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Today’s Research: When the Cowboys Gain Fewer Than 200 Total Yards

In 48 out of 730 regular season games over the past 49 seasons, the Cowboys have gained fewer than 200 total yards. These 48 games thus represent only 6.6% of the total regular season games played. With Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay, the Cowboys’ record in games where they gain fewer than 200 yards improved to 8-40.

Several stories have noted that the 172 total yards is the fewest ever recorded in a Dallas win. This rather infamous mark breaks the previous one set against Cleveland on December 12, 1970, when Dallas survived a mud bowl to beat the Browns 6-2. The Cowboys came very close to that mark in 1968 when the gained only 177 yards in a 20-7 win over Minnesota.

Not surprisingly, many of the games listed in the table below took place during dark times in the franchise’s history, such as the early years (1960-1965), the transition years between Landry and Jimmy Johnson (1986-1990), and the post-dynasty depression (2000-2002).

Five of the teams that have kept Dallas below 200 yards were eventually Super Bowl (or NFL) champions: Green Bay (1965), San Francisco (1981), Chicago (1985), New York Giants (1990), and Baltimore Ravens (2000).

Several of these teams are also highly regarded in NFL history for their defenses, including the New Orleans Saints of the late 1980s, the Philadelphia Eagles of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the Tennessee Titans of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Note: the eight wins are listed in bold.

Date Opponent Score Total Yards (Dallas)
Oct. 16, 1960 Cleveland L 48-7 167
Oct. 23, 1960 St. Louis L 12-10 175
Oct. 30, 1960 Baltimore Colts L 45-7 147
Oct. 1, 1961 Cleveland L 25-7 152
Nov. 12, 1961 Pittsburgh L 37-7 185
Dec. 10, 1961 St. Louis Cardinals L 31-13 126
Nov. 22, 1964 Washington L 28-16 196
Nov. 29, 1964 Green Bay L 45-21 132
Dec. 6, 1964 Philadelphia L 24-14 132
Oct. 4, 1965 St. Louis Cardinals L 20-13 181
Oct. 24, 1965 Green Bay L 13-3 192
Dec. 4, 1966 St. Louis Cardinals W 31-17 190
Oct. 20, 1967 Minnesota W 20-7 177
Dec. 12, 1970 Cleveland W 6-2 174
Dec. 17, 1972 N.Y. Giants L 23-3 132
Nov. 11, 1973 N.Y. Giants W 23-10 195
Nov. 23, 1980 Washington W 14-10 199
Oct. 11, 1981 San Francisco L 45-14 192
Nov. 21, 1982 Tampa Bay W 14-9 185
Nov. 17, 1985 Chicago L 44-0 171
Nov. 13, 1988 Minnesota L 43-3 159
Sept. 10, 1989 New Orleans L 28-0 174
Sept. 24, 1989 Washington L 30-7 190
Nov. 23, 1989 Philadelphia L 27-0 191
Dec. 10, 1989 Philadelphia L 20-10 194
Dec. 16, 1989 N.Y. Giants L 15-0 108
Sept. 16, 1990 N.Y. Giants L 28-7 156
Oct. 14, 1990 Phoenix Cardinals L 20-3 100
Nov. 11, 1990 San Francisco L 24-6 158
Sept. 15, 1991 Philadelphia L 24-0 90
Dec. 24, 1994 N.Y. Giants L 15-10 183
Dec. 10, 1995 Philadelphia L 20-17 196
Sept. 22, 1996 Buffalo L 10-7 192
Sept. 28, 1997 Chicago W 27-3 180
Dec. 21, 1997 N.Y. Giants L 20-7 184
Dec. 6, 1998 New Orleans L 22-3 182
Sept. 3, 2000 Philadelphia L 41-14 167
Nov. 19, 2000 Baltimore Ravens L 27-0 192
Dec. 17, 2000 N.Y. Giants L 17-13 145
Dec. 25, 2000 Tennessee L 31-0 95
Sept. 9, 2001 Tampa Bay L 10-6 127
Nov. 22, 2001 Denver L 26-24 191
Nov. 17, 2002 Indianapolis L 20-3 178
Dec. 21, 2002 Philadelphia L 27-3 146
Dec. 29, 2002 Washington L 20-14 186
Oct. 26, 2003 Tampa Bay L 16-0 178
Dec. 30, 2007 Washington L 27-6 147
Oct. 26, 2008 Tampa Bay W 13-9 172

Obscure Fact: Cowboys Briefly Had the All-Time Best Winning Percentage

This is an unknown fact that I did not know until I stumbled upon it by accident: four weeks ago, the Cowboys were the all-time winningest franchise in NFL history in terms of winning percentage. Since going 1-3 in the past month, the Cowboys have slipped back to second in this category behind Chicago and just ahead of Miami.  Below are the numbers.

Before the 2008 Season

Dallas entered the 2008 regular season with a .578 winning percentage, calculated by dividing the total number of wins by the total number of wins and losses combined (and discarding ties).  Miami edged Chicago for the best record with a winning percentage of just over .580.

1. Miami: 369 wins, 267 losses, 4 ties (.58019 winning percentage)

2. Chicago: 677 wins, 491 losses, 42 ties (.57962 winning percentage)

3. Dallas: 414 wins, 302 losses, 6 ties (.578 winning percentage)

After Week 3

After three games, Dallas had a 3-0 record, while Chicago and Miami stood at 1-2 each. The Cowboys’ all-time winning percentage improved to .580, while the Bears and Dolphins were tied at .579 (the Dolphins actually had a very slight edge).  Here are the records at that point:

1. Dallas: 417 wins, 302 losses, 6 ties (.580 winning percentage)

2. Miami: 370 wins, 269 losses, 4 ties (.57903 winning percentage)

3. Chicago: 678 wins, 493 losses, 42 ties (.57899 winning percentage)

Before Week 8

By going 1-3 in their past four games, the Cowboys have slipped back to second in this category, while Chicago has taken the lead.

1. Chicago: 681 wins, 494 losses, 42 ties (.580 winning percentage)

2. Dallas: 418 wins, 305 losses, 6 ties (.57815 winning percentage)

3. Miami: 371 wins, 271 losses, 4 ties (.57788 winning percentage)

Looking for Some Hope from the 1970 Season

Very much by default, I usually corner the market on posts that draw comparisons with Cowboys teams of old. The Dallas Morning News blog asked the following question yesterday, which I planned to answer in full:

Is this the most embarrassing game in Cowboys history? It has to rank pretty high on the list. After all, they’re playing the Rams, dude.

Mr. Vela at Blue and Silver Report beat me to it, though. Here is his summary of really bad games in team history:

* 1970, week 9 — Cardinals 38, Cowboys 0. A second consecutive loss that drops the ‘Pokes to 5-4;
* 1971, week 7 — Bears 23, Cowboys 19. A loss to a weak Bears team in the infamous QB rotation game leaves Dallas 4-3.
* 1978, week 10 — Dolphins 23, Cowboys 16. A second consecutive loss, this one in dreaded Miami, where Tom Landry always lost, drops the Cowboys to 6-4.
* 1981, week 6 — 49ers 45, Cowboys 14. A second consecutive loss drops Dallas to 4-2 after a 4-0 start.
* 1992, week 5 — Eagles 31, Cowboys 7. Dallas comes out of its bye week and gets thrashed on a Monday Night in Philly.
* 1995, week 15 — Eagles 20, Cowboys 17. Dallas loses its second in a row and third in five weeks in the infamous 4th-and-1-x-2 game. Their record is 10-4 but they’re being written off as yesterday’s champs, done in by Jerry’s meddling and Barry’s ineptitude.

Every one of these teams made it to the conference championship game. Five of them made it to the Super Bowl. Three of them won it.

What came to my mind immediately was the 1970 loss to St. Louis. The Cowboys started the season at 2-0 but lost to St. Louis in week 3. Dallas beat Atlanta before getting demolished 54-13 by the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys showed resolve by winning three straight but then fell to 5-3 with a 23-20 loss to the Giants.

That’s when the 6-2 team from St. Louis (Cardinals then, of course) visited the Cotton Bowl. The result was worse than the debacle against the Rams on Sunday. Here’s a video.

The Cowboy-killer for St. Louis that day was Johnny Roland, who scored three touchdowns. The Cowboys committed six turnovers.

The Dallas Morning News article then sounded awfully familiar:

The shaky world of the Dallas Cowboys, that club which was once the apple of pro football’s eye, came tumbling down on a cold Monday night in the Cotton Bowl.

You remember the Cowboys, of course … those 40 outstanding individuals without a team, which is somewhat like a man without a country.

St. Louis, heir, apparent to the Eastern Division title, stomped the Cowboys, 38-0, as 69,233 fans gathered at the funeral. The rest of the country interested in professional football watched in living color — So color the Cowboys red.

That 1970 Cowboys team responded brilliantly by traveling to Washington and beating up on the Redskins in a 45-21 rout. Both the Giants and the Cardinals faded down the stretch, and the Cowboys were able to pull out the division with a 10-4 record.

I now have a blog post predicting a 9-7 finish for the 2008 Cowboys, and I am not going to regress a day later. This year’s squad doesn’t have the leadership of Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, Chuck Howley, Mel Renfro, and so forth. This team instead has quite a few me-firsts and a bunch of others who seem unwilling to take on leadership roles.

The Cowboys lost some bad games during good years under Tom Landry, as Mr. Vela points out, but what was very common under Landry’s teams was that they tended to bounce right back from defeat. Can you imagine this team losing a game 54-13 and then winning two straight (1970)? Or getting beat 45-14 and then winning four straight (1981)?

What concerns me is that the Cowboys teams of the recent past have shown no relationship to these great teams. There is the 1999 team that started at 3-0 but crawled to a 8-8 finish. There is the 2004 team that started at 2-1 but collapsed afterward, losing six of seven. There is the 2005 team and the 2006 team, both of which looked like playoff teams but could not put anything together at the end the season, finishing with identical 9-7 records.

I would love to believe that this team has some fight in it like the 1970 version, but I just don’t see it. The veteran leadership consists of players who have been on the mediocre or worse teams of the past few years, along with some others (Owens, Thomas) who have only experienced marginal success elsewhere. The team has shown that it will roll over and die when the pressure hits, and I have a feeling that is exactly what we’ll continue to see this Sunday against Tampa Bay.

A Little Bit of Heresy: Is T.O.’s Age a Factor?

Terrell Owens getting old?

Is Terrell Owens getting old?

Now that the Cowboys have signed a big-name second receiver in Roy Williams, some assume that this means Terrell Owens will start producing the kinds of numbers we’ve seen from him in the past two seasons. However, Owens is at the exact age when many of the greatest receivers of all time started seeing a sharp decline in production. We hear how Owens is in such good shape, and many would dismiss the suggestion that his age (he turns 35 in December) has anything to do with his production this year, but consider the facts about players who have lasted until age 35 or more.

At his current pace, Owens would finish the season with 61 receptions for 979 yards and 13 touchdowns. This is a significant drop in production from the past two seasons, when he finished with more than 80 receptions and 1,000 yards in each season.

Below is a list of receivers ranked in the top 50 all-time in receptions. The focus of the information is on these players’ declines after reaching the age of 35.

1. Jerry Rice

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 40

It is odd to begin with Rice, because Rice performed pretty well after turning 34.  However consider the facts: from 1986 to 1996, Rice had 11 seasons where he gained 1,000 yards or more. He was injured in 1997 at the age of 35, then returned. After his return in 1998, he managed three more 1,000 seasons over the next seven years.

2. Cris Carter

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 35

Carter played until the age of 37, including a final year in Miami. He gained 1,274 yards at the age of 35 in 2000 but managed only 871 in 2001 at the age of 36.

3. Tim Brown

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 35

Brown had nine straight 1,000-yard seasons from 1993 to 2001. He was 35 in 2001 when he gained 1,165 yards. He had 960 in 2002 and declined from there.

4. Marvin Harrison

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 34

Harrison gained 1,366 yards during the Colts’ Super Bowl season of 2006. He had only 247 yards last year and is not on pace to surpass 1,000 yards this season.

5. Isaac Bruce

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 34

Bruce took a back seat to Torry Holt several years ago, but Bruce managed 1,098 yards at the age of 34 in 2006. He had 733 yards last season and is not on pace to surpass 1,000 yards this year as a member of the 49ers.

6. Andre Reed

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 32

Reed had a total of four 1,000-yard receiving seasons, with the last of them coming in 1996. He declined rapidly after that season.

7. Art Monk

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 34

Monk had a total of five 1,000-yard seasons with Washington. He gained 1,049 yards during the Redskins’ Super Bowl season of 1991, but he never came close to surpassing 1,000 yards after that.

8. Keenan McCardell

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 33

McCardell had five 1,000-yard seasons in Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, but after joining the Chargers at the age of 34, his production dropped. He had 917 yards at the age of 35 with San Diego, but less than 700 in the next two seasons combined.

9. Jimmy Smith

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 36

Smith recorded a 1,000-yard season during his final year, which is highly unusual. He gained 1,023 yards at the age of 36 in 2005.

10. Irving Fryar

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 35

Fryar did not have a 1,000-yard season until his eighth year in the league, but he got better with age. Between 1991 (age 29) and 1997 (age 35), he had five 1,000-yard seasons. After 1997, though, his production fell.

11. Rod Smith

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 35

Smith had eight 1,000-yard seasons, with the last coming in 2005 (1,105) at the age of 35.  He had only 512 yards in 2006.

12. Steve Largent

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 32

Largent had eight 1,000-yard seasons, but none after 1986 at the age of 32. He had only 403 yards at the age of 35 during his final season in 1989.

13. Henry Ellard

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 35

Ellard was like Fryar in some ways, continuing to find ways to stay productive after several seasons in the league. His production dropped off after gaining 1,014 yards at the age of 35 in 1996.

14. Keyshawn Johnson

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 30

Johnson had four 1,000-yard seasons by the age of 30, but none after that.

15. Eric Moulds

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 31

Moulds had four career 1,000-yard seasons, but none after gaining 1,043 yards at the age of 31 in 2004.

16. James Lofton

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 35

Lofton is an odd figure in this group. His production fell off after the 1985 season, and he was never a team’s primary threat after that. However, in 1991, he managed to gain 1,072 yards with the Bills at the age of 35.

17. Charlie Joiner

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 34

Joiner played much of his career in a 14-game schedule, so 1,000-yard seasons were less common.  Even so, his per-game production increased significantly in the late 1970s after he had turned 30. His final 1,000-yard season was in 1981 at the age of 34, though he came close a couple of times after that season.

18. Charley Taylor

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 25

Taylor played his entire career when teams threw less and when the league played 14-game schedules. He had only one 1,000-yard season but remained productive until the age of 34.

19. Don Maynard

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 33

Quite amazingly, Maynard had five 1,000-yard seasons despite playing in 14-game schedules (the AFL’s pass-happy ways helped). His decline started in 1969 at the age of 34.

20. Raymond Berry

Age during the last 1,000-yard receiving season: 27

Berry only had one 1,000-yard season. He was productive until the age of 33 but struggled at the age of 34 in his final season in 1967.

A Few Other Notables . . .

There are some other receivers worth mentioning:

Michael Irvin: Irvin’s final 1,000-yard season came at the age of 32 in 1998.

Joe Horn: Horn’s production began to fall after he gained 1,399 yards at the age of 32 in 2004.

John Stallworth: He had a huge season in 1984, gaining 1,395 yards at the age of 32. He declined after that point.

Drew Pearson: Pearson only had two 1,000-yard seasons, with the last coming in 1979 when he was 28.

Bob Hayes: Hayes’ stats are unusual. He had two 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career, but he never reached that mark after those first two seasons. His numbers declined rapidly after he turned 30.

Losing Badly and Winning Ugly During Super Bowl Seasons, Pt. 1


This post is part one of a two-part series.

The Cowboys have reached the Super Bowl eight times, and there are a few common elements present in most of those seasons: (a) strong starts; (b) some bad losses; (c) some ugly wins; and (d) strong finishes. As fans and the press bash the Cowboys for their 4-1 start (I am not completely innocent of doing so, either), let’s take a look at the Super Bowl seasons of the 1970s to get some perspective. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the 1990s Cowboys.

1970: NFC Champions

The Cowboys finished the 1970 season with a 10-4 regular season record. Dallas beat Detroit and San Francisco to advance to Super Bowl V, only to lose to Baltimore.

Strong Start: 2-0

The Cowboys began the 1970 season by beating the Eagles and the Giants. Neither game was a blowout, but both teams were division rivals by that point.

Bad Losses: at Minnesota; vs. St. Louis

The Cowboys were 3-1 when they visited Minnesota in week 5 of the 1970 season. The Vikings handed Dallas won of the worst defeats in franchise history by beating the Cowboys 54-13. Dallas committed four turnovers in the loss.

The Cowboys stumbled to 5-3 and then hosted the Cardinals. In another horrific performance, the Cowboys turned the ball over six times in a 38-0 rout at home. It turned out to be the last loss of the 1970 season.

Ugly Win: vs. Philadelphia

The Cowboys’ second game against the Eagles in 1970 came in week 7. The Cowboys were 4-2, while the Eagles were winless at 0-6. Dallas had to rely on big plays to come away with the win in a game that the offense managed just eight first downs.

Strong Finish: Five Straight Wins

The 1970 Cowboys rebounded from the bad loss to St. Louis by winning their final five games. The last game was a huge 52-10 rout of the Houston Oilers.

1971: Super Bowl Champions

The first Super Bowl championship came during a season when the Cowboys were 4-3 at one point and looking as if they may not make the playoffs. Then came a streak for the ages.

Strong Start: Two Big Wins

Dallas began the 1971 season with two big wins over Buffalo and Philadelphia. The Cowboys scored more than 40 points in both games.

Bad Losses: vs. Washington, at New Orleans, at Chicago

All three of the Cowboys’ losses in 1971 were ugly. The Cowboys gave up 200 yards rushing to the Redskins in week 3 in a 20-16 loss. Two weeks later, Dallas committed six turnovers in a 24-14 loss to the 1-2-1 Saints. The final loss came in the infamous quarterback rotation game against Chicago, when Dallas alternated Roger Staubach and Craig Morton and committed seven turnovers in the process.

Ugly Win: vs. Giants

Dallas beat the Giants in week 4 on Monday Night Football, but the Cowboys also turned the ball over six times.

Strong Finish: Seven-Game Winning Streak

The Cowboys famously finished the 1971 season with a seven-game winning streak, thanks to the new leadership provided by Roger Staubach.

1975: NFC Champions

The 1975 season represented the only time that the Cowboys were surprise visitors to the Super Bowl. The team only managed a 10-4 record but pulled off a miracle in the playoffs to propel the Cowboys to Miami.

Strong Start: 4-0

After finishing 8-6 and missing the playoffs in 1974, the Cowboys appeared to be rebuilding. However, a 4-0 start turned some heads. Two of the wins came against division opponents, including a 37-31 win over a strong St. Louis team.

Bad Loss: vs. Green Bay, vs. Kansas City

There is a famous shot of Golden Richards pulling in a Roger Staubach pass for a touchdown after tipping the ball in the air. I’ll try to find the clip. This shot is from the 1975 game on Monday Night Football during which the Cowboys turned the ball over seven times in a 34-31 loss. A win would ahve put Dallas into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East, but instead Dallas sank to 5-3 by losing to Kansas City.

The other ugly loss came earlier in the season against Green Bay in week 5. Dallas entered the game at 4-0, while the Packers were 0-4. Green Bay left the game 1-4 thanks to five Dallas turnovers.

Ugly Win: at New England

Dallas simply could not put away a struggling Patriots team in a 34-31 Dallas win.

Strong Finish: 5-1

The Cowboys made the playoffs as a wildcard by winning five of their last six games, including a big 31-10 win over the Redskins in week 15. Without the win over Washington, Dallas would not have made the playoffs that year.

1977: Super Bowl Champions

The 1977 season was one of the strongest in team history. Dallas rolled through the regular season to finish 12-2, then blew through the playoffs to reach Super Bowl XII and win the team’s second title.

Strong Start: 8-0

The Cowboys had their best start in history in 1977 by beginning the season at 8-0.

Bad Losses: vs. St. Louis

The 1977 season did not feature too many ugly losses, but the week 9 loss to St. Louis on Monday Night Football was a little bit embarrassing. Dallas followed up the loss by losing to Pittsburgh the following week.

Ugly Win: vs. Philadelphia

Roger Staubach struggled through some of the latter part of the 1977 season. In the team’s week 12 win against the Eagles, Staubach completed just 13 passes and threw two interceptions. However, thanks to the heroics of Tony Dorsett, who rushed for 206 yards, the Cowboys pulled away in a 24-17 win.

Strong Finish: Four Straight

The Cowboys beat the Redskins, Eagles, 49ers, and Broncos during the final four weeks of the 1977 season to roll into the playoffs with momentum.

1978: NFC Champions

The Cowboys looked to repeat as Super Bowl champions in 1978 but fell short in one of the great Super Bowl games of all time.

Strong Start: 2-0

Dallas started the 1978 season with a huge 38-0 rout of Baltimore on Monday Night Football in a game where the Cowboys racked up 583 yards on offense. Dallas beat the Giants 34-24 the following week.

Bad Losses: at Los Angeles, at Miami

In two of the team’s four losses in 1978, the Cowboys turned the ball over five times. These losses came against the Rams (Week 3) and the Dolphins (Week 10). Dallas fell to 6-4 with the loss to Miami.

Ugly Win: vs. Philadelphia

Prior to this game, Tom Landry benched Tony Dorsett for missing a team practice, and the second-year running back only played sparingly behind Preston Pearson. Roger Staubach completed just 10 passes on the day for 108 yards. In the second half, Dorsett got back into the lineup, but the Cowboys had trouble putting the Eagles away.

Strong Finish: Six Straight

The Cowboys finished the 1978 season by winning six straight games. In four of those games, Dallas scored more than 30 points.

When the Bengals Have Visited Dallas, We’ve Had Some Odd Heroes

Tim Seder vs. Cincinnati, 2000

Tim Seder vs. Cincinnati, 2000

The Cincinnati Bengals have visited Dallas five times in the past, with the Cowboys winning four of the games. In each of the four wins, the Cowboys have had some unexpected heroes lead the way. Below is a summary:

1973: Lee Roy Jordan’s Three Interceptions

The Cowboys sparked a three-game winning streak in 1973 with a 38-10 win over Cincinnati. Though Lee Roy Jordan was certainly a great leader on defense during his career, he seldom had a game like this one. His three first quarter picks of Ken Anderson set the tone for the game. Roger Staubach threw three touchdowns in the win.

1979: Day of the No-Name Defensive Backs

During the 1979 season, Randy Hughes, Aaron Mitchell, and Bruce Thornton combined for a total of four interceptions. Three of those picks came when the Bengals visited Dallas. Tony Dorsett had the big day on offense, rushing for 119 yards in a 38-13 Dallas win.

1988: (Um, Not Worth Mentioning)

The Cowboys lost their tenth straight to the Bengals in 1988 in front of a crowd of only 37,865. Fair to say that Jerry would not have a new stadium right now if the team had continued to have performances like this one. The two Dallas quarterbacks in the 38-24 loss: Steve Pelleur and Kevin Sweeney.

1991: Some Firsts for a Couple of Rookies

Most Cowboys fans remember linebacker Dixon Edwards, who was a rookie when Cincinnati visited Dallas in 1991. In the fourth quarter of the game, with Dallas leading by five, Edwards picked off a tipped Boomer Esiason and raced 36 yards for a touchdown to seal a 35-23 win. Edwards was filling in for starter Vinson Smith.

The other hero is not as familiar. On his first NFL carry, Ricky Blake raced 30 yards for a touchdown to give Dallas a 14-10 lead. Blake had played in the World League of American Football during the spring of 1991, and his touchdown run was one of only 15 carries he had during a brief NFL career.

2000: Tim Seder, Former High School Running Back

The Cowboys did not have too many highlights during the 2000 season, but the team’s 23-6 win over Cincinnati offered some relief from the pain of losing. Kicker Tim Seder did not help the cause by missing three field goals, but he did not hurt the effort when he took a handoff on a fake field goal and plunged for a one-yard touchdown. In modern football, we do not often see this in the box score: Tim Seder 1 yard rush (Tim Seder kick).

Also noteworthy about this game: it was Troy Aikman’s 13th and final 300-yard game. This is the team record that Tony Romo just tied.

* * *

Far less interesting are the games when Dallas has visited Cincinnati. The Cowboys are just 1-3 during those games, with the only win coming in 1994 against a bad Cincinnati squad. The last meeting between the teams was in 2004, when the Bengals completely shut down the Cowboys in a 26-3 win.

Trivia: Week 4, Cowboys vs. Redskins

Here are ten trivia questions related to the Cowboys’ loss to the Redskins on Sunday:

When the Redskins Have Visited Dallas…


[tags]Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins[/tags]

The Cowboys historically have had success at home against the Redskins. The memorable games (even losses) jump out even to casual fans:

* Clint Longley leading Dallas to a come-from-behind 24-23 come-from-behind win on Thanksgiving in 1974.
* Roger Staubach leading Dallas to a 35-34 win in his last regular season game in 1979.
* The Texas Stadium crowd singing Happy Birthday to Joe Theismann during a 44-14 rout of the Redskins in 1985.
* The Redskin scabs coming to Texas Stadium in 1987 and beating the Cowboys, who started several regulars.
* The Monday Night Football matchup in 1991, featuring a long run by Emmitt Smith in an otherwise disappointing 33-31 loss.
* The Redskins scoring two late touchdowns to pull out a 14-13 win in 2005 and ruining the induction of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin in the Ring of Honor.

With these memories in mind, here are some other facts about the history of the rivalry games played in Dallas.

Cowboys vs. Redskins at the Cotton Bowl

* Dallas recorded a 6-3-2 record against the Redskins at the Cotton Bowl. Ironically, the Cowboys had more success when they were developing as a team (3-0-2 between 1961 and 1965) than when they were one of the better teams in the league (3-3 between 1966 and 1971).
* The first two games between Dallas and Washington resulted in ties: 28-28 in 1961 and 35-35 in 1962.
* The Redskins were the first team to beat the Cowboys during the 1971 season, winning 20-16. It was the final game played in the Cotton Bowl between the clubs.

Cowboys vs. Redskins at Texas Stadium

* The Cowboys have dominated the series at Texas Stadium, winning 26 of 35 games.
* Dallas won the first game at Texas Stadium in 1972 in a 34-24 thriller.
* Here is the Sports Illustrated story covering the Mad Bomber game of 1974. Below are a couple of pictures from the article:

Clint Longley

Clint Longley

Drew Pearson

Drew Pearson

* In July, I posted a story about and a clip showing Larry Cole’s tackle on John Riggins in the Cowboys’ 35-34 win in the final game of 1979.
* As we face turbulent economic times, let us remember that the Cowboys lost to the Redskins’ replacement players on the evening of Monday, October 20, 1987, which was the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22.6%. Not a good day either way.
* One of Emmitt Smith’s first big moments came on Monday Night Football vs. Washington in 1991 when he raced 75 yards for a touchdown. He missed most of the rest of the game with flu, however, and Dallas gave up a 21-10 first half lead in a 33-31 loss.
* Since 1991, the Redskins have only won twice at Texas Stadium: a 24-17 win in an otherwise forgettable 6-10 season in 1995; and the surreal 14-13 win achieved in 2005 through the heroics of Mark Brunell and Santana Moss.

Trivia: Cowboys vs. Packers


[tags]Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers[/tags]

Here are ten trivia questions about the game between the Cowboys and Packers.

Better History: Cowboys vs. Packers at Milwaukee

The Cowboys have faced Green Bay ten times in Wisconsin. Five of these games have been played at Lambeau Field, including the Ice Bowl in 1967, and Dallas has lost all five. Of the five played at County Stadium in Milwaukee between 1965 and 1991, however, Dallas won three of five. Here is a history of those games played in Milwaukee:

Cowboys at Packers in Milwaukee

1965: Packers 13, Cowboys 3

The Packers entered the 1965 contest unbeaten and on their way to the first of three straight NFL titles, but Dallas made it tough on them. The game was tied at 3-3 until Dallas committed some mistakes deep in its own end, allowing the Packers to score 10 third quarter points. The teams combined for just 103 yards passing, but Dallas outgained the Packers 193 to 73 on the ground.

1972: Packers 16, Cowboys 13

The Cowboys had managed to beat the Packers for the first time in 1970, but when the teams met again two years later in Milwaukee, Green Bay prevailed again. Green Bay went on to qualify for the playoffs that season, but Dallas really beat itself with turnovers and boneheaded plays. Green Bay overcame a 13-10 second half deficit with two field goals to pull out the win.

1978: Cowboys 42, Packers 14

The Cowboys lost eight of their first nine against the Packers, but in 1978 at Milwaukee, it was all Dallas. The Cowboys had lost two straight and stood at 6-4, but the win began a six-game winning streak that lasted until Super Bowl XIII. Dallas rushed for a team record 313 yards in the win, with Tony Dorsett gaining 149 yards and Robert Newhouse picking up 101.

1980: Cowboys 28, Packers 7

In Danny White’s first season as the starter, the 2-1 Cowboys took care of business against the 1-2 Packers. White helped as much with his legs as a punter as with his arm as a passer, rushing 48 yards for a first down on a fake punt. The Milwaukee crowd started booing former-hero-turned-coach Bart Starr, who was in his third year as head coach.

1991: Cowboys 20, Packers 17

Ray Horton returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown, and Emmitt Smith picked up 122 yards on 32 carries, as the Cowboys won the final matchup with the Packers at County Stadium. Jay Novacek had a big day as well, catching eleven passes for 121 yards.

The starting quarterback for the Packers in 1991 vs. the Cowboys? Blair Kiel. This game was noteworthy because it sparked an eight-game winning streak against Green Bay that lasted until 1997, when the Cowboys visited Lambeau Field.