10-30-2003, 11:24 AM #1Respected Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Miller's Crossing
The greatest rivalry in the NFL + top 10 games
"Records have never mattered much in this rivalry.
One of the biggest Cowboys' victories over the Redskins came in 1989, when they defeated Washington for their lone win in a dismal 1-15 season.
But on the other side of the coin, the Redskins finished just 6-10 in 1995, but enjoyed a season sweep of the Cowboys, who went on to win Super Bowl XXX.
So when the Cowboys and Redskins meet, as they will Sunday at Texas Stadium, it's always a big deal - to the Cowboys, the Redskins and even the National Football League.
"It's big time," Cowboys running back Troy Hambrick said. "I remember watching the Cowboys and Redskins when I was kid. You like games like this and you don't want to be on the losing end."
And Hambrick has experienced that feeling only once, that coming in last season's finale when the Redskins snapped a 10-game losing to the Cowboys, dating back to the 1997 season. The streak was the longest winning streak by either team in this illustrious 86-game series, led by the Cowboys, 50-34-2.
But it wouldn't be the rivalry it is today without some of the classic battles between the two teams.
The NFL's elite players have thrived in this series. Names such as Staubach, Aikman, Theismann, Riggins, Jurgensen and Dorsett have helped make this rivalry what it is today.
But it's not just the superstars. What about Paul Palmer, Clint Longley and Ed Rubbert? Now their NFL careers weren't exactly glamorous, but for a brief moment, all of them, and several others have made this one of the NFL's most exciting match-ups for more than 40 years.
DallasCowboys.com has compiled a list of the Top 10 Cowboys-Redskins game of all-time. Now it's only 10, but understand in such a storied rivalry between two of the league's more elite teams, there is likely a dozen more games worthy of consideration."
But we'll give it a shot:
10. Sub-Skins Shocker
Redskins 13, Cowboys 7, 1987
No team in the NFL had more players cross the picket line during the 1987 strike than the Cowboys, who were 2-0 with the "scab" players entering a showdown with the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Washington had also won their two games during the strike, but without any veterans. For this game the Cowboys had Danny White, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Ed Jones among other veterans, but were upset by the rag-tag Redskins, 13-7, in a game former Washington head coach Joe Gibbs called "one of my greatest experiences and wins." The Redskins finished 3-0 with the replacements, the strike ending the following week. In 2000, Warner Bros. made a movie about the 1987 Redskins, titled "The Replacements," starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman.
9. "The Only Won"
Cowboys 13, Redskins 3, 1989
Winless in their first eight games under new coach Jimmy Johnson, the Cowboys avoided the humiliation of an 0-16 season by stunning the Redskins. Backup quarterback Steve Walsh, subbing for ailing Troy Aikman, carefully directed the victory, the Cowboys having no turnovers and no penalty yards. This game came after the Cowboys had traded Herschel Walker but obviously before drafting Emmitt Smith. But on this night, Paul Palmer stole the show, leading the team with 110 yards rushing and scoring the game's only touchdown.
8. "Happy Birthday Joe"
Cowboys 44, Redskins 14, 1985
The Cowboys and Redskins have opened the season against each other eight times, but no game was more one-sided than this Redskins collapse. Quarterback Joe Theismann didn't exactly enjoy his 36th birthday, throwing five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in the fourth quarter by the group with became known as "Thurman's Thieves" this season. The blowout was extra sweet for the Cowboys, who brawled with the Redskins in a 1984 loss the previous season. And for the topper, Theismann had to listen to the entire Texas Stadium crows serenade him with "Happy Birthday" as he was eventually pulled from the game following the fifth interception. Theismann later said it "was awesome" thinking back on the not-so awesome day.
7. Goal-Line Stand
Redskins 14, Cowboys 7, 1973
Roger Staubach had won back the quarterback job after missing most of the 1972 season 72 with a shoulder injury, but Tom Landry pulled him in the third quarter when he missed an important signal and was sacked. Dallas led, 7-0, and Staubach was angry about being replaced by Craig Morton. Late in the fourth quarter, the game was tied 7-7 when Redskins defender Brig Owens picked off Morton's errant pass and raced 26 yards to score. The Cowboys threatened in the last seconds to tie the game, but Ken Houston wrestled Walt Garrison down on the 1 at the final gun.
6. Dynasty Begins?
Cowboys 24, Redskins 21, 1991
The Redskins were 11-0. The Cowboys, just 6-5, and playing in one of the most hostile stadiums in the NFL. But many who followed the Cowboys will say this game was the turning point in their glorious run to three Super Bowls in a four-year span. The Cowboys knocked off the Redskins, who eventually finished with a 14-2 record and won the Super Bowl. The Cowboys used the victory as a springboard to win the final five games of the season and advance two rounds into the playoffs. Troy Aikman injured his knee in the second half, but veteran backup Steve Beuerlein rallied the Cowboys, as did Michael Irvin, who had one of his best games of his career. The Cowboys needed a Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the half and an onside kick to start the second half, but it all worked for a 24-21 win.
5. Overtime Blast Off
Cowboys 41, Redskins 35 (OT), 1999
The Cowboys went through the entire 1998 season without a division loss, but that streak appeared to be coming to an end in the 1999 season opener. The Redskins led the Cowboys, 35-14, with more than 10 minutes to play in the game. But the Cowboys fought back with an Emmitt Smith touchdown run, closing the gap to 14. Troy Aikman then found Michael Irvin for two touchdown passes, the last with less than a minute to play. After the Redskins botched a field goal attempt at the end of regulation for the win, the Cowboys put an end to this wild one when Aikman found Rocket Ismail on a 76-yard touchdown pass on the second possession of overtime for a dramatic 41-35 overtime thriller.
4. Monday Night Rally
Cowboys 31, Redskins 30, 1983
The Redskins looked to defend their first Super Bowl title in style, facing the Cowboys once again in a Monday Night Football showdown. Washington didn't show any Super Bowl hangover, cruising to a 23-3 halftime lead at RFK Stadium. But the Cowboys stunned the Redskin crowd with a dramatic comeback, fueled by Danny White and Tony Hill, who connected on two long touchdown passes in the third quarter. White ran in another score and found Doug Cosbie in the end zone for the final touchdown, giving the Cowboys a 31-30 victory in what has been voted as one of the top five games ever played on Monday Night.
3. "We Want Dallas"
Redskins 31, Cowboys 17, 1982 NFC Championship Game
When the Redskins finished off the Vikings in a Divisional Playoff win just weeks before, the RFK Stadium crowd erupted into a chant of "We Want Dallas." The Redskins had not beaten the Cowboys in six straight tries, but vowed the change that trend. With the NFL season shortened to eight games because of the strike in the 1982 season, the Cowboys and Redskins both outlasted the rest of the tournament field to make qualify for the championship game. For the Cowboys, it was their third NFC Championship in three seasons. But the Redskins denied the Cowboys another trip to the Super Bowl. Leading 24-17, the Redskins sealed the win on defensive end Charles Grant's 10-yard interception return, sending Washington to the Super Bowl where they defeated the Dolphins, 27-17.
2. Longley To The Rescue
Cowboys 24, Redskins 23, 1974
When the Redskins knocked out Staubach in the second quarter of this Thanksgiving Day battle, the Cowboys had no other choice but to turn to rookie backup Clint Longley, who had never taken an NFL snap. But the strong-armed quarterback didn't get rattled, despite his team trailing 16-3 midway through the third quarter. He led the offense to two touchdowns to take the lead, only to see the Redskins regain it, 23-17, early in the fourth. The Cowboys lost two fumbles in the quarter but had one more shot with 1:45 to play and no timeouts. After driving to midfield, Longley's arm did the rest, heaving a 50-yard bomb to Drew Pearson for the game-winning touchdown with just 35 seconds left. Former Redskins head coach George Allen called it one of the "most disappointing losses" of his Hall-of-Fame career.
1. Staubach's Last Hoorah
Cowboys 35, Redskins 34, 1979
In what turned out to be Roger Staubach's final victory, he resurrected Captain Comeback one more time, leading the Cowboys back from a 13-point deficit in the final five minutes to pull out a heart-stopping 35-34 win. Staubach engineered two touchdown drives, the second capped off by an 8-yard TD pass to Tony Hill with just 45 seconds remaining in the game. There were countless big plays, but none bigger than Larry Cole tackling John Riggins for a four-yard loss, which forced a Redskins punt, giving the Cowboys the ball on their final possession. Following the game, Cowboys defensive end Harvey Martin took the mysteriously-sent funeral wreath that arrived earlier in the week from a Washington address wishing the Cowboys "sympathy" for an expected loss to the Redskins locker room. Martin, in full uniform, tossed the wreathed into the middle of the Redskins players, engaging in a post-game prayer
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