Eagles versus Cowboys has been one of the most ruthless and intense rivalries in all of professional sports. Both teams have had great success over the years. Sadly, the Cowboys do have the upper hand in total wins (66-52-0) but the Eagles have won most of the important, high stakes games that have been played between the two. Here are some of the most important games that this rivalry has gifted us.
The First Game
On September 30th 1960, the first match was played between the Cowboys and the Eagles. The Eagles came out on top in this game 27-25 thanks to Billy Ray Barnes 13 rushes for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tommy McDonald also received a touchdown pass from Norm Van Brocklin for 16 yards to put the Eagles ahead and win the game. Meanwhile the Eagles forced 5 interceptions from Eddie LeBaron. This game gave Eagles fans the first ever bragging rights over the Cowboys.
We are now going to skip over the 1970’s as that was not a very pretty time for the Philadelphia Eagles, winning just 4 of 21 games against the Cowboys over that stretch.
The 1980 NFC Championship
One of the first high stakes games in the history of this rivalry. The Eagles faced the Dallas Cowboys in Veterans Stadium for the right to advance to Super Bowl XV. Wilbert Montgomery lead the Eagles to the win with his 194 yards and a touchdown on 26 rushing attempts. Roynell Young put the game away with his interception of Danny White. The Eagles won 20-7 and advanced to the Super Bowl, where they would lose to the Oakland Raiders.
Running Up the Score
On October 11th, 1987 the Eagles took a big loss to the Dallas Cowboys 41-22. Buddy Ryan was not to happy about the loss, claiming the Tom Landry was running up the score. Just two weeks later on on October 25th, the Eagles would beat the Cowboys 37-20 which included the infamous fake kneel by Randall Cunningham that put the Eagles down on the one-yard line due to a pass interference, which allowed Keith Byars to run into the endzone and officially run up the score, giving the Eagles their revenge on the Cowboys.
The Bounty Bowls
On November 11th, 1989 the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Dallas Cowboys 27-0. Jimmie Johnson was not too fond of the Eagles style of play, claiming that Buddy Ryan put bounties on Troy Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas, who was previously on the Eagles but was cut that offseason and acquired by the Cowboys.
Jimmie Johnson was quoted saying “I have absolutely no respect for the way they play the game, I would have said something to Buddy, but he wouldn’t stand on the field long enough. He put his big, fat, rear end into the dressing room.” Ryan comically responded by saying ” I resent that, I’ve been on a diet, I lost a couple of pounds, and I thought I looked good”. On December 10th, 1989 the Eagles would sweep the season series beating the cowboys 20-10.
The Defensive Massacre
On September 15th, 1991 the Eagles must have eaten their Wheaties that morning. They sacked Troy Aikman a record-setting 11 times and picked him off three times. Clyde Simmons lead the charge with 4.5 sacks, Jerome Brown followed with 2.5, and Mike Golic had two. Rick Miano had 2 interceptions of Aikman, and Seth Joyner had one. On the offensive side of the ball, Fred Barnett had a big day with 111 yards and a touchdown leading the Eagles to a 24-0 victory over the cowboys.
The “Pickle Juice Game”
On September 3rd, 2000 the Eagles and Cowboys faced off once again in Texas Stadium. This game was considered the hottest game in NFL history. With temperatures reaching 109 degrees, the players had to find a way to stay hydrated and stop cramping. The Eagles solution was drinking pickle juice. It certainly proved effective for Duce Staley as he ran for 201 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles proceeded to hand the Cowboys their worst opening day loss since 1963, winning 41-14.
T.O Comes Back to Philly
Terrell Owens was one of the most explosive receivers in Eagles history. After feuding with Donovan Mcnabb, and the Eagles front office, he left Philadelphia. He signed with the Cowboys, the most hated rival of the Philadelphia Eagles. When he came back to Philadelphia he was held to 3 catches for 45 yards and the Eagles beat the Cowboys 38-24 on a game-sealing interception by Lito Sheppard.
In the 2008 season the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys met on the last day of the season in Lincoln Financial Field. This game was to decide who advanced to the playoffs and who would be sent home. The Eagles obliterated the Cowboys, winning 44-6 and advancing to the NFC Championship in which they would lose to the Arizona Cardinals.
On the Road to Victory
In more recent history, the Eagles were riding high off a solid 8-1 start. They went into Dallas with quarterback Carson Wentz taking over and completely destroyed the Cowboys. Wentz threw 2 touchdowns, one to Alshon Jeffery and one to Torrey Smith, and Nigel Bradham returned a fumble for a touchdown. The Eagles left Dallas winning 37-9 and went on to win Super Bowl LII.
The Eagles have had success against the Cowboys. This Sunday the Eagles will face off against Dallas with hopes of virtually knocking the Cowboys out of contention for the NFC East. It is a chance for the Birds to prove that they aren’t dealing with Super Bowl hangover and to turn their season around against their archrival.