Normally with my Flashback posts I write about a past game against the opponent that the Cowboys are about to play. This week the Cowboys are preparing for their third meeting against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wildcard round of the 2009 Playoffs. Dallas has played the Eagles three times in the Playoffs over the years. They lost to the Eagles 20-7 in the 1980 NFC Championship game. They beat the Eagles 34-10 in 1992 and 30-11 in 1995. Both of the wins coming in the Divisional Round. Since there is not much Playoff history between the Cowboys and the Eagles I thought I would take a look back at the Cowboys Wildcard history at home.
1980 – Dallas defeats the LA Rams 34-13
This was the very first Wildcard Playoff game the Cowboys played in. Both teams played to a 13-13 halftime tie before the Cowboys took full control in the second half behind the running of Tony Dorsett. The Cowboys outscored the Rams in the second half 21-0 as Dorsett ran for 160 yards and a touchdown. Dorsett also added a receiving touchdown from Danny White. The Cowboys offense out-gained the Rams offense 528 to 260. Of those 528 yards 338 were gained running the ball.
1982 – Dallas defeats Tampa Bay 30-17
1982 was the strike shortened season when the NFL threw out the divisions and made it so the top eight teams in the NFC and AFC made the playoffs. The Cowboys finished the season 6-3 and took on Tampa Bay in the first round. The Buccaneers actually had a 17-16 lead going into the fourth quarter before the Cowboys scored twice and took the game. Tony Dorsett ran for 110 yards and Danny White threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys out-gained the Bucs 456 to 218. The Cowboys defense collected five sacks and three interceptions off of Bucs quarterback Doug Williams.
1983 – Dallas loses to the LA Rams 24-17
This game did not start off well for the Cowboys as Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo led them down the field on their first possession and took a 7-0 lead. It was a game mostly dominated by the Rams as they held a 24-10 fourth quarter lead before the Cowboys scored late to make it closer than it actually was. The Rams held the Cowboys to only 63 yards rushing and collected four turnovers while sacking Danny White three times.
1996 – Dallas defeats Minnesota 40-15
This Wildcard game was kind of the end of the Dallas dynasty from the 90′s. It’s also the last time the Cowboys won a playoff game. The Cowboys took a commanding 30-0 lead at halftime behind the running of Emmitt Smith who ran for 116 yards and scored twice. The Cowboys out-gained the Vikings on the ground 255 to 63. Michael Irvin caught eight passes from Troy Aikman for 103 yards.
1998 – Dallas loses to Arizona 20-7
A game that was dominated by the Cardinals from the start. The Cowboys could not get anything going on offense or defense. The Cowboys offense was not able to score until the fourth quarter after the Cardinals already had a 20-0 lead. The offense also could only manage 260 yards as Emmitt Smith was held to 74 yards and Troy Aikman threw for just 191 yards and three interceptions.
So the Cowboys are 3-2 in Wildcard games at home. What does all this mean? Absolutely nothing! It’s just fun to look back at the games. Well, it’s fun to look back at the games they won.
Now as we move closer to the most recent Wildcard game which is this Saturday night. The Cowboys are red hot winning their last three games of the season and they are confident. They will need to continue everything they have done in recent weeks to beat the Eagles for the third time this season. Maybe even a trick or two if the timing is right.
Congratulations to the 2009 NFC Eastern Division Champion Dallas Cowboys. This ride is far from over.
And as Rocky Balboa said in Rocky V…”I didn’t hear no bell”.