As an avid reader of BTB for a long time, I’m well-familiar with Rabblerousr’s famed “By The Numbers” series. I’m excited and greatly honored to continue it, and hope to live up to the standard set by him and others that have partaken in it.
Numbers can tell so much of a story, but each number has a story to it as well (Inception is such an awesome movie). Let’s tell some stories.
71, 72, 73: We’re likely in for a great season of By The Numbers considering the very first footage shown by NBC featuring Dallas Cowboys players, right before Carrie Underwood’s theme song, were three Cowboys in sequential order: La’el Collins, Travis Frederick, and Joe Looney.
Feels like this happens so rarely- at the very beginning of Cowboys/Giants we got La'el, Frederick, & Looney all in order. 71, 72, 73. Nice. pic.twitter.com/EpF2ESizZ7— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 12, 2017
Speaking of Carrie Underwood’s theme song...
4: The players shown during her traditional introduction are (in order) Jason Pierre-Paul, Julio Jones, Eli Manning, and Dak Prescott. Also Dak’s rookie year (2016) was Carrie’s fourth singing the song. May the Fourth be with you, Carrie.
4-11: At one point in time prior to Google being a swipe away, you had to dial 4-1-1 to get information. Well when the New York Giants were giving us their 4-1-1 in terms of the starters on their defense, Dallas gave them their 4-11... Dak Prescott and Cole Beasley’s first connection happened behind the introductions. Neat-o.
200: Eli Manning made his 200th consecutive start on Sunday night, and that’s a feat that should be respected. 200 is a larger number, and this feels like an appropriate time to remind you that Eli Manning has over 200 career interceptions... 216.
90: Speaking of Eli Manning... it was #90 DeMarcus Lawrence that sacked him on the first Giants 3rd down of the evening. New York didn’t even possess the ball for 90 seconds.
734: The Cowboys possessed the ball for 734 seconds in the first quarter. That’s 12:14. That’s insane.
18: Jason Witten entered this game needing 17 yards to surpass Michael Irvin to become the all-time leading receiver in Dallas Cowboys History. After a quick seven yards to start things off, Witten needed only 10 more. Because he is who he is, Jason Witten went the extra mile and tacked on 11 more to give him 18 and the record.
228: While the New York Giants were undoubtedly impressive defensively, a lost wrinkle in the game is what the Cowboys did in the final 3:48 of the first half. Dallas took over on their own 35 at that point and collectively had 13 plays for 116 yards (aided by a 21-yard penalty on the first of two drives) that totaled 10 points. This took up 3:21 of the 3:48 left on the clock when it all began, which says an enormous amount about how efficient and limiting their offense and defense was, respectively.
35: It wasn’t until a couple of minutes into the second half that the New York Giants crossed their own 35-yard line (coincidentally right after Al Michaels noted that they hadn’t). It was a 22-yard gain to Roger Lewis that helped the Giants do it, and he was forced out of bounds by #35 of the Cowboys, Kavon Frazier. Funny how that stuff works out, isn’t it?
For what it’s worth the next Dak Prescott pass, which went to Dez Bryant, would also travel 35 yards.
9: The number of Dallas first downs achieved by passing. A subtle ode to the first game without Tony Romo on the sideline in quite a long time.
71: The total number of offensive plays run by the Cowboys, fitting for La’el Collins’ first start at right tackle.
24/39: On the subject of Cowboys who have been on the sideline that aren’t now, Dak Prescott’s completions/attempts gives us a hat tip to the former starting cornerbacks on this team - Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr.
147: Dan Bailey was a perfect four for four in terms of field goals on the night. He made kicks from 21, 28, 42, and 36 yards out. 147 yards is 441 feet, but it was the foot of Dan himself that proved to be the most important.
36: Jaylon Smith played 36 snaps for the Dallas Cowboys in his debut. 3 + 6 = 9, as does 5 + 4 which is the number he wears, and #9 is the number he wore at Notre Dame.