The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL. A new chapter will be written this week on Sunday Night Football, so we’re going to relive some of the best games between the storied franchises.
When two teams with passionate fan bases play twice a season, it’s only natural for each side to form a hatred for their counterparts.
The first Cowboys-Eagles game was played in 1960. Since then, Dallas holds an all-time record of 72-54 against Philadelphia.
From those 126 matchups, some games stick out because they’re more memorable than the rest. So here are the five greatest matchups in the Cowboys-Eagles 62-year rivalry:
5. The first one is always the sweetest
It took a few years for the Cowboys to notch its first win over the Eagles. Dallas and Philadelphia first met in 1960, but Big D didn’t get its first win in the series until 1962.
In that time, the Eagles were 3-0 against the Cowboys. The games weren’t particularly close either, as the Eagles won each game by an average of 20 points.
But that all changed in Week 5 of the 1962 season. This time, it was the Cowboys turn to pummel the Eagles.
Dallas won 41-19, despite going down 6-0 in the first quarter. Cowboys QBs Eddie LeBaron and Don Meredith combined to go 10/12 on pass attempts for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Their primary target was tight end Frank Clarke who hauled in 118 yards and both touchdown passes.
The defense and special teams got in on the scoring, too. Fullback Amos Marsh returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. Later in the game, cornerback Mike Gaechter brought an interception 100 yards to the house for a score.
This was the first of many victories for the Cowboys over the Eagles.
4. Terrell Owens returns to Philadelphia
Owens donned the Eagles midnight green for two seasons. But his departure from Philadelphia wasn’t pretty. Owens was suspended for a majority of the 2005 season for violating Eagles team rules before the they opted to release him.
Owens would later detail the falling out with his old team in his 2005 autobiography titled T.O. In the book, he talks about how Eagles QB Donovan McNabb ran him out of town. He also criticized his old QB’s play in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl loss in 2005.
The Cowboys signed Owens before the 2006 season, and his ugly breakup with the Eagles only added fuel to an already fiery rivalry.
But Owens’ first game in Philadelphia against his old team didn’t go the Cowboys way. T.O. was targeted 13 times but caught only three passes for 45 yards. Owens ended the night with more drops than receptions.
Despite Owens’ poor performance, the Cowboys almost won the game. With 31 seconds remaining, Dallas trailed 31-24 but had the ball on the Eagles six yard line. But Drew Bledsoe tossed an interception to Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard that was returned 102 yards for a touchdown.
Dallas loses 38-24 and the Eagles get the last laugh over T.O.
3. Dallas knocks Philly out the playoffs en route to a Super Bowl win
Even in down seasons, playing a divisional rival in the regular season will get the juices flowing for a game. So when two heated rivals meet in the playoffs, the intensity is ramped up even higher.
In Week 15 of the 1995 season, the Eagles defeated the Cowboys 20-17. But a few weeks later, the Cowboys exacted some revenge.
The Cowboys creamed the Eagles in the Divisional Round by a score of 30-11. Dallas’ defense limited Eagles QB Randall Cunningham to just 161 passing yards and running back Ricky Watters to 39 yards on the ground.
It was an equally dominant day for the offense. Emmitt Smith, Sherman Williams and Deion Sanders combined for 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns. You read that right, even Neon Deion got a rushing attempt, which he ran 21 yards for a touchdown.
The Cowboys went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.
2. Cowboys whomp the Eagles in the playoffs
Dallas beating the Eagles in the 1995 playoffs wasn’t the first time the Cowboys got the best of its rival in the postseason.
The Cowboys and Eagles met in the Divisional Round of the 1992 playoffs, too. The result was similar, as Dallas came out on top 34-10.
The Triplets tormented Philadelphia’s defense all game. Troy Aikman threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Irvin reeled in six catches for 88 yards. But the star of the show was Emmitt Smith, who rushed for 114 yards and a score.
The Cowboys defense felt disrespected going into the playoffs after having no players voted to the Pro Bowl. They made a statement by holding Cunningham to 160 passing yards. The Eagles rushing attack wasn’t much better, as they combined for only 63 yards.
The Triplets capped off the season with a Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills.
1. The Cowboys beat the Eagles three times in one year
Sweeping the two-game regular season series against a divisional foe is nice. But defeating them three times in a season can’t be beaten.
That’s exactly what Dallas did in 2009. In Week 17, the Cowboys took down the Eagles 24-0 with the NFC East championship on the line.
Six days later, the teams squared off again in the Wild Card Round. Once again, Dallas clobbered Philadelphia. This time by a score of 34-14.
What made the win even sweeter was that it ended a 14-year winless drought in the playoffs for the Cowboys.
The MVP of the game was Cowboys running back Felix Jones, who gained 148 yards on the ground on only 16 carries. Jones also ran in a touchdown and had 30 receiving yards.