We are now less than two months away from the 2021 NFL season kicking off and with it the latest campaign that we hope ends with a Lombardi Trophy for the Dallas Cowboys. Some habits are hard to break.
Whether or not the Cowboys can finally end their season on that note remains to be seen, but between now and then there will be many interesting games. The quickest path to achieving this ultimate goal is, of course, winning the division and the NFC East certainly looks winnable.
There are many memories that we all have within the division, particularly games that were either very fun or extremely painful. We visited the latter on last week’s edition of the NFC East Mixtape, and thankfully this week we are talking about the more epic moments. Remember to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network wherever you get your podcasts, Apple devices can subscribe right here or Spotify users can subscribe right here.
For the purposes of this discussion Brandon Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation and I kept things to the last 10 years. In summation the exercise was to choose the best Cowboys and Eagles wins against each division rival in that time period.
New York Giants: 2014 Week 12, Tony Romo finds Dez Bryant late in the game to win 31-28
Deciding which Cowboys win over the Giants to pick proved to be not as easy as originally thought. Ultimately one game stood out above the rest and it is one that Giants fan try to remember fondly thanks to a particular catch.
The most impressive grab of the evening actually didn’t come from Odell Beckham Jr., at least as far as the game’s significance was concerned. Tyron Smith had one of his finer moments buying time for Tony Romo to find Dez Bryant for the game-winning touchdown and the 2014 season stayed magical for Dallas.
This game took place on Sunday Night Football and was one that Cowboys fans looked forward to for a while given that the team was coming off of their bye week after having played against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. New York was still a mild contender so getting a huge win right before Thanksgiving went a long way in the division race.
Philadelphia Eagles: 2016 Week 8, Dak Prescott finds Jason Witten for the overtime winner
There was serious thought to picking another overtime win over the Eagles, the one that Amari Cooper walked off in 2018. Given that the Cooper moment partly happened due to a tipped pass, it felt awkward to claim it as the best overall win.
You would have a hard time finding any warts with the game that was ultimately chosen though, Dallas’ overtime win against the Eagles on October 30th, 2016. This was the first matchup between Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz and the NFL totally hyped it up in the run-up to the contest.
This game had a whole lot of action and at one point punter Chris Jones took off on a fake that gave the Cowboys a critical first down. It finally ended in overtime when Dak Prescott found a WIDE OPEN Jason Witten. Victory is rarely ever as sweet as this one was.
Washington Football Team: 2011 Week 3, Tony Romo’s punctured lung
Can you name a win against Washington that truly felt epic? It was difficult to do. Given that our parameters stipulated that it had to come from over the last 10 years, the one at the very beginning stood out for narrative and almost narrative alone.
The week before Dallas hosted Washington in 2011 they visited the San Francisco 49ers and won in dramatic fashion. Tony Romo returned to the game with a punctured lung and willed the Cowboys to a victory that then-rookie Dan Bailey kicked home. Many people remember that.
What gets forgotten is that Romo also played the following week and did so in similarly heroic fashion. The Cowboys offense didn’t score a point against their division rivals on Monday Night Football, but Dan Bailey continued on the path that would take him to greatness going a perfect six for six as the Cowboys won 18-16.
The fact that Romo didn’t miss a week after his San Francisco injury is yet another testament to his ultimate grit. This game was one of the first times that the national narrative was overwhelmingly positive for Romo specifically which was definitely nice to see at the time.