an 86.5 passer rating while taking five sacks. Lions backs gained 66 yards on 18 carries, and the offense had no giveaways.
The third time was Sept. 7, 2014 when Dallas hosted San Francisco on Opening Day when the 49ers beat the Cowboys 28-17. Romo went 23/37 for 281 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions, and was sacked three times, posting a 60.8 passer rating. DeMarco Murray did gain 118 yards on 22 carries along with at touchdown, the beginning of his NFL record eight games of 100 yards rushing to start a season.
The Bears defense has four sacks through two games, which is tied for 16th in the league.
Chicago’s defense is currently ninth in the NFL having surrendered 3.4 yards per carry. However, teams have only run the ball against the Bears 67 times, the second-fewest in the league.
Alfred Morris has a 4.4 yards per carry against Fangio’s defenses through three career games. On average, he carries the ball 15 times for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Jason Witten is 1-1 against Fangio. On average, he catches five passes for 58 yards.
Dez Bryant is 0-1 against Fangio, the loss being on Opening Day 2014 against San Francisco. Bryant caught four passes for 55 yards.
The last time Bryant had consecutive 100-yard receiving games was from Nov. 18-22 in 2012 when Dallas played Cleveland and Washington. Bryant posted 145 yards receiving in both games.
The Cowboys are fifth in the league with 34:47 average time of possession. However, they are 11th in points per drive at 2.42.
The Cowboys offense has the ninth-worst red zone conversion in the league at 50 percent.
The Bears defense has the NFL’s eighth-lowest opposing red zone conversion at 44.4 percent.
The Cowboys have the best third-down conversion rate in the league, going 16/29 (55 percent).
The Bears defense has the 12th-highest third-down conversion rate at 15/35 (43 percent).
The Bears offense has the 10th-lowest third-down conversion rate at 8/23 (35 percent).
The Cowboys defense has the 11th-highest third-down conversion rate at 10/22 (46 percent).
The last time the Cowboys had consecutive games with a takeaway was Dec. 19-27 last year when Dallas played the Jets and the Bills.
Dallas is sixth in the NFL with 14 points off takeaways.
The Cowboys defense gives up 2.32 points per drive, the ninth-most in the NFL.
The Cowboys only have one false start penalty this season, only 1/11 teams.
Dallas has the fifth-most holding penalties in the league right now with five.
The Cowboys defense has had a sack in the past 11 games. It is the 11th-longest active streak in the NFL.
Since 2009, Jay Cutler has missed 16 games due to injury. In the same span, Romo has missed 26 games.
Cutler is 1/58 players since 1940 to have thrown 25 or more interceptions in a season. He and Hall of Famer Sid Luckman are the only Chicago Bears to do so.
Since 1951, when Luckman retired, the Bears have spent five first-round picks on quarterbacks. Each spent an average of five years in Chicago, less than half the tenure of Luckman (1939-50).
If there were no Chicago Bears and George Halas, there would be no Don Meredith. Halas drafted Meredith 32nd overall in the 1960 NFL draft, but chose to honor a personal services contract Meredith signed with Dallas franchise owner Clint Murchison. The NFL ultimately made Dallas compensate the Bears with a third-round pick in 1962.
Dallas is undefeated at 5-0 on Sept. 25. Here are the results:
1966 – MIN, 28-17 – W
1977 – NYG, 41-21 – W
1983 – NO, 21-20 – W
1988 – ATL, 26-20 – W
2005 – @SF, 34-31 – W
The Bears are 3-6-1 on Sept. 25. Here are the results:
1927 – @Cardinals, 9-0 – W
1932 – @GB, 0-0 – T
1940 – @Cardinals, 7-21 – L
1949 – @GB, 17-0 – W
1955 – @Colts, 17-23 – L
1960 – GB, 17-14 – W
1965 – @Rams, 28-30 – L
1977 – @Cardinals, 13-16 – L
2005 – CIN, 7-24 – L
2011 – GB, 17-27 – L
The Cowboys have three birthdays to celebrate on Sept. 25:
Sonny Davis, LB, 1961 – 9/25/1938
Ray Perkins, DE, 1987 – 9/25/1964
Dat Nguyen, LB, 1999-2005 – 9/25/1975