Dallas Cowboys (3-4) host the Tennessee Titans (3-4) on Monday Night Football. Both teams are coming off their bye week. Cowboys bye week saw some fairly extensive changes – they acquired WR Amari Cooper for a first round draft pick in 2019 and first first year OL Coach Paul Alexnader, and replaced him with assistant coach and former Cowboys OL Marc Columbo. Titans stood by idly looking to improve their offense.
This is the first meeting between the two since 2014 and first in Dallas since 2010. Let’s look back at some memorable moments in the series and some fun connections between the two teams.
Cowboys lead the all-time series 8-6. Cowboys have won 3 of the last 4, including the last meeting in 2014. In that 26-10 Cowboys win, Dan Bailey was the star hitting all 4 of his field goal attempts and Dez Bryant caught a 3 yard TD pass from Tony Romo. Demarco Murray (who would go on to be a future Titan – more below) ran for 167 yards and a TD. For the Titans, TE Delanie Walker (10 catches, 103 yards, TD) was the lone bright spot on an offense that featured inefficient games from QB Jake Locker and RB Shonn Greene.
Titans won the last meeting in Dallas in 2010, 34-17. In the winning effort, Vince Young completed just 12 passes, throwing for 173 yards and 2 TD. Chris Johnson had an amazing game, running for 131 yards on 19 carries and 2 TD. Kenny Britt and Nate Washington were the WRs who caught Young’s two TD passes. For the Cowboys, Romo was 31-46, 406 yards, 3 TD, and 3 INT. RB Felix Jones went over 100 yards (103) on 15 carries but didn’t find the endzone. Miles Austin led the team with 9 catches and 166 yards. He also one one of Romo’s 3 TDs. The other 2 TDs were caught by Jason Witten (5 catches, 84 yards) and Roy Williams (6 catches, 87 yards).
Mississippi State vs Alabama
Believe it or not, the first ever CFB Playoff rankings had Mississippi State as the #1 team in the nation, led by Dak Prescott. At 9-0, the Bulldogs first loss came to an Alabama team led by Dak’s newest WR weapon, Amari Cooper, and their Monday night opponent, Derrick Henry.
Prescott did all he can against a superior Bama team, throwing for 290 yards and 2 TD but 3 INT. He also ran for 82 yards. His new teammate, Cooper, caught 8 passes for 88 yards and QB Blake Sims’ only touchdown pass. They face Titans RB Derrick Henry, who ran for a touchdown and 36 yards.
Henry’s better output against Prescott came a year later in 2015. Unsurprisingly, another loss, but Prescott threw for 300 yards and no touchdowns. Derrick Henry though, ran for 204 yards on 22 carries and 2 TDs. He has struggled with the Titans in 2018 and has only 273 yards and 1 TD.
Oregon vs Ohio State championship game 2015
The last time Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot faced Titans QB Marcus Mariota in AT&T Stadium on a Monday night was the 2015 CFB Playoff Championship game. This was the same season that Prescott and Mississippi State were once ranked first.
Elliot was an absolute star for the Buckeyes, who beat the Ducks 42-20. Elliot carried the ball 36 times, running for 246 yards and 4 TDs. Marcus Mariota completed 24 of 37 passes for 333 yards, 2 TD and INT.
- Titans head coach Mike Vrabel knows Ezekiel Elliot well. Vrabel was DL Coach at Ohio State in 2013, when Elliot was a freshman. I’m sure the young back did few things to Vrabel’s defense that didn’t make him happy
- Demarco Murray led the NFL in rushing in 2014, and two years later found himself in Tennessee. After a nice two year run, Murray retired after the 2017 season