Here we are about to play in the divisional round of the 2009 playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys have played a handful of games against the Vikings since 1961 and hold a 15-12 record over them. The Cowboys and Vikings have played a total of six times in the playoffs dating back to 1971 and Dallas has a 4-2 advantage. Of course none of this means anything and I did not want to pick out just one game to write about. So what I thought of was looking back at the games the Cowboys and Vikings have played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Metrodome opened in April of 1982. The Cowboys were supposed to play their first game in the new dome during the third week of 1982, but the players strike canceled the game. They did end up playing in Minnesota at the end of the 1982 season. So here is a list of games between the Cowboys and Vikings at the Metrodome. Some memorable, some not so much.
1982 – Dallas loses to Minnesota 31-27
Although the Cowboys lost the game this could be the most memorable game in the Metrodome for the Cowboys, Tony Dorsett took center stage as he ran for 153 yards. He also scored one touchdown on a record breaking run that will never be broken. On their own one yard line and only ten players on the field. Dorsett took the hand-off from Danny White and broke through the middle of his offensive line. He got into the Vikings secondary and with the help of some down field blocking from Drew Pearson, Dorsett scored from 99 yards.
1983 – Dallas beats Minnesota 37-24
Minnesota took a 24-10 lead in the second quarter. But then the Cowboys scored the next 27 points and won the game 37-24. Once again Tony Dorsett led the way with 141 yards rushing. The defense held the Vikings to 272 yards on offense which included just 44 yards rushing. The defense also intercepted three passes, returning one for a touchdown by Ron Fellows.
1993 – Dallas beats Minnesota 37-20
The Cowboys entered this game with an 8-4 record, but there just seemed to be something wrong with the offense. Which continued into this game before Troy Aikman connected with Michael Irvin for a touchdown to take a 10-6 lead. From there the offense seemed to wake up and Dallas took a commanding 27-6 lead into the third quarter. Emmitt Smith led the running game with 104 yards and a touchdown and Irvin ended the day with 125 yards receiving.
1995 – Dallas beats Minnesota 23-17 in OT
This game was a battle from start to finish and ended in overtime with a great Emmitt Smith touchdown run from 31 yards out. Smith finished the game with 150 yards and two touchdowns and Michael Irvin collected 107 yards and one touchdown
1999 – Dallas loses to Minnesota 27-17
This could have been a career day for Emmitt Smith. One week after the passing of the great Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith wanted to dedicate this game in Payton’s memory. Smith ran wild in the first half gaining 140 yards on just 13 carries. He scored twice, once from 63 yards and the other from 24 yards. But on his second touchdown he got his fingers caught in a Vikings face-mask and had to leave the game. No one could predict what Smith could have gained if he didn’t leave the game. He left the game with the Cowboys leading 17-0. From that point on the Vikings scored the next 27 points and won the game.
1999 – Dallas losses to Minnesota 27-10 in Wildcard Round
This was their second meeting of the 1999 season, but not memorable as far as the Cowboys were concerned. They never really challenged the Vikings in this playoff match-up. Emmitt Smith ran for 99 yards and scored once. Rocket Ismail caught eight passes for 163 yards.
2004 – Dallas loses to Minnesota 35-17
This was the opening game of the 2004 season. Another game that was not memorable for the Cowboys as it was their first of ten losses during the 2004 season. Vinny Testaverde led the Cowboys with 355 yards passing and one touchdown. Receivers Antonio Bryant had 112 yards and Keyshawn Johnson had 111 yards.
Again, this history lesson does not mean a thing. What really means something is this Sunday’s divisional playoff game in the Metrodome. The Cowboys will face a Minnesota team that was on fire most of the 2009 season. It’s now the Cowboys who are on fire and confident in what they can do and what they want to do.
Good luck Cowboys!! Sunday can’t come soon enough.
“I didn’t hear no bell”