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Big Facts: Miami 1-3 When Tua Faces Significant Pressure


Last week didn't go to plan for the Dallas Cowboys. Can they find some rhythm in Week 16? It's a week that brings another tough matchup from another AFC East team fighting for playoff positioning down the stretch. The Cowboys (10-4) host the Miami Dolphins (10-4) in a battle of two ten-win teams with plenty still to prove. Here are the 10 most notable 'big facts' to remember ahead of Sunday's 3:25 CT kickoff on FOX.

Speed on Speed – Through the first 15 weeks of the NFL season, both Dallas and Miami have top-end speed in the league. Sunday's game will feature four of the top six top speeds reached by NFL players this season. Tyreek Hill (3rd), De'Von Achane (4th), and Raheem Mostert (6th) all top the list for the Dolphins while Kavontae Turpin (6th) reached the top Cowboys speed at 21.91 mph.

Strength on Strength – While both teams showcase a potent pass rush and electrifying skills players, both offensive lines have led the league in pressure rate. Miami enters Week 16 as the top team in the NFL for pressure rate allowed (26.5%), while Dallas currently sits second (28.1%).

Strength of Victory? – This matchup be the first game in NFL history between teams with over 20 combined wins, but with only one combined win over a team above .500. Dallas' Week 14 win over the Eagles is the only win for Dallas and Miami against a team with a winning record.

Playoff Contenders? – Both the Dolphins and Cowboys are on the short list of four teams with a playoff win percentage under .300 in the last 25 seasons. That list includes the Lions (0-4), Commanders (2-6), Dolphins (2-6), and Cowboys (4-10). Neither team has been to a conference championship game during that stretch.

Have to Stop the Run – Dallas is 0-3 against teams this season that rank inside the top 7 in rushing yards per game. San Francisco (3rd), Buffalo (6th), and Arizona (7th) have all rushed for over 130-yards per game and have defeated the Cowboys. Dallas' next two opponents both rank inside the top 7 as well with Detroit (2nd) and Miami (4th).

Battle of the Quarterbacks – Both Dak Prescott and Tua Tagovailoa rank inside the top five league-wide for completion percentage, passing yards, yards per attempt, passing touchdowns and passer rating. Additionally, both lead the way in deep passing touchdowns (over 20 yards) with 10 for Tua and eight for Dak.

Pressure is Key – Miami is 9-1 when Tua Tagovailoa faces a QB pressure rate under 30 percent this season. However, they're a whopping 1-3 when he faces pressure above that this season. Dallas leads the league in pressure rate with pressures on 44.9% of the snaps according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

Don't Forget About Waddle – With all the focus on Tyreek Hill this season, Jaylen Waddle is quietly putting up staggering numbers. Coming off a career-best 142 receiving yards last week, he currently sits 8th in the NFL for receiving yards since the beginning of the 2022 season.

Tough Day for Lamb – CeeDee Lamb leads the NFL in receiving yards out of the slot (702) and receiving touchdowns out of the slot (6) in 2023. Those numbers will face a tough test Sunday with Miami allowing a league-best 5.9 yards per attempt to slot targets this season.

Tua Better Without Hill? – Oddly enough, Tagovailoa's statistics have actually been improved in limited action without Tyreek Hill on the field this season. With Hill on the field, Tua has thrown for 20 TDs and 10 interceptions while completing 67 percent of his passes. Without Hill, those numbers move to five TDs without an interception and a 82 percent completion rate.

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