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Cowboys 100: Facts and stats for Week 10 matchup against Falcons

The Dallas Cowboys will be trying to start a new winning streak as they take on the Atlanta Falcons for the 30th time in franchise history on Sunday.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott rolls out of the pocket before throwing a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys saw their six-game winning streak come to a demonstrative end in a 30-16 beatdown to the Denver Broncos in Week 9. Now, with a chance to right the ship, the Cowboys will welcome the Atlanta Falcons to Arlington.

The Falcons are in third place in the NFC South with a record of 4-4 but they have been surging since starting the season 0-2 with wins in three of their last four games. In their last outing, Atlanta was able to defeat the division rival Saints 27-25 in New Orleans.

The Falcons are 3-1 on the road in 2021 which presents some danger for Dallas as Sunday’s matchup will be played at AT&T Stadium.

With that in mind, here are 100 facts and stats as the Cowboys get back in the saddle against Atlanta:

SERIES FACTS (14)

The Cowboys are 6-2 for the 13th time in team history. 11 of those previous 12 teams made the playoffs:

  • Failed to quality: 1986
  • Lost wildcard: 2003
  • Lost divisional: 1985, 2009, 2014
  • Lost conference: 1972, 1980, 1981, 1982
  • Lost league title game/Super Bowl: 1967
  • Won league title/Super Bowl: 1993

- Since 1990, 91.6% (87 of 95) of teams that started 7-2 made the playoffs with 65 of those teams having won the division.

- Since 1990, 72.7% (109 of 150) teams that started 6-3 made the playoffs with 61 of them having won the division.

- This is the 10th time in franchise history that the Falcons are 4-4. 3 of those previous 9 teams made the playoffs with none of them having won the division.

- Since 1990, when playoff formats were last realigned, 79 of 169 teams that started 5-4 made the playoffs.

- Since 1990, 28 of 172 teams that started 4-5 made the playoffs with 12 of them having won the division.

- The Cowboys are 10-4 against the Falcons at home, including the playoffs. Here is the breakdown by venue:

  • Cotton Bowl: 2-0
  • Texas Stadium: 6-3
  • AT&T Stadium: 2-1

- Dallas is 2-5 against the Falcons in November with all of those games previously played on the road.

- This is the 16th early afternoon game in the series and the ninth one from Dallas.

- The Cowboys are 18-11 against the Falcons all-time. Here is how they compare to the rest of the NFC South:

  • Buccaneers: .750 (15-5)
  • Panthers: .667 (10-5)
  • Falcons: .621 (18-11)
  • Saints: .567 (17-13)

- Since 1970, the Cowboys are 155-115 in early afternoon games with a 74-41 record at home.

- Since 1970, the Falcons are 253-280-3 in early afternoon games with an 88-129-2 record on the road.

- The Falcons are 54-89 in the Central Time Zone with a 5-16 record in Texas.

- The Falcons are 1 of 3 teams that the Cowboys have beaten multiple times in the postseason without reprisals. The other two are the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

DAK PRESCOTT FACTS (16)

- Prescott is 2-1 against the Falcons. Here is how other Cowboys quarterbacks have fared against Atlanta (in chronological order):

  • Don Meredith: 2-0
  • Craig Morton: 2-0
  • Roger Staubach: 3-0
  • Danny White: 2-1
  • Steve Pelluer: 1-1
  • Troy Aikman: 4-1
  • Babe Laufenberg: 0-1
  • Steve Beuerlein: 0-1
  • Bernie Kosar: 0-1
  • Ryan Leaf: 0-1
  • Quincy Carter: 0-1
  • Tony Romo: 2-1
  • Brandon Weeden: 0-1

- Prescott is tied with Justin Herbert for the fifth-most touchdown passes with 18.

- Prescott’s 8.0 yards per pass attempt is the eighth-most in the NFL.

- Prescott’s 11.6 yards per completion is tied with Carson Wentz for the 10th-highest in the league.

- Prescott’s 292.1 passing yards per game are the fifth-highest in the league.

- Prescott’s 108.7 passer rating is the third-highest in the NFL.

- Prescott has been blitzed 98 times, the third-most in the NFL.

- Prescott gets sacked on 4.1% of his dropbacks, the fifth-fewest in the NFL.

- Prescott gets pressured on 18.1% of his dropbacks, the third-fewest in the NFL.

- Prescott is tied for the ninth-most pocket time in the NFL at 2.3.

- Prescott is tied with Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Allen for the ninth-highest completed air yards per pass attempt at 4.3.

- Among quarterbacks who have started at least seven games, Prescott has the eighth-highest passer rating on third down at 104.0.

- Among quarterbacks who have started at least seven games, Prescott has the sixth-highest yards per pass attempt on third down at 9.0.

- Prescott has thrown for 106 first downs, the ninth-most in the league.

- Among quarterbacks with at least seven starts, Prescott is tied with Week 10 opponent Matt Ryan for the third-highest completion percentage at 69.4%.

- Until the Week 2 win over the Falcons in 2020, Prescott had not executed a fourth quarter comeback or a game-winning drive since Week 17 of 2018 at the New York Giants.

MATT RYAN FACTS (15)

- Ryan has a 3-3 record against the Cowboys. Here is how that compares to the other Falcons quarterbacks (chronological order):

  • Randy Johnson: 0-3
  • Bob Berry: 0-1
  • Bob Lee: 0-1
  • Scott Hunter: 1-0
  • Steve Bartkowski: 1-0
  • David Archer: 0-1
  • Chris Miller: 1-2
  • Hugh Millen: 1-0
  • Wade Wilson: 0-1
  • Bobby Hebert: 1-1
  • Jeff George: 0-1
  • Tony Graziani: 0-1
  • Michael Vick: 1-1
  • Doug Johnson: 1-0

- Ryan is tied with Justin Herbert for the fifth-most red zone touchdown passes with 13.

- Ryan has thrown for 109 first downs, tied for sixth-most in the NFL.

- Ryan is tied with Trevor Lawrence for the sixth-fewest yards per completion at 10.3.

- Ryan has been pressured 83 times, the eighth-most in the league.

- Ryan gets sacked on 4.4% of his dropbacks, the ninth-fewest in the NFL.

- Ryan has been blitzed 89 times, tied with Derek Carr for the seventh-most in the NFL.

- Ryan’s 7.0 intended air yards per pass attempt is the fourth-lowest in the league.

- Ryan benefits from 4.4 yards after the catch on average, the eighth-lowest in the NFL.

- Ryan has had five passes batted at the line of scrimmage, tied for fifth-most in the NFL.

- Ryan has generated 729 passing yards out of play-action, the fourth-most in the NFL.

- Ryan has passed 78 times out of play-action, the fifth-most in the league.

- Ryan has the fourth-highest passer rating on third down at 111.6.

- Ryan has converted the most third downs through the air in the league with 41.

- Ryan is 1 of 5 quarterbacks this season with at least three game-winning drives and three fourth quarter comebacks.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT FACTS (11)

- Elliott has the fifth-most rushing yards in the NFL with 622.

- Elliott is tied for the seventh-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL with five.

- Elliott and James Conner are tied for the sixth-most first downs on the ground with 32.

- Among running backs, Elliott is tied for the eighth-highest yards per carry at 4.9.

- Elliott generates 77.8 rushing yards per game, the sixth-most in the NFL.

- Elliott is tied for the sixth-most third down conversions on the ground with 12.

- Elliott has gained 404 rushing yards on third down, the fourth-most in the NFL.

- Elliott has picked up 356 rushing yards before contact, the fifth-most in the league.

- Elliott has gained 266 rushing yards after contact, the sixth-most in the NFL.

- Elliott is 1 of 5 running backs with at least 100 carries and zero fumbles.

- In 2017, Elliott missed his first game due to a suspension on Nov. 12 at the Falcons, who rolled the Cowboys 27-7, sacking Dak Prescott eight times. In 2018, when the Falcons faced the Cowboys with Elliott, the All-Pro back gained 122 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for a 22-19 Dallas win.

MIKE MCCARTHY FACTS (6)

- This is the 65th week that a McCarthy coached team has held undisputed first place in the division and his eighth with the Cowboys.

- November: 26-33-1 with a 13-13-1 record at home.

- McCarthy is 5-5 against the Falcons, including playoffs, with a 3-1 record at home.

- McCarthy’s 5-5 record against the Falcons is tied for his second-best against an NFC South opponent, including the playoffs:

  • Panthers: .571 (4-3)
  • Buccaneers: .500 (3-3)
  • Falcons: .500 (5-5)
  • Saints: .333 (2-4)

- McCarthy is 24-11 against rookie coaches with a 14-6 record at home.

- McCarthy is 48-43 against playoff-winning quarterbacks with a 28-13 record at home.

ARTHUR SMITH FACTS (5)

- If Smith leads Atlanta to victory, he will join Pat Peppler (interim), Jerry Glanville, and Dan Quinn as the only coaches to beat the Cowboys in their first meeting.

- Smith is 3-1 on the road compared to 1-3 at home.

- Smith is 1-2 against the NFC East with a 1-0 record on the road.

- Smith was a defensive quality control coach for Washington in 2007, Joe Gibbs’ last season in the NFL.

- Smith has yet to throw the challenge flag this season.

BROADCAST FACTS (8)

- This is the 10th game in the series to be broadcast on FOX. Here is a breakdown of games on other networks:

  • CBS: 15
  • FOX: 9
  • ABC: 2
  • NBC: 1
  • NFL Network: 1

- This week’s broadcasting team is Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, making them the 29th different team to call a game in the series.

- Dallas is 29-21 when Burkhardt calls their games, including Compass Media Network games.

- The Falcons are 10-17 when Burkhardt calls their games.

- The Cowboys are 1-1 with Olsen providing commentary for their games.

- The Falcons are 0-2 when Olsen provides commentary for their games.

- Dallas is 147-134 all-time on FOX, including the postseason.

- The Falcons are 175-177 on FOX, including the postseason and Super Bowls XXXIII and LI.

CRAIG WROLSTAD FACTS (13)

- This week’s referee is Craig Wrolstad. The Cowboys have a 7-2 record with Wrolstad as their official. Here are the results:

  • 2014 – Cardinals, 17-28 – L
  • 2015 – NYJ, 16-19 – L
  • 2016 – CHI, 31-17 – W
  • 2016 – WAS, 31-26 – W
  • 2017 – @Cardinals, 28-17 – W
  • 2017 – WAS, 38-14 – W
  • 2018 – @ATL, 22-19 – W
  • 2019 – WAS, 47-16 – W
  • 2020 – NYG, 37-34 – W

- The Cowboys have had fewer penalty yards than the opposition 6 of 9 times with Wrolstad.

  • 2014 – Cardinals: 6/62; DAL: 5/33
  • 2015 – NYJ: 8/61; DAL: 6/54
  • 2016 – CHI: 6/45; DAL: 4/45
  • 2016 – WAS: 3/30; DAL: 3/25
  • 2017 – Cardinals: 6/50; DAL: 9/76
  • 2017 – WAS: 7/43; DAL: 3/25
  • 2018 – ATL: 2/15; DAL: 2/20
  • 2019 – WAS: 2/10; DAL: 10/81
  • 2020 – NYG: 8/81; DAL: 3/25

- Wrolstad’s games have the fourth-lowest (.286) home team winning percentage.

- Wrolstad is tied for the fifth-lowest percentage (.429) of home teams having fewer penalties.

- The Falcons have a 4-3 record with Wrolstad officiating their games:

  • 2014 – TB, 56-14 – W
  • 2015 – NO, 17-20 – L
  • 2016 – @PHI, 15-24 – L
  • 2017 – @NYJ, 25-20 – W
  • 2018 – DAL, 19-22 – L
  • 2019 – @SF, 29-22 – W
  • 2020 – @MIN, 40-23 – W

- Atlanta has had fewer penalty yards than the opposition 4 of 7 times with Wrolstad:

  • 2014 – TB: 11/110; ATL: 5/50
  • 2015 – NO: 4/45; ATL: 4/32
  • 2016 – PHI: 10/77; ATL: 8/67
  • 2017 – NYJ: 6/50; ATL: 6/68
  • 2018 – DAL: 2/20; ATL: 2/15
  • 2019 – SF: 7/67; ATL: 11/98
  • 2020 – MIN: 3/30; ATL: 5/25

- Wrolstad’s games are tied for the third-highest (5.1) number of sacks in the NFL.

- Wrolstad’s crew is tied for the third-highest (3.3) offensive holding calls per game.

- Dallas is 0 for 2 when challenging Wrolstad while opponents are 2 for 2. Replay Assistant is 0 for 1 with none of those calls benefiting the Cowboys.

- The Falcons have never challenged Wrolstad though the opposition is 1 for 1. Replay Assistant has also not yet challenged Wrolstad in a game featuring Atlanta.

- Wrolstad has the sixth-lowest (.400, 2 for 5) coaches challenge overturn rate.

- Wrolstad is tied for the fourth-lowest (.500, 2 for 4) booth review overturn rate.

- Outside of the NFL, Wrolstad is a high school athletic director in Washington state.

MISCELLANEOUS FACTS (12)

- The Cowboys are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the 10th-most missed tackles with 62.

- Cowboys are tied for the fifth-most takeaways in the league with 14.

- The Falcons are tied for the fourth-fewest takeaways with seven.

- The Falcons are tied with the Detroit Lions for the fewest pressures with 58.

- Atlanta has generated 11 sacks, the fewest in the league.

- Dallas has produced 18 sacks, the eighth-fewest in the NFL.

- Opposing quarterbacks have generated a 104.1 passer rating against Atlanta, the seventh-highest in the NFL.

- The Falcons defense has given up the fourth-fewest receiving yards to receivers with 1,173.

- The Falcons are tied with Washington for the sixth-most receiving touchdowns surrendered to receivers with 11.

- The Cowboys are 6-1 on Nov. 14:

  • 1965 — PIT, 24-17 — W
  • 1971 — PHI, 20-7 — W
  • 1977 — CRD, 17-24 — L
  • 1993 — CRD, 20-15 — W
  • 1999 — GB, 27-23 — W
  • 2005 — @PHI, 21-20 — W
  • 2010 — @NYG, 33-20 — W

- The Falcons are 3-2 on Nov. 14:

  • 1971 — NYG, 17-21 — L
  • 1976 — SF, 21-16 — W
  • 1983 — RAM, 13-36 — L
  • 1993 — @RAM, 13-0 — W
  • 2004 — TB, 24-14 — W

- The Cowboys have four birthdays to celebrate on Nov. 14:

  • 1966 — Rod Harris, WR, 1990
  • 1978 — Junior Siavii, DT, 2009
  • 1981 — Ben Noll, G, 2004-05
  • 1982 — Kyle Orton, QB, 2012-13

Do you think the Cowboys will take the 30th all-time meeting against the Falcons? Share your predictions and favorite facts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.