DALLAS COWBOYS CONTINUE PLAYOFF PUSH AGAINST WASHINGTON REDSKINS ON “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”
“Cowboys, I got your message!” – Football Night’s Dungy
“The Cowboys look hot.” – Collinsworth
NEW YORK – Dec. 23, 2009 – The Dallas Cowboys can clinch a playoff berth for the fourth time in the past seven years with a win over the Washington Redskins on “NBC Sunday Night Football” combined with a New York Giants loss or tie.
Coverage begins with “Football Night in America,” Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside the stadium. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action from FedExField.
Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host “Football Night” from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Tiki Barber will report from Lincoln Financial Field on the Eagles-Broncos game.
DUNGY: “Cowboys, I got your message! Let me be clear, Dallas definitely has a chance this Sunday night against the Redskins.”
COLLINSWORTH ON THE COWBOYS WEEK 15 WIN OVER THE SAINTS: “It was the first time in a long time that I had seen them really rise to the occasion. There was no doubt who outplayed who. It’s not how you play early. It is how you play late and the Cowboys look hot.”
COWBOYS VS. REDSKINS: In one of the NFL’s most storied rivalries, the Cowboys (9-5) lead the all-time series, 58-39-2, including two postseason wins by the Redskins (4-10). The teams have split the season series in each of the past three years. Dallas won earlier this year, 7-6, at home in Week 11 by scoring the game’s lone touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
COWBOYS-REDSKINS IN PRIMETIME: Since NBC acquired the NFL’s premier primetime package in 2006, the Dallas Cowboys are 9-2, including 6-0 on the road, and the Washington Redskins are 2-3 on “Sunday Night Football.”
Dallas’ record includes a 33-31 loss to the New York Giants in Week 2 in a game that opened its new stadium and a 20-16 win at Philadelphia in Week 9. This is the first appearance on Sunday Night for the Redskins this season.
The Cowboys and Redskins have played twice on “NBC Sunday Night Football” with the Cowboys winning both contests — 27-10 at home in 2006 and 14-10 on the road last year.
COWBOYS POSTSEASON SCENARIOS: The Cowboys clinch a playoff berth with a win AND a Giants loss or tie; OR, a tie AND a Giants loss. A win also keeps the Cowboys in the hunt to win the NFC East, which is led by the 10-4 Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys and Eagles play in Week 17 in Dallas.
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: The NFL utilizes flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17. In those weeks, the schedule will list the games tentatively scheduled for Sunday night on NBC Sports. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the move may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.
“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” DOMINATES SUNDAY NIGHT: With two weeks remaining in the NFL season, “Sunday Night Football” has won 13 of 14 Sunday nights, already equaling its total of Sunday night wins from 2008. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 and nine of 16 in 2006. Sunday Night had a bye in Week 8 due to game four of the World Series.
“Sunday Night Football” is also experiencing its best start since NBC acquired the NFL’s premier primetime package in 2006 (SNF, 2006-Present, MNF, 1970-2005). Below is SNF viewership through 15 weeks:
2009: 19.6 million
2008: 16.6 million, up 18%
2007: 16.1 million, up 22%
2006: 17.4 million, up 12%
NBC & THE NFL: NBC’s long history with the NFL dates back 70 years to 1939 when NBC became the first network to televise an NFL game – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbets Field to the approximately 1,000 sets then in New York. NBC first broadcast the NFL Championship Game in 1955. In 1964, NBC signed a five-year contract to televise the AFL. NBC was awarded the AFC package in 1970, an association that would continue through the 1997-98 season. NBC televised the first Super Bowl in 1967, the historic New York Jets’ upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, and this past February broadcast Super Bowl XLIII, the most-watched program in television history.