The New Orleans Saints are the only team the Cowboys have faced on every day except Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Cowboys are 8-6 while the Saints are 6-8. This makes the first time since 2004 that the Cowboys have had a better record than the Saints heading into the match.
The last time the Dallas Cowboys beat the Steelers and then faced the Saints was in Week 15 of 1991. The Cowboys beat the Saints at home 23-14 to go 9-5 on the season.
The last time the Cowboys beat the Saints while holding a better record was on 12/19/94 on Monday Night Football.
From 1967-69, the Cowboys amassed 5 wins over the expansion Saints. This ties with the Falcons for the Cowboys’ second-best start against an expansion team. Franchise first place is over the Buccaneers with 6 straight wins.
The Saints are one of four teams to have once been division opponents with Dallas for more than a season. The other three teams are the Cardinals, Browns, and Steelers.
The Cowboys and Saints have never played in a season finale, but they did play in the 1989 season opener in the Superdome. The Saints shutout Dallas 28-0, the worst shutout of the Jimmy Johnson era, and the series’ only shutout.
The Cowboys are 9-3 (0-1 at Cowboys Stadium) at home and 5-6 on the road in this series.
Of the last 9 meetings, 8 of them have been in December. The Cowboys are 4-4 in these last 8 December games.
The New Orleans Saints have had three ex-Cowboys assistants as head coaches: Dick Nolan, Mike Ditka, and Sean Payton. Dick Nolan is the only one who did not get a win against the Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys are 12-3 against interim head coaches.
Jim Garrett, the father of Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett, served as an assistant coach for Hank Stram’s Saints from 1976-77.
The Dallas Cowboys’ first game in the Superdome was a 24-6 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
The Cowboys and Saints have only twice had an even record going into a contest: Opening Day 1989 and Week 14 2006 (8-4).
The Cowboys have beaten the Saints 14 times. Only 12 of those times have the Cowboys made the playoffs. The Cowboys have lost to the Saints 9 times. Out of those 5 times, the Cowboys have made the playoffs. Out of those 5 times, only once have the Cowboys gone on to win the Super Bowl.
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa will call the action for FOX this Sunday. This is the third time this season the Cowboys have had this announcing team, which ties 2010′s record:
2007 — Cowboys at Dolphins 37-20
2008 — Buccaneers at Cowboys 13-9
2009 — Cowboys at Buccaneers 34-21
2010 — Lions at Cowboys 35-19
2010 — Redskins at Cowboys 33-30
2010 — Cowboys at Eagles 14-13
2011 — Cowboys at Redskins 27-24 OT
2012 — Cowboys at Seahawks 7-27
2012 — Cowboys at Panthers 19-14
This is the first Cowboys home game Kenny, “Moose,” and “Goose” have called since Week 15 2010.
Sunday’s game makes the 16th early game in the series. This series has seen 3 late games and 5 prime time games. Here’s the Cowboys’ records for each time slot:
Early games: 9-6
Late games: 2-1
Prime time: 3-2
The Saints are the only NFC team the Cowboys have never beaten on FOX (0-9).
Cowboys-Saints has appeared on all four broadcast networks.
On 12/19/09, NFL Network became the only cable network to have broadcast a Cowboys-Saints game.
The 10/21/84 Cowboys-Saints match in the Superdome kicked off at 8:45 PM on one of ABC Sports’ experimental precursors to ESPN Sunday Night Football. The match began 45 minutes late due to the Reagan-Mondale presidential debates.
JOE VITT FACTS
Joe Vitt is the first interim Saints head coach to face the Cowboys. Here’s how other Saints head coaches have done against Dallas:
Tom Fears: 0-5
J.D. Roberts: 1-0
John North: 0-1
Hank Stram: 0-1
Dick Nolan: 0-1
Bum Phillips: 0-3
Jim Mora: 2-3
Mike Ditka: 2-0
Jim Haslett: 2-0
Sean Payton: 2-1
Joe Vitt is an alumnus of Towson State University. So too is Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod, former New York Giants returnman Dave Meggett, and Dwight Schultz, best known for playing “Lt. Barclay” on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Joe Vitt coached with the Los Angeles Rams from 1992-94 as their defensive backs coach. He coached with former Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck in 1992, and also with former Cowboys offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese in ’92-’93.
Joe Vitt is the fifth of six interim head coaches in the Saints organization. The other four are Ernie Hefferle (1975), Dick Stanfel (1980), Wade Phillips (1985), Rick Venturi (1996), and Aaron Kromer (2012).
With Sean Payton’s suspension and subsequent release from his contract, Joe Vitt became the New Orleans Saints’ interim head coach. Interestingly, Joe Vitt beat the Cowboys as interim head coach with the St. Louis Rams in 2005. The only other interim head coaches to defeat Dallas are Pat Peppler (’76 Falcons) and Jim Haslett (’08 Rams).
JASON GARRETT FACTS
Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, and Dave Campo twice led the Cowboys to 3-5 starts in ’65, ’90, ’00, and ’02. However, Jason Garrett is the only Cowboys head coach to rally his team from a 3-5 start to a winning record at any point during the season.
In rematch games against teams Jason Garrett has initially
DREW BREES FACTS
Drew Brees is from Austin Westlake. He’s the third Texas High School quarterback the Cowboys have faced at home this year.
Drew Brees is one of 9 Super Bowl MVP’s the Cowboys have not defeated. Those other seven are Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Terrell Davis, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady, Santonio Holmes, and Hines Ward.
Drew Brees has only played once before on 12/23. In 2007, the Saints lost 23-38 to Philadelphia at home. Brees went 27/42 for 284 yards and an interception.
Drew Brees was 11-13 through his first 24 December games, just like Romo. For his career, Brees is 24-21 in December. However, it took him 9 seasons to finally post a career winning record in December.
Drew Brees is 8-9 against divisional opponents in December.
Drew Brees is 4-6 in fourth December games.
The only quarterbacks who have playoff wins in the Saints franchise are free agents: Aaron Brooks and Drew Brees.
Austin Westlake product Drew Brees is 2-1 in Texas.
Since Drew Brees’ 5-touchdown performance on 12/10/06, he’s had average performances against Dallas posting 81.5 and 86.7 quarterback ratings with only a touchdown and pick in both games.
San Diego took Drew Brees in the 2nd round with the 32nd pick. It’s possible the Cowboys were after Brees, because they then traded their 37th pick to the Colts and moved down further into the draft. Interestingly, the Saints traded a 2nd rounder to Dallas for their two 3rd round picks. That 2nd rounder was used to take Quincy Carter.
TONY ROMO FACTS
Tony Romo is 1-1 against the Saints all-time. Here’s other Cowboys quarterbacks’ results against the Saints:
Don Meredith: 2-0
Craig Morton: 3-1
Roger Staubach: 3-0
Danny White: 3-0
Steve Pelluer: 0-1
Troy Aikman: 2-3
Steve Beuerlein: 1-0
Vinny Testaverde: 0-1
Tony Romo: 1-1
Jon Kitna: 0-1
Tony Romo has only thrown 1 touchdown in each of his two encounters with the Saints.
Tony Romo has 2 winning Decembers compared to Drew Brees’ 2 winning Decembers after 24 games.
This is Tony Romo’s third encounter with the New Orleans Saints. All other Cowboys quarterbacks who have faced the Saints thrice have won the third game.
Tony Romo and Jon Kitna are the only Cowboys quarterbacks who have thrown for 300 yards or more against the Saints. Romo threw 312 in ’09 while Kitna threw 313 in ’10.
Tony Romo has only faced the Saints in December. The Saints are the only team Romo has faced in one specific month only.
Roger Staubach holds the best passer efficiency rating for the Cowboys at 113.5 (11/19/78), while Craig Morton holds the worst at 21.7 (10/17/71).
Jim Mora did more than “diddly poo” while with New Orleans. He set the franchise record for playoff berths at four, a feat Sean Payton has only tied. He also has the franchise record for winning seasons with 5.
The New Orleans Saints have the most number of Dallas assistants as head coaches with three: Dick Nolan, Mike Ditka, and Sean Payton.
A win this Sunday will give the Cowboys their 33rd winning season in franchise history.
This is the Cowboys’ first 3-0 December start since 1993.
There have only been two others times the Cowboys have been 8-6: 1974 and 1998. The Cowboys missed the playoffs in ’74, but won the division in ’98.
The Dallas Cowboys have played two playoff games on 12/23 against the NFC West, specifically California teams, and won both times.
On 12/23 games, the Cowboys are 0-2 against avian mascots.
The Dallas Cowboys have played 4 games on 12/23, and Sunday’s game will be played under the first quarter phase of the moon. Here’s the results broken down by moon phases:
1972 – Last quarter – W
1973 – Full moon – W
1990 – New moon – L
2001 – First quarter – L
Gramercy to “windward” at CowboysOwn for helping out with that 10/21/84 broadcast fact.