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Cowboys at Dolphins: A fast facts and stats game preview for Week 16

Sunday should be fun.

SUPER BOWL VI Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Time for a mini-reboot for the Dallas Cowboys, Last week’s pitiful performance against the Buffalo Bills is now yesterday's news, and the Cowboys have a chance to re-set the narrative with a win on Sunday. They have been labeled as unable to beat winning teams, unable to win on the road, and unable to win on grass. They can knock all of that noise down with a nice Christmas Eve present - a ‘w’ over the Miami Dolphins.

All week we have been noting the similarity between the Cowboys and the Dolphins that go beyond the 10-4 records. Many of the things listed above, except for not winning on grass, have also been said about the Dolphins this season. They are also in the midst of a playoff positioning battle, only over in the AFC.

Even the betting line shows similar teams. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Cowboys as 1-point underdogs versus the Dolphins.

Let’s dive into some facts and figures.

The Cowboys and the Dolphins have played each other 15 times in their history. The regular-season games are split evenly at 7-7. But the Cowboys do hold the advantage in that one postseason game. Way back on January 16th, 1972, the Cowboys defeated the Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI.

The last time these teams played was in 2019 and the Cowboys won 31-6. In fact, the last four times these teams have played the Cowboys have won.

If you want to hang your hat on a stat for the Cowboys winning this game, you can go to the ‘bounce-back game’ stat. The Cowboys, since 2021, have an 11-1 record in games after they have lost. That is the best such record in the NFL over that span. Mike McCarthy’s history with the Cowboys is to immediately get back on track after a loss. McCarthy also does well in December with the Cowboys. He has a 12-3 record with the Cowboys for games played in December.

For the Cowboys, getting a lead is impetrative. Another narrative about the Cowboys is they are built to play with a lead. That’s a pretty nebulous concept to be sure since most teams play better when they are leading. But for the Cowboys to truly unleash their pass rush and opportunistic secondary, they need the other team to pass while in catch-up mode. For the season, Dallas is 9-1 when they lead at halftime, and are only 1-3 when behind.

One way the Cowboys get ahead is when the Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb connection is working. And it has been working a lot this year, especially in that hot stretch after the bye. Lamb is setting all kinds of records and personal marks this season.

He is second in the NFL in receptions this year (103). Michael Irvin holds the franchise record of 111 catches in a season, a mark Lamb seems certain to break. He had 107 receptions last year and so becomes the first player in franchise history to have two 100 catch seasons. His 363 catches over the four years of his career is the fourth most ever by an NFL player in his first four years.

He also has the most yards out of the slot position this year at 716. The Cowboys have used Lamb for 430 snaps in the slot this year, and 336 on the outside. Six of his eight receiving touchdowns this year have come from the slot.

Lamb has also scored a touchdown in six consecutive games which is his personal best streak. If he gets another touchdown this week, he joins Dez Bryant (2012) and Terrell Owens (2007) as the only Cowboys receivers to ever have seven straight games with a touchdown.

Fast stats:

  • Dak Prescott needs two passing touchdowns to have his third season with 30 passing touchdowns. His 28 this year is second in the NFL.
  • In 2021 Bryan Anger set the franchise net punting record for a season with 44.6. Anger has a 45.6 net punt average this season, which is second in the NFL. His 51.4 gross punting average is on pace to break the franchise record for a season.
  • Micah Parsons needs one more sack to hit 40 for his career. Only four other players in NFL history have had that many in their first three seasons.
  • Brandon Aubrey leads the NFL in kicking points at 133. With five more points he will set the franchise record that Brett Maher just set last year.

Team comparison stats:

Scoring Avg. (NFL rank): Dallas - 30.8 (2) Miami - 31.5 (1)

Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL rank): Dallas - 18.9 (5) Miami - 21.0 (14)

Total Off. (NFL rank): Dallas - 368.1 (6) Miami - 414.1 (1)

Rushing Off. (NFL rank): Dallas - 116.5 (12) Miami - 139.6 (4)

Passing Off. (NFL rank): Dallas - 251.6 (6) Miami - 274.4 (1)

Total Def. (NFL rank): Dallas - 294.3 (6) Miami - 293.4 (5)

Rushing Def. (NFL rank): Dallas - 117.4 (19) Miami - 90.4 (4)

Passing Def. (NFL rank): Dallas - 176.9 (4) Miami - 203.1 (10)

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