Nearly a month into the 2023 regular season, there is plenty of pressure on each franchise with high playoff hopes. Including the Dallas Cowboys (2-1) who are looking to rebound after a surprising loss against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. To avoid a 2-2 start to the year, they'll have to dismantle Bill Belichick's New England Patriots (1-2) who enter with some desperation to save their season. Here are the 10 most notable 'big facts' to remember ahead of Sunday's 3:25 CT kickoff on FOX.
Gotta get to 20 – Over the last 21 games where the Cowboys have been held under 20 points on the scoreboard, they are a combined 0-21. The last Cowboys win with less than 20 points scored came in a 13-10 Week 13 slugfest against the Saints in 2018.
Flip a coin – Dallas has notched the second-best quarterback pressure percentage (50.5) in the NFL. The only team that has pressured signal callers on a more prolific basis over the first three weeks have been the Buffalo Bills (50.6).
10 out of 10 – Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey has nailed all 10 of his first field goal attempts in the NFL regular season. He's the first NFL kicker in the Super Bowl era to make his first 10 field goal tries during the first three games of his career. The closest to matching that total was Harrison Butker (10-of-11) in 2017 and Olindo Mare (10-of-11) in 1997.
Back to the Mac – Patriots' quarterback Mac Jones has thrown over 35 passes in 11 career games. During those games, the Patriots are a combined 1-10. His only win with more than 35 attempts was Week 7 of 2021 in a 54-13 win over the New York Jets.
Familiar Faces – Both the Cowboys and Patriots return a pair of key figures playing their former teams. Of course, the Patriots return Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys RB from 2016 to 2022 and Will Grier, backup QB in Dallas from 2021 through the 2023 preseason. While Dallas will showcase Stephon Gilmore, who played for the Patriots from 2017 to 2021 and Brandin Cooks who played for New England with Gilmore in 2017.
Not in the Cards – During the Cowboys Week 3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas allowed more yards (400) and points (28) than they did in the first two weeks combined (10 points, 386 total yards). Arizona's 222 rushing yards would've been the second-worst mark allowed by the 2022 Cowboys defense.
Parsons + DeMarcus2 – With a sack against New England on Sunday, Micah Parsons would join DeMarcus Ware (2008) and DeMarcus Lawrence (2017) as the only Cowboys players to register a sack in the team's first four games of the season.
Is Bill still money? – Patriot's head coach Bill Belichick is 5-1 against the Cowboys since he took over the position in 2000. His only loss with the Patriots against Dallas came in Week 6 of 2021. Also remembered as his first matchup without Tom Brady at quarterback.
Home sweet home – Dallas has a chance on Sunday to win their 10th-consecutive home game at AT&T Stadium. This would mark the longest home winning streak since the franchise rattled off 11 straight at Texas Stadium from 1991 to 1992.
Increased Pollard workload – Through the first three games of the year, Tony Pollard leads the NFL with 74 touches and 62 carries. Second on the list entering Week 4 is San Francisco's Christian McCaffrey with 71 touches and 60 attempts. Pollard's workload is the most for a Dallas player over the first three games since Ezekiel Elliott had 76 in 2016.