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Top 12 Redskins Wins In Cowboys Rivalry

Posted Sep 22, 2011

There are the 1972 and 1982 NFC Championship games and the dramatic comebacks in 1984 and 2005. Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald ranks the great Redskins moments of the storied rivalry.

The Redskins and Cowboys play for the 103rd time on Monday night. The series has produced plenty of memorable moments for both teams.

Let’s talk victories. Redskins victories.

Redskins.com’s Gary Fitzgerald pieced together a list of the 12 best Redskins wins in the series.


Oct. 3, 1971
Redskins 20,
Cowboys 16

In a way, this game announced the Redskins as legitimate playoff contenders after years of mediocrity, or worse. The "Over the Hill Gang," a collection of savvy, tough veterans brought in by head coach George Allen, upset the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl. Quarterback Billy Kilmer threw two first-half touchdown passes, including a 40-yarder to wide receiver Roy Jefferson, and the Redskins’ offense compiled 200 rushing yards. Defensive tackle Bill Brundige sacked Dallas QB Roger Staubach for a 29-yard loss.


Nov. 5, 2006
Redskins 22,
Cowboys 19

It was a miracle win for a struggling Redskins team. Tied 19-19 in the final seconds at FedExField, Troy Vincent blocked Dallas’s last-second field goal attempt that would have given the Cowboys the win. Sean Taylor scooped up the ball and ran 30 yards, weaving his way past tacklers. A Dallas face-mask penalty gave second-year kicker Nick Novak -- who moments earlier had missed a 49-yard attempt -- a chance to win it for the Redskins with no time left on the clock. He did just that, with a 47-yard field goal just inside the uprights, lifting Washington to an improbable 22-19 win.


Dec. 30, 2007
Redskins 27,
Cowboys 6

The Redskins had won three straight down the stretch and needed one more win to secure a Wild Card playoff berth. They got it, with a 27-6 win over the Cowboys before a record-setting FedExField crowd. Sure, Dallas had wrapped up the NFC East title and had little to play for, but the Redskins were impressive nonetheless. Clinton Portis rushed for two touchdowns, while the defense yielded just seven first downs and 1 rushing yard in the game. Santana Moss caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Todd Collins in the fourth quarter to start the celebration. For many players, the Redskins’ 21-point victory margin called to mind the late Sean Taylor, who wore jersey No. 21.


Dec. 18, 2005
Redskins 35,
Cowboys 7

Dallas sought revenge for the 14-13 loss earlier in the season, but the Redskins jumped out to a 28-0 lead at FedExField and never looked back. Late in the first half, Chris Cooley caught a short pass from quarterback Mark Brunell and burst past a pair of Dallas tacklers for a 30-yard touchdown. It was one of three Cooley touchdowns in the Redskins’ 35-7 win. Defensive end Phillip Daniels sacked quarterback Drew Bledsoe four times to help catapult Washington to a Wild Card postseason berth.


Dec. 12, 1976
Redskins 27,
Cowboys 14

The Redskins needed a win on the last game of the season to secure a playoff berth. Of course it was against Dallas, at Texas Stadium. Down 14-10 midway through the third quarter, the Redskins scored 17 unanswered points to win 17-14. After a Mark Moseley 27-yard field goal, ex-Cowboy running back Calvin Hill swept around left end for a 15-yard touchdown run. Then defensive lineman Diron Talbert swatted a Roger Staubach pass into the air, and it was grabbed by fellow defensive lineman Dennis Johnson at the 3-yard line. John Riggins’ sealed the win with a touchdown run.


Dec. 9, 1984
Redskins 30,
Cowboys 28

Down 21-6 at halftime, the Redskins’ rally began when cornerback  Darrell Green returned an interception 32 yards for a score. Quarterback Joe Theismann threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Muhammad and Mark Moseley kicked a 21-yard field goal, and at the end of the third quarter, the Redskins led 23-21. Dallas came back, though, when quarterback Danny White threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tony Hill. But John Riggins put the Redskins back ahead for good with a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. The win put the Redskins in first place in the NFC East.


Nov. 2, 1975
Redskins 30,
Cowboys 24

In one of only two overtime contests in the series, Washington tied the game late in the fourth quarter as quarterback Billy Kilmer--atoning for an interception that moments earlier Dallas safety Cliff Harris had returned for a score--drove the Redskins downfield for a game-tying touchdown. In overtime, safety Ken Houston picked off a pass, then Roger Staubach punched safety Pat Fischer to give the Redskins the ball at Dallas’s 35-yard line. Nine plays later, Kilmer dove over right guard for a 1-yard, game-winning touchdown.


Oct. 8, 1973
Redskins 14,
Cowboys 7

The Redskins and Cowboys emerged as a Monday Night Football staple after this classic at RFK Stadium. Down 7-0, most of the game, quarterback Sonny Jurgensen threw a 1-yard TD pass to wide receiver Charley Taylor with three minutes left in the game, then safety Brig Owens picked off an overthrown pass and raced 26 yards for another touchdown. Dallas drove downfield in the game’s waning moments, but safety Kenny Houston tackled running back Walt Garrison at the goal line to preserve a Redskins victory. "That’s the biggest tackle I’ve made in my life," Houston would say.


Sept. 19, 2005
Redskins 14,
Cowboys 13

Is it debatable to rank this win so high? Listen to Joe Gibbs: "As far as competitive athletic wins and having great thrills, this ranks right there with them." The Redskins’ offense had struggled all game long and trailed 13-0, until late in the fourth quarter when Mark Brunell connected with wide receiver Santana Moss for two touchdown passes. The first was a 39-yarder on fourth down, the second was a memorable 70-yarder that helped give the Redskins a dramatic 14-13 win at Texas Stadium. The game provided a season-long spark for the Redskins, who earned a playoff berth.


Dec. 11, 1983
Redskins 31,
Cowboys 10

The Redskins dismantled the Cowboys at Texas Stadium and psyched them out at the same time. The Redskins’ players had traveled to Dallas wearing military fatigues, aiming to prove they were on a mission in what they called the "Invasion of Dallas." Said offensive lineman George Starke: "It freaked the Cowboys out and got into their heads." John Riggins rushed for two touchdowns and Joe Theismann threw for two touchdowns, including a 40-yarder to tight end Clint Didier. The victory put the Redskins one game up on the Cowboys in the NFC East with one game to play. The Redskins captured the NFC East title the following week.


Dec. 31, 1972
Redskins 26,
Cowboys 3

Perhaps no other person did more to energize the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry than George Allen. This was true enmity, and it all culminated in the 1972 NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium. The Redskins dominated Dallas from the get-go, winning 26-3. Billy Kilmer threw two touchdown passes to Charley Taylor, including a 45-yard bomb that remains one of the enduring images of the rivalry.


Jan. 22, 1983
Redskins 31,
Cowboys 17

With 55,000 fans chanting "We Want Dallas," the Redskins got their wish in the NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium. John Riggins rushed for 140 yards and defensive tackle Darryl Grant intercepted a tipped pass and high-stepped into the end zone to seal a 31-17 win. It catapulted the Redskins to the Super Bowl, where they would go on to win their first NFL championship in 40 years.



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