At the start of the 2020 season, two offenses that most people were looking forward to watching in the weeks ahead were the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams seemed stacked with exciting playmakers at every level, including two high-caliber quarterbacks. The Week 13 clash between the two was expecting to see two playoff-bound juggernauts duking it out in the cold.
Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for either team since then, sadly. However, the 6-5 Ravens and the 3-8 Cowboys are not dead just yet. And this week’s matchup should provide some points of interest. Indeed, the small number of games between the two sides has produced some interesting connections. Here are seven of my favorites.
Mike Nolan has been a defensive coordinator for both of these teams
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Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who was born in Baltimore, spent four seasons on the Ravens coaching staff between 2001 and 2004. He started as the wide receivers coach, as it was the only open spot on then-coach Brian Billick’s staff before moving to defensive coordinator. In his final two seasons, Baltimore finished third and sixth in yards allowed. Nolan was named the head coach of the 49ers following the 2004 season, with whom he appointed Mike McCarthy as his offensive coordinator in 2005.
Deion Sanders played for both of these teams
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“Prime Time” Deion Sanders spent five glittering seasons with the Cowboys from 1995 to 1999, earning All-Pro honors four times and winning his second Super Bowl ring following the 1995 season. Sanders retired from the NFL after one season with Washington in 2000 but returned to play two more seasons with the Ravens between 2004 and 2005.
Dez Bryant is one of the leading receivers in Cowboys history
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It’s still early in the Ravens’ career of Dez Bryant but his track record with the Cowboys is impressive. Bryant was a first-round draft choice for the Cowboys back in 2010. Between then and the 2017 season — his final with Dallas — Bryant caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards, along with 73 touchdowns. No one has more receiving scores in Cowboys history, while his 16 scores in 2014 is also a single-season franchise record.
The Cowboys’ winning percentage against the Ravens is their lowest against any team
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Week 13 will only be the sixth regular-season meeting between these two sides, with the Ravens owning a 4-1 record in the series. The Cowboys’ winning percentage against the Ravens of 20% is their lowest against any team in the NFL. The next lowest is 33% against the Denver Broncos, against whom they have won 4-of-12 meetings. On the flip side, Baltimore’s 80% winning percentage against the Cowboys is the second-highest in their history. They are 9-2 against both the Texans and the Jets, with a winning rate of 81%.
Billy Cundiff kicked for both of these teams
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Mostly known for his disastrous last kick as a member of the Ravens in the 2011 AFC Championship Game, Cundiff spent the first four seasons of his NFL career as a member of the Cowboys. Between 2002 and 2005, Cundiff went 60-of-82 on field goals for Dallas while converting 100 of his 101 extra points. Cundiff currently sits eighth all-time for the Cowboys in field goals made.
Jason Garrett could have been the Ravens head coach
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Following the 2007 NFL season, Baltimore fired Brian Billick and was in the market for the third head coach in team history. They ultimately went with Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach John Harbaugh, a decision they are probably happy with all these years later. But their first choice to succeed Billick was Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The Ravens offered the job to Garrett, but he rejected the offer, according to Around the NFL reporter Gregg Rosenthal. Armed with a healthy rise in salary, Garrett remained in Dallas to run Wade Phillips’ offense before eventually becoming the Cowboys’ head coach in 2010.
The Cowboys have never won the Super Bowl in the Ravens lifetime
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The Cowboys are one of the most storied franchises in NFL history, with five Super Bowl victories to their name. But it’s been a while since they last hoisted the Vince Lombardi, which they did following the 1995 season. To showcase how long ago it’s been since Dallas tasted ultimate success, it’s worth pointing out the last time they won the Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens did not exist. The Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX on January 28th, 1996. The NFL and Art Model only agreed to the terms of his relocating the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore on February 8th.