This is the 27th time the Cowboys have started off 2-1. Dallas made the playoffs 14/26 times.
Since 1990, when playoff formats were last revised, 142/266 teams that started 2-1 made the playoffs.
This is the 17th time the 49ers have started 1-2. Only 2/16 of those teams made the playoffs with one winning the Super Bowl (1981).
Since 1990 when playoff formats were last revise, 68/273 teams that started 1-2 made the playoffs.
This is the 17th time Dallas has had a better record than San Francisco ahead of the match-up. The Cowboys have prevailed 7/16 times.
The Cowboys have advanced to 3-1 just 16/26 times in franchise history.
The Cowboys are 15-13 in late afternoon games on the West Coast.
The Cowboys are 8-10 all-time in San Francisco, playoffs included. Here is the record broken down by venue:
Kezar Stadium: 1-2
Candlestick Park: 7-8
The Cowboys are 1-1 in their inaugural games in the 49ers stadiums.
Dallas is 2-2 against San Francisco in October.
DAK PRESCOTT FACTS
Prescott is the fifth Cowboys rookie quarterback to start against the 49ers. Here is how other Cowboys rookies fared:
1960 – Don Meredith: 0-1
1989 – Steve Walsh: 0-1
2001 – Quincy Carter: 1-0
2002 – Chad Hutchinson: 0-1
Prescott is the first backup quarterback since Jon Kitna to win consecutive games. The last to win three in a row was Steve Bueurlein in 1991.
The Cowboys record for most passing attempts without an interception is 179 set by Troy Aikman in 1999.
The longest game streak is at six games and held by Aikman twice, Roger Staubach, and Don Meredith.
Prescott already holds the Cowboys rookie record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with two.
The Cowboys rookie record for most rushing touchdowns is 12 set by Tony Dorsett in 1977, the last of the 14-game seasons in the NFL.
A win Sunday would give Prescott the most wins on the road by a Cowboys rookie quarterback in club history.
A win Sunday would tie Prescott with Quincy Carter for the most wins by a Cowboys rookie quarterback with three.
Prescott has 54 rushing yards. The Cowboys rookie record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback is Aikman with 302.
Prescott has the 10th-lowest sack percentage in the league at 3.88 percent.
Despite having played three career games, Prescott already been granted two roughing the passer calls and is tied for second-most in the league.
BLAINE GABBERT FACTS
Gabbert is 1/3 quarterbacks from the 2011 draft class that is still starting in the NFL. The other two are Cam Newton and Andy Dalton.
Gabbert’s 68.6 passer rating through the first three games is his worst three-game start to a season in his career.
Gabbert’s three deep pass attempts last week against Seattle tied with Week 1 against Los Angeles for his lowest of the season.
Gabbert has yet to have a 100-yard receiver this season.
Gabbert has only been sacked twice this season, tied with New England’s Jimmy Garappolo for the third-lowest of starting quarterbacks in 2016.
This is the second time in Gabbert’s career he has started 1-2.
This is the first time Gabbert will face a team in the NFC East.
Gabbert faced Rod Marinelli’s defense once when he was in Jacksonville and Marinelli the defensive coordinator for Chicago on Oct. 7, 2012. Gabbert went 17/33 for 142 yards, two interceptions, a 37.7 passer rating, and took three sacks in a 41-3 loss.
Against Tampa-2 defenses Gabbert is 3-4 and owns a 75.0 passer rating. On average, he goes 17/30 for 182 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and takes two sacks.
This is the fourth time in Gabbert’s five seasons as a starting quarterback he does not have a Pro Bowl receiver or tight end.
Gabbert is 1/8 former Missouri Tiger quarterbacks to be drafted in the NFL. Of that group, Brad Smith has had the longest career with nine seasons, but he converted to a wide receiver in the pros.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Garrett is 1-1 against San Francisco with a 1-0 record on the road. Here is how he compares to other Cowboys head coaches:
Tom Landry: 8-8-1
Jimmy Johnson: 3-2
Bill Parcells: 1-0
Wade Phillips: 1-0
Jason Garrett: 1-1
Dave Campo: 1-2
Barry Switzer: 1-4
Garrett has a 3-3 record against Chip Kelly with all three of those wins having come on the road.
Garrett has the second-most 2-1 starts in Cowboys history. Tom Landry tops the list with 13.
Garrett has only improved to 3-1 one time in his previous five 2-1 starts (2014).
Garrett has never won three games in a row without Romo under center. A win Sunday would put him with Jimmy Johnson and Tom Landry as the only Cowboys coaches to win three consecutive games with their backup quarterback.
Garrett is 25-21 on the road with a 3-3 record on the road against the NFC West.
Garrett has the Cowboys with a 2-2 record in the Pacific Time Zone. Here is how that compares to other time zones:
Garrett’s 2-2 record in the Pacific Time Zone since 2010 is second-best to the Texans’ 3-1 record. All other Central Time Zone teams have a losing record.
This is the second time Garrett will vie for a 3-1 record while on the road. Last year in New Orleans was his first and the Cowboys lost 26-20 in overtime.
Garrett is 2-6 without both Romo and Dez Bryant. His last win came on Jan. 2, 2011.
This is the first time in Garrett’s career his offense has produced seven rushing touchdowns through the first three games.
CHIP KELLY FACTS
Kelly is 0-1 lifetime at Levi’s Stadium.
Kelly was 11-7 in the NFC East with a 4-5 record at home.
The only NFC East team to sweep Chip Kelly in his three seasons in the division was Washington.
Kelly is 3-3 against the Cowboys, but faces them for the first time as San Francisco’s head coach. Only 4/10 of 49ers head coaches have defeated Dallas in their initial encounters: Red Hickey, Jack Christiansen, George Seifert, and Steve Mariucci.
This is the second time this season Dallas will have Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call their game on FOX. The Cowboys are currently on a four-game losing streak with Buck and Aikman, which is the longest such streak with this pair.
The 49ers are 15-13 with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the action, including playoffs.
Dallas is 33-33 with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the action, including playoffs.
The Cowboys are already 0-1 in their FOX games, making this the 11th time since 1994 this has been the case.
The Cowboys are 7-8 in West Coast games on FOX.
The 49ers are 66-36-1 at home on FOX.
Buck and Aikman are calling just their third Cowboys-49ers game together. The most by a play-by-play team is Pat Summerall and John Madden with 10.
Summerall has called the most games of any broadcast talent with 15 with two of those games featuring Jack Buck, Joe’s father, as the play-by-play.
This is the 13th straight game on FOX in the series, the longest such streak on one network.
This is the Cowboys have a 5-7 record on FOX. Here is how that compares to other networks:
TERRY MCAULAY FACTS
This week’s referee is Terry McAulay. The Cowboys have an 11-6 record when McAulay referees their games. Here are the results:
2001 – PHI, 3-36 – L
2002 – WAS, 27-20 – W
2003 – @DET, 38-7 – W
2004 – @SEA, 43-39 – W
2005 – @SEA, 10-13 – W
2005 – @CAR, 24-20 – W
2006 – @WAS, 19-22 – L
2007 – @MIA, 37-20 – W
2008 – PHI, 41-37 – W
2009 – @NO, 24-17 – W
2010 – PHI, 27-30 – L
2011 – SEA, 23-13 – W
2011 – @TB, 31-15 – W
2013 – DEN, 48-51 – L
2013 – @CHI, 28-45 – L
2014 – SF, 17-28 – L
2014 – @PHI, 38-27 – W
The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than their opponents 9/17 times with McAulay:
2001 – PHI: 3/22; DAL: 10/81
2002 – WAS: 6/56; DAL: 6/48
2003 – DET: 9/96; DAL: 6/65
2004 – SEA: 6/44; DAL: 6/49
2005 – SEA: 9/83; DAL: 9/81
2005 – CAR: 6/49; DAL: 5/44
2006 – WAS: 5/41; DAL: 11/153
2007 – MIA: 7/57; DAL: 11/101
2008 – PHI: 5/44; DAL: 10/108
2009 – NO: 4/30; DAL: 6/49
2010 – PHI: 6/59; DAL: 5/40
2011 – SEA: 10/88; DAL: 7/82
2011 – TB: 6/46; DAL: 2/15
2013 – DEN: 5/55; DAL: 9/81
2013 – CHI: 2/15; DAL: 4/50
2014 – SF: 11/78; DAL: 10/72
2014 – PHI: 8/95; DAL: 11/79
This is McAulay’s first game of the year. Last year, he 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
McAulay had the fourth-highest rate for home teams having fewer penalties:
Brad Allen: .667
Craig Wrolstad: .667
Jeff Triplette: .667
Terry McAulay: .600
Ron Torbert: .600
John Parry: .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
Since becoming a referee in 2001, McAulay has refereed 13 San Francisco games. The 49ers have a 5-8 record thus far:
2001 – CAR, 24-14 – W
2002 – @Rams, 20-31 – L
2004 – @TB, 3-35 – L
2006 – PHI, 24-38 – L
2006 – @Rams, 20-17 – L
2007 – CIN, 20-13 – W
2008 – SEA, 13-34 – L
2011 – TB, 48-3 – W
2012 – @ATL, 28-24 – W
2013 – Colts, 7-27 – L
2014 – @DAL, 28-17 – W
2014 – @Raiders, 13-24 – L
2015 – GB, 3-17 – L
The Niners also win the penalty battle 7/13 times when McAulay officiates their games:
2001 – CAR: 8/95; SF: 8/47
2002 – Rams: 5/33; SF: 6/48
2004 – TB: 5/50; SF: 4/30
2006 – PHI: 9/72; SF: 8/64
2006 – Rams: 5/35; SF: 5/34
2007 – CIN: 1/15; SF: 3/15
2008 – SEA: 3/15; SF: 7/65
2011 – TB: 3/9; SF: 3/30
2012 – ATL: 2/30; SF: 4/24
2013 – Colts: 1/10; SF: 6/48
2014 – DAL: 10/72; SF: 11/78
2014 – Raiders: 10/84; SF: 7/50
2015 – GB: 8/65; SF: 4/30
The Cowboys are 3/7 on challenges under McAulay with opponents having never won a call in three tries. Replay Assistant is 2/8 on challenges with seven decisions benefiting the Cowboys.
San Francisco has gone 0/1 on challenges with McAulay while opponents are 2/5. Replay Assistant is 2/7 with two of those calls benefiting the 49ers.
Cleveland fans remember Terry McAulay fondly. In Week 15, 2001, McAulay was the official in the infamous “Bottlegate” game between the Jaguars and Browns. McAulay declared the game over after incensed Cleveland fans threw objects onto the playing surface in protest of an overturned completed Browns catch. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue overrode McAulay’s call and sent the players back onto the field to complete the final 48 seconds of regulation. Cleveland lost 10-15.
Since 1990, when our editor-in-chief, Mike Fisher, became a part of the Cowboys beat, Dallas is 10-13 against teams he used to cover (Denver, San Francisco).
This is the third time since 1970 the Cowboys have had seven or more rushing touchdowns through Week 3. Those two previous teams (’71, ’95) won the Super Bowl.
The Cowboys are the 20th team since 1970 to have seven rushing touchdowns through the first three weeks. 12/19 of those teams made the playoffs.
Ezekiel Elliott has 274 rushing yards through three games. The Cowboys rookie record is 1,007 set by Dorsett in 1977. At Elliott’s current pace, he is slated to reach 1,461 by the end of the year.
Elliott is tied with Cleveland’s Isaiah Crowell for the second-most rushing yards in the league with 274.
Elliott is the first Cowboys rookie running back since Calvin Hill in 1969 to be in the top-3 in rushing yards after Week 3.
Carlos Hyde is tied with LeGarrette Blount, Melvin Gordon, and Tevin Coleman for most rushing touchdowns with four.
The Cowboys’ 71.4 percent conversion rate on third-and-short (1-3 yards) is the second-highest through the first three games since 2011. Highest was 75.0 in 2013.
Jason Witten has caught 14 passes through the first three games. The last time this was so in 2007.
Witten’s 142 receiving yards through the first three games is his sixth-best start of his career.
This is the eighth time that Witten has started the first three games of the season without a touchdown. Witten caught a touchdown in the fourth game 4/7 times.
The Cowboys have a 52.5 percent third-down conversion rate through three weeks. Since 1999, Dallas has only had a higher conversion rate in 2008 (60.0 percent) and 2014 (54.3 percent).
Dallas is tied for seventh in the NFL with a 66.67 percent red zone conversion rate.
So far, just 20.7 percent of the Cowboys’ drives go three-and-out. In 2015, 22.7 percent of their drives went three-and-out.
The 49ers offense is sixth in the league in red zone conversion at 70 percent.
The Cowboys defense is ninth in the league with a plus-2 turnover differential after three weeks. In 2015, they were minus-3 after three weeks and tied for fourth-worst in the NFL.
San Francisco is tied with Arizona for seventh in the NFL with a plus-3 turnover differential. Last year, they were third-worst in the league at minus-4.
The 49ers are also tied with the Cardinals for third-most takeaways in the NFL with eight.
Dallas has 14 points off takeaways, tied for 12th-best in the NFL.
The 49ers lead the NFL with 45 points off takeaways.
The 49ers are tied with Tampa Bay and Jacksonville for 15th in the NFL in opponent red zone conversion at 54.55 percent.
49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil gave up a total of 13 touchdowns to tight ends during his two seasons in the same job with the Browns.
Rod Marinelli has only coached one game against 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins when both were in their respective capacities. On Nov. 7, 2010, Chicago defeated Buffalo 22-19. Marinelli’s defense held Modkins’ offense to 340 yards. The pass defense held Ryan Fitzpatrick to 31/51 for 299 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, a 67.4 passer rating, and one sack. The rush defense held the Bills to 2.6 yards per carry and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys, Texans, Giants, and Cardinals are the only teams in the NFL who had one false start penalty through the first three games. Green Bay had none.
Opposing teams have yet to commit a false start penalty at Levi’s Stadium for 2016, yet the 49ers have one.
The Cowboys are tied with five other teams for sixth-most holding penalties in the league with six.
The 49ers, Giants, and Saints are the third-biggest beneficiaries of opposing offensive holding penalties with eight.
Incidentally, backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick is 2-0 against Rod Marinelli’s defenses and has a 129.3 passer rating. On average, he goes 16/23 for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and gets sacked once. Additionally, he has 2.3 yards per carry.
Romo is 2-1 against the 49ers with a 96.4 passer rating. On average, he goes 22/36 for 322 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and takes 1.5 sacks.
Including playoffs, Romo is 11-5 against the NFC West with a 4-4 record on the road.
The Cowboys are 4-3 on Oct. 2. Here are the results:
1966 – @ATL, 47-14 – W
1977 – TB, 23-7 – W
1978 – @WAS, 5-9 – L
1983 – @MIN, 37-24 – W
1994 – @WAS, 34-7 – W
2005 – @Raiders, 13-19 – L
2011 – DET, 30-34 – L
The 49ers are 4-4 on Oct. 2. Here are the results:
1955 – CLE, 3-38 – L
1960 – Rams, 13-9 – W
1977 – @Rams, 14-34 – L
1983 – @NE, 33-13 – W
1988 – DET, 20-13 – W
1994 – PHI, 8-40 – L
2005 – @Cardinals, 14-31 – L
2011 – @PHI, 24-23 – W
The Cowboys have four birthdays to celebrate on Oct. 2:
Robert Williams, CB, 1987-93 – 10/2/1962
Cornell Gowdy, DB, 1986 – 10/2/1963
Jim Price, TE, 1993 – 10/2/1966
Jakar Hamilton, S, 2013-14 – 10/2/1989