Here is a deeper look at five statistics from the Cowboys’ 36-35 victory at the Giants:
• 3 – Blake Jarwin entered an exclusive club with his performance against the Giants, as he became only the 14th player in Cowboys history (19th time overall) to post at least three touchdown catches in a game. Even more rare, he’s only the second tight end in team record books to accomplish the feat. In his rookie season of 1973, Billy Joe DuPree also scored three times on Sept. 30 against St. Louis. And like Jarwin, those were the first three touchdowns of DuPree’s career. Frank Clarke turned the trick twice in 1962 playing what was then called a flanker. Later in his career, he would become a tight end as well. Jarwin is the first tight end in the NFL to record three scores since Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis had three against Baltimore on Sept. 24, 2017. According to Pro Football Reference, since 1999, only 22 NFL tight ends (26 times) have recorded three touchdown passes in a game.
• 101.2 – Despite not playing in the game, Ezekiel Elliott finished atop the NFL in rushing yards this season, totaling 1,434. Since 1978, when the league went to a 16-game schedule, 1,400 rushing yards has been topped 125 times. But only 24 times has the milestone been reached when playing in fewer than 16 games, as Elliott did this season. That includes his 2016 effort when he ran for 1,631 yards, also in 15 outings. Elliott has now averaged 101.2 rushing yards per game over his three-year career, which is the second-highest total in league history behind only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown’s 104.3 mark. He and Adrian Peterson are the only two current players in the top seven with the other five also all now owning busts in Canton.
• 24 – The Cowboys finished the season having outscored their opponents 339-324, a point differential of only plus-15. That’s the lowest point differential in team history when still making the playoffs. The previous low was plus-24 in 1985. The Dallas defense finished the year allowing only 24 points in the first quarter. That’s the fewest points surrendered for any quarter in a full season since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978. Going back to the 1960 campaign, it’s the third-lowest mark in their history overall. They allowed 23 points in the first quarter of 1974, 19 in the first quarter of 1968 and 17 in the first quarter of 1976. That’s also tied for the fourth-fewest points allowed in the first quarter by any NFL team since 1991, and is equal to the ninth-fewest allowed in any quarter over that time frame.
• 32 – For all the criticism he’s taken, it’s been an impressive first three seasons for Dak Prescott. First and foremost, he now has 32 wins, which is tied with Joe Flacco for the fifth most by an NFL quarterback in his first three years. Russell Wilson had 36 with Dan Marino, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan all having 33. Not only that, Prescott has just 25 interceptions, the only quarterback in league history with 30-plus wins and 25 or fewer picks over his first three seasons. Finally, with 22 passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns, Prescott became the first player in NFL history with 20-plus passing scores and five-plus rushing scores in each of his first three seasons.
• 56 – What may be most impressive about Prescott’s 2018 season is not that he set career highs in completions and passing yards while completing 67.6 percent of his passes for a 96.9 passer rating. But that he did so while being sacked 56 times, a true credit to his toughness. That’s the most sacks suffered by any quarterback in franchise history since sacks became an official stat in 1982. In NFL history, only 51 quarterbacks have been sacked at least 50 times in a season, and of that group, only 16 had winning records. In addition, his completion percentage is the highest in history among that group while his interception percentage of 1.5 percent is the fifth lowest. His passer rating is also the sixth best.
· Today’s victory served as Dallas’ fourth straight win against New York, the club’s longest streak against the Giants since a five-game stretch from 2013-15. It was also the second consecutive season that the Cowboys swept the Giants, their 22nd sweep of the series and the first time Dallas has swept New York in back-to-back seasons since 2013-14.
· Dallas swept both New York and Philadelphia to mark the second consecutive season the Cowboys swept two NFC East opponents.
· The Cowboys finished the season with 10 wins (10-6), marking the 29th time that Dallas has notched double-digit wins.
· It also improved the Cowboys record in season-enders to 26-33, and 13-23 on the road. Dallas was 3-5 on the road in 2018.
· The Cowboys closed their 2018 NFC East record at 5-1 as NFC East champions.
· The Dallas offense converted 11-of-17 third downs in today’s game, tied for the most third-down conversions in a single game by the Cowboys since 1991 when the data became available (also, Dec. 30, 2001 vs. San Francisco and Dec. 9, 2012 at Cincinnati).
· Dallas’ five offensive touchdowns are the most in a single game since Nov. 30, 2017 against Washington.
· Chidobe Awuzie recorded his second career interception in the first quarter.
· Amari Cooper’s 31 receiving yards allowed him to reach 1,000 on the season (1,005) for his third career 1,000-yard campaign. As a note, his yardage combines his total with the Oakland Raiders (280) along with his Cowboys numbers (725) for a personal 1,000-yard season.
· Ezekiel Elliott was inactive (coach’s decision) in today’s game, but finished the regular season with 1,434 rushing yards to earn the 2018 rushing title. By doing so, he became the 11th player, fifth since the merger, in NFL history (including AFL) – second Dallas Cowboy – to win the league rushing title at least twice in his first three seasons, and the first to do it since Edgerrin James (1999-00):
Rushing Titles in at least Two of First Three Seasons
|Byron “Whizzer” White, PIT/DET||1938, 1940|
|Bill Dudley, PIT*||1942, 1946|
|Bill Paschal, NYG||1943-1944|
|Jim Brown, CLE||1957-1959|
|Cookie Gilchrist, BUF (AFL)||1962, 196|
|Jim Nance, BOS (AFL)||1966-1967|
|Earl Campbell, HOU||1978-1980|
|Eric Dickerson, LAR||1983-1984|
|Emmitt Smith, DAL||1991-1992|
|Edgerrin James, IND||1999-2000|
|Ezekiel Elliott, DAL||2016, 2018|
* Dudley served in the military during World War II that broke up his rookie season (1942) and returned for the last four games of his second season (1945) before leading the league in rushing in his third season (1946).
· In team history, Elliott became only the second Cowboy to win the rushing title in multiple seasons, joining Emmitt Smith (1991-93, 1994).
· Michael Gallup’s 50 yards finished his regular season rookie receiving totals at 507 receiving yards and allowed him to move past James Dixon (477 – 1989) for the seventh-most receiving yards by a rookie receiver in team history behind Bob Hayes (1965 – 1,003); Mike Sherrard (1986 – 744); Terrance Williams (2013 – 736); Antonio Bryant (2002 – 733); Michael Irvin (1988 – 654); and Dez Bryant (2010 – 564).
· Gallup’s three receptions gave him 33 on the season to move past Michael Irvin (1988 – 32), Ezekiel Elliott (32 – 2016) and Don Perkins (32 - 1961) for the seventh-most receptions by a Cowboys rookie receiver in team history behind Bob Hayes (46), Dez Bryant (45), Antonio Bryant (44), Williams (44), Sherrard (41) and Jason Witten (2003 – 35).
· Blake Jarwin led all receivers with seven catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns – the first scores of his career and all career-highs.
· Overall, Jarwin became the 10th tight end in franchise history to record a multi-touchdown game, and the first tight end since Jason Witten had two scores against the Giants on Sept. 13, 2015.
· Jarwin’s 119 yards allowed him to become the sixth Cowboys tight end to post a 100-yard receiving game, and the first since Witten had 134 yards at Cleveland on Nov. 5, 2016.
· After two touchdown catches in the first half of today’s game, Jarwin tied with three other Cowboys tight ends for the most touchdowns in the first half of a single-game by a tight end in Cowboys history (since 1991 when data became available):
|David LaFleur||Dec. 12, 1999||WAS||3||32||10.7||2|
|Jay Novacek||Dec. 13, 1992||WAS||3||14||4.7||2|
|Jason Witten||Nov. 15, 2004||PHI||3||75||25.0||2|
|Blake Jarwin||Dec. 30, 2018||NYG||3||42||14.0||2|
· DeMarcus Lawrence registered one sack to reach 10.5 sacks on the season to mark the first time that a Dallas defender has posted double-digit sacks in consecutive years since DeMarcus Ware had a streak of five seasons from 2007-11.
· Dak Prescott completed 27 passes on 44 attempts (61.4) for 387 yards, the second-highest total of his career, with a career-high four touchdowns.
· Prescott’s 27 completions tied for the fourth most in a single game in his career, and his 44 pass attempts are also the fourth most.
· With his start in today’s game, Prescott became the first quarterback in franchise history to start in 16 games in each of his first three seasons.
· It was Prescott’s 32nd victory to tie Craig Morton (32) for the sixth-most wins by a Cowboys starting quarterback.
· It was Prescott’s 14th career game-winning drive to tie Danny White for the fourth-most in team history.
· Prescott now has the most game-winning drives by any NFL quarterback since 2016, and the most by any NFL quarterback during his first three seasons.
· Prescott’s 387 passing yards gave him 3,885 for the season to top his 2016 total (3,667) and establish a single-season career high.
· Prescott (3,885) also moved past Tony Romo’s 2014 total (3,705) and Romo’s 2013 total (3,828) for the sixth-most passing yards in a season in team history behind Romo (2012 – 4,903; 2009 – 4,483; 2007 – 4,211; 2011 – 4,184) and Danny White (1983 – 3,980).
· Prescott’s four touchdowns allowed him to become only the second passer in franchise history to accumulate 20 passing touchdowns in three consecutive seasons, joining Tony Romo (4 from 2011-14 and 3 from 2007-09).
· It was Prescott’s 10th career game with at least three passing touchdowns – second of the season.
· It was the first time a Cowboys quarterback has thrown for four touchdowns in a game since Tony Romo did so against Indianapolis on Dec. 21, 2014.
· After his touchdown strike to Cole Beasley to put Dallas ahead of the Giants, Prescott now has 17 touchdowns since 2016 when the game is within seven points in the fourth quarter, tied with Russell Wilson for the most in the NFL.
· Prescott’s attempts gave him 526 on the season, the fifth-most in a single season in team history, to surpass his 2017 total (490) and establish a single-season career best.
· Prescott also became the fifth quarterback – ninth time – to reach 500 passing attempts in a single season in team history (526).
· Prescott’s 27 completions gave him 356 on the season for the second-most completions by a Cowboys quarterback behind Romo (2012 – 425).
Leighton Vander Esch
· Leighton Vander Esch tackle total allowed him to move past Bob Breunig’s 1979 total (167), Dat Nguyen’s 2001 total (172), Dexter Coakley’s 2002 total (172) and Sean Lee’s 2016 total (174) for fourth on the team’s single-season tackle totals behind only Eugene Lockhart (1989 – 222) and Bradie James (2008 – 202 and 2009 – 181). As a note, following Dallas coaches film review, that number may be different as tackles are not official:
· Antwaun Woods recovered his first career fumble in the first quarter.