You might have heard that the Super Bowl will be played this Sunday with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. This precludes the Dallas Cowboys from playing in it - sigh. At least, as Cowboys fans, we have a history of winning Super Bowls, so instead of wallowing in the misery of missing the big game again, let’s reminisce a little bit.
We’re going to rank the Cowboys five Super Bowl wins by satisfying to very satisfying. Admittedly, this is a pretty arbitrary ranking, and every Cowboys fan has their own take on it. The beauty of the Internet is you can do your own ranking in the comments.
5. Super Bowl 12 - The Cowboys won their second Super Bowl of the 70s by beating the Denver Broncos on January 15th, 1978. The score was 27-10. This game was significant in NFL history as the first Super Bowl to be played in a dome and played in prime time. The game yielded some very memorable plays such as Butch Johnson’s TD catch that would have never stood up to replay in the modern game. The Cowboys Doomsday Defense dominated the Broncos, so much so that Harvey Martin and Randy White shared MVP honors. The Broncos turned the ball over eight times in the game.
Why this ranking? - Even though Dallas dominated, there was no significant factor that set it apart as you will see in the other rankings below. Also, Denver seems like a pretty weak opponent looking back at it now.
4. Super Bowl 30 - This was the final Cowboys Super Bowl win to date and the end of the 90s dynasty. The Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 on January 28, 1996. In truth, the Cowboys got a little lucky in this game when Neil O’Donnell fired two easy interceptions to cornerback Larry Brown in the second half. The Cowboys had built an early lead in the game, but the Steelers were coming back with momentum in the second half. O’Donnell’s blunders insured a Cowboys win.
Why this ranking? - It wasn’t the Cowboys best effort in a Super Bowl win. There’s almost a feeling that they escaped with the win instead of earning it. But, it did give the team three Super Bowl wins in four years, and finally got revenge on the Steelers for the 70s Super Bowl losses.
3. Super Bowl 28 - Dallas won a rematch with the Buffalo Bills by a score of 30-13 in a game played on January 30, 1994. The Bills were actually leading this game at halftime, but the Cowboys charged back in the second half. Safety James Washington played a huge role in this game by forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble and grabbing an interception. The Cowboys rode a dominant day from Emmitt Smith for an easy win after a slow start to the game.
Why this ranking? - This game featured the only time two teams played each other in consecutive Super Bowls. This win gave Dallas back-to-back Super Bowl wins, a rare occurrence and helped cement the 90s dynasty. If they had lost, who knows what direction things would have gone.
2. Super Bowl 6 - The Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 on January 6, 1972. This game is so old many Cowboys fans know little about it. It features the famous 29-yard sack of Bob Griese by Bob Lilly. The Cowboys defense was so good, the Dolphins didn’t even score a touchdown, the only time that has happened in Super Bowl history. It was also blacked out in the local market (the last time that happened) and it was the last game where the hashmarks were 40 feet apart instead of the 18 1/2 feet of today.
Why this ranking? - You may ask why rank this one so high? One simple reason, it was the Cowboys first Super Bowl win. The Cowboys had been known as the team that couldn’t win the big one, or next year’s champion. They had lost the previous Super Bowl and fallen short of a few NFL Championships previous to this game. This one finally got them over the hump.
1. Super Bowl 27 - On January 31, 1993, the Dallas Cowboys destroyed the Buffalo Bills 52-17. The Cowboys defense topped their eight turnovers forced in Super Bowl 12 by getting nine turnovers in this game. This game features one of the most famous plays in NFL history - Don Beebe running down Leon Lett who thought he was about to score a touchdown only to be denied. The Cowboys were so far ahead at the time that they could laugh about it. A super-efficient Troy Aikman was named the MVP.
Why this ranking? - This was peak Cowboys. It started their run of three Super Bowls in four years, and it was their return to the national stage after 15 years since they had last won a Super Bowl. The game was such a dominant performance on both sides of the ball that fans spent much of the game celebrating a win instead of biting their nails. It was an unbelievable performance from one of the greatest teams in NFL history.
Okay, now it’s your turn, agree or disagree? How would you rank the Cowboys Super Bowl wins?