Big Picture: Cowboys Looking To Make History in Multiple Ways vs. Baltimore


There aren't many things that could trump, or even rival a team matching its longest winning streak in franchise history. But even though the Cowboys are looking for their first-ever nine-game win streak, getting Tony Romo back in uniform this week seems to be even bigger news.

What's even more enticing is that he will be the Cowboys' backup this week, a role he hasn't played in 10 years, when he served as Drew Bledsoe's backup for the first six weeks before taking over as the starter. And that's where Romo has been until now, as the Cowboys have the NFL's best record behind Prescott, who trails only Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees in quarterback rating with his 106.2 mark.

Whoever takes the snap for this offense will be focused on getting the ball to rookie Ezekiel Elliott, who not only leads the NFL with 1,005 yards, but is three yards from breaking the franchise rookie record set by Tony Dorsett in 1977. Elliott was just the third player in NFL history to eclipse 1,000 yards in his first nine games of his career. Last week against the Steelers, he totaled 209 all-purpose yards, including an 83-yard reception, the longest catch by a Cowboys rookie in team history.

The Cowboys still rank 12th in the NFL in total defense, even after allowing nearly 450 yards to the Steelers. The secondary has dealt with injuries all year and will again be without both safety Barry Church and cornerback Morris Claiborne. Veteran Orlando Scandrick missed the end of last week's game with a head injury but is expected to return this week.

The Cowboys are tied for 27th in the NFL with just four interceptions, and haven't picked off a pass in four games.

As for this matchup, the Ravens are the last team in the NFL to play their first regular-season game at AT&T Stadium. Also, Baltimore is the only franchise the Cowboys have never defeated, losing the previous four matchups.


One week after they were likely cheering on the Cowboys to a hard-fought win over their division rivals, the Ravens now find themselves trying to do something no one has done in two months: Beat Dallas.

Baltimore has a game and a half lead on the Steelers in the AFC North, thanks to the Cowboys' dramatic comeback win in Pittsburgh last week. That, coupled with the Ravens winning two straight games has put them alone in first place of what was expected to be one of the NFL's toughest divisions.

The Ravens enter Sunday's game as a somewhat streaky teams, having won their first three games to get to 3-0, before losing five straight games. After 42 calendar days without a win, which included the entire month of October, the Ravens finally got back on track with a victory over the Steelers, and then last week against the Browns.

While they've been up and down as a team, the Ravens haven't been shaky on defense, boasting the NFL's top-ranked unit. In fact, some pundits in Baltimore are even putting this defense in the same sentence as some of the Ravens' other dominating defenses, such as the 2000 Super Bowl winning defense and even in 2006 .

They rank first in total defense this year, allowing just 281.6 yards per game. More importantly, especially considering their opponent this week, the Ravens are the NFL's toughest run defense, yielding just 71.3 yards a game on the ground.

The Ravens also rank first in the NFL in opponents' third-down percentage (31.5) and first in yards allowed per carry at only 3.3.

Offensively, the Ravens have struggled at times. Currently, the rank 25th overall in total offense.

Quarterback Joe Flacco, a Super Bowl MVP, ranks 29th in the NFL with his 78.3 quarterback rating. He's thrown nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. His favorite weapon has been tight end Dennis Pitta, who is second in the NFL among tight ends with 48 catches. The Ravens' big-play threat has been Mike Wallace, who ranks 15th in the league with 673 yards

Kicker Justin Tucker has made all 22 of his field goal attempts, the only kicker in the league with a perfect slate with at least t20 attempts.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content