The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will face off on primetime tonight to write another chapter in one of the NFL’s most storied rivalries.
Dallas had playoff aspirations from Week 1, as the Cowboys were favorites to win the NFC East in the preseason. New York wasn’t expected to be a contender, but the Giants hold a perfect 2-0 record and are threatening to be a dark horse playoff team in 2022.
Since the Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960, Big D holds an all-time record of 71-47-2 against the Giants.
We sifted through all the matchups in the last 61 seasons to find the Cowboys’ five most memorable games from the rivalry. Here’s what we came up with:
5. Week 6, 2006 – Giants 36, Cowboys 22
We realize this may not have been a memorable night for the Cowboys based on the score, but stick with us on this one.
Dallas couldn’t get much going offensively in the opening two quarters. At halftime, New York led 12-7 and Cowboys starting QB Drew Bledsoe was knocked out of the game with an injury.
Tony Romo would start the second half, which was met with ‘Romo’ chants from the Dallas faithful after the uninspiring first half performance by the Cowboys offense.
The chants didn’t last long as Romo threw an interception on his first attempt of the game. Romo ended the night with 227 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
The loss put Dallas at 3-3 on the year, but Romo took the reins at QB for the remainder of the season led the Cowboys to a 9-7 record and a playoff berth.
Romo would go on to throw for the most yards and touchdowns in franchise history. But it all started from the injury Bledsoe sustained which forced Romo on the field.
4. Week 15, 1985 – Cowboys 28, Giants 21
Going into the game, both teams had identical 9-5 records and the winner would clinch the NFC East title.
Danny White started at QB for Dallas but was sidelined with an injury. Then, backup Gary Hogeboom was also knocked out of action with an injury. This left quarterbacking duties to third-stringer Steve Pelluer.
Luckily, Pelluer got some help from a few of his teammates. Tony Dorsett rushed for 92 yards and Mike Renfro had 123 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Pelluer finished the night 4/7 on passes for 39 yards. A majority of which came on a clutch 28-yard throw to Karl Powe to keep a drive alive on third down.
While Pelluer didn’t have a stellar stat line, he did enough to win the game and bring the NFC East championship to Dallas.
3. Week 2, 2003 – Cowboys 35, Giants 32
This was hall of famer Bill Parcells’ coaching debut at the Meadowlands while leading the Cowboys. Parcells had previously spent eight years with the Giants, winning two Super Bowls in that time.
Dallas blew a 20-7 halftime lead and allowed the Giants to tie the game at the end of regulation. Then in overtime, Billy Cundiff drilled a 25-yard field goal to take home the victory on Monday Night football.
Cundiff was the star of the night, scoring 23 of the Cowboys 35 points. The former Drake Bulldog made seven field goals and two extra points.
2. Week 3, 1998 – Cowboys 31, Giants 7
The key to victory is strong play in all three phases of the game. But to have one player making an impact in every facet of the game is a rarity.
That’s exactly what Deion Sanders did for the Cowboys in this Monday Night Football matchup.
Neon Deion started the action in a scoreless game with a 59-yard punt return touchdown in the second quarter. Later in the game, Cowboys QB Jason Garrett hit Sanders on a deep pass that went for 55 yards. To cap off the night, Sanders returned an interception 71 yards for a score.
Not only did the Cowboys win 31-7, but Sanders also outscored the Giants 12-7.
1. Week 18, 1993 – Cowboys 16, Giants 13
Michael Jordan has the flu game, but Emmitt Smith’s separated shoulder game was just as impressive. Smith suffered the injury in the first half, but toughed it out and helped Dallas notch the win in overtime.
Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin couldn’t get it going offensively. Aikman threw for just 180 yards and Irvin had 50 receiving yards. Luckily, Smith was on his A-game.
The hall of famer ran for 168 yards and caught 10 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
This wasn’t a run-of-the-mill regular season matchup, either. It was a winner take all game for both the NFC East crown and home field advantage through the postseason. This was crucial for the Cowboys who went on to win the Super Bowl over the Buffalo Bills later that year.