The Dallas Cowboys will face the New York Giants in Cowboys Stadium late Sunday afternoon. Most fans know the Cowboys have never beat the Giants in the new stadium. Here are ten other facts about their match-up that you probably didn’t know provided by our resident Cowboy genius, Mark Lane.
10. Carolina is still relevant to this week’s encounter with the Giants, because the Dallas Cowboys have never won a game following a win over the Panthers. The average margin of defeat is 8.9 points. They’ve played four divisional games post Panthers with the Redskins being the most common opponent overall with two appearances.
In 2000, after beating the Panthers in overtime on the road, the Cowboys played the Giants at the Meadowlands to lose 14-19, which is the box score from last week’s game against Carolina. Infer what you will.
9. Tom Landry and Jason Garrett both share the distinction of being Cowboys head coaches who once played for the New York Giants. Landry was a cornerback (1950-55), while Garrett was a backup quarterback (2000-03).
Jason Garrett and Tom Coughlin share a similarity in that both were once assistants with their respective teams before eventually becoming the head coach. (Coughlin coached WR’s from ’88 to ’90 before returning in ’04 as head coach).
Presently, Osi Umenyiora and David Diehl are the only two Giants remaining who once were on the roster in Garrett’s final season with New York in 2003.
8. Garrett is currently 2-2 against the New York Giants, awaiting his fifth match. Here’s how the other Cowboys head coaches have faired in their first five games against the Giants:
Gailey: 3-1 (fired after 2 seasons)
Phillips: 3-2 (including playoffs)
7. Tom Coughlin will coach in a record-setting 19th contest (playoffs included) against the Cowboys. Most of this is because he’s the first Giants head coach since Steve Owen (’31-’53) to coach past his 8th season, thus making Coughlin the second-longest tenured coach in the Giants’ 88-year history.
6. Going back to 2007, the Cowboys have had 5 chances to get a win on the road, come home, and then sweep a division series. Here’s the breakdown:
2007: PHI – W/L
2008: NYG – L/W
2009: PHI – W/W/W
2010: WAS – L/W
2011: PHI – L/L
We’ve beaten the Giants in the first game a total of 26 times. Out of those 26 times, we’ve completed the sweep 16 times (I’m not counting ’07 as a sweep because it turned out to be a 3-game series). Out of those 16, we’ve won on the road 10 times to start out the sweep. The only instance where we weren’t able to complete the sweep after winning the first one on the road was in 1972.
5. Going back to 2004, when Coughlin took over, the Giants get swept each time they give up the first game. The only instance where they didn’t was in 2005 when they beat us in the rematch in Giants Stadium. Other than that, once the Giants lose the first game in a division series, they get swept.
Compare that to the Cowboys who, going back to 2004, have had 13 instances where they’ve lost the first encounter and needed to win the second game to stave off a sweep. We’ve won 7 of those encounters, and thus prevented a division sweep 7 times.
Furthermore, going back to 2004, if the Giants have the chance to open up a division series at home, they don’t lose. They’ve played the Redskins a bunch of times, the Eagles twice, and the Cowboys only once. But in every instance, the Giants have won that opening encounter if it’s been at their place. The only time they didn’t was in Week 1 of 2012.
The question comes down to whether this team can complete the sweep. Well, going back to 2004, the Cowboys have had 11 chances to sweep a division rival, and they’ve completed the task 5 times. None of those times have come against the Giants (remember: I’m not counting 2007).
4. Much is made about the Giants being undefeated thus far in Cowboys Stadium. Among stadiums built since 2000, the longest streak of a divisional opponent consecutively winning since the inaugural win is 5 seasons (Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field). The second longest is 4 seasons (Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium).
Currently, the Giants are in the midst of a similar slump to the Eagles, which is nothing new. The Giants didn’t beat the Eagles for the first six seasons in Giants Stadium starting in 1976. Concurrent with that were steady beatings by Dallas from 1976 to 1979.
Too Tall Jones mentioned in a radio interview on Wednesday that the Cowboys rarely lost at home while he played there. He’s right. The Cowboys record while Too Tall Jones was there from 1974 to 1989 (sans ’79 when he pursued boxing) is 73-40. In fact, from December 2nd, 1979 to September 13th, 1982, the Cowboys won 18 consecutive contests at home.
3. Since 2004, the Dallas Cowboys have featured five different starting quarterbacks, while the Giants have featured only two, and both were Super Bowl MVP’s. The other quarterback is Kurt Warner who played for the Giants only in 2004.
Sunday will be Eli Manning’s 15th straight game against the Cowboys, including playoffs. This will break a Giants record, as Phil Simms started 14 straight games against the Cowboys. Joe Theismann leads with 17 consecutive starts, including playoffs. Sonny Jurgensen has the most starts against the Dallas Cowboys with 22.
Giants linebacker Michael Boley knocked Romo out of an October 25th game in Dallas back in 2010, but the Cowboys defense knocked Eli Manning out of a September 9th contest in 2007, forcing Jared Lorenzen to finish the game.
Tony Romo has started 12 games against the Giants, including playoffs, with his longest streak being 4 games three separate times (12/3/06-01/13/08, 12/14/08-10/25/10, 12/11/11-10/28/12). Troy Aikman has not only started the most games against the Giants with 22, but he also holds the longest streak of consecutive games with 18 from 1989-1997.
2. Speaking of Troy Aikman, he’ll be calling the game for FOX with Thom Brennaman as play-by-play. This is the first time since 2003 that we’ve played a home rematch with the Giants and it’s been played on FOX. The Cowboys are 1-1 with the tandem of Brennaman and Aikman, FOX’s backup #1 duo when Joe Buck does the World Series:
2009: Falcons at Cowboys — 37-21
2010: Cowboys at Vikings — 21-24
The last time Troy Aikman called a Cowboys game was in Week 3, when the Cowboys defeated the Buccaneers 16-7. However, the Cowboys have not won an Aikman-called contest with the Giants since Week 10 of 2010. The Cowboys have not won an Aikman-called contest at home since Week 6 of 2005.
1. The Cowboys are 2-5 on October 28th with the Cardinals franchise being their most common opponent with 2 encounters. Curiously, the Cowboys played the Packers in the Cotton Bowl on an experimental Monday night game featured on CBS in 1968, where the Cowboys lost 28-17. On a related note, the last experimental Monday night game played on CBS was in 1969 where the Cowboys beat the Giants 25-3 at the Cotton Bowl.