2009 Playoff Opponents Spark Memories of the 1970s and 1990s
The Cowboys have long playoff histories against several different franchises. Saturday’s game against the Eagles was reminiscent of the Cowboys’ home playoff wins over Philadelphia in 1992 and 1995 (and fortunately nothing like the 1980 NFC Championship Game).
Another notable playoff rivalry in the past was with the Minnesota Vikings.
Much of the focus this week will be on the Hail Mary game in 1975, but also remember the Cowboys’ first Super Bowl championship season of 1971, during which the Cowboys beat Minnesota in Bloomington in a 20-12 game. The Cowboys and Vikings faced off every other season between 1971 and 1977, with Dallas winning in 1971, 1975, and 1977. The Vikings advanced to Super Bowl VIII in 1973 by beating the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game.
Two decades later, the Cowboys and Vikings met again in the playoffs, though neither team went anywhere after that. In 1996, the Cowboys beat Minnesota 40-15 but then lost the following week at Carolina. Three years later, the Cowboys were unable to take advantage of opportunities and lost 27-10 to the Vikings. Minnesota lost the Rams the following week.
Now that the Packers are out of the playoffs, a Dallas-Green Bay matchup won’t happen. However, the Cowboys will face Brett Favre this Sunday. During the 1990s, Favre came to Dallas each year in the playoffs from 1993 to 1995. On each occasion, Dallas came away with a win.
Dallas has never played the Saints in the playoffs, but the Cowboys could face the Cardinals if everything goes well. Wins over the Vikings and Cardinals will avenge the last two playoff losses of the 1990s, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.