History of The Dallas Cowboys - Notable Games

Notable Games

The following is a selected list of memorable Cowboys games

January 1, 1967, NFL Championship Game vs.Green Bay Packers

The Cowboys' first postseason appearance was for the NFL title and the right to appear in the first Super Bowl. A capacity Cotton Bowl crowd saw Green Bay build a quick 14–0 lead, but Dallas fought back to tie the score. The Packers led 34–20 late in the fourth quarter before a long Don Meredith touchdown pass to Frank Clarke pulled Dallas within a touchdown. Dallas advanced to the Green Bay 2-yard line on their next drive. Running back Dan Reeves gained a yard on first down. A false start on second down pushed the Cowboys back to the Green Bay 6, and Reeves, having just suffered a poked eye that blurred his vision, dropped a pass in the flat. Meredith found tight end Pettis Norman on third down to bring Dallas back to the 2-yard line. On fourth down with 26 seconds remaining, Meredith rolled left and threw an interception under heavy pressure. Green Bay held on for a 34–27 victory in one of the great NFL Championship Games.

December 31, 1967, NFL Championship Game at Green Bay Packers

Better known as the "Ice Bowl", the 1967 NFL Championship Game still stands as the coldest game in NFL history. The official game-time temperature was -13 °F / -25 °C, with a wind chill around -48 °F / -44 °C. The bitter cold overwhelmed Lambeau Field's new turf heating system, leaving the playing surface rock solid and nearly as smooth as ice. Several players suffered frostbite and permanent nerve damage.
It was also one of the greatest games in NFL history. The Packers jumped to an early 14–0 lead, but two turnovers cut their lead to 14–10 at halftime. Neither team could score in the third quarter, but the Cowboys took a 17–14 lead on the first play of the final period when running back Dan Reeves' completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lance Rentzel on a halfback option play. Green Bay started its final drive at its own 32-yard line with 4:54 left in the game and drove to the Dallas 1-yard line before taking their final timeout with 16 seconds left. Quarterback Bart Starr then scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give the Packers a 21–17 victory and a trip to Super Bowl II.

January 17, 1971, Super Bowl V vs. Baltimore Colts

Linebacker Chuck Howley is named Super Bowl MVP, but the Cowboys lost to the Colts 16–13 on a last-second field goal. It was the first time a defensive player was named Most Valuable Player, and the only time the MVP came from the losing team. Sometimes known as the "Blunder Bowl" or "Blooper Bowl," the game witnessed 11 turnovers. It is the only time Dallas has worn its blue jersey in the Super Bowl.

December 23, 1972, at San Francisco 49ers, 1972 NFC Divisional Playoff Game

Roger Staubach's first miracle comeback. Staubach came off the bench in relief of an ineffective Craig Morton and erased a 28–13 deficit to the 49ers in the final two minutes. After Staubach hit Billy Parks on a 20-yard touchdown. Mel Renfro then recovered an onside kick, and Staubach drove the team to the San Francisco 10. He then hit Ron Sellers with 52 seconds left to give Dallas the win.

November 28, 1974, vs. Washington Redskins

Rookie free agent quarterback Clint Longley threw two touchdown passes in relief of an injured Staubach on Thanksgiving Day. Longley hurled a 50-yard strike to Drew Pearson in the final minute of the game to give Dallas a 24–23 victory.

December 28, 1975, at Minnesota Vikings, 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff Game

The term "Hail Mary pass" first came to national awareness with this game. Trailing 14–10 with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter, Dallas got the ball on its own 15-yard line. Staubach managed a nine play drive to midfield. With 24 seconds now remaining, Staubach lined up in the shotgun formation, took the snap, pump-faked left, then turned to his right and threw a desperation pass to Drew Pearson, who was covered by Viking cornerback Nate Wright. As the ball descended, Wright tripped over Pearson's leg and was unable to defend the pass. Pearson caught the ball by trapping it against his right hip at the 5-yard line and ran into the end zone, giving Dallas a 17–14 victory. Staubach, a Catholic, said that he "closed his eyes and said a Hail Mary." The expression stuck.

December 16, 1979, vs. Washington Redskins

The game was played on the final week of the regular season. The winner would capture the NFC East title; the loser would miss the playoffs. In the game, Texas Stadium fans were treated to Staubach's last comeback, and one of his very greatest. The Cowboys trailed 17–0, but then scored three touchdowns to take the lead. Dallas trailed 34–21 in the fourth quarter, and Washington had the ball. Randy White recovered a fumble, and Staubach subsequently hit Ron Springs on a 26-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to six with less than five minutes remaining. The Redskins tried to run out the clock on the next drive, but on 3rd and short, Larry Cole stuffed John Riggins for a loss, forcing a punt. Staubach then moved the Cowboys to the Washington 8. He hit Tony Hill on a fade route with 38 seconds remaining to give Dallas a 35–34 victory. It was the 21st time that Staubach had led Dallas to a come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter, and the 14th time he did it in the final two minutes.

January 4, 1981, at Atlanta Falcons, 1980 NFC Divisional Playoff Game

Dallas trailed 24–10 after three quarters in Atlanta. Robert Newhouse scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to pull the Cowboys within a touchdown. After an Atlanta field goal raised its lead to 27–17, Danny White capped a 62-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with 3:04 remaining. After forcing the Falcons to punt, Dallas then advanced 70 yards to score on Pearson's 23-yard touchdown grab with under 2 minutes left. The Cowboys pulled out a dramatic 30–27 win.

January 3, 1983, at Minnesota Vikings

Dallas closed the 1982 regular season at the Metrodome against the Vikings. A Monday Night Football audience saw Cowboy running back Tony Dorsett set the NFL record for the longest run from scrimmage with a 99-yard touchdown. On first down, Dorsett burst through a hole on the right side and streaked down the field. He picked up a key block from Drew Pearson in Viking territory and, though coming dangerously close to the sideline, managed to stay in bounds for the score. Oddly, the Cowboys ran the play with only 10 players on the field. With the playoffs set, however, the game had no real implications. The Vikings won 31–27.

September 5, 1983, at Washington Redskins

Dallas opened the 1983 season at RFK Stadium against the defending champion Redskins in a Monday night game. The Cowboys erased a 23–3 halftime deficit to win 31–30. Danny White threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to Tony Hill, then scored on a 1-yard run in the final period gave Dallas the lead. White later connected with tight end Doug Cosbie for a fourth touchdown to seal the win.

January 31, 1993, vs. Buffalo Bills, Super Bowl XXVII

With the Cowboys holding an insurmountable 52–17 lead late in the fourth quarter, Dallas defensive lineman Leon Lett picked up a Bills fumble and appeared to be headed for a 64-yard touchdown. As Lett started to showboat just before crossing the goal line, Buffalo receiver Don Beebe raced in and knocked the ball into the end zone. The ball then rolled out of bounds for a touchback. Had Lett scored, the Cowboys would have broken the record for most points scored in a Super Bowl (the San Francisco 49ers hold that record with 55 points in Super Bowl XXIV).

November 25, 1993, vs. Miami Dolphins

On the day of the annual Thanksgiving Classic, the city of Dallas was hit with the 4th coldest day in its history. Before the game, a mini-bulldozer had to scrape ice off the frozen AstroTurf. The temperature with 32 degrees; the wind chill in single digits, and ice and snow continued to pour into the stadium's roof. After a 77-yard touchdown run, Miami running back Keith Byars flopped down in the end zone and celebrated by making snow angels. Not to be outdone, Cowboy Kevin Williams returned a 64-yard punt and slid on his feet the final ten yards into the end zone.
Trailing 14–13 with 15 seconds left in the game, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich attempted a 41-yard field goal. But the ball was tipped by defensive lineman Leon Lett and spun forward toward the Cowboys' end zone. Players from both teams stayed away from the ball, because a blocked field goal is usually ignored according to the rule book. However, Leon Lett tried to jump on the ball, but instead slid on the slick field grazing the ball, and thus making it a live ball (i.e. a fumble). Jeff Dellenbach of the Dolphins recovered the ball at the 2-yard line, and Stoyanovich then kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired, and Miami won 16–14.

January 2, 1994, at New York Giants

The NFL Network has called this pivotal matchup "Emmitt Smith's gutsiest game." The Cowboys and Giants entered the final regular season game with identical 11-4 records; the winner would claim the division title, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage for the playoffs. Smith suffered a separated shoulder during the second quarter, yet returned to lead Dallas to an overtime victory. Smith finished with 168 yards rushing -- 41 of which came in the game-winning drive -- and 10 catches for 61 yards. After the 16–13 Cowboys victory, former Hall of Fame coach and sports broadcaster John Madden would visit Smith in the Cowboys' locker room – the only time Madden ever visited a player as a commentator.

November 18, 1996, vs. Green Bay Packers

Kicker Chris Boniol scores seven field goals, tying the NFL record for most field goals in a single game. Seven years later on September 15, 2003, Dallas kicker Billy Cundiff would tie that record against the Giants. The two kickers they tied were Jim Bakken (St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, September 24, 1967) and Rich Karlis (Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Rams, November 5, 1989).

September 12, 1999, at Washington Redskins

In the last great game by "The Triplets" (Aikman, Smith, and Irvin), the Cowboys erased a 21-point deficit in the final 11 minutes of regulation to equal the biggest comeback in team history. A successful onside kick led to a touchdown, and the extra point ricocheted through the uprights to tie the game. A botched Redskin field goal attempt with three seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime. Dallas finally won the game on a 76-yard touchdown pass from Aikman to Raghib Ismail.

September 24, 2000, vs. San Francisco 49ers

Best known as the "Star Incident," 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens celebrated his two touchdowns against the Cowboys by running to the center of Texas Stadium. The first TD by holding his hands out to the heavens and the second by slamming the ball into the Cowboys star logo just before Dallas safety George Teague caught up with Owens and blasted him off of the star, leading to a near midfield brawl by both teams and Teague's ejection from the game. In between Owens' two touchdowns, Emmitt Smith scored a TD of his own, ran and kneeled onto the star himself, slammed the ball down, and stared down the 49ers bench yelling "This is our house!!" This led to the popular "Defend the Star" slogan used for Emmitt Smith's rush for the record in 2002. However, the 49ers won the game, 41–24. and the NFL fined Smith, Teague and Owens for their actions in the game. 49ers coach Steve Mariucci also suspended Owens for a week, docking him a week's pay.
In a rematch on December 31, 2001 between the two teams that saw the Cowboys exact revenge on their most hated rival, Teague broke up a pass to Owens in the end zone, then flung Owens to the turf. The Cowboys won, 27-21.

September 19, 2005, vs. Washington Redskins

Three former Cowboys were picked to be placed in the Ring of Honor in 2005 - running back Emmitt Smith (1990–2002), wide receiver Michael Irvin (1988-1999), and quarterback Troy Aikman (1989–2000). Known throughout the league as "The Triplets", they were the backbone of the great Dallas teams of the 1990s, and the first players from the Jerry Jones era to be placed into the Ring. "When you look at what each of these men did for those teams that became the best in the NFL," said Jones, "and how they complimented each other, it's fitting that Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith are going in the Ring of Honor together." Irvin, Smith and Aikman were honored during halftime.
It appeared that Dallas might blank the Redskins, leading 13-0 with 5:58 left in the game. But on a fourth-and-15 drive from the Dallas 39, quarterback Mark Brunell threw a touchdown pass to Santana Moss. After a Dallas punt, Brunell then found Moss again on a 70-yard touchdown to spoil the evening.

January 6, 2007 at Seattle Seahawks, NFC wild card playoff game, "The Bobble"

Trailing 21–20 with time winding down in the final quarter, the Cowboys drove inside the Seahawks 2-yard line, and Martin Gramatica came on to the field to attempt a chip-shot 19-yard field goal that would give Dallas a 23–21 lead. But Tony Romo mishandled the snap from L.P. Ladouceur, what is now known as "The Bobble" and Seahawks cornerback Jordan Babineaux tackled Romo before he could pick up a first down, leaving the Cowboys with a one-point loss.

October 8, 2007 vs. Buffalo Bills.

On a disastrous evening that had seen quarterback Tony Romo throw 5 interceptions, Dallas found themselves trailing the Buffalo Bills (a team the Cowboys were widely expected to defeat handily) by an early fourth quarter score of 24-13. However, with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter, Dallas' offense mounted an 80 yard drive that resulted in a touchdown pass from Romo to wide receiver Patrick Crayton. After a two-point conversion attempt (which would have tied the game) failed, Cowboys kicker Nick Folk executed a textbook on-side kick, which was recovered by Dallas tight end Tony Curtis near midfield. With no timeouts and 18 seconds remaining, Romo passed twice toward the sidelines, hitting Crayton for 4 yards and tight end Jason Witten for 8; enough to set up a 53 yard field goal attempt to win the game. Folk's kick split the uprights, but Bills coach Dick Jauron had called a timeout just before Folk's foot hit the ball in an effort to rattle the rookie kicker's nerves. Dallas again set up to kick, and again Folk's kick was true for a career best 53-yard field goal (his first game-winning field goal in the NFL) and the Cowboys came away with an improbable 25–24 victory. The 12 unanswered points in the 4th helped Dallas improve to 5–0, and the Cowboys became the first team to win a game on Monday Night Football with a -5 turnover margin.

December 19, 2009 vs. New Orleans Saints.

Hoping to end the two-game skid from their tough losses to the New York Giants and San Diego Chargers, the Cowboys went to the Superdome to take on the undefeated New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys took the lead in the first half by scoring two touchdowns with a pass from Tony Romo to Miles Austin and a touchdown run by Marion Barber. Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware made a big play as he sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees and caused the ball to be fumbled. Anthony Spencer recovered the ball to put it in Dallas' hands. The Saints only points of the half were from a 43-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley. In the second half, the Cowboys scored their only touchdown in the third quarter with a two yard touchdown run by Marion Barber. Finally in the fourth quarter New Orleans got a touchdown when running back Mike Bell scored from one yard out to make a 24–10 Dallas lead. Drew Brees also made a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lance Moore. After that, Nick Folk attempted a 24-yard field goal, but the kick was no good. With a big advantage to take the lead as the clock was expiring, the Saints were driving for the game-tying score, but DeMarcus Ware made his second sack on Drew Brees, which again caused the ball to be fumbled. This time the ball was recovered by nose guard Jay Ratliff. With the ball in possession, Dallas took a knee to conclude the game.

Read more about this topic:  History Of The Dallas Cowboys

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