The Dallas Cowboys are 3-5 in season finales against the Redskins. Their only three wins (’69, ’79, ’98) all came in Dallas. The Cowboys have never won in Washington during a season finale (’61, ’76, ’96, ’02, ’07).
The last time the Dallas Cowboys played on 12/30 was oddly enough in Washington in a season finale. The Cowboys lost 27-6, though they ended up with first place in the NFC playoffs.
The Dallas Cowboys have not worn their “cursed blue” jerseys at Washington since 12/27/09 when Jim Zorn was the coach and Jason Campbell was the starting quarterback.
The only time the Cowboys and Redskins have squared off in a season finale that decided the NFC East crown was in 1979 in Roger Staubach’s legendary last regular season comeback. The Cowboys prevailed 35-34 in Texas Stadium.
The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins each have 12 players on injured reserve
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Julius Jones in 2006. Since that time, the Redskins have had three: Clinton Portis (’07, ’08) and Alfred Morris (’12).
The last time the Dallas Cowboys played the New Orleans Saints and then faced the Washington Redskins was in Week 16 2009 after the Cowboys beat the undefeated and then played the dismal 4-10 Redskins.
In “win to get in” situations, the Boston Braves/Washington Redskins are 5-2 all-time:
1979: @DAL – L, 34-35
1976: @DAL – W, 27-14
1973: @PHI – W, 38-20
1945: NYG – W, 17-0
1940: PHI – W, 13-6
1939: NYG – L, 7-9
1936: @NYG – W, 14-0
The last time the Washington Redskins were on a 7-game winning streak and faced the Dallas Cowboys was Week 15 of 1983 when the Redskins came into Texas Stadium and trounced the Cowboys 31-10. However, in 1972 and 1991, the Cowboys faced the Redskins coming off of 9 and 11-game winning streaks and yet defeated Washington.
The last time the Dallas Cowboys were swept in a presidential election year was in 1984 when Ronald Reagan won re-election.
The Washington Redskins have not won a season finale since 2007 when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field 27-6 also on 12/30/07.
Since 2000, this is the Cowboys’ tenth season finale on the road. It ties with the Panthers for the second-most season finales on the road in this span. Only the Jaguars have more with 11.
Comparatively, the Redskins have the most season finales at home since 2000 with 9. The Eagles and Giants each have 8. The league’s most season finales at home since 2000 goes to San Diego and New Orleans at 10 apiece.
In “win to get in” situations, the Cowboys are 5-4 all-time. Here’s the results:
2011: @NYG – L
2008: @PHI – L
1999: NYG – W
1990: @ATL – L
1984: @MIA – L
1980: PHI – W
1979: WAS – W
1973: @Cardinals – W
1970: Oilers – W
2009 was the only time in the history of NBC Sunday Night Football that the Week 17 game was not a division game, as the New York Jets faced the Cincinnati Bengals.
The last time Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth called a game between the Cowboys and Redskins at FedEx Field was the infamous 13-7 loss punctuated by Alex Barron’s game-ending hold.
Going back to 1986 when Al Michaels called ABC Monday Night, the Dallas Cowboys are 7-6 against the Washington Redskins when Michaels calls the game.
While it’s true the Dallas Cowboys are 1-8 in their last Sunday night games, this Sunday will be the Redskins’ ninth Sunday Night Football appearance since NBC gained the package in 2006. The Redskins are 3-5 with three losses to the Cowboys.
The Redskins and the Cowboys each share the distinction of opening up on NBC’s NFL Kickoff Special against the New York Giants (Redskins: 2008; Cowboys: 2012).
Since Week 17 became part of Sunday Night Football’s flex games in 2006, the home team is 4-2 in the finale.
On Sunday Night Football this season, rookie quarterbacks are 1-1 with the Eagles’ Nick Foles earning the class’ lone loss against the Dallas Cowboys.
A total of 7 rookie quarterbacks have started on Sunday Night Football, and the rookies’ record is 4-3.
Out of 21 games with Al Michaels calling the action, Tony Romo has thrown for a 100+ passer rating only 11 times.
JASON GARRETT FACTS
This is Jason Garrett’s third season finale. He owns a 1-1 record and has yet to coach a season finale at home. Here’s how other Cowboys head coaches fared in season finales:
Tom Landry: 15-14
Jimmy Johnson: 3-2
Barry Switzer: 1-3
Chan Gailey: 2-0
Dave Campo: 0-3
Bill Parcells: 0-4
Wade Phillips: 1-2
In staving off a sweep, Jason Garrett is 3/5. Two of those games that staved off sweeps were on the road (2010: Giants and Eagles).
Jason Garrett and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan spent time together in Tampa Bay as Garrett backed up Brad Johnson and Kyle was offensive quality control.
Jason Garrett was teammates with Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard with the New York Giants from 2001-03.
Raheem Morris coached the Buccaneers’ defensive backs in 2004 as Jason Garrett served a short stint as the team’s backup.
In 2004, Redskins offensive line coach Chris Foerster served as the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator while Jason Garrett filled in as the team’s backup quarterback.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslet and Jason Garrett are both part of the Scott Linehan “coaching tree.” Garrett served under Linehan as the Dolphins quarterbacks coach as Linehan offensively coordinated the Dolphins in 2005, while Jim Haslet served as Linehan’s defensive coordinator with the Rams from 2006-08.
Jacob Burney, Redskins defensive line coach, and Jason Garrett are both part of the Nick Saban coaching tree. In 1994, Jacob Burney coached the defensive line for the Browns as Saban coordinated the defense under head coach Bill Belichick. From 2005-06, Jason Garrett coached quarterbacks under Dolphins head coach Nick Saban.
Jason Garrett was signed to be one of Tampa Bay’s backup quarterbacks by Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen, who now is the Redskins general manager, and still the son of legendary Redskins head coach George Allen.
Like last year, Jason Garrett is 2-1 this season is overtime games. He is 5-2 for his career with one of those wins coming against Mike Shanahan last year in the Redskins rematch at FedEx Field.
MIKE SHANAHAN FACTS
Mike Shanahan is 25/40 all-time when it comes to completing series sweeps.
Mike Shanahan is 4-4 all-time on NBC Sunday Night Football, and 16-16 when Al Michaels is calling the game (includes Sunday night and Monday night telecasts).
Mike Shanahan hasn’t won a season finale since 2007 when a Jason Elam field goal in overtime gave Denver a 22-19 victory over the Vikings on 12/30/07.
Mike Shanahan is 1-1 against the Dallas Cowboys at home. Here’s how other Redskins head coaches have fared against the Cowboys, if they’ve been fortunate to coach long enough:
Bill McPeak: 2-1
Otto Graham: 0-3
George Allen: 2-1 (including playoffs)
Jack Pardee: 2-1
Joe Gibbs: 1-2 (including playoffs)
Norv Turner: 2-1
Mike Shanahan is 14-8 in overtime games.
The Dallas Cowboys are the final NFC East team Mike Shanahan has not yet swept.
Mike Shanahan and Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis worked together under Dan Reeves in Denver from 1990-91. Shanahan was an offensive assistant as DeCamillis coached special teams.
Alfred Morris is Mike Shanahan’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Tatum Bell in 2006 when Shanahan was still in Denver.
The last time Mike Shanahan coached in a division-clinching season finale on NBC was in Week 17 of 2008 when the San Diego Chargers demolished his Denver Broncos 52-21.
It is well known that Mike Shanahan tried to court Tony Romo to sign in Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2003. The late round (5th-7th) picks the Broncos used were center Ben Claxton, wideout Adrian Madise, defensive end Aaron Hunt, defensive end Clint Mitchell, and runningback Ahmaad Galloway. Claxton played for 8 seasons in the NFL, Galloway for 2, Mitchell and Hunt for 1, and Madise didn’t even make the team.
TONY ROMO FACTS
With a victory this weekend, Tony Romo would surpass Don Meredith and take the franchise’s fourth all-time in playoff appearances with four. Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach are tied for first with seven, while Danny White remains third with five.
Tony Romo has played in 5 season finales. Only Don Meredith, Danny White, Roger Staubach, and Troy Aikman have played in more. Romo holds a 1-4 record, and here’s how it compares to the other aforementioned Cowboys quarterbacks:
Roger Staubach: 5-2
Troy Aikman: 5-3
Don Meredith: 4-2
Danny White: 2-4
Tony Romo is 6-5 against the Washington Redskins, the second-best record he has against an NFC East team.
The last time Tony Romo faced the Washington Redskins on the road was 11/20/11. He went 23/37 for 292 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 113.8.
Among NFC East opponents, the Washington Redskins are the one team against whom Romo has the least number of 100+ passer rating games with only three. He owns the most against the Giants with 8.
In his past two season finales (2011: New York; 2009: Philadelphia), Tony Romo has thrown for passer ratings of 106.0 and 106.4 respectively.
In nationally televised games, Tony Romo is 25-13.
In rematch divisional games, Tony Romo is 9-10, including playoffs. His record against the Redskins in rematch games is 3-2.
Tony Romo is 1/5 in games staving off division series sweeps. His lone win, a 14-10 fourth quarter comeback, came in 2008 against the Washington Redskins on 11/16/08 on Sunday Night Football.
If Tony Romo loses to the Redskins Sunday night, he will join Drew Bledsoe and Troy Aikman as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to have been swept by the Redskins.
ROBERT GRIFFIN FACTS
Rookie backup Kirk Cousins subbed in Week 15 for an ailed Robert Griffin and beat the Browns. The last time the Redskins had two rookie quarterbacks win a game each was in 1994 when Gus Frerotte and Heath Shuler each won a game.
With a win in their last encounter, Robert Griffin joined Patrick Ramsey as the only Redskins rookie quarterbacks to defeat Dallas in their first try.
In 1952, future Cowboys quarterback Eddie LeBaron set the Redskins record for most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback with 14. Griffin’s 20 touchdowns and counting have set a new franchise record.
Robert Griffin has long shattered Norm Snead’s Redskins record for most completions by a rookie. Snead completed 172 passes in 1961, while Griffin has completed 249 passes.
Snead also threw for 2,337 yards his rookie year, setting a franchise record. Griffin has long broken that record and is sitting at 3,100 yards through 15 games.
If the Redskins win this Sunday night, Robert Griffin will be the first Redskins rookie quarterback to have swept the Cowboys.
Robert Griffin was taken with the second overall pick. Other notable quarterbacks taken with the second overall pick include Sid Luckman, Earl Morrall, Roman Gabriel, Archie Manning, Rick Mirer, Donovan McNabb, and Ryan Leaf.
Norm Snead, the Redskins rookie quarterback whose records Griffin is breaking, was taken with the second overall pick in the 1961 draft, just like Griffin in the 2012 draft.
Robert Griffin is the first Baylor alumnus since the Houston Oilers’ Cody Carlson to start 5 games or more in the NFL.
On 11/18/12, Robert Griffin became the first rookie quarterback since Drew Bledsoe in 1993 to complete a game with a 158.3 rating – the perfect game.
Robert Griffin grew a fan of the Denver Broncos, which makes his time under former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan all that more interesting.
Robert Griffin is 2-0 in nationally televised games this season with all of his wins coming against divisional opponents (Cowboys, Giants).
In Sunday night’s game, Robert Griffin will extend the streak to five years of a rookie quarterback leading his team in a “win to get in” game in Week 17.
Norv Turner and Joe Gibbs are the only Redskins head coaches who have swept the Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys’ road record is currently 4-3. In the Romo years, to get to the playoffs, their road record has been 5-3 or greater (2007: 6-2). In the years they failed to qualify for postseason (2008, 2011), their road record was 3-5, except in 2010 when it was 4-4.
The Washington Redskins are 4-3 at home, which is their best home record since 2007, the last year they made the postseason.
2012 is another rare year that began with a Cowboys regular season match and will summarily end with one. Other years include: 2006, 2001, 2000, 1994, and 1983.
The last time the Dallas Cowboys won the absolute final game of the regular season was in 1995 on Monday Night Football when Dallas defeated the Cardinals 37-13 to clinch homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs.
If either the Dallas Cowboys or the Washington Redskins win, they will face the Seattle Seahawks. And for both teams, the last time they faced the Seahawks was in Seattle in a wild card game on NBC (DAL: 2006; WAS: 2007).
Bill Callahan, Dallas’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, and Danny Smith, Washington’s special teams coach, coached together on Ray Rhodes’ Philadelphia Eagles from 1995-97 in their respective capacities.
Washington defensive backs coach Bob Slowik was a defensive assistant on the 1992 Dallas Cowboys, the same Dallas Cowboys that won Super Bowl XXVII.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslet played linebacker for the Buffalo Bills from 1979-86. During his tenure, he had two meetings with the Dallas Cowboys in ’81 and ’84 and went 1-1 for his career.
Jim Haslet’s first ever chance to defensively coordinate against the Dallas Cowboys came on Opening Day 1997 as the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas won 37-7.
Judd Garrett, youngest Garrett brother and Cowboys director of pro scouting, worked with Jim Haslet in St. Louis from 2006-07 as Haslet coordinated the defense and Judd coached tight ends.
Cowboys receivers coach Jimmy Robinson and Redskins offensive coordinator Jim Haslet coached together in New Orleans from 2004-05. Robinson served as head coach Jim Haslet’s receivers coach.
Danny Smith, Redskins special teams coach, and Cowboys receivers coach Jimmy Robinson both coached under Bobby Ross’ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Robinson coached receivers as Smith coached receivers, runningbacks, and defensive backs.
Dallas receivers coach Jimmy Robinson was actually Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard’s receivers coach with the New York Giants from 1998-2003.
Demarco Murray currently has 587 yards. The last time the Dallas Cowboys failed to have a rusher gain over 700 yards in a season was in 1989 when Paul Palmer led the team with 446 yards on 112 carries.
Jason Witten only needs 9 more receptions to break Michael Irvin’s franchise record of 111 catches in a season, which was set in 1995.
If Dez Bryant were to somehow catch three touchdowns this Sunday night, he would tie Terrell Owens’ franchise record of 15 receiving touchdowns set in 2007.
DeMarcus Ware’s 11.5 sacks ties his third lowest sack total of his career.
With Ware’s 11.5 sacks and Anthony Spencer’s 10 sacks, it is the first time since 2007 that the Cowboys have had two players with double digit sacks. (Ware, 14; Ellis, 12.5)
Jason Witten only needs 17 yards and Miles Austin only 57 to give the Dallas Cowboys three 1,000-yard receivers for the first time in franchise history.
If Dan Bailey misses a field goal Sunday night, it will still give him one of the Top 5 franchise records in field goal percentage.
Alfred Morris has already set the Redskins’ rookie rushing record for most seasonal yards with 1,413 yards.
Alfred Morris attended Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Florida, which is in the same school district as Emmitt Smith’s alma mater, Escambia High School.
Cornerback Mel Renfro (1941) from 1964-1977 and safety Keith Davis (1978) from 2002-2008 were born on 12/30, while thankfully the Cowboys have not yet suffered a 12/30 death.
The Washington Redskins are 3-2 on 12/30 with their 1984 contest being a playoff game:
1984: CHI – L, 19-23
1990: BUF – W, 29-14
2001: @NOR – W, 40-10
2006: NYG – L, 28-34
2007: DAL – W, 27-6
The Dallas Cowboys are 2-4 on 12/30 with their ’73, ’78, and ’79 games being playoff encounters:
1973: MIN – L, 10-27
1978: ATL – W, 27-20
1979: Rams – L, 14-16
1990: @ATL – L, 7-26
2001: SF – W, 27-21
2007: @WAS – L, 6-27
Sunday night’s game will be played under the waning stages of a full moon. Here’s Washington’s record under the moon phases:
First Quarter: 1-2
New Moon: N/A
Full Moon: 2-0
Last Quarter: N/A
Finally, here’s the Cowboys’ record according to moon phases:
First Quarter: 0-2
New Moon: 2-0
Full Moon: 1-1
Last Quarter: N/A