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Know Your History: The Cowboys vs Broncos matchup

It’s been a long time since the Cowboys beat the Broncos.

Super Bowl XII - Dallas Cowboys v Denver Broncos

When the Broncos travel to Arlington to face the Cowboys this Sunday, it’ll mark just the 14th time ever these two teams have faced off against one another. And yet, one of the most memorable moments in Cowboys franchise history came against Denver.

That would be Super Bowl XII. Tom Landry’s Cowboys had been on a tear through the regular season, finishing 12-2 and earning the top seed in the playoffs. They beat both the Bears and Vikings by three or more touchdowns to reach the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

There, they faced the similarly 12-2 Broncos, who Dallas actually beat 14-6 in their regular-season finale. Coincidentally, Denver was led by former Cowboys starting quarterback Craig Morton. Die hard fans remember that Morton had led Dallas to its first ever Super Bowl appearance - a loss to the Colts in what’s since been deemed the Blunder Bowl - and now Morton was leading the Broncos to their first ever appearance in the game.

Things didn’t go any better for Morton this time around, as the Doomsday Defense picked him off four times, each by a different player, and held the former Cowboy to a mere 26.6% completion rate and 39 total yards.

Dallas, meanwhile, did plenty on offense. Roger Staubach threw a touchdown to Butch Johnson, Tony Dorsett ran in another, and they even added some trickery when fullback Robert Newhouse threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Golden Richards. (follow the link for the video)

By the time the final whistle blew, America’s Team had notched a 27-10 victory to claim their second Super Bowl championship in just their 18th season in the NFL. The blowout victory upped Dallas’ total playoff point differential that year to 87-23, one of the more thoroughly dominant playoff runs any team has enjoyed.

Speaking of games between the Cowboys and Broncos that ended in blowouts, the last time these teams met was a game Cowboys fans tried to forget about before it even ended. It was Week 2 of the 2017 season and the 1-0 Cowboys went into Denver against rookie head coach Vance Joseph. Nothing worked for Dallas as they lost 42-17 and most of the discussion following the game was on Ezekiel Elliott’s lack of hustle during an interception return.

That game was arguably the first real sign of trouble for the Jason Garrett era, as his Cowboys rarely had games where they seemed to quit on him up to that point. It also remains the only time Dak Prescott has faced the Broncos in his career, and the quarterback will likely have that memory in the back of his mind come Sunday.

Of course, the second-most recent time these teams met wasn’t a blowout for either team but instead one of the most entertaining football games in recent memory. It came during an otherwise forgettable 2013 season for the Cowboys. It was none other than the Tony Romo/Peyton Manning duel. (follow the link for the video)

This game had just about everything a football fan could ask for. Two quarterbacks playing at the highest level trading punches for a game that had 99 total points scored. Romo’s 506 yards and five touchdowns went toe-to-toe with Manning’s 414 yards and four touchdowns (and that one rushing touchdown). Terrance Williams caught his first career touchdown pass in this one, and second-year pro Morris Claiborne became the first defender to intercept Manning all season.

The only way this game could’ve been any better is if it ended with a Cowboys victory, but nothing is perfect. In fact, the Cowboys haven’t gotten a win over this team in quite some time. You’d have to go all the way back to 1995 to find the last time the Cowboys beat the Broncos. That season ended with a Lombardi Trophy being brought to Dallas, their last one to date.

But the Cowboys are being talked about as Super Bowl contenders now, and they have a chance to snap a six-game losing streak to the Broncos on Sunday and improve to 7-1 on the year. This team did something similar a few weeks ago on the road against the Patriots. Can they do it again?


The Dallas Cowboys should win on Sunday, but if they are going to then they need to take care of business in a couple of certain ways. We discussed them in our official Dallas Cowboys Preview Show on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!

WATCH OUR DALLAS COWBOYS PREVIEW SHOW RIGHT HERE.