One hundred cool facts about the Cowboys and Giants

(James D. Smith/Associated Press)

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will meet for the 100th time on Wednesday night to kick off the 2012 NFL season. With that in mind, here are 100 cool facts about the two NFC East rivals. Drop these into casual conversation tonight to impress your friends.

And before we begin, a huge thanks to our stats guru, Bill “Sudsy” Sudell.

100. The Cowboys hold a 56-41-2 advantage in this series.

99. The Giants have won five of the last six meetings.

98. The Cowboys are 10-7 in prime time games against the Giants.

97. Giants coach Tom Coughlin is 12-8 overall against the Cowboys.

96. The Cowboys have the best winning percentage on the NFL’s opening day, with a 34-17-1 mark (.667). The one tie? Against the Washington Redskins in 1962.

95. The Giants are fifth in the same category, 49-33-5 (.598).

94. The Giants are playing in their first Wednesday game since 1934.

93. The Giants are 5-1 in Wednesday games, playing all of them from 1925 to 1934.

92. The Giants are 2-0 in Wednesday season openers, as they beat the Newark Tornadoes 32-0 in 1930 and the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-2 in 1933.

91. The Giants have lost their season opener in three of their four Super Bowl winning seasons. The Giants lost to the Redskins in last year’s opener.

(G. Newman Lowrance/Associated Press)

90.The Giants have the third-most wins in NFL history (645), standing behind the Chicago Bears (712) and Green Bay Packers (679).

89. Tony Romo’s 96.9 career passer rating ranks second in NFL history.

88. Romo is 4-5 as a starter against the Giants, but he has a 105.4 passer rating with 21 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

87. Guess who has caught the most touchdown passes from Romo in his career? Nope, it’s not him. It’s Terrell Owens (34).

86. Romo ranks fourth in passing yards in club history behind Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Danny White. Don Meredith is fifth.

85. But Romo has passed for 300 yards or more in 31 games, a team record and more than Aikman (13) and White (10) combined.

84. Don’t bother to look up that last statistic; Aikman really did have just 13 career games with more than 300 passing yards. In comparison, Eli Manning had eight last season alone.

83. The Cowboys are 21-10 when Romo throws for more than 300 yards.

82. Romo’s first extensive NFL action came in relief of Drew Bledsoe in 2006. Romo threw a pair of touchdowns (to Owens and Patrick Crayton), but the Cowboys lost, 36-22.

81.Romo was announced as the starter for the Cowboys on Oct. 25, 2006. Four days later, he threw for 270 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys defeated the Carolina Panthers, 35-14. Romo has been entrenched as the starter ever since.

(Matthew Emmons/US Presswire)

80. The Cowboys — early Super Bowl favorites — were 1-4 in 2010 when the Giants rolled to town for “Monday Night Football.” A nightmare season for the Cowboys jumped into the abyss when Giants linebacker Michael Boley slammed Romo into the turf, which broke his clavicle and ultimately ended the quarterback’s season.

79. Romo will hold the Cowboys’ all-time record for touchdown passes with his 17th scoring strike this season.

78. Aikman is currently the Cowboys’ all-time leader in touchdown passes with 165.

77. Manning is 3-1 in his last four games against the Cowboys, with average of 356 passing yards per game and a total of 11 touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 101.4.

76. Manning has passed for at least 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns for seven consecutive seasons. He is the fifth quarterback in NFL history to accomplish this feat, joining Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Drew Brees and his brother, Peyton.

75. Wednesday is Manning’s 120th consecutive start. There have been 22 different starting quarterbacks in the NFC East since Manning began the streak in November 2004.

74. Manning replaced Kurt Warner as the Giants’ starting quarterback on November 21, 2004. New York was 5-4 at the time and finished 6-10.

73. The Cowboys have had seven starting quarterbacks over Eli’s streak: Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe, Romo, Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee.

72. Manning will become the Giants’ all-time leader in passing touchdowns with his 15th scoring toss this season.

71. DeMarcus Warehas 99.5 sacks in his first seven seasons, second-most of all time behind Reggie White (110).

(Kevin Reece/Associated Press)

70. In case you were wondering about Lawrence Taylor, he had 73.5 sacks in his first seven seasons, though sacks were still an unofficial statistic during Taylor’s rookie season in 1981.

69. Taylor had 9.5 unofficial sacks in 1981, which would have pushed his total up to 83 and tied him for fourth with Jared Allen, and just two sacks behind Derrick Thomas.

68. Newly debuted “Live!” co-host Michael Strahan is the Giants’ all-time leader with 141.5 career sacks.

67. The show “Live!” was started in 1988 with hosts Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford. Gifford, of course, is the wife for legendary Giants halfback/flanker Frank Gifford. That blew your mind, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so, but I  thought it was cool.

66. Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora ranks fifth on the Giants’ all-time list for sacks with 60.

65. The Giants’ defense has forced at least one turnover in 31 of the past 33 games, including the playoffs.

64. The Cowboys all-time leader in sacks is Harvey Martin with 114. Or course, the majority of those are unofficial.

63. You know who holds the record for most rushing yards in a four-game span in Cowboys history? Nope, not him. And it’s not him either. It’s DeMarco Murray, who had 601 rushing yards during a four-game stretch in 2011.

62. The Cowboys’ biggest rushing game against the Giants? Tony Dorsett went for 183 yards against the Giants in 1980.

61. The game you were thinking of – Emmitt Smithwith a busted shoulder and 168 rushing yards in the finale of the 1993 season – was second.

(Thomas E. Witte/Associated Press)

60. The Giants were last in the NFL in both rushing offense (89.2 yards per game) and yards per rush (3.4) in 2011.

59. Tiki Barber has the most 100-yard rushing games in Giants history with 38. Joe Morris is second with 19.

58. The Giants have the toughest strength of schedule in 2012, as their opponents have a .547 winning percentage from last season. The Giants play seven games against teams that made the playoffs last season.

57. Clint Murchinson Jr., the original owner of the Cowboys, had a deal in place to purchase the Redskins in 1958, but the deal fell apart.

56. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe played with the Giants in 1925 but was released after the third game.

55. The Cowboys are one of the few teams that don’t retire jersey numbers. But don’t expect to see anybody wearing some of the numbers of all-time greats.

54. The biggest exception is No. 88, which has been worn by Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant.

53. Bryant has one career 100-yard game. It came in his rookie year at New York, when he caught three passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

52. Jason Witten has nearly 1,000 receiving yards in 18 games against the Giants in his career.

51.Witten will become the Cowboys’ all-time leading receiver with his 55th reception this season.

(Evan Pinkus/Associated Press)

50. Witten leads all tight ends in receptions (508) and yards (5,825) since 2006.

49. Victor Cruz set a Giants single-season record in 2011 with 1,536 receiving yards, breaking Amani Toomer’s previous record of 1,343.

48. Toomer created a media (expletive) storm when he said Romo was better than Manning back in July.

47. Toomer went on and defended his statement again on Wednesday. And yes, I’m pretty sure he’s serious about that.

46. Jason Garrett is the only former Cowboys player to become the team’s head coach.

45. Garrett started against the Giants on Sept. 21, 1998. He passed for 224 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 31-7 victory.

44. The Giants defeated the Bears for the NFL title in 1934. The game has become known as the “Sneakers Game.” The Giants were unable to gain traction on the icy field at the Polo Grounds, so the team changed into basketball shoes at halftime and went on to score 27 fourth-quarter points to win the game.

43. The Giants went to their familiar blue jerseys in 1937.

42. The Cowboys’ first win was a preseason victory over the Giants in 1960 in Louisville, Ky.

41. Bob Lillywas the Cowboys’ first-ever draft pick in 1961.

(National Football League)

40. The sudden-death rule was used for the first time in a preseason game between the Giants and Los Angeles Rams in Portland in 1955. The Rams won 23-17 three minutes into overtime.

39. The Giants played for years at the Polo Grounds but switched to Yankee Stadium in 1956.

38. The Giants played the first two games of the 1973 season at Yankee Stadium. But the team had to find a new place to play because of renovations being made to the stadium. After Commissioner Pete Rozelle relaxed the blackout rules, the Giants finished the 1973 season at the Yale Bowl.

37. The Giants played at Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975 until Giants Stadium opened in 1976.

36. And yes, the first game in Giants Stadium came against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys beat the Giants 24-14.

35. The Giants opened MetLife Stadium in 2010, and they lost their first matchup to the Cowboys in their new home, 33-20.

34. The Giants evened up the series with the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in 2011, beating the Cowboys 31-14. The Giants won the NFC East with a 9-7 record and went on to win Super Bowl XLVI.

33. The Cowboys’ first stadium was the Cotton Bowl.

32. The long-time home of the Cowboys, Texas Stadium, was opened in 1971.

31.The Cowboys opened the mega Cowboys Stadium in 2009. The first game? Of course it was against the Giants. And the Giants won, 33-31.

(Sharon Ellman/Associated Press)

30. Manning sparked a minor controversy when he signed the wall inside the visiting clubhouse with “’33-31′ First win in the new stadium.”

29. The signature was still there a year later.

28. The Giants are a perfect 3-0 at Cowboys Stadium, including a pivotal win in Week 14 of 2011.

27. The Giants’ Frank Gifford was the NFL Player of the Year in 1956, as the Giants won their first NFL title since 1938.

26. The Giants held legendary running back Jim Brown to just eight rushing yards in the 1958 NFC Eastern Conference playoff game.

25. The Giants went on to the title game, but lost to the Baltimore Colts in what is often referred to as the “greatest game ever played.”

24. Kicker Pete Gogolak became the first AFL player to cross over to the NFL in 1966.

23. Gogolak is the Giants’ all-time leading scorer with 646 career points.

22. Current Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes is currently fifth with 421 points.

21.Gifford is third on the list with 484 points.

(Associated Press)

20. The Cowboys reached the playoffs for the first time in 1966. The Cowboys knocked off the Giants, 17-7, in the season finale to finish with 10 wins for the first time in club history.

19. The Cowboys would lose in the 1966 NFL Championship Game to the Packers, who would go on to beat the Chiefs handily in Super Bowl I.

18. The Cowboys would reach the 1967 NFL Championship Game the following year, but lost to the Packers in the famed Ice Bowl.

17. Cowboys receiver Bob Hayes had 195 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Giants in Week 1 of the 1966 season.

16. Legendary announcer Pat Summerall was a kicker for the Giants. He is still third on the Giants’ all-time list with 126 consecutive field goals extra points made from 1958 to 1961.

15. Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants recorded at least a half-sack in 12 of the 16 games last season.

14. Pierre-Paul joins Strahan and Taylor as the only players in Giants history to have at least 16 sacks in a season.

13. Coughlin is one of four active coaches to win 10 Kickoff Weekend Games and own a Kickoff Weekend Winning percentage of .600 or better.

12. The other three coaches in this elite group are Mike Shanahan, Bill Belichick and Jeff Fisher.

11.Coughlin (65) is the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl.

(Evan Pinkus/Associated Press)

10. The Giants have won 49 home openers, tied for second all time.

9. The Cowboys are second all time with a .574 winning percentage (448-332-6).

8. The Cowboys and Giants finished the 2011 season with the two highest-attendance averages in the NFL. The Cowboys averaged 85,512 people per game and the Giants 81,077.

7. Former Giants players Mel Hein, Wilbur “Pete” Henry, Cal Hubbard, Tim Mara and Thorpe represented the team in the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame class in 1963.

6. The Giants have 27 former players, coaches and owners in the Hall of Fame.

5. Nineteen former Cowboys players, coaches and owners are in the Hall of Fame.

4. Long-time Cowboys coach Tom Landry played football for the Giants from 1950 to 1955.

3. Landry also played for the New York Yankees in 1949 — not the Yankees of Major League Baseball, but the Yankees of the All-American Football Conference.

2. Landry was the defensive coordinator of the Giants from 1954 to 1959. The Giants’ offensive backfield coach during that time? Vince Lombardi.

1. The Cowboys went 0-11-1 during their inaugural season in 1960. That one tie? Of course it came against the Giants.

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