Good Morning Cowboy Fans:
When the Dallas Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team in 1960, they have enjoyed much success on and off the field and have enjoyed an avid following in the state of Texas, the United States at large, and internationally as well. Since their beginning the Dallas Cowboys have also enjoyed a great rivalry with the Washington Redskins. It is a rivalry that is considered one of the best in all of sports, that continues to this day and that is very much a part of Dallas Cowboys history.
Clint Murchison, a Texas oil tycoon wanted to bring an NFL team to the state of Texas but didn’t seem to be having much success. In 1958 he heard that the owner of the Washington Redskins, George Preston Marshall, was keen to sell his team. Murchison struck a deal for the team, however, just when the deal was about to be finalized Marshall changed the terms and a furious Murchison cancelled the deal outright. This was the precursor to what was soon to become a great sports rivalry. In the meantime, following a series of events, Murchison bought the rights to the Redskin’s fight song, Hail to the Redskins from the songs composer (and Redskins band leader) who himself had had a falling out with Marshall. The $2500 Murchison paid for the rights would prove to be worth so much more. As Murchison wasn’t having any luck buying a team he decided to start his own.
A proposition for an expansion team was presented to the National Football League owners. In order for the expansion team to become a reality it would have to meet unanimous approval from the owners. As it happened, all of the owners agreed to the expansion team except for one, George Preston Marshall. However, when Marshall discovered that Murchison had bought the rights to the Redskin’s fight song his opinion changed and a deal was struck. In return for Marshall approving the expansion team Murchison returned the song. Cowboy’s football became a reality and a rivalry was born.
When the Cowboys joined the league they were in a separate conference from the Redskins and played only once during the season. In 1961 they were placed in the same division and from that point on they have played each other twice every regular season. A rivalry that had its beginnings behind the scenes didn’t take long to present itself on the field and by 1972 the rivalry was in full swing. That year the two teams faced off in the NFC Championship game. The Redskins were victorious and went on to claim Super Bowl victory over the Miami Dolphins. Two other great games of note between the two rivals happened in more recent times.
In 2005 with the Dallas Cowboys dominating the play and leading the game 13-0 with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Washington Redskins made a comeback scoring two touchdowns to win the game. In 2006 the two rivals played one of the craziest games in their history that was called the “Hand of God” game. With the game tied, and only 31 seconds to go, the Redskins missed on a 49-yard field goal attempt. The Cowboys then worked their way into field goal range. With only seconds left on the clock the 35-yard field goal was blocked. The runback of the recovered block along with a facemask penalty assessed to the Cowboys provided the Redskins with another field goal attempt on the 47-yard line with no time left. On this attempt the Redskins were good and claimed the victory.
Between them, the Cowboys and Redskins have won thirty-one NFC Eastern Division championships and eight Super Bowls. The Cowboys edge out the Redskins in the latter category having claimed the title of Super Bowl Champions, five times. The overall record between these two rivalries consists of 55 Dallas wins, 36 Washington wins and two ties. The Redskins have beaten the Cowboys twice in post season play. Sports rivalries are a serious matter that once established take on a life of their own.
The Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins rivalry has spurned great competition and resulted in great success for both teams over a span of forty-seven years. It is a rivalry that is sure to continue for another forty years, and counting.
So this Sunday, when the “hated Redskins” come to “Big D” let’s take a moment, stare up at the “Ring of Honor” and remember all the great players that have made the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry what it is today.