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Cowboys 100: Facts and stats ahead of Week 4 matchup versus Cleveland

The Dallas Cowboys begin a stretch of three consecutive home games looking for a win to even their record against the 2-1 Cleveland Browns.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) dives for a touchdown against Cleveland Browns free safety Tracy Howard (41) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys were victims of a 38-31 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3 which dropped them to 1-2 on the young season. The Cowboys will be looking to lick their wounds with a home contest against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday as they open up a stretch of three straight games at AT&T Stadium that could help to define their season. 

With that in mind, here are 100 facts and stats as Dallas tries to make it 2-0 at home in 2020:

SERIES FACTS (13)

-This is the 12th time in team history that the Cowboys have started 1-2. 3 of 11 of those previous teams made the playoffs (1991, 1993, 1996, 2018).

-Since 1990, when playoff formats were last realigned, 29 of 196 teams that started 1-3 made the playoffs compared to 113 of 291 teams that started 2-2. Of those 113, 47 of them won their division.

-The Browns are 2-1 for the 25th time in club history. 14 of 24 of those previous teams made the playoffs.

-Since 1990, when playoff formats were last tinkered with, 149 of 233 teams that started 3-1 made the playoffs with 92 of the 149 playoff qualifiers winning their division.

-The Cowboys are 14-17 against the Browns all-time, including playoffs.

-The Cowboys are 9-7 against the Browns at home. Here is a breakdown by venue:

  • Cotton Bowl: 4-6

  • Texas Stadium: 4-1

  • AT&T Stadium: 1-0

-Dallas is 0-7 against the Browns in October with a 0-2 record at home against Cleveland.

-The Browns are 1 of 11 teams that used to be division opponents of the Cowboys. The other teams are the Falcons, Steelers, Saints, Cardinals, Packers, Lions, 49ers, Colts, Bears, and Rams.

-Cleveland is 1 of 9 franchises that has beaten the Cowboys in their last playoff meeting without suffering a loss. The other teams are Indianapolis, Washington, New York, Carolina, Minnesota, Green Bay, Los Angeles, Arizona, and San Francisco.

-Because former Browns owner, the late Art Modell, moved the Browns to Baltimore to become the Ravens, the Cowboys were 10-17 against defunct franchises from 1996-98, the years the Browns were not reactivated into the NFL.

-Since 1970, the Cowboys are 153-112 in early afternoon games with a 72-39 record at home.

-Since 1970, the Browns are 215-311-3 in early afternoon games with a 73-150 record on the road.

-The last time the Browns beat the Cowboys was on Dec. 10, 1994, when Bill Belichick was the coach in Cleveland.

DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (13)

-Prescott leads the NFL with 1,188 passing yards, the most ever by a Cowboys quarterback through the first three games to start a season.

-Prescott’s 1,188 passing yards are the fifth-most in the NFL since 1950 through the first three games to start a season.

-Prescott has benefited from 509 yards after the catch, the most in the NFL. Nearest quarterback is Drew Brees with 475.

-Prescott is fourth in the league in both play-action plays (40) and passing yards from play-action (420).

-Prescott has executed 20 total run-pass option plays, fifth-most in the league. 19 have been pass plays (third) and have produced 171 passing yards (third).

-Prescott’s 4.0 sack percentage is the seventh-lowest in the league.

-Prescott’s 9.0 yards per scramble are tied with Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo for the fifth-most in the NFL.

-Prescott is tied with Wentz and Matt Ryan for the fourth-most dropped passes with eight.

-108 of Prescott’s throws have been on target, the most in the NFL. Nearest is Joe Burrow with 100.

-Prescott has been pressured 33 times, tied with Daniel Jones for the fifth-most in the league.

-Among quarterbacks who have started every game this season, Prescott’s 11 red zone pass attempts are tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the eighth-fewest in the NFL.

-Prescott’s 61 first down pass attempts are the second-most in the league. Only Burrow’s 62 are more.

-Prescott is 1 of 15 quarterbacks this season with a game-winning drive and a fourth-quarter comeback. One of those other 15 is Baker Mayfield.

BAKER MAYFIELD FACTS (10)

-Mayfield’s 564 passing yards are the second-lowest in the NFL among quarterbacks who have started every game.

-Mayfield’s 6.6 yards per pass attempt are the seventh-lowest in the NFL.

-Mayfield’s 10.6 yards per completion is the ninth-lowest in the league.

-Mayfield’s four sacks are tied with Jared Goff for the sixth-fewest among quarterbacks who have started every game.

-Mayfield’s 9.0 intended air yards per pass attempt are tied with Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers for the sixth-most in the league.

-Mayfield’s 7.5 completed air yards per completion are the sixth-most in the NFL.

-Mayfield has benefited from 168 yards after the catch, the lowest among quarterbacks who have started every game.

-Among quarterbacks who have started every game, Mayfield’s 56 on-target throws are the lowest in the NFL.

-Mayfield has been blitzed the sixth-most times with 39.

-Mayfield has the second-longest time to throw with 2.7 seconds in the pocket.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (10)

-Elliott is tied with Dak Prescott for the seventh-most rushing touchdowns with three.

-Elliott is tied with Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake for the second-most first downs by rushing with 16.

-Elliot’s 91 yards before contact are tied with Joe Mixon for the seventh-fewest among running backs with at least 40 carries.

-Elliott’s 1.6 yards before contact are tied with McCaffrey and Latavius Murray for the 11th-fewest in the league.

-Elliott’s 128 yards after contact are the 10th-most in the league.

-Elliott is tied with Melvin Gordon and Dalvin Cook for the 10th-most broken tackles with five.

-Elliott is tied with Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Taylor for the fourth-lowest yards per carry among running backs with at least 40 carries with a 3.8 average.

-Elliott is tied with Drake for the third-most rushing attempts on first down with 37.

-Elliott’s 4.14 yards per carry on first down is the sixth-most among running backs with at least 25 carries.

-Elliott has seven catches for 40 yards and a touchdown on second down compared to 15 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

MIKE MCCARTHY FACTS (10)

-McCarthy is the seventh coach in Cowboys history to start 1-2.

-McCarthy is 1-2 for the fifth time in his career. 3 of 4 of those previous years with the Packers resulted in playoffs. Only the 2006 team finished 8-8 and no postseason appearance.

-McCarthy is 3-0 against the Browns with a 2-0 record at home.

-McCarthy’s 3-0 record against the Browns is his best against an AFC North opponent, including postseason:

  • Browns: 3-0

  • Ravens: 2-1

  • Bengals: 1-2

  • Steelers: 1-3

-McCarthy’s 7-6 record against the AFC North is his third-best against an AFC division:

  • AFC West: 10-2

  • AFC East: 8-7

  • AFC North: 7-6

  • AFC South: 6-6

-McCarthy is 32-15 in October with an 18-6 record at home.

-McCarthy is 22-9 against rookie coaches with a 12-5 record at home.

-McCarthy is 0 for 1 on challenges in 2020 with a 47 for 94 record for his career.

-The six turnovers through three games are the third-most by a McCarthy team. Only the 2006 and 2013 team had more (seven).

-The Cowboys’ 01:18:00 of time of possession is McCarthy’s lowest through the first three games. The 2014 Packers were closest at 01:18:01.

KEVIN STEFANSKI FACTS (7)

-Rookie coach or otherwise, Stefanski is the only coach this season to have a winning record in the first three weeks with his new club.

-Stefanski is the 11th coach in Browns history to start 2-1.

-Stefanski is the fifth rookie Browns coach to start 2-1.

-If Stefanski could get a win, he would be the first rookie Browns coach to beat the Cowboys in his first try since Blanton Collier in 1963.

-Stefanski is 2 for 2 on challenges this season.

-The Browns are tied with the Jaguars and Lions for the sixth-most penalties in the league with 22.

-Stefanski’s Browns have 22 penalties, tied for the seventh-most in Cleveland through the first three games since 1999.

BROADCAST FACTS (7)

-Sunday will be the third game broadcast on FOX in the series. Here is the complete list all-time:

  • CBS – 24

  • NBC – 4

  • FOX – 2

  • ABC – 1

-Sunday’s commentators are Kevin Burkhardt and Daryl Johnston, the 27th different broadcast team in series history.

-Dallas is 28-19 when Burkhardt calls their games, including Compass Media Network games.

-The Cowboys are 22-13 with Daryl Johnston as color commentator.

-Dallas is 142-128 all-time on FOX, including the postseason.

-Cleveland is 19-32 all-time on FOX.

-Sunday will be the seventh early afternoon game in the series since 1970 and the third straight since 2008. Dallas is 5-1 in previous early afternoon games against the Browns.

CLAY MARTIN FACTS (12)

-Clay Martin will be the referee on Sunday. The Cowboys are 2-0 with Martin as the head ref. Here are the results:

  • 2018 – @NYG, 36-35 – W

  • 2019 – @NYG, 37-18 – W

-The Cowboys have had fewer penalties 1 of 2 times with Martin:

  • 2018 – NYG: 11/78; DAL: 6/46

  • 2019 – NYG: 8/71; DAL: 10/104

-Martin is tied for the third-lowest home team winning percentage in 2020 at .333.

-Martin is tied for the third-highest percentage of home teams have fewer penalties at .667.

-The Browns are 2-1 with Martin as the head ref. Here are the results:

  • 2018 – BAL, 12-9 – W-OT

  • 2018 – @DEN, 17-16 – W

  • 2019 – @PIT, 13-20 – L

-The Browns have had fewer penalties 2 of 3 times with Martin:

  • 2018 – BAL: 4/41; CLE: 10/66

  • 2018 – DEN: 8/51; CLE: 6/75

  • 2019 – PIT: 10/65; CLE: 5/34

-Martin is tied for the fourth-fewest sacks in games as head referee in 2020 with 4.0.

-Martin is tied for the third-lowest offensive holding calls per game in 2020 with 0.7.

-The Cowboys have yet to challenge Martin. Opponents are 0 for 1. Replay Assistant has not challenged Martin.

-The Browns are 2 for 2 challenging Martin with the opposition going 1 for 2. Replay Assistant has not been a factor.

-Martin has not had any of his calls challenged in 2020. 

-Martin is a high school basketball coach in Jenks, Okla.

MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (18)

-The Browns give up 3.7 yards per carry, the sixth-fewest in the league.

-Cleveland gives up 94.0 rushing yards per game, the fifth-lowest in the NFL.

-Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is tied for the fifth-most sacks with 3.0.

-Garrett is also tied for the second-most forced fumbles with two.

-Garrett has caused six quarterback hurries, tied for the fifth-most in the league.

-Garrett is also tied with Bud Dupree and Chase Winovich for the fourth-most quarterback pressures with 11.

-Browns cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell and Denzel Ward are tied for the third-most pass breakups with four.

-Mitchell has given up the 10th-most yards after the catch with 96.

-Browns inside linebacker B.J. Goodson has seen the fifth-most targets with 26.

-Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith has given up the most yards after the catch with 152.

-Browns running back Nick Chubb has the fourth-most rushing yards in the league with 292.

-Chubb is also tied for the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL with four.

-The Cowboys give up 127.7 rushing yards per game, the 10th-most in the NFL.

-The Cowboys give up 3.8 yards per carry, tied with the Giants and Jaguars for the seventh-fewest in the league.

-Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup has the third-highest yards per reception in the league at 22.4.

-Dallas is 2-6 on Oct. 4. Here are the results:

  • 1964 – @CLE, 6-27 – L

  • 1965 – @CRD, 13-20 – L

  • 1970 – @CRD, 7-20 – L

  • 1981 – @CRD, 17-20 – L

  • 1987 – @NYJ, 38-24 – W

  • 1998 – @WAS, 31-10 – W

  • 2009 – @DEN, 10-17 – L

  • 2015 – @NO, 20-26 – L-OT

-The Browns are 5-3 on Oct. 4. Here are the results:

  • 1952 – @PIT, 21-20 – W

  • 1953 – @CRD, 27-7 – W

  • 1959 – @CRD, 34-7 – W

  • 1964 – DAL, 27-6 – W

  • 1971 – RAI, 20-34 – L

  • 1981 – @RAM, 16-27 – L

  • 1987 – @NE, 20-10 – W

  • 2009 – CIN, 20-23 – L-OT

  • 2015 – @SDG, 27-30 – L

-The Cowboys have five birthdays to celebrate on Oct. 4:

  • Issiac Holt, CB, 1989-92 – 10/4/1962

  • John Roper, LB, 1993 – 10/4/1965

  • Ryan McNeil, CB, 2000 – 10/4/1970

  • Ken-Yon Rambo, WR, 2001-02 – 10/4/1978

  • Woodrow Dantzler, RB, 2002 – 10/4/1979

Did you know that the first playoff win in franchise history for Dallas came in a 52-14 victory over the Browns in 1967? Share your favorite facts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.