1994 Review: Cowboys’ Three-Peat Attempt Fails

Deion Sanders breaks up a pass intended for Michael Irvin in the 1994 NFC Championship Game.

The Cowboys entered the 1994 playoffs wondering whether their offense would be effective with Emmitt Smith still hobbled by a hamstring injury. A divisional-round win over the Packers gave Dallas fans greater hope for a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but the Cowboys could not overcome an early deficit against the 49ers.

Divisional Round, 1994 NFC Playoffs: Dallas 35, Green Bay 9

For the second consecutive year, the Cowboys faced the Packers in the playoffs. Smith only carried the ball seven times for 44 yards, but it hardly mattered. Troy Aikman completed 23 of 30 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns, including a 94-yarder to Alvin Harper. Harper, Michael Irvin, and Jay Novacek each finished with more than 100 receiving yards in the Dallas blowout.

NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 38, Dallas 28

Within five minutes of the NFC title game, the 49ers had a 21-0 lead thanks to an interception return for a touchdown and two fumbles that led to two other 49er touchdowns. Dallas cut the San Francisco lead to 10 three different times, but the 49ers were extend their lead to 17 twice. Barry Switzer went nuts when Deion Sanders was not called for pass interference, and when Switzer bumped an official, the Cowboys were penalized 15 yards. The poor call and the penalty helped to kill a late drive that could have cut the 49er lead to 3, but the bottom line was that the Cowboys could not afford the early mistakes.

The 49ers turned the tables on the Cowboys by playing error-free football as Dallas had done in winning the last two NFC title games. On Sunday, the Cowboys committed five turnovers, missed a short field goal, shanked a punt, made Twilight Zone play-calling decisions on both sides of the ball and, thus, ended their season.

The miserable highlights:

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  • Jason Neighbors

    I was so, so pissed after that game. That photo you posted shows it all- holy armbar, Batman!!! That was the most BS non-call. I really think we might have come back on them if PI had been properly called. We had them on their heels. I don’t blame Barry for having gone apeshit, really. Well, I did at the time, heh. It certainly didn’t help matters. But that was such BS!!!

  • PMP

    At the end of that game, I have a feeling that even the 49ers knew who the real champions were. Once in a while, if a pig roots around long enough, it will find a truffle. And the 49ers did that day.

  • Richlsalas

    thats sore loser talk pmp…you got dominated by a good defense that smacked you good right away…and the offense kept scoring. Keep your gun ponting in the right direction, sooner or later a fat pig will walk in front of you.