Looking Ahead

The Cowboys needed some heroics to pull out a 25-24 win over the Bills in 2007.

WHAT:Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys *
WHEN: *Sunday, Nov. 13, Noon (CST), CBS *
WHERE:
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas *
SERIES:Cowboys lead series 7-3

  • Gailey Returns - For the first time since 1999 on Thanksgiving Day, and only the second time in franchise history, the Cowboys will face an opposing head coach who held the same title with the Cowboys. Chan Gailey, who is in his second season with the Bills, coached the Cowboys for two years in 1998-99 and earned two playoff appearances before he was fired after an 8-8 season in 1999. That year, Gailey led the Cowboys against the Jimmy Johnson-led Dolphins on Thanksgiving Day. That's the only time a former Cowboys head coach has returned to Dallas as the coach of another team. * Other Familiar Faces - Along with Gailey, the former Cowboys head coach has some assistants who spent some time in Dallas. Buffalo's special teams coach, Bruce DeHaven, held the same title with the Cowboys while defensive coordinator George Edwards served as linebackers coach under Gailey. Former Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt, who was a head coach in Chicago and Miami and most recently at the University of Pittsburgh, has joined the Bills' staff as the assistant head coach/linebackers coach. * Top 3 Pick - The Bills will bring one of the top draft picks into Cowboys Stadium in Alabama's Marcel Dareus, the No. 3 overall selection. The Cowboys have some question marks with the interior offensive line and how they handle Dareus, who should be past any rookie hiccups by then, will be a key aspect of the game. Match-Up Worth Watching:
    The Bills were lacking playmaking ability in 2010, but one player who filled up the stat sheet was wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who led the team in most receiving categories, posting 1,073 yards on 82 catches with 10 touchdowns. Johnson will likely be the Bills' primary offensive threat in the passing game, meaning the duo of Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins should have their hands full trying to stop him.

Bills' Draft Review:
Other than drafting Dareus with the third overall pick, the Bills did take a player in the second round the Cowboys had their eyes on. Texas defensive back Aaron Williams was drafted 34th overall by the Bills. It's uncertain whether he'll end up at corner or safety but the Cowboys had him pegged as a safety. LSU's Kelvin Sheppard was also in for a pre-draft visit for the Cowboys and went to the Bills in the third round (68th overall). Buffalo also picked up a pair of North Carolina players in defensive back Da'Norris Searcy and running back Johnny White.

Last Meeting:
It wasn't supposed to be close, but turned into one of the greatest moments in the Cowboys' 13-3 season in 2007. The Cowboys were undefeated at 4-0 heading into Buffalo for a Monday Night Football contest against the winless Bills. But it was Buffalo that took control early, jumping out to 17-7 lead and eventually a 24-13 edge going into the third quarter. Of the Bills' three touchdowns, two came from interception returns and another by kickoff. Still, the Cowboys were hanging close because of a stingy defense and rookie kicker Nick Folk, whose third field goal trimmed the Bills' lead to just eight midway through the fourth quarter. Tony Romo had survived five interceptions and a lost fumble, but still managed to drive the offense to a late touchdown in the final minute. However, the game-tying two-point conversion pass to Terrell Owens fell incomplete. Still, the Cowboys stayed alive, thanks to a successful onside kick recovery, which set up Nick Folk's 53-yard game-winning field goal, allowing the Cowboys to escape Buffalo with a 25-24 win.

One To Remember:
Few Cowboys fans can forget the consecutive Super Bowl wins over Buffalo in the early 1990s. What isn't as memorable is the Bills' upset win over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium sandwiched in between the Super Bowl victories. In 1993, the Cowboys and Bills met in a Week 2 rematch, although the Cowboys were a bit shorthanded, playing without holdout running back Emmitt Smith. A last-minute interception by the Bills preserved a shocking 13-10 win over the defending champs, and caused emotions to spill over into the locker room. Cowboys defensive end Charles Haley slammed his helmet through a wall and shouted for anyone (hopefully owner Jerry Jones) to hear that the Cowboys "couldn't win" with a rookie at tailback. That week Smith was signed, taking over for rookie Derrick Lassic, and the Cowboys went on to win another Super Bowl, as Smith became NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP.

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