DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys will say goodbye to a lousy 2020 on Sunday as they play their penultimate game of the season against their NFC East compatriots from Philadelphia before a Week 17 finale on January 3rd ushers in the New Year. With two games left on the docket, the Cowboys are inexplicably still alive for the NFC East crown despite a 5-9 record.
Bolstered by their first winning streak of the season, Dallas will welcome the 4-9-1 Eagles to AT&T Stadium in a contest that will serve as an elimination game between the two storied rivals.
The Eagles also remain in the playoff hunt despite their poor showing in 2020 but both teams will need to win-out and get a lot of help from the rest of the division if they want to see their season extend beyond Week 17.
With that in mind, here are 100 facts and stats as the Cowboys and Eagles duke it out to see who can continue to hold out hope:
SERIES FACTS (9)
-The Cowboys are 5-9 for the fifth time in club history. None of those previous teams made the playoffs (2000, 2002, 2004, 2010).
-Since 1990, 1 out of 100 teams that started 6-9 made the playoffs: the 2010 Seattle Seahawks, who won the NFC West with a 7-9 record.
-Since 1990, 0 of the 79 teams that started 5-10 made the playoffs, and 50 of those 79 finished 5-11.
-The Eagles are 4-9-1 for the third time in club history. None of those previous teams made the playoffs (1969, 1986).
-Since 1990, 0 of the 2 teams that started 5-9-1 made the playoffs. The best finish was 6-9-1 by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2016 quarterbacked by Andy Dalton.
-Since 1990, only the 2013 Minnesota Vikings started 4-10-1. They did not make the playoffs, but they won their season finale to finish 5-10-1. Coach Leslie Frazier was fired at the end of the year.
-The Cowboys are 39-24 against the Eagles at home, including playoffs. Here is a breakdown by venue:
Cotton Bowl: 7-4
Texas Stadium: 26-14
AT&T Stadium: 6-6
-The Cowboys’ 6-6 record against the Eagles, including the playoffs, at AT&T Stadium is their worst against any divisional opponent:
New York: 7-5
-The Cowboys are 18-17 against the Eagles in December with a 9-9 record at home.
ANDY DALTON FACTS (11)
-Among quarterbacks with at least seven starts, Dalton’s 172.1 passing yards per game are the second-fewest in the NFL.
-Dalton’s 85.6 passer rating is the 10th-lowest in the league among quarterbacks with at least five starts.
-Among quarterbacks with at least five starts, Dalton’s 64.5 completion percentage is tied with Mitch Trubisky for the 10th-lowest in the NFL.
-Dalton benefits from 4.2 yards after the catch, the sixth-lowest in the league.
-6.9% of Dalton’s passes have been dropped, tied with Aaron Rodgers for the highest drop percentage in the league.
-Dalton is pressured on 15.6% of his drop backs, the fifth-fewest in the NFL.
-Dalton’s 2.3 seconds of pocket time on average is tied for the fourth-shortest in the league.
-Dalton is 1 of 11 quarterbacks who has thrown two or more red zone interceptions.
-Dalton is tied with Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger for the eighth-lowest intended air yards per pass attempt at 6.9.
-Dalton is tied with Jared Goff for the fifth-lowest completed air yards per pass attempt at 3.3.
-Dalton is tied for the fifth-most game-winning drives this season with three.
JALEN HURTS FACTS (6)
-Hurts’ 338 passing yards last week were the fourth-most by a rookie this season.
-Hurts is 4 for 4 for 29 yards and three touchdowns in the red zone.
-Hurts is tied with Josh Allen for the fourth-most runs out of run-pass option with 16.
-Hurts’ 94 yards rushing out of run-pass option are the fourth-most in the league.
-A win would make Hurts the first Eagles rookie quarterback since Carson Wentz (Jan. 1, 2017) to beat the Cowboys.
-Hurts is the second different quarterback to start for the Eagles in the Wentz era.
EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (10)
-Elliott has the 10th-most rushing yards in the league on first down with 506.
-Elliott has the seventh-most carries on first down with 121.
-Elliott has taken the sixth-most carries this season with 211.
-Elliott is 10 yards outside the top-10 in rushing yards. Rookie Jonathan Taylor is 10th overall with 842 yards.
-Elliott is still leading the NFL in lost fumbles among running backs with six. Dalvin Cook and Melvin Gordon are tied for second with four.
-Elliott is third in the NFL with 55 first downs on the ground.
-Elliott has converted 14 third down conversions on the ground, the third-most among running backs and fifth-most in the NFL.
-Elliott is tied with Patrick Mahomes and Kareem Hunt for the ninth-most third down carries with 21.
-Elliott’s 426 yards after contact are the 10th-most in the league.
-Elliott’s yards after contact per carry is lower than Tony Pollard’s: 2.0 to 2.7.
MIKE MCCARTHY FACTS (11)
-McCarthy is 5-9 for the second time in his career. The last time was 2008, Aaron Rodgers’ first season as the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback. The Packers finished 6-10.
-McCarthy has extended a winning streak 53 of 80 times.
-McCarthy is 5-3 against the Eagles with a 2-1 record at home.
-McCarthy is 54-26-2 in division games with a 29-10-2 record at home.
-McCarthy is 14-12 against the NFC East with a 1-1 record at home.
-McCarthy is 6 for 11 at staving off a series sweep with a 3 for 6 rate at home.
-McCarthy is 37-18 in December with a 23-5 record at home.
-McCarthy is 68-53-1 against playoff-winning coaches with a 41-15-1 record at home.
-McCarthy is 12-6 against rookie quarterbacks with a 4-3 record at home.
-McCarthy is 9-20-1 with a backup quarterback at the helm with a 4-13-1 record at home.
-McCarthy is 48 for 95 on challenges for his career with a 1 for 2 record in 2020.
DOUG PEDERSON FACTS (9)
-Pederson is 1 of 5 Eagles coaches to have had a tie since 1974. The other four are Marion Campbell, Buddy Ryan, Ray Rhodes, and Andy Reid.
-Pederson has completed a series sweep 6 of 8 times when given the opportunity.
-Pederson is 18-10 against the NFC East with a 7-7 record on the road.
-Pederson is 4-5 against the Cowboys. Here is how he compares to other Eagles head coaches:
Andy Reid: 17-12
Buddy Ryan: 8-2
Nick Skorich: 4-2
Buck Shaw: 1-0
Joe Kuharich: 5-5
Chip Kelly: 3-3
Doug Pederson: 4-5
Mike McCormack: 2-4
Rich Kotite: 2-7
Ray Rhodes: 3-6
Dick Vermeil: 4-10
Marion Campbell: 1-5
Ed Khayat: 0-3
Jerry Williams: 0-5
-A win would join Pederson with Skorich, Kuharich, Ryan, and Reid as the only Eagles head coaches to have swept the Cowboys.
-Pederson is 13-9 in December with a 6-7 record on the road.
-Pederson is 1-2 against Dallas in December with an 0-1 record on the road. His lone win was last season in Week 16, effectively capturing the NFC East with a 17-9 win over Dallas at Lincoln Financial Field.
-Pederson is 18-26 against playoff-winning head coaches with a 4-15 record on the road.
-Pederson is 16 for 33 on challenges for his career with a 2 for 4 record in 2020.
BROADCAST FACTS (10)
-Since 1970, this is the 26th late afternoon game in the series. Dallas holds a 16-9 advantage.
-Dallas is 144-132 all-time on FOX, including the postseason.
-Philadelphia is 159-135-2 all-time on FOX.
-Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma are calling the game for FOX, making it the first time since Dec. 31, 2017 that the Cowboys and Eagles have had anything other than a network’s A-team call the game. Incidentally, Albert was the play-by-play for that game, a 6-0 Cowboys win.
-The Cowboys are 17-11 when Albert calls their games.
-The Eagles are 25-23-1 when Albert calls their games.
-This is the fourth time Albert will call a game in the series. The Cowboys hold a 3-0 advantage.
-The Cowboys are 1-0 when Vilma calls their games.
-The Eagles are 0-1 when Vilma calls their games.
-Pat Summerall has called the most games between Philadelphia and Dallas with 24 over his career with CBS and FOX.
SHAWN SMITH FACTS (11)
-This week’s referee is Shawn Smith. Dallas has never had him as a referee since he was promoted in 2018.
-Smith was the umpire on Ed Hochuli’s crew when the Cowboys played the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 12, 2017. Dallas lost 27-7, and Dak Prescott took eight sacks.
-Smith has the eighth-highest home team winning percentage this season at .500.
-Smith has the seventh-highest percentage of home teams having fewer penalties at .571.
-The Eagles are 1-2 with Smith:
2019 – @WAS, 37-27 – W
2019* – SEA, 9-17 – L
2020 – RAV, 28-30 – L
-The Eagles have had fewer penalties 2 of 3 times with Smith:
2019 – WAS: 5/60; PHI: 7/54
2019* – SEA: 11/114; PHI: 7/45
2020 – RAV: 12/132; PHI: 3/20
-Smith’s games have the most sacks per game with 5.8 per contest.
-Smith has the sixth-highest offensive holding calls per game with 1.9 per contest.
-The Eagles have never challenged Smith. Opponents are 1 for 2. Replay Assistant has not been a factor.
-Smith has the seventh-highest challenge overturn rate at .556 (5 of 9).
-Smith has worked as an official for Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, and the Big Ten.
MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (23)
-15.5% of the Cowboys’ drives end in turnovers, the third-highest in the league.
-Philadelphia scores on 29.3% of their drives, the second-lowest in the NFL.
-Philadelphia possesses the ball for 2:30 minutes per drive, the second-shortest in the league.
-Dallas possesses the ball for 2:31 minutes per drive, tied with the New York Jets for the third-lowest in the NFL.
-The Eagles are tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the ninth-most takeaways with 16.
-Philadelphia’s defense has generated 136 pressures, the ninth-most in the NFL.
-The Cowboys and Eagles are tied for the sixth-fewest blitzes this season at 119.
-The Cowboys have given up 1,514 yards after the catch, the eighth-fewest in the league.
-The Eagles have generated 82 tackles for loss, the second-highest in the NFL.
-Philadelphia is tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the second-most sacks with 44.
-Dallas gives up 161.8 rushing yards per game, the most in the NFL.
-The Eagles give up 125.6 rushing yards per game, tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the ninth-most in the league.
-The Cowboys give up 5.0 yards per carry, tied with the Houston Texans for most in the NFL.
-Opponents have compiled a 102.6 passer rating against the Dallas defense, the sixth-highest in the NFL.
-Opponents have compiled a 102.2 passer rating against the Philadelphia defense, the seventh-highest in the league.
-The Cowboys defense gives up 30.9 points per game, the second-most in the league.
-Jaylon Smith is second in the NFL with 133 combined tackles.
-Brandon Graham is tied with Za’Darius Smith and J.J. Watt for the seventh-most tackles for loss with 12.
-DeMarcus Lawrence is tied for the third-most forced fumbles in the league this season with four.
-The Cowboys are 4-1 record on Dec. 27. Here are the results:
1987 – Cardinals, 21-16 – W
1992 – CHI, 27-14 – W
1998 – WAS, 23-7 – W
2009 – @WAS, 17-0 – W
2015 – @BUF, 6-16 – L
-The Eagles are 4-3 on Dec. 27. Here are the results:
1981 – NYG, 21-27 – L
1987 – BUF, 17-7 – W
1992 – NYG, 20-10 – W
1998 – NYG, 10-20 – L
2003 – @WAS, 31-7 – W
2004 – @RAM, 7-20 – L
2009 – DEN, 30-27 – W
-The Cowboys have two birthdays to celebrate on Dec. 27:
1934 – Gene Fabb, FB, 1960-61
1977 – Chris Cooper, DT, 2004
-The Cowboys also have the death of defensive tackle Dick Klein, who passed away on Dec. 27, 2005. Klein played in the club’s inaugural year of 1960.
Do you foresee the Cowboys grabbing a 70th win in the all-time series against Philadelphia on Sunday? Share your favorite facts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.