It was a thrilling, if somewhat maddening, win for the Dallas Cowboys. They defeated the New England Patriots for the first time since 1996, and in the Pats’ home building. But despite repeated chances to put the game away, they had to go to overtime and get some clutch performances to pull this one out. The numbers and statistics are a bit wacky, to be honest. But it was also a game in which some major milestones were met and some long-standing records fell. In addition to that first win against the Patriots in 25 years, here are some of the things for the record books.
Dak Prescott vs Bill Belichick
The long time head coach of New England is known for his ability to baffle and confuse opposing quarterbacks. Against Prescott, not so much.
The Patriots loaded on the run and dared Dak Prescott to beat them via the pass.— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) October 18, 2021
Prescott’s 445 yards passing are the most ever against a Bill Belichick defense in New England.
Bill f'd around and found out
Belichick is a future Hall of Fame inductee. This is one skin on the wall that Prescott should be proud of.
Dak vs the league
How a quarterback performs late with the game on the line is pretty much the definition of clutch. In case you haven’t noticed, Prescott is not just in some rarefied company - he is the cream of the crop.
Highest passer rating (minimum 60 attempts) in NFL history when the game is tied in the fourth quarter or overtime:— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) October 18, 2021
5. Aaron Rodgers - 105.9
4. Andrew Luck - 108.3
3. Vinny Testaverde - 108.6
2. Rich Gannon - 111.6
1. Dak Prescott - 148.3
That is just staggering. And the next little nugget is part of that.
Dak vs overtime
This seems almost impossible. But not for QB1.
How good is Cowboys QB Dak Prescott in overtime? Since at least 1994, he is the only NFL player to never throw an overtime incompletion* in his career.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 18, 2021
Prescott is 18-of-18 for 214 yards and three TDs after regulation with a 155.8 QB rating. (h/t @don_dougan)
*Min. six attempts
OT is by definition a pressure situation. Under that pressure, Prescott makes cucumbers look all hot and bothered.
Dak vs legends
I realize different eras are involved here. Still, this is eye-catching.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott tied HOF QB Dan Marino for most 400+ passing yards games (9), in their first six seasons, since 1950.— jesus flores ✭ (@tvjflo) October 18, 2021
All other QBs in Cowboys history have nine such games combined. pic.twitter.com/MMZa4svuy8
Marino was a player ahead of his time. It still is remarkable that Prescott has reached this point so fast with some of the other big-time quarterbacks lately. And to equal the sum of all quarterbacks in the history of the franchise opens a somewhat touchy subject: Where does Dak rank among his Cowboys QB brethren?
Dak Prescott is the first quarterback in Cowboys history with three touchdown passes in four straight games.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) October 18, 2021
Dak Prescott has collected 16 passing touchdowns through six games in 2021, the most in Cowboys history through the first six games.— Dallas Cowboys Public Relations (@DallasCowboysPR) October 18, 2021
Don’t forget, he still has eleven games to possibly add to things, and someone is going to get passed soon.
Dak Prescott recorded his ninth career 400-yard passing game in today's win, which is the most in franchise history and ties Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers for eighth in NFL history.— Dallas Cowboys Public Relations (@DallasCowboysPR) October 18, 2021
Even the stats nerds are gushing.
Dak Prescott was exceptional when throwing on the run (8+ MPH), completing 9 of 11 attempts for 171 yards and a TD (+26.0% CPOE).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 18, 2021
Prescott generated +13.1 pass EPA throwing on the run, the most by any QB in a game over the last three seasons.#DALvsNE | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/EH3kdRBzIC
Enough about the quarterback, let’s talk about that man doing it again
According to conventional wisdom, you cannot just generate interceptions at will. Trevon Diggs seems to have missed that memo.
According to @NFLResearch, Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs is the first player in the Super Bowl era to record at least seven interceptions with multiple pick-sixes during the first six games of a season.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 17, 2021
Diggs vs Diggs
Oh, the bragging rights. (Note: This was before the results from Monday Night Football where Stefon’s Buffalo Bills are playing and where he got a TD in the first half, as of the time this was written. But it’s too good to leave out.)
Diggs' TDs this season:— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) October 18, 2021
Trevon: 2 pic.twitter.com/N5j4zq2ctA
Diggs in Cowboys history
Team record books getting quite the workout, and so are the league’s.
Trevon Diggs is the first player in franchise history to tally an interception in each of the first six games of a season. Diggs’ six-game interception streak to start a season also ties a NFL record - joining Tom Landry (1951), Barry Wilburn (1987) and Brian Russell (2003).— Dallas Cowboys Public Relations (@DallasCowboysPR) October 18, 2021
Look, when you are mentioned in the same breath as Tom Landry in any capacity, you are on the verge of becoming a true Cowboys legend. It did not go unnoticed at a high level.
Diggs vs the league
This is really ridiculous. Dallas leads the league in interceptions, again pending the results of MNF. But Diggs alone would have them in the top ranks.
Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs has seven interceptions this season, a higher total than 27 NFL teams. He's returned two for a touchdown, exceeding 30 teams.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 18, 2021
New York Jets have no interceptions.
That’s even if you include fumbles taken away.
Trevon Diggs has as many or more takeaways than 20 teams in the NFL do.— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) October 18, 2021
Diggs vs NFCE wide receivers
Now we are just rubbing it in, and thoroughly enjoying it.
Trevon Diggs would be tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns if he played for the Philadelphia Eagles. He’d hold the lead on his own if he played for the New York Giants.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 18, 2021
Don’t forget that Diggs is getting some help, and there is so much season still ahead.
Through. Six. Games. https://t.co/N1RHBvBTpB— Tom Ryle, fully boosted (@TomRyleBTB) October 18, 2021
It’s not just the Prescott and Diggs show
With all the laurels being thrown their way, here is another standout performance to note.
CeeDee Lamb reached 100 career receptions faster than any wide receiver in Cowboys history. Needed only 22 games, tying RB Herschel Walker's franchise record.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 18, 2021
Lamb has more receiving yards (1,432) in first 22 games than any player in Cowboys history.
Waving bye to record book.
And while CeeDee Lamb has now entered the conversation, here is an oldie but goodie to throw some shade on the rest of the NFL.
Just another gentle reminder that the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft netted CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs for our Dallas Cowboys.— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) October 18, 2021
Have a blessed Sunday.
And some “minor” things to note
Don’t forget, it will not be long before Randy Gregory will have DeMarcus Lawrence on the field with him.
Meanwhile, there was even some good news about a player that has been the source of a bit of angst among the fans, Tyler Biadasz.
After allowing 11 pressures over the first 3 games, #Cowboys C Tyler Biadasz has only allowed 1 pressure over the last 3 games.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 18, 2021
I've been a vocal critic, but Biadasz has been much better in pass protection as of late.
I asked if his snapping was also improved, and the initial reactions were that he even had a pretty good game in that aspect. Maybe we need to slow our roll on trying to get him replaced. In terms of games played, Biadasz is still getting his first full year as a starter under his belt.
If you thought we were forgetting about the run game...
Belichick set out to stop the run game, and while it was not the hammer it had been the previous few weeks, they still gained 120 yards, which led to this.
Dallas has accumulated 986 rushing yards through six games, the most since the Cowboys totaled 991 yards on the ground in 1995.— Dallas Cowboys Public Relations (@DallasCowboysPR) October 18, 2021
Just to show a little balance
There were some negatives - although the eventual outcome certainly mitigated things.
The Cowboys are the first road team in NFL history to incur 115 penalty yards, convert less than 25% of their third down attempts, allow four touchdowns, and still win the game.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) October 18, 2021
Mr. Belt certainly works hard at finding these details.
Dak has six fumbles this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) October 18, 2021
That could be better.
It was a remarkable game, in what could well be a remarkable season for the Cowboys. You may have noticed the mid-nineties were referenced a couple of times here. Remember what happened then?