Just the Facts: Cowboys-Lions

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Since 1990, the last time the playoff format was tinkered with, only 27% of the qualifying teams had records of 4-3.

In the Dallas Cowboys’ past 53 seasons, only 12 times have they held a record of 4-3: 1961, 1971, 1973, 1984, 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006, and 2008. Half of those seasons were playoff-qualifying (’71, ’73, ’96, ’98, ’99, ’06), and 1971 was the year Dallas won Super Bowl VI, their first Super Bowl.

In the Dallas Cowboys’ 53 previous seasons, they have had 83 back-to-back road games. Only 13 times have the Cowboys won back-to-back road games: ’68 (twice), ’71, ’75, ’78, ’79, ’82, ’83, ’85, ’93, ’94, ’07 (twice), and ’09.

Also in the Dallas Cowboys’ previous 53 seasons, they have had the distinction of playing 11 three consecutive road games: ’60, ’64, ’65, ’66, ’69, ’76, ’83, ’87, ’91, ’92, ’06. Only in 1964 and 1969 did the Cowboys win all three consecutive road games.

Since 2011 through Week 7 of 2013, there have been 140 instances of teams playing two consecutive road games. Only 29/140 of those series were won by the opposing team. Only 60/140 teams were able to win the first game.

When adjusted for playoff qualifiers, there were a total of 48 back-to-back road games. 2011-12 playoff teams had a 46% chance of winning back-to-back road games compared to non-playoff teams who went 4/70, or 6%.

The Dallas Cowboys are 6-2 against the Detroit Lions in the month of October.

Oct 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett along the sidelines during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In this series of 24 games, only 9 times have the Cowboys and Lions had even records as they will have at 4-3 each this Sunday. In those contests, the Cowboys are 7-2, including playoffs (1970 Divisional).

The Dallas Cowboys have played the Detroit Lions on the road 13 times. Here’s their record in Detroit broken down by venue:

Tiger Stadium: 0-1
Pontiac Silverdome: 3-6
Ford Field: 2-1

The Pontiac Silverdome’s first regular season NFL game was a 36-10 Dallas Cowboys victory over the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. The last ever NFL regular season game in the Silverdome also featured the Dallas Cowboys, though the Detroit Lions prevailed 15-10.

Among NFL venues opened since the year 2000, with a minimum of two games played, the Dallas Cowboys have the best winning percentage in Ford Field than anywhere else, including their home stadium:

Ford Field: .667 (2-1)
AT&T Stadium: .568 (21-16)
Lincoln Financial Field: .545 (6-5)
MetLife Stadium: .500 (2-2)
Paul Brown Stadium: .500 (1-1)
Reliant Stadium: .500 (1-1)
University of Phoenix Stadium: .250 (1-3)
CenturyLink Field: .250 (1-3)
Gillette Stadium: .000 (0-2)

Since the year 2007, the Dallas Cowboys have played in 31 early games. The Detroit Lions played 31 early games by October 11th, 2009. Sunday will be their 80th early game played since 2007.

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