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Cowboys 100: Facts and stats for Week 11 matchup at Minnesota Vikings

The Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings have met 31 times with Dallas holding a slim 16-15 lead in the all-time series.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) drops back to pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys are fresh off a bye week but will begin the busiest part of their schedule with three games in twelve days beginning with a Week 11 contest in Minnesota against the Vikings on Sunday. The Cowboys currently maintain just a one-game lead in the all-time series.

Here are 100 more facts and stats as Dallas hopes to prevent the Vikings from tying the series in the 32nd meeting between these two franchises:

SERIES FACTS (11)

-The Cowboys are 2-7 for the sixth time in team history. None of those teams made the playoffs. However, the 1988 team did end up with the No. 1 overall pick.

-Since 1990, the last time playoff formats were reformatted, 0 of 105 teams that started 3-7 made the playoffs.

-Since 1990, 0 of 76 teams that started 2-8 made the playoffs.

-The Vikings are 4-5 for the ninth time in franchise history. 1 of 8 of those previous teams made the playoffs: 1980.

-Since 1990, 42 of 151 teams that started 5-5 made the playoffs with 16 of those teams having won the division.

-Since 1990, 11 of 168 teams that started 4-6 made the playoffs with 2 of 11 of those teams taking the division crown.

-The Cowboys are 1-6 against the Vikings in November with an 0-1 record on the road.

-The Cowboys are 10-7 against Minnesota on the road. Here is the breakdown by venue:

  • Metropolitan Stadium: 6-1

  • Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome: 3-6

  • U.S. Bank Stadium: 1-0

-The Vikings are 1 of 3 teams that the Cowboys have faced in every round of the NFC playoffs. The other two teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams.

-Since 1970, the Cowboys are 169-127 in late afternoon games with a 59-68 record on the road.

-Since 1970, the Vikings are 62-72-1 in late afternoon games with a 23-20-1 record at home.

ANDY DALTON FACTS (8)

-Dalton is 1 of 4 quarterbacks this season to have made multiple starts and not yet reach 100 pass attempts.

-Dalton is 1-1 against the Vikings with an 0-1 record on the road.

-Dalton has had five games where he has thrown four touchdown passes. One of those games was against the Vikings (Dec. 22, 2013).

-Dalton’s 363 passing yards from the 2013 game against Minnesota was the ninth-most in his career.

-Dalton’s 136.2 passer rating in the 2013 encounter with the Vikings was the fifth-highest of his career.

-In Dalton’s last complete game (Oct. 19, 2020), his 54 pass attempts were tied for his second-highest in a single game.

-Dalton has a 46.9 passer rating on first down.

-Dalton has a 64.4 passer rating on third down.

KIRK COUSINS FACTS (10)

-Cousins has given up the second-most interceptions in the league with 11.

-Cousins has the highest yards per pass attempt at 8.8.

-Cousins has produced the third-highest intended air yards per pass attempt at 9.0.

-Cousins has collected the second-highest completed air yards per pass attempt at 4.9.

-Cousins’ 13.3 yards per completion total is the highest in the league.

-Cousins has the second-highest completed air yards per completion at 7.4.

-Cousins benefits from 5.9 yards after the catch per completion, the eighth-most in the league.

-Cousins is tied with Josh Allen, Carson Wentz, and Cam Newton for the third-longest time to throw in the pocket at 2.6 seconds.

-Among quarterbacks with double-digit red zone touchdown passes, Cousins is 1 of 12 quarterbacks who has yet to throw a red-zone pick.

-Cousins is the only quarterback this season who has led his team on a game-winning drive but has produced no fourth-quarter comebacks.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (10)

-Elliott is tied for the ninth-most rushing touchdowns with five.

-Elliott is tied with Kyler Murray for the fourth-most first downs gained on the ground with 39.

-Among running backs with at least 100 carries, Elliott’s 3.8 yards per carry are tied for the fifth-fewest in the NFL.

-Elliott is tied for the seventh-most fumbles with five, and leads the NFL among running backs.

-Elliott is just outside the top-10 in rushing yards with 572 (11th).

-Among running backs with at least 100 carries, Elliott is tied for the fourth-lowest yards before contact on average at 1.8.

-Elliott has the ninth-most yards after contact at 295.

-Elliott is tied with James Conner for the 10th-most broken tackles with 11.

-Elliott is tied for the ninth-most rushing touchdowns in the red zone with five.

-Elliott has taken the sixth-most rushing attempts in the red zone with 27.

DALVIN COOK (7)

-Dalvin Cook has the most rushing yards in the league with 954.

-Cook leads the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns, but he also leads the NFL in combined rushing and receiving scores with 13.

-Cook has picked up the most first downs on the ground with 51.

-Among running backs with at least 100 carries, Cook’s 5.5 yards per carry leads the league.

-Cook has gained 456 yards before contact, the most of any running back this season. Only Kyler Murray’s 531 leads the NFL among all players.

-Cook has the second-most yards after contact with 498.

-Cook has the most broken tackles this year with 24. Next closest is Derrick Henry with 19.

MIKE MCCARTHY FACTS (9)

-McCarthy has gone 9-4 coming off a bye with a 5-3 record on the road in his career.

-McCarthy is 53-23-2 against the NFC North with a 25-14 record on the road.

-McCarthy is 16-9-2 against the Vikings with a 7-6 record on the road.

-McCarthy has never won (0-3) at U.S. Bank Stadium.

-McCarthy’s team has a record of 2-7 for the first time in his career.

-McCarthy is 25-31-1 in November with a 12-20 record on the road.

-McCarthy is 6-15-1 with backup quarterbacks with a 2-8-1 record on the road.

-McCarthy is 65-51-1 against playoff-winning coaches with a 25-37 record on the road.

-McCarthy has been able to snap a losing streak 15 of 29 times.

MIKE ZIMMER FACTS (10)

-Zimmer, Jerry Burns, and Mike Tice are the only Vikings coaches to have defeated the Cowboys in their first try.

-In what should have been Zimmer’s first game against the Cowboys on Dec. 1, 2016, Zimmer missed the game due to emergency eye surgery the day before. Dallas won 17-15.

-Zimmer is the ninth former Cowboys coordinator to face Dallas. Ex-Cowboys coordinators are 17-30-1 against their former team. Here is the list:

  • Sean Payton: 5-3

  • Dan Reeves: 5-8

  • Norv Turner: 4-9

  • Dave Wannstedt: 1-2

  • Dick Nolan: 1-5-1

  • Butch Davis: 0-1

  • Dave Shula: 0-1

  • Tony Sparano: 0-1

  • Mike Zimmer: 1-0

-Zimmer is 8-3 against the NFC East with a 5-0 record at home.

-Zimmer is 5-4-1 against Mike McCarthy with a 3-2 record at home.

-Last season, the Vikings were 9-2 indoors, home, and away. This season, they are 2-4 indoors, home and away.

-Zimmer is 22 for 42 on challenges for his career with a 3 for 4 rate in 2020.

-Zimmer is 17-8 in November with a 9-3 record at home.

-The Vikings under Zimmer are tied with the Chargers for the seventh-fewest penalties in 2020 with 47.

-The Vikings’ 47 penalties are the fewest of the Zimmer era through the first nine games.

BROADCAST FACTS (6)

-Cowboys vs. Vikings games have been televised on every available TV network. Here is Dallas’ record against Minnesota by network:

  • CBS: 11-4

  • FOX: 2-6

  • ABC: 1-4

  • ESPN: 0-1

  • NBC: 1-1

  • NFL Network: 1-0*

*simulcast of an NBC game on Dec. 1, 2016.

-Dallas is 142-130 all-time on FOX, including the postseason.

-Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma will be calling the action for FOX, making them the 25th different play-by-play team to call a game in the series.

-The Cowboys are 16-11 when Kenny Albert calls their games.

-The Cowboys and Vikings are getting Vilma for the first time in their games.

-This is the 11th late afternoon game in the series and the fifth such game in Minnesota.

BILL VINOVICH FACTS (11)

-This week’s referee is Bill Vinovich. Dallas is 7-6 with Vinovich making the calls. Here are the results:

  • 2004 – @CIN, 3-26 – L

  • 2004 – WAS, 13-10 – W

  • 2005 – PHI, 33-10 – W

  • 2006 – Colts, 21-14 – W

  • 2012 – @CIN, 20-19 – W

  • 2013 – @DET, 30-31 – L

  • 2014 – @NYG, 31-28 – W

  • 2015 – NYG, 27-26 – W

  • 2015 – @TB, 6-10 – L

  • 2016 – @WAS, 27-23 – W

  • 2017 – PHI, 9-37 – L

  • 2018 – @HTX, 16-19 – L-OT

  • 2019 – BUF, 15-26 – L

-The Cowboys have had fewer penalties than their opposition 8/13 times with Vinovich:

  • 2004 – CIN: 4/20; DAL: 7/46

  • 2004 – WAS: 8/69; DAL: 1/13

  • 2005 – PHI: 8/54; DAL: 5/48

  • 2006 – CLT: 5/35; DAL: 7/53

  • 2012 – CIN: 8/70; DAL: 6/49

  • 2013 – DET: 8/61; DAL: 2/31

  • 2014 – NYG: 5/30; DAL: 7/63

  • 2015 – NYG: 5/44; DAL: 3/35

  • 2015 – TB: 7/62; DAL: 6/68

  • 2016 – WAS: 8/51; DAL: 6/39

  • 2017 – PHI: 3/30; DAL: 2/10

  • 2018 – HTX: 5/25; DAL: 7/72

  • 2019 – BUF: 7/53; DAL: 5/66

-Vinovich refereed games are tied for the eighth-highest home team winning percentage (.500) in the league.

-Vinovich’s crew is tied for the ninth-highest percentage (.500) of home teams having fewer penalties.

-The Vikings are 6-5-1 with Vinovich as the referee:

  • 2004 – SEA, 23-27 – L

  • 2005 – DET, 27-14 – W

  • 2006 – NYJ, 13-26 – L

  • 2013 – @GB, 26-26 – T

  • 2015 – DET, 26-16 – W

  • 2015 – @GB, 20-13 – W

  • 2017 – DET, 7-14 – L

  • 2017 – @WAS, 38-30 – W

  • 2018 – GB, 24-17 – W

  • 2019 – ATL, 28-12 – W

  • 2019 – GB, 10-23 – L

  • 2020 – GB, 34-43 – L

-The Vikings have had fewer penalties 6/12 times:

  • 2004 – SEA: 5/79; MIN: 5/42

  • 2005 – DET: 6/31; MIN: 3/18

  • 2006 – NYJ: 7/55; MIN: 8/56

  • 2013 – GB: 7/50; MIN: 5/53

  • 2015 – DET: 6/39; MIN: 10/97

  • 2015 – GB: 7/54; MIN: 5/37

  • 2017 – DET: 6/60; MIN: 2/10

  • 2017 – WAS: 2/15; MIN: 3/40

  • 2018 – GB: 4/20; MIN: 6/55

  • 2019 – ATL: 9/78; MIN: 11/100

  • 2019 – GB: 2/20: MIN: 3/30

  • 2020 – GB: 6/63; MIN: 5/20

-Vinovich’s games have tied for the eight-most sacks (4.6) per game.

-Vinovich’s crew averages the second-fewest offensive holding calls (1.1) per game.

-Under Vinovich, the Cowboys have won 2 of 7 of their coaches challenges compared to their opponents winning 3 of 7 coaches challenges. Additionally, Replay Assistant is 2 for 7 on challenges with only two of those rulings benefiting the Cowboys.

-With Vinovich, the Vikings are 5 for 8 on challenges with the opposition going 3 for 3. Replay Assistant is 0 for 1 with that call not benefiting Minnesota.

-Vinovich is tied for the third-highest challenge overturn rate at .800 (4 of 5).

MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (18)

-Dallas is tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for the second-most yards per carry allowed at 5.0.

-The Vikings are tied with the New York Jets and Los Angeles Rams for the ninth-fewest yards per carry allowed at 4.1.

-The Cowboys give up 157.0 yards per game, the second-most in the NFL.

-Opponents have compiled a 103.1 passer rating against the Cowboys defense, the fifth-most in the NFL.

-Opponents have compiled a 99.7 passer rating against the Vikings defense, the seventh-most in the league.

-The Dallas defense is tied with the Packers for the second-fewest takeaways in the NFL with seven.

-The Cowboys have given up 938 yards after the catch, the fifth-fewest in the league.

-Dallas is tied with the Chicago Bears for the eighth-fewest blitzes with 83.

-Jaylon Smith has secured the fifth-most combined tackles in the league with 89.

-Adam Thielen is tied for the fifth-most drops this season with six.

-Thielen and rookie Justin Jefferson are tied for the second-most interceptions thrown on their targets with four apiece.

-Amari Cooper has the 10th-most catches in the NFL with 59.

-Among receivers with at least 50 catches, Cooper’s two touchdown catches are tied with Cooper Kupp for the second-fewest.

-The Cowboys have run 681 offensive plays, the most in the NFL, and they have only played nine games. Second-closest are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 668, and they have played 10 games.

-Dallas still leads the NFL with a turnover percentage per drive at 19.6%.

-The Cowboys hold a 10-6 on Nov. 22. Here are the results:

  • 1964 – @WAS, 16-28 – L

  • 1970 – @WAS, 45-21 – W

  • 1973 – MIA, 7-14 – L

  • 1979 – Oilers, 24-30 – L

  • 1981 – WAS, 24-10 – W

  • 1984 – NE, 20-17 – W

  • 1987 – MIA, 14-20 – L

  • 1990 – WAS, 27-17 – W

  • 1992 – @Cardinals, 16-10 – W

  • 1998 – SEA, 30-22 – W

  • 2001 – DEN, 24-26 – L

  • 2007 – NYJ, 34-3 – W

  • 2009 – WAS, 7-6 – W

  • 2012 – WAS, 31-38 – L

  • 2015 – @MIA, 24-14 – W

  • 2018 – WAS, 31-23 – W

-The Vikings are 5-1-1 on Nov. 22. Here are the results:

  • 1964 – @DET, 23-23 – T

  • 1970 – GB, 10-3 – W

  • 1987 – ATL, 24-13 – W

  • 1992 – CLE, 17-13 – W

  • 1998 – GB, 28-14 – W

  • 2009 – SEA, 35-9 – W

  • 2015 – GB, 13-30 – L

-The Cowboys have seven birthdays to celebrate on Nov. 22, including that of defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford, who turns 31 Sunday:

  • 1934 – Don McIlhenny, RB, 1960-61

  • 1962 – Steve Deossie, LB, 1984-88

  • 1963 – Mike Zentic, C, 1987

  • 1968 – Darryl Hardy, LB, 1995 & 1997

  • 1975 – Ryan Neufeld, TE, 1999

  • 1979 – Keith Adams, LB, 2001-02

  • 1989 – Tyrone Crawford, DE, 2012-present

Did you know that the Cowboys began this all-time series against the Vikings 4-0 without losing once during the 1960s? Share your favorite facts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.