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Animated Trivia: Cowboys vs. Packers

The Dallas Cowboys faced the Green Bay Packers in three consecutive NFC playoffs during the 1990s and won all three. Here is an animated GIF from one of those games.

At the time, this was the longest TD reception in NFL playoff history. Here are some questions about the game and that play.

(1) Who was on the receiving end of this touchdown pass from Troy Aikman?

(2) The play was a 94-yard touchdown. Who later broke this record?

(3) The receiver in the GIF signed with another team the following year. Which team?

(4) Which Dallas running back scored two touchdowns in this win?

How the 1970 Merger Affected Rivalries of the Dallas Cowboys

Thumbnail image for 4715.gifThis post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.

In 1970, the Dallas Cowboys moved from the Capital Division of the old NFL to the NFC East of the now merged NFL. Three old NFL teams agreed to move to the newly-established American Football Conference to help balance the number of teams in each conference. Those teams included the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Baltimore Colts.

In the new NFC East, the league placed the Cowboys in a division with the Giants, Redskins, Eagles, and Cardinals. Because of the shifting, rivalries between Dallas and some clubs faded, while others heated up. Here is a summary of those rivalries:

Division Rivalries

Cowboys vs. Redskins

Because of the problems between Clint Murchison and George Preston Marshall prior to the league accepting the Cowboys, Washington and Dallas had a rivalry from day one. The teams were both part of the Capital Division and had faced each other a total of 19 times during the 1960s.

Edge: Dallas. The Cowboys held a 10-7-2 edge over Washington heading into the 1970s, including a four-game winning streak.

Cowboys vs. Giants

Due to Tom Landry’s background with the Giants, New York was another early rivalry. The Giants had the early edge, winning five of the first eight matchups. However, Dallas won eight of the last nine games between the teams.

Edge: Dallas. The Cowboys had a 9-6-2 record against New York.

Cowboys vs. Eagles

Between 1960 and 1965, the Eagles went 8-2 against Dallas. Between 1966 and 1969, Dallas went 7-2, including five straight heading into the 1970 season.

Edge: Even. Although the Eagles had a 10-9 record against the Cowboys, most of the wins came when the Cowboys were still a young team. Dallas did not lose to the Eagles after the merge until 1973.

Cowboys vs. Cardinals

The Cardinals gave the Cowboys fits for several years. St. Louis won eight of the first ten games between the squads between 1960 and 1965. The Cowboys did better in later years, though.

Edge: Even. St. Louis had an 8-7-1 record against Dallas during the 1960s. More importantly, the Cardinals had dealt Dallas some huge losses during the middle part of the decade. The Cowboys struck back, though, winning four of last five games.

Faded Rivalries

Cowboys vs. Browns

The Cowboys and Browns faced each other 19 times during the 1960s, including playoff games. Dallas won only five of those games. Dallas and Cleveland faced off in an important matchup in 1970, but the rivalry has since died. Since 1970, the teams have played only nine times.

Cowboys vs. Steelers

This rivalry reignited thanks to two great Super Bowls. During the 1960s, the teams faced each other 16 times, with the Cowboys winning nine. After the merge, the teams played only once before meeting in Super Bowl X.

Cowboys vs. Saints

The Cowboys and Saints had both been in the Capital Division, so they played each other five times during the latter part of the 1960s. Dallas won all five. Despite being relatively close to one another geographically, this rivalry never evolved. After the Saints moved to the NFC West, the teams did not play regularly.

Cowboys vs. Colts

The Cowboys and Colts did not have much of a rivalry when the Colts played on the old NFL. Dallas faced Baltimore only three times during the 1960s (or four by including the Playoff Bowl of 1965). The most memorable game between the clubs came after the merge in 1970, when the teams met in Super Bowl V.

NFC Wildcard Race is Tight

It was pretty clear to most of us that the Cowboys would be better served if the Giants beat the Eagles tonight. Fortunately, that happened, though it was a little bit disheartening to see the Eagles put up such a fight a week after the Cowboys fell on their faces against the same New York team.

With the Eagles’ loss, the Cowboys are one of three NFC teams that are 5-4. That is one game behind three teams that have 6-3 records. Here is how the wildcard standings look right now:

1. Washington (6-3 overall, 5-2 in the NFC): A Dallas loss to Washington will be a real killer and would put the Redskins in the driver’s seat for a wildcard spot. Next: vs. Dallas.

2. Tampa Bay (6-3 overall, 5-2 in the NFC): Tampa Bay is the one team that Dallas beats in a tiebreaker. It would help Dallas if Tampa Bay beat Atlanta and Minnesota but lost a couple of others. Next: vs. Minnesota.

3. Atlanta (6-3 overall, 4-3 in the NFC): Atlanta has a one-game lead over Dallas and has a better conference record. Tampa Bay beat Atlanta in September, but the two teams meet again in December. If the Falcons can pull ahead of Tampa Bay, the Cowboys will have a tougher time getting one of the wildcard berths. Next: vs. Denver.

4. Minnesota (5-4 overall, 4-2 in the NFC): Minnesota equalled the Cowboys’ 5-4 record with a win over the Packers today. Thanks to the Vikings’ conference mark of 4-2, the Vikings would beat Dallas in a tiebreaker. Next: at Tampa Bay.

5. Dallas (5-4 overall, 3-4 in the NFC): Dallas may need a 6-1 finish to get a wildcard berth.  Next: at Washington.

6. Philadelphia (5-4 overall, 4-4 in the NFC): Dallas holds the edge over the Eagles thanks to the Cowboys’ September win.  The Eagles have three more division games, but Philadelphia also plays Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Cleveland. Next: at Cincinnati.

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The Cowboys have -3 net points right now, scoring 216 points while giving up 219. Of the teams listed above, only Minnesota also has negative net points.

Last season, the 13-3 Cowboys had 130 net points (455 points for, 325 points against). The last time that Dallas finished with negative net points was 2004, when the 6-10 Cowboys were outscored 293 to 405.  The 2008 Cowboys are on pace to score 384 points and allow 389 points.