Was the Win Over the Giants the Most Improbable in Team History?
For a franchise that has been playing for more than 50 years, the Dallas Cowboys have had relatively few improbable wins. By this, I mean wins where almost nobody gave the Cowboys a shot to come out on top before the game began.
The win over the Giants just has to be on this list. But what about other games? Here is a look at 10 of the most improbable wins in team history. If you another game in mind, please fill in the poll at the bottom of this post.
1960: Dallas 31, N.Y. Giants 31
Okay, so this wasn’t a win. And the Giants weren’t a great team in 1960. But the Cowboys entered the game with an 0-10 record and were playing the Giants at Yankee Stadium. Dallas left without a loss by recording a 31-31 tie.
1962: Dallas 45, Cleveland 21
Cleveland wasn’t having a great year in 1962, but the Browns had destroyed the Cowboys in previous games. Dallas turned the tables on December 2, 1962 by routing the Browns.
1975 playoffs: Dallas 17, Minnesota 14
The “Hail Mary” game is the only playoff game that shows up on my list. The Cowboys had been a Cinderella team in 1975, but the Vikings appeared (even during the game) to be the better squad. The Cowboys shocked everyone when Staubach hit Pearson.
1988: Dallas 24, Washington 17
The 2-12 Cowboys were on a 10-game losing streak and having to play at RFK Stadium. Dallas put an end to its skid by beating Washington 24-17.
1989: Dallas 13, Washington 3
The 1989 squad would only win one game, and that came against Washington in week 9. Paul Palmer led the Cowboys with 110 rushing yards and a touchdown.
1991: Dallas 24, Washington 21
Okay, so maybe wins over the Redskins shouldn’t make the list. But we’ll add this one anyway. Dallas was 6-5 and playing the 11-0 Redskins at RFK. Troy Aikman was knocked out of the game early in the second half, and the Cowboys were left with backup Steve Beuerlein. Thanks to a touchdown pass from Beuerlein to Michael Irvin, though, Dallas handed Washington its first loss of the season.
2001: Dallas 27, San Francisco 21
One year after Terrell Owens infamously celebrated on the star at midfield at Texas Stadium, the 4-10 Cowboys handed the 11-3 49ers a stunning loss. The Cowboys’ kicker? Jon Hilbert. The first touchdown was scored thanks to the classic teaming of WR Darrin Chiaverini and QB Quincy Carter.
2006: Dallas 21, Indianapolis 14
Dallas was just 5-4 when it faced the 9-0 Colts at Texas Stadium. Thanks to a strong second half on both sides of the ball, Dallas emerged as a 21-14 winner.
2009: Dallas 24, New Orleans 17
This was yet another game on the list where the Cowboys knocked off an unbeaten team. Dallas was 8-5 and reeling after two straight losses. The Saints were 13-0 and appeared ready to finish the season undefeated. Dallas put an end to that with a 24-17 win.
2010: Dallas 33, N.Y. Giants 20
The Giants had won five straight and were considered the team to beat in the NFC. The Cowboys were 1-7 and playing with an interim head coach. But thanks to big plays and an inspired effort on defense, Dallas walked away with a 33-20 win.