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Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals: By the Numbers

The Dallas Cowboys look to rebound from their worst loss since Dak Prescott became the starting quarterback for the team. The Cowboys are facing a team that has had some early struggles of their own in the Arizona Cardinals.

As the 1-1 Dallas Cowboys travel to play the 1-1 Arizona Cardinals, there are a lot of interesting things to note in this matchup. From the series, to the players, to what is happening this season, this matchup has some great story lines.

Debunking The NFL's "Blueprint" To Beat The Dallas Cowboys 2
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott #4, Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

0

The Amount of wins the Cowboys have against the Cardinals in the Jason Garrett coaching era.

1

Both the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals come into week three with a single victory in the win column. Dallas’ one win came over division rival New York Giants. The Arizona Cardinals struggled to eek out an overtime win to the injury-riddled Indianapolis Colts.

DeMarcus Lawrence’s ranking in sacks through two games. After having one and half in the first and two in the second, he has a good chance to get two more in this game.

Carson Palmer also is tied for first in the league with Andy Dalton and DeShone Kizer; in interceptions.

2

In two of the four losses since 2008, the team’s backup quarterback was the starter for those games. Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee combined for a loss in 2010 and Brandon Weeden spared us all to death while filling in for Tony Romo at the tail end of the 2014 season.

3

The number of times Patrick Peterson has been selected to the All-Pro’s first team. He’s another high-level to elite cornerback that Dez Bryant will be forced to contend with.

4

Only four players remain in the league from that 2006 Dallas Cowboys victory. Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, Jason Witten and L.P. Ladouceur of the Dallas Cowboys, and Minnesota Vikings cornerback, Terrance Newman.

Sitting at fourth in the league, the Arizona Cardinals only allow 2.8 yards per rush. Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas offensive line are going to have some tough sledding again this week.

5

The amount of sacks by both teams through two games.

Carson Palmer has also been sacked five times through two games.

Five also represents the amount of touchdowns that each team has allowed in the 2017 season. Both have allowed four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown through the first two weeks of the season.

6

The average point differential during the four-game losing streak is 6. The smallest margin was a one point loss in 2010. The largest loss came in 2014.

The Cardinals rank sixth in the league in total plays run and 11th in yards/play, but struggle to turn their drives into points as they’ve only scored on 29% of their drives, good for 23rd in the league. Dallas’ offense scores on 36% of its drives, good for 16th in the NFL. On the flip side, the Cardinals defense only allows 33% of its drives to end in points. Dallas is 9th in the league at 27%.

11

It’s been 11 seasons since the Dallas Cowboys’ last victory over the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. That game was Tony Romo’s fourth start in the NFL and he played excellently. 20/29 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and a 126.8 passer rating. His two touchdowns went to Patrick Crayton–who led the team in receiving that day with 105 yards on five catches–and “That’s my quarterback” Terrell Owens.

14

Despite his and the team’s poor performance in week two, Ezekiel Elliott is 14th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 162 total yards.

16

Arizona sits 16th in the league in points at 19.5 points per game. Unfortunately they give up more points per game than they’ve scored at 24 points per game allowed. That bodes well for a Dallas team looking to get back on track.

17

The number of catches for the NFL’s league leader in receptions, Jason Witten. That’s nine more than Rob Gronkowski, seven more than A.J. Green and Alshon Jeffrey, eight more than Amari Cooper, 12 more than Brandin Cooks, and 15 more than 2016 tight end TD leader, Cameron Brate.

This just in; Jason Witten’s still really good at football.

Sorry, sir for saying anything about your age. 

24

Where Dak Prescott sits in the NFL in passer rating through two weeks. Definitely not a great start, but if we know anything about Dak, it’s that he is the king of the bounce back. Look for him to have a good game this week.

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals: By the Numbers 1
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald #11

29

The combined seasons for two key players in the game this week: Jason Witten and Larry Fitzgerald.

Larry Fitzgerald and Jason Witten sit at numbers three and four on the all-time receptions list, respectively. They’ve combined for 2,240 receptions over their careers; an average of 77 receptions per season for the two of them.

54.8

Carson Palmer’s completion percentage is not good and sits at 31st in the NFL.

64

The amount of rushing yards the Arizona Cardinals have managed through two games in 2017.

65.6

Palmer’s passer rating, which is ahead of only four players with qualifying statistics: Jacoby Brissett, Josh McCown, DeShone Kizer, and Andy Dalton. Yuck!

84

The number of pass attempts through two games for Carson Palmer, who ranks fifth in the NFL in attempts and yards.

89

The number of attempts through the air for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. I think nobody would have expected this through two games. Prescott and Scott Linehan need to be better moving forward. More misdirection in the passing game and more delayed draw plays for the run game to try to soften things up.

More Game Notes

  • Dak Prescott and Carson Palmer represent the two lowest passer ratings of any players in the top-10 in attempts.
  • On defense, the Arizona Cardinals have allowed the third most amount of plays in 2017, but rank 9th in yards per play at 4.6. For reference, the Dallas Cowboys are 13th in y/p at 4.9.
  • Looking for a week to get the passing game back on track, and this may be it. The Cardinals have allowed the 9th most passing yards in the NFL’s first two weeks.
  • The Cardinals have forced only two turnovers in their first two games.
  • Dallas leads the all-time series with a record of 55-32-1.
  • Despite his poor week two, Ezekiel Elliott sits 14th in the NFL

Two of the Greatest to Ever Play

This game will feature two players who have played every single game for more than 10 years with their respective teams. Larry Fitzgerald for the Arizona Cardinals and Jason Witten for the Dallas Cowboys.

When their careers are done, they will both find themselves enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame. Larry Fitzgerald and Jason Witten are two of the most respected players in the game. They have been pillars of the game and in their communities for more than a decade.

Whatever happens on Monday Night Football this week, take a moment to soak in these two legends being on the field with one another; perhaps for the last time.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

While Arizona hasn’t played all that well, the numbers say this will be a tough matchup for your Dallas Cowboys. Arizona loves to throw the ball. Maybe even more so than Scott Linehan has these first two weeks. Nolan Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie’s health will be important to watch throughout the week. Everybody will be needed in the secondary. EVERYBODY.

Be on the look out for our writer’s predictions to come out later. Go Cowboys!!!

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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