Dallas Cowboys Playoff Facts and Trivia: More Than You Could Possibly Want, Part 3 (1991-1999)

This is the fourth post in a short series regarding the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff history. Below is a listing of the different “eras” covered:

1. 1966-1973: Click here.

2A. 1975-1979: Click here.

2B. 1980-1985: Click here.

3. 1991-1999: See below.

4. 2003-present: Wednesday.

dallas cowboys triplets1991

* In the Cowboys’ 17-13 win over Chicago was the first playoff win for Dallas since 1982.

* Emmitt Smith gained 105 yards in his first career playoff game and was the first back to gain more than 100 yards against the Bears in Chicago’s history (Chicago was one of the participants in the first NFL Championship Game in 1932).

* Chicago drove into Dallas territory seven of its nine possessions, and twice had the ball inside the Dallas 10 without scoring a point. The Bears held the ball for more than 37 minutes but scored only 13 points.

* The Cowboy defender who iced the game was Bill Bates, who picked off Jim Harbaugh with 1:12 remaining.

* Steve Beuerlein started for the Cowboys in both playoff games in 1991. He went 9 of 18 for 180 yards with one touchdown against Chicago. Against Detroit, Beuerlein went 7 of 13 for 91 yards but threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter.

* Troy Aikman’s first playoff appearance came in the second half against Detroit, with Dallas already trailing 17-6. He went 11 of 16 for 114 yards with one interception.

* The 31-point defeat to the Lions was the worst in team history in terms of margin of defeat.


* When Dallas played Philadelphia in the divisional round of the playoffs in 1992, it was the first time that the Cowboys had ever hosted a playoff game against a division rival. The Cowboys split games with the Eagles during the 1992 regular season.

* Former Cowboy Herschel Walker managed only 29 yards in six carries against Dallas. He also caught six passes but only gained 37 yards through the air.

* Tight end Derek Tennell caught his only pass as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1992 playoff game against the Eagles. His one-yard reception in the first quarter gave Dallas a 7-3 lead.

* The name of the play that resulted in Alvin Harper’s 70-yard reception that set up the game-winning score against the 49ers in the 1992 NFC Championship Game: Ace Right 896 F Flat. The play was designed for Michael Irvin to run the slant, but instead Irvin switched spots with Harper after breaking the huddle.

* Aikman’s performance against San Francisco marked the second time that a Dallas quarterback had thrown for more than 300 yards in a playoff game. Danny White was the first (vs. Atlanta in 1980).

* Aikman’s stats during the 1992 playoffs: 61 of 89 for 795 yards with 8 TDs and 0 Ints. That is a passer rating of 126.4.

* The defensive player who scored the second touchdown of the day for Dallas in Super Bowl XXVII: Jimmie Jones, who scored when Charles Haley forced a Jim Kelly fumble that Jones recovered near the goalline.

* The other defensive player to score for Dallas: Ken Norton.

* The safety who nearly scored: Thomas Everett, who returned an interception from the Buffalo 30 to the Buffalo 8. This set up Emmitt Smith’s 10-yard run.

* The player who should have scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery and given Dallas the record for most point scored in a Super Bowl: Leon Lett, of course. The player who sacked Frank Reich on the play? Jim Jeffcoat.

* Time that elapsed between the Cowboys’ win in Super Bowl XII and Super Bowl XXVII: 5495 very long days.

* Time that has elapsed since Dallas won Super Bowl XXVII (as of Jan. 8, 2008): 5455 days.

* Time that has elapsed since Dallas won Super Bowl XXX: 4363 very long days.

dallas cowboys1993

* Troy Aikman threw twice as many interceptions against Green Bay in the 1993 playoffs than he had in his playoff career to that point. Nevertheless, he completed more than 75% of his 37 passes for 302 yards.

* After Dallas had a comfortable lead, Emmitt Smith saw limited action, rushing 13 times for 60 yards during the game. His primary backup was Lincoln Coleman, who gained 19 yards on five carries.

* Smith had a more active role in the Cowboys’ win in the 1993 NFC Championship Game. He touched the ball 30 times for a combined 173 yards (23 carries for 88 yards; 7 receptions for 85 yards).

* Prior to the 1993 NFC title game, Bernie Kosar had not appeared in a playoff game since the 1989 AFC Championship Game at Denver.

* Although the Cowboys dominated the 49ers offensively in a 38-21 win, Michael Irvin had one of his least productive playoff games, catching only two passes for 21 yards.

* With the Cowboys trailing 13-6 at the beginning of the second half of Super Bowl XXVIII, James Washington recovered a Thurman Thomas fumble and returned it for a touchdown. From that moment onward, the game belonged to Dallas. The player who broke through the line to cause the fumble? Leon Lett.

* The Cowboys recognized the play where Thomas fumbled. It was a direct snap to the running back, and the Cowboys saw the Bills practicing this play on television prior to the game.

* Still reeling from the effects of a concussion suffered against the 49ers, Aikman performed admirably in Super Bowl XXVIII, completing more than 70% of his passes and throwing for 207 yards.

* James Washington’s numbers: 11 tackles, one interception, one pass broken up, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one touchdown.


* The 94-yard touchdown pass from Aikman to Alvin Harper in the 1994 playoff win over Green Bay was the second longest in NFL playoff history.

* Three players gained more than 100 receiving yards against the Packers in 1994, including Jay Novacek (104 yards on 11 receptions), Irvin (111 yards on 6 receptions) and Harper (108 yards on 2 receptions).

* The leading rusher for Dallas vs. Green Bay: Blair Thomas, who spelled Emmitt Smith due to Smith’s hamstring injury.

* The Cowboys outgained the 49ers 451 yards to 294 in the 1994 NFC Championship Game. And in the final 52 minutes, Dallas outscored San Francisco 28-17. However, the 21 points scored by the 49ers in the first 7:27 of the game were enough to end the Cowboys’ hope for a three-peat.


* Darren Woodson knocked Eagle quarterback Rodney Peete out of the 1995 division playoff game in the first quarter. Randall Cunningham, then a backup, completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes in relief.

* The game against Philadelphia came less than one month after the infamous “Load Left” game, when Barry Switzer had decided to go for it on fourth and inches in Philadelphia territory. The decision eventually cost the Cowboys the game. The playoff game, though, was never in doubt.

* The name of the play called where Deion Sanders ran 21 yard for the first Dallas touchdown: Fake Tailback Jab Right Z Reverse Left.

* The 1995 NFC Championship Game represented the fourth consecutive season that Reggie White had faced the Cowboys (once with Philadelphia and three times with Green Bay).

* Smith had one of his finest days against the Packers in 1995, gaining 150 yards on 35 carries with three touchdowns.

* A goat turned hero in the NFC title game: Larry Brown, who was burned in the 1994 NFC Championship Game by Jerry Rice and again in 1995 by Robert Brooks. With Dallas holding on to a 31-27 lead in the fourth quarter, Brown picked off a Brett Favre pass, leading to the final Dallas touchdown which secured the win.

* Dallas took a 13-7 lead at the half of Super Bowl XXX. In eight Super Bowl appearances, the Cowboys have led at halftime of six of those games (exceptions: SB XIII vs. Pittsburgh and SB XXVIII vs. Buffalo).

* The Steelers outgained Dallas 310 to 254 in Super Bowl XXX. Dallas managed only 15 first downs to the Steelers’ 25.

* Larry Brown had the most famous of the Dallas interceptions in Super Bowl XXX. The third interception was recorded by Brock Marion on the final play of the game.


* The Cowboys won a playoff game for the sixth consecutive season in 1996 by beating Minnesota in the wildcard round of the playoffs. It was the first time since 1991 that the Cowboys did not enjoy a bye week.

* The star of the 1996 playoff game was George Teague, who caused two fumbles (one setting up a touchdown, the other preventing one) and returned a pick for a score.

* Dallas scored 23 points in the second quarter of the win over Minnesota in a 40-15 win.

* The Minnesota game was the last playoff win for Dallas. Time period since this win: 4363 very long days.

* The 26-17 playoff loss to Carolina, which many mark as the end of the Dallas dynasty in the 1990s, was a battle of field goals. Chris Boniol of the Cowboys kicked three, while John Kasay nailed four.

* Dallas outgained Carolina 244 to 227 but was unable to gain any momentum due to a shoulder injury suffered by Michael Irvin.


For the first time since 1990, the Cowboys had a losing record (6-10) and missed the playoffs.


* Despite sweeping Arizona during the regular season, the Cowboys fell apart against the Cardinals in the 1998 wildcard round. Very little about his game, a 20-7 loss, is worth remembering for the Cowboys.


* Dallas snuck into the playoffs with an 8-8 record in 1999 but bowed out against the Vikings in a 27-10 loss.

* Emmitt Smith scored a touchdown in the final playoff game of his career, giving the Cowboys an early 10-3 lead. Rocket Ismail had 163 receiving yards, but the Dallas offense was outplayed all game by the Vikings.

* * *

Dallas Cowboys Playoff Stats

Era 1 (1966-1973)
Playoff Seasons: 8
Games: 15
Record: 8-7
NFL/NFC Championship Game Appearances: 6
NFL/NFC Championship Game Record: 2-4
Super Bowl Appearances: 2
Super Bowl Championships: 1

Era 2 (1975-1985)
Playoff Seasons: 10
Games: 21
Record: 12-9
NFC Championship Game Appearances: 6
NFC Championship Game Record: 3-3
Super Bowl Appearances: 3
Super Bowl Championships: 1

Era 3 (1991-1999)
Playoff Seasons: 8
Games: 17
Record: 12-5
NFC Championship Game Appearances: 4
NFC Championship Game Record: 3-1
Super Bowl Appearances: 3
Super Bowl Championships: 3

  • melonball

    Great series!

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  • Nick G.

    Regarding the 93′ NFC Title game,-Irvin may have had one of the least productive games stat-wise,-but he in fact had one of the biggest & most important receptions of the game in the 3rd quarter with the Cowboys backed up deep in their own end of the field.SF had just cut the score to 28-14 & Bernie Kosar had come in for his 2nd series of the game after Aikman was injured by a knee to the head.Kosar beat a blitz on 3rd down & hit Irvin for a monumental 1st down that kept a drive alive which culminated in a td pass to Alvin Harper.
    Conversely,-in the following years Title game Irvin had one of the best games of his career, & certainly his finest post-season performance in catching 12 balls for 192 yds,& 2 TD’s, but it wasn’t quite enough.