Remember When…? Cowboys Avoid 1-4 Start in 1996 by Beating Eagles

Sherman Williams had 27 rushing yards in the Cowboys 23-19 win over Philadelphia in 1996.

The Cowboys’ 1-7 start to the 2010 season was the most disappointing in team history, but it was not the first time that a Dallas team with Super Bowl aspirations had struggled out the gate.

In 1996, the Cowboys were defending Super Bowl champions and were trying to become the first team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in five years. A 1-3 start wasn’t going to help.

Of course, that was the season that Michael Irvin had to serve a five-game suspension, and the team looked lost without him. The Cowboys had lost a dreadful 10-7 game at Buffalo in week 4 and were heading into a Monday Night Football game at Philadelphia. The Eagles were 3-1 and looking to put the Cowboys away early in the season.

Things went from bad to worse in the first quarter, as the Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Somebody needed to give the team a spark, and that somebody was…

Herschel Walker. The former Viking, Eagle, and Giant had returned to Dallas in 1996 and served as a kickoff returner. His 49-yard return in the first quarter set up a Dallas touchdown, and the Cowboys went on to score 20 consecutive points.

From there, the Dallas defense stood tall, forcing five turnovers and knocking starter Rodney Peete out the game. The only Philly points a return of a Troy Aikman fumble by defensive lineman Rhett Hall and a deliberate safety taken by Dallas punter John Jett with eight seconds left in the game.

The Cowboys won three more straight games after the win, putting the team back in contention for the NFC East.

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