As we get closer to the second meeting in 2009 with the Giants, it actually took some time to decide on a game to Flashback to. Not sure why it took so long, but for some reason I had a hard time deciding. Maybe it’s just a feeling of nervous excitement (If that makes any sense) about this Sunday’s game and what it means for the Cowboys. Maybe it’s because I have a good feeling about the game which makes me nervous about being too vocal.
So I ended up making my decision on which game to write about. It wasn’t a classic showdown. It was a game that allowed the Cowboys to send a message to the NFL. A message that even though they lost the NFC Championship the last time they were on the field they were still one of the best teams, if not the best in the NFL in 1995.
The stage…Monday Night Football
The site…Giants Stadium
When…Opening night of the 1995 season
The Cowboys entered the 1995 season looking to bounce back from a tough defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. They were matched up against their division rival NY Giants. The Giants had finished second to the Cowboys in the NFC East in both 1993 and 1994 and they thought they were prepared to take over the division in 1995. But they seemed to forget one person who played for the Cowboys. His name? Emmitt Smith.
Emmitt Smith could not have started his 1995 season any better. On his first carry of the season he broke through a hole created by his offensive line and scored on a 60 yard run. As he got to the goal line he waved to the Giants cornerback who was chasing him. Some Giants player’s thought it was a sign of disrespect from Smith. But Smith later explained after the game that it was just a reaction due to all his hamstring problems from the 1994 season. The Cowboys were up 7-0 in the first quarter and that was only the beginning.
The Cowboys offense went back to work in the second quarter as Troy Aikman connected with Michael Irvin on a seven yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-0. Then Emmitt Smith would score his second touchdown of the game from one yard out to send the Cowboys into halftime with a commanding 21-0 lead on the Giants.
The Cowboys were dominating both sides of the ball, but the one piece of bad news from the first half was the season ending injury to cornerback Kevin Smith. The injury occurred in the end zone on a non-contact play and the result was a ruptured Achilles for Smith. It was just one day before that Smith had signed a $11 million contract. Although the injury was devastating to the Cowboys defense. It also opened an opportunity for owner Jerry Jones. Can anyone say Deion?
Emmitt Smith continued to slice up the Giants defense as he added his third touchdown of the game in the third quarter on the Cowboys first drive. Emmitt’s touchdown put the Cowboys on top 28-0 and that’s how the score would stay as the fourth quarter started.
In what would be a record breaking season for Emmitt Smith with his 25 rushing touchdowns and another rushing title. Smith got off to a great start in 1995 against the Giants as he scored his fourth touchdown of the game. His third from one yard out and increased the Cowboys lead to 35-0.
There was nothing better than beating the Giants on Monday Night Football, in Giants Stadium and not allowing them to score a single point. The Dallas defense only allowed the Giants offense 211 yards while sacking Giants quarterback Dave Brown twice and intercepting him once. The 35-0 nothing beating was probably one of most dominating performances against the Giants I’ve seen since becoming a Dallas fan.
“We were expecting a tougher ballgame, no question,” Aikman said. “I think they’re a better football team than that.”
“It was total domination in all areas,” Switzer said. “When the Dallas Cowboys run the football like that, we’re very difficult to beat.”
Emmitt Smith of course led the Cowboys offense with 163 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Aikman connected on 15 of 20 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown. Irvin caught 7 passes for 109 yards. When both Smith and Irvin gained over 100 yards in the same game the Cowboys were 11-0.
Also, with the season ending injury to Kevin Smith. It pushed owner Jerry Jones to go out and sign Deion Sanders to what would be a seven year contact.
“We’re devastated about Kevin Smith’s injury, said coach Switzer. I think it’s probably a season-ending injury. I told Jerry (Jones) after the ballgame to go get Deion. It’s not showtime anymore. It’s serious business.”
You can view the box score here…