The true essence of the NFL is the rivalries. I love the games where both teams hate one another. The tackles are harder, the crowd is louder and the drama…man I love it. It’s the true beauty of the NFL in my opinion. Lucky for me the Cowboys have a few rivalries, and to be very honest that makes my Sunday even better.
Our lesser rivals are the Texans and the Packers. An in-state rivalry is always good and I like it but it’s not one. I was shocked like everyone else when we lost the first game to the Texans, I wanted a rivalry out of this. But it’s just a Governor’s Cup and nothing more.
The Packers vs. the Boys’ started back in the 60’s. In fact we had one of the most famous games ever, “The Ice Bowl”. What’s really amazing is that every now and again we face one another in the playoffs. Need less to say, our face-offs are usually the games of the week.
Now before my time, one of our close rival was the L.A. Rams. We met this team in the playoffs more then any other team, two of them being NFC Championship games. It has faded off but you never know.
One rival I know a lot of Cowboys from California have to deal with is the 49ers’. Is it me or does it seem the only reason there are 49ers’ fans is so they can piss us off? Really? This rivalry started in the early 70’s when we kicked their butts 3 years in a row in the playoffs. One of them being Staubach’s two touchdowns in less then two minutes. Then in 1981, a play that haunts one of my friends dreams to this day, “The Catch”. Since that catch both teams have played cat & mouse with one and another. Us beating them in the Championship and vice-versa. And of course T.O. and the star. Why did we let him on our team again?
The one rival I respect and on the whole kinda like is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are Yin and Yang of one another. Hollywood vs. Blue-Collar. I learned that the fans on each side hate one another but it’s a lot love inside the hate. On the field is almost the same thing. To this day, both teams greatest games were against one another. Losing to them twice in the Super Bowl and beating them years later with both teams having the same passion. Despite all of the heartbreak and glory of this rivalry, I respect them. We’re tied 15-15. I want a tie breaker and I want in at the Super Bowl.
The team I hate the most is the New York Giants. Ever since I became a Cowboy fan, I hated the Giants. This rivalry is more focused on bragging rights and getting a 1-up on the other. The games we have are tough but it’s more of a trash talking if anything. Either way I hate them.
The Eagles are in all essence have been a thorn in our sides since the 70’s and they refuse to leave us alone. I take this team more seriously then any other team we face. Since the 1981 this NFC East rival has given us the blues and we have done the same to them. Mostly all of it comes from the Philly fans who for some reason don’t realize their the only team in the NFC East who hasn’t won a Super Bowl yet. From Buddy Ryan placing a bounty on Luis Zendejas; to us getting glory in the early 90’s; to Jimmy Johnson cussing at the Philly fans; to Michael Irvin being cheered off the field motionless; to Roy Williams horse-collaring T.O.; and to last years vicious beat down we received…wow. I have to be honest, that’s a rivalry.
Finally, last but not least comes the Washington Redskins. We all know the story so why say anything? Philly is one thing, but the hate between the Cowboys and Redskins is endless. John Madden called this the “Greatest Rivalry in the NFL.” Since both teams met up for the first time we hated each other. It’s our personal Super Bowl every year. There is no greater feeling in the world then a victory over the Redskins. It’s like a kiss from God. We could have the worst record in the league but if win one game or both games against them…sorry…I just became speechless. I will get into my hate of the Skins’ in a another blog.
This is why I love football. Everything matters in these games and everyone knows it. Whether it be a win or a lose, it adds to the story. It adds fuel to the fire. Players, coaches and the fans all feel the same thing. Damn I love Cowboys.