The Dallas Cowboys are not in the playoffs this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a shortage of good action this weekend. Four teams remain in the NFC with the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers squaring off on Saturday, and the Seattle Seahawks playing the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. On Friday, we asked fans which team they would be rooting for in the Vikings/Packers game, and today we’ll ponder the Seahawks/Packers game. Both these teams have been a thorn in the Cowboys side in recent years, so neither are really that high on a lot of people’s list, but which team is the lesser of two evils? Let’s check out the history to help us decide who to root for.
There hasn’t been a long amount of time for the Cowboys to build a rivalry against the Seahawks because for 25 years of their existence, the Seahawks resided in the AFC. It wasn’t until the NFL re-aligned the divisions in 2002 that they set up camp in the NFC West.
These teams didn’t dance very much early on, but Seattle did do the Cowboys a solid when they gave them their no. 2 overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. Cowboys GM Gil Brandt paid a very small price to acquire eventual Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett. Thanks Seattle.
Things picked up between these two teams once the Hawks moved to the NFC. One of my favorite games for personal reasons was a Monday night game up in Seattle that I was in attendance. The Cowboys came back late in the game thanks to a big touchdown catch in the back of the end zone by Keyshawn Johnson. Then, a 22-year-old Jason Witten recovered and onside kick (back when onsides had a fighting chance to be recovered), and Julius Jones put the Cowboys ahead for good with a 17-yard touchdown touchdown run. The Cowboys won 43-39 in what was a fun night in Seattle!
The following year, the Seahawks returned the favor with a late game comeback of their own. In a low-scoring affair, things were looking good when the Cowboys scored the first touchdown of the game with just 2:08 left to take a 10-3 lead. Unfortunately, Seattle marched down the field and tied it up with just 46 seconds left. As Drew Bledsoe was attempting to get the Cowboys in game-winning field goal range, he threw a terrible pass that went right into the arms of Jordan Babineaux. Seattle was able to capitalize when Josh Brown hit a 50-yard game-winner as time expired.
It was a costly loss for Dallas as they ended up being a game short of missing the playoffs, whereas the Seahawks went on to play in their first ever Super Bowl (they lost to Pittsburgh).
The most heartbreaking game between these two for Cowboys fans was the infamous Tony Romo botched hold back during the wild card game of the 2006 season. While Romo gets all the blame, many people forget the Cowboys had an assortment of blunders that hurt them in that game. Earlier, Witten was ruled to have fumbled the ball back when catches were awarded generously. Terry Glenn also lost control of the ball back in his own end zone that ultimately ended in a safety.
Seattle went ahead on their next drive, but the Cowboys looked as if they were going to complete the comeback; however, Romo was unable to put the ball down cleanly for the go-ahead field goal. Tony, being the heads-up guy he is, tried to run with the ball. Unfortunately, that Babineaux fella showed up once again to make a big play as he was able to stop Romo just short with a diving tackle.
And while this is more directed at Golden Tate specifically, and not Seattle, we’ll never forget the blindside hit he had on Sean Lee in 2012.
The Cowboys got a big road win in 2014. Despite falling behind 10-0 early after a Chris Jones punt was blocked, the Cowboys kept fighting. A big third-down conversion from Romo to Terrance Williams kept a drive alive late in the fourth quarter, and DeMarco Murray capped it off with a couple nice runs. And linebacker Rolando McClain got to play hero when he picked off Russell Wilson to seal the deal.
These teams met in Week 16 of the 2017 season with both facing elimination from playoff contention if they couldn’t pull out the win. The Cowboys ended up on the losing end after squandering several scoring opportunities. Dez Bryant had the ball punched out of his arm, resulting in a turnover. Bryant also couldn’t come up with a pass from Dak Prescott and the deflection went right into the arms of the Seahawks. Dak also threw a costly pick-six.
In the end, the Cowboys lost 21-12, despite their defense only give up 60 passing yards. That’s unheard of.
Dallas got a chance at redemption the following year when they hosted the Seahawks in the wild card round of the playoffs. In another game where points were scarce early, the Cowboys were able to pull away at the end with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Dallas looked like they were going to blow a chance to put the game away when A.J. Wright came up with an interception in the end zone off the hands of Noah Brown. Luckily, Prescott put on his cape and came through with a huge third-and-long run that helped ice the game.
Green Bay Packers
The Cowboys have played the Packers 37 times in their history dating back to 1960, and featured eight of those contests in the postseason. Each team has taken turns dominating for a period of time, starting off with the Packers owning the ‘60s. These two teams met in back-to-back NFL Championship games in 1966 and 1967, with both games being decided at the goal line. Green Bay prevailed each time. The Packers would go on to win the first two Super Bowls in NFL history.
From 1978 to 1996, it was Dallas’ turn to dominate, winning 12 of 14 matchups in that span. The Cowboys beat them in a divisional playoff game during the 1982 season, thanks to three interceptions from Dennis Thurman. That’s more picks in one game than any Cowboys player had all of last season.
Dallas also won three straight playoff games against the Packers from 1993-1995, including a big 38-27 win in the NFC Championship in 1995. The Cowboys went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers that year to win their third Super Bowl in four years. Oh, the good ol’ days.
The Packers have had the upper hand in recent years, winning eight of the last nine, including a couple heartbreaking wins in the divisional round of the playoffs. The 2014 playoff game will always be remembered as the Dez “caught it” game, but there were several things that happened that could’ve altered the outcome of that one. Between a DeMarco Murray fumble and some defensive breakdowns, the Cowboys didn’t make enough plays to win. And even when we thought they did, like with the Dez catch, the referees decided otherwise.
They met again in 2016 after the Cowboys were the top seed in the NFC. Dallas dug themselves a 21-0 hole similar to what they did against the San Francisco 49ers in 1994, only this time - they fought back to tie it. But with just 35 seconds left in the game, Packers coach Mike McCarthy turned the play-calling over to Aaron Rodgers and the star quarterback worked his magic. Rodgers connected with Jared Cook for 36 yards that set up the game winning 51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby as time expired.
Who do you want to win on Sunday?
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Green Bay Packers