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Cowboys–Washington rivalry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cowboys–Washington rivalry
Dallas Cowboys
Washington Football Team
First meetingOctober 2, 1960
Redskins 26, Cowboys 14
Latest meetingNovember 26, 2020
Washington 41, Cowboys 16
Next meetingDecember 12, 2021
Meetings total122 meetings
All-time seriesCowboys, 73–47–2
Postseason resultsWashington, 2–0
  • December 31, 1972, Redskins 26, Cowboys 3
    January 22, 1983, Redskins 31, Cowboys 17
Largest victoryCowboys, 38–3 (1993)
Washington, 35–7 (2005)
Longest win streakCowboys, 10 (1997–2002)
Washington, 4 (1986–88)
Current win streakWashington, 2 (2020)

The Cowboys–Washington rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Redskins. In 2005, Sports Illustrated called it the top NFL rivalry of all time and "one of the greatest in sports."[1] ESPN ranked it the best rivalry in the NFL.[2] The Sportster has ranked it the 17th biggest rivalry in the world.[3] During the tenure of this rivalry, the two franchises have won 32 combined division titles and eight combined Super Bowls.[citation needed] They are two of the wealthiest franchises in the NFL.[4] The rivalry started in 1960 when the Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team.[5] During that year they were in separate conferences, but played once during the season. In 1961, Dallas was placed in the same division as Washington, and from that point on, they have played each other twice in every regular season.


Texas oil tycoon Clint Murchison, Jr. was having a hard time bringing an NFL team to Dallas, Texas. He tried buying two teams, but the negotiations fell through. In 1958, Murchison heard that George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins, was eager to sell the team. Just as the sale was about to be finalized, Marshall called for a change in terms. Murchison was outraged and canceled the whole deal.[6]

Around this time, Marshall had a falling out with the Redskin band director, Barnee Breeskin. Breeskin had written the music to the Redskins fight song, now a staple at the stadium; additionally, Marshall's wife penned the lyrics to the song.[6] Breeskin wanted revenge after the failed negotiations with Marshall. He approached Tom Webb, Murchison's lawyer, and sold the rights for $2,500.[6]

Murchison then decided to create his own team, with the support of NFL expansion committee chairman, George Halas. Halas decided to put the proposition of a Dallas franchise before the NFL owners, which needed to have unanimous approval in order to pass. The only owner against the proposal was George Preston Marshall, as the Redskins were the only NFL team in the Southern United States at that time, and did not want a professional team in Texas encroaching in their territory, as they saw it. However, Marshall found out that Murchison owned the rights to Washington's fight song, so a deal was finally struck. If Marshall showed his approval of the Dallas franchise, Murchison would return the song. The Cowboys were then founded and began playing in 1960.[6]

To build the roster of an expansion team, Dallas was allowed to pick certain players from certain teams per League rules. In addition to selecting 3 players from the Redskins roster, the Cowboys traded their first round (#2-Norm Snead) and sixth round (#72-Joe Krakoski) draft choices in the 1961 NFL Draft to the Redskins in exchange for Pro Bowl quarterback Eddie LeBaron,[7] convincing him to come out of retirement to become the franchise's first starting quarterback.

First Few Games

Though both teams would become juggernauts in the National Football League, the beginning of the rivalry was not all that exciting. The first game took place in Griffith Stadium on October 9, 1960 and was won by the Redskins. It was the only game they would win that year. The Cowboys would go winless that season. The Redskins would win two of the first four and tied the two others.

Cowboy Chicken Club

In December 1961, an unknown number of Cowboys fans snuck into D. C. Stadium, armed with bags of chicken feed.[6] When Alaskan snow dogs were to drag Santa Claus onto the field during the halftime show, the pranksters would unleash dozens of hungry chickens onto the field – 75 white, one black.[8] The significance of the black chicken was to symbolize how Marshall was the only owner in the league who would not recruit an African-American football player; Marshall stating, "We'll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites."[9]

The chickens fit into two large crates, which were smuggled into the stadium the morning of the game. The chickens and the smugglers went unspotted until halftime, when a stadium usher noticed a man guarding the crates and heard the chickens. Though the guard tried to bribe the official with $100, he was quickly reported and arrested, and the chickens confiscated. As it turned out, the "official" was actually Redskins general manager Dick McCann.

The following year and the night before the third Redskins-Cowboys match-up in less than a year, pranksters sneaked into Marshall's hotel suite and dropped off a large turkey in the bathroom. When Marshall went into the bathroom, the turkey puffed up and gobbled at him, causing Marshall to flee his room. "Chickens are nice", Marshall said, "but a man shouldn't fool with a mad turkey."

Just minutes before kickoff, while "Hail to the Redskins" blared throughout the stadiums, four banners reading "CHICKENS" – one at each 50-yard line and one in each end zone center – were unfurled in the stadium's upper decks.[6] Two acrobats, hired by Cowboys fans and Chicken Club founders Bob Thompson and Irv Davidson (along with the University of Maryland students with the banners) rushed onto the field dressed in chicken costumes and began to throw colored eggs.[6] One was apprehended by a guard, but the other proved to be too elusive. By this time, the band was playing the National Anthem, therefore unable to move. The lone chicken-acrobat reached into this bag and released a chicken, then returned to his egg-throwing. Running to a sideline, he then attempted to leave the stadium by jumping over a bench, but slipped.

A group of security guards then apprehended him, but he was able to break free. He made it back to the 50-yard line, turned a cartwheel, then ran and flopped onto the 30-yard line. By this time, only aware that the National Anthem was over, the two teams rushed onto the field in the middle of the chaos. In the midst of the ruckus, the man made it off the field and into the stands. Although the real chicken was caught, the acrobat-chicken was never apprehended.[6]

The next day, while reporting the 38–10 Cowboys victory, the Dallas News scoring summary ended with, Attendance-49,888 (and one chicken).[6]

1965 – 1967

From 1965 through 1967, the Redskins and Cowboys, led by Sonny Jurgensen and Don Meredith respectively, played four games against each other that produced a combined total of 222 points with only ten points of overall difference between the two teams.

November 28, 1965, DC Stadium: The Cowboys quickly took a 21–0 lead on a pass play, a running play and a 60-yard fumble recovery. Despite Jurgensen's 26-yard touchdown pass to Charley Taylor, the fans in the stands called for him to be benched in favor of second-string quarterback Dick Shiner. However, Jurgensen then drove the Redskins down field for a second touchdown to cut the Cowboys lead to 24–13. They then scored a rushing touchdown to make it 24–20. But just when the Redskins were gaining momentum, Meredith tossed a 53-yard scoring touch to Frank Clarke. Jurgensen was then able to throw another touchdown pass to Bobby Mitchell to make it 31–27. The Redskins got the ball back on their 20-yard line with less than two minutes to go. After working his way down the field, Jurgensen passed to tight end Angelo Coia to give the Redskins their first lead, 34–31, with about one minute to play. But Meredith was not done either. He drove the Cowboys to the Redskins 37-yard line with seven seconds to go. Danny Villanueva was then brought in and attempted a tying field goal, but it was blocked by Redskins defensive back Lonnie Sanders. Final: Redskins, 34 – Cowboys, 31

November 13, 1966, DC Stadium: In the second quarter with the score 7–6 Dallas, Meredith threw a 52-yard touchdown to Bob Hayes, followed in the third quarter with a 95-yard repeat, making the score 21–7. Then Washington scored three consecutive times with Jurgensen's 4-yard pass to Jerry Smith and 78-yard pass to Charley Taylor, followed by a Charlie Gogolak field goal, giving them the lead, 23–21. Meredith then drove the Cowboys down field to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Dan Reeves. But the Redskins matched their score on a drive ending with Jurgensen's 18-yard scoring pass to Taylor, making it 30–28. Meredith got the ball back with no timeouts and the Redskins playing deep prevent. Somehow, he was able to drive them to the Redskins 33. The Redskins mounted a strong pass rush to push the Cowboys out of field goal range. But apparently it was too strong. Meredith was hit just as he scrambled out of bounds. The penalty put the Cowboys on the Redskins 12 for an easy Villanueva field goal. Final: Cowboys, 31–Redskins, 30

December 11, 1966, The Cotton Bowl: The Redskins took a 10–7 lead at the half after linebacker John Reger recovered a block punt and ran it in for a score. But Danny Villanueva then kicked a tying 26-yard field goal for the Cowboys and Bob Hays caught a 23-yard pass for the 17–10 lead. The Redskins tied it up on Bobby Mitchell's 11-yard reception from Jurgensen. The Cowboys regained the lead when Dan Reeves broke for a 67-yard touchdown run, making it 24–17. But the Redskins then drove the field and scored on Jurgensen's 11-yard pass to Jerry Smith, only to have the Cowboys regain the lead with a six-yard touchdown run by Don Perkins, making it 31–24. Jurgensen was then able to hit Charlie Taylor with a 65-yard touchdown pass that Taylor caught between two defenders, tying the game. After good defense, the Redskins got the ball back with two minutes to go. Starting at their 46-yard line, Redskins running back A. D. Whitfield ran right for a 30-yard gain that set up Charlie Gogolak's winning field goal. Final: Redskins, 34 – Cowboys, 31

October 8, 1967, DC Stadium: The Redskins led 14–10 with 70 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys took possession on their 29-yard line. On fourth down with 23 seconds remaining, Meredith hit an open Dan Reeves who beat out linebacker Chris Hanburger to score, making it 17–14. After the kick-off with seven seconds to go, Jurgensen pitched a long pass to Charley Taylor, but he was tackled at the Cowboys 20-yard line as time ran out. Final: Cowboys, 17 – Redskins, 14

Washington would win the rematch in Dallas that season, 27–20, but the Cowboys closed out the decade with four straight wins over the Redskins. In the late 60's the Redskins hired Vince Lombardi to try to stop ex-Giants coordinator Tom Landry. Lombardi's 7-5-2 record with the Redskins was the team's first winning season in 14 years, but he was still swept by the Cowboys. Lombardi's untimely death in 1970 froze Redskins development for two seasons.



The rivalry was in full-swing by 1971, when Washington hired George Allen as head coach. During the 1972 season, Allen's Redskins met Dallas three times en route to a date with the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII. This is how the season progressed.

After a losing season in 1970, the Redskins' hired George Allen from the Los Angeles Rams. Under Allen the Skins in 1971 went 9-4-1 including a 20-16 victory at the Cowboys against whom Allen carried particular hatred. As the 1972 football season approached, preseason predictors were touting the Cowboys, who had defeated the Dolphins, 24–3 in the previous Super Bowl, to again win the NFC East.

The sixth game of the season brought the Cowboys to Washington, D.C. Both teams came into the game with a 4-1-0 record. Sonny Jurgensen was Washington's starting quarterback, with Billy Kilmer benched after a previous loss. Craig Morton was the Cowboys' quarterback while the injured Roger Staubach watched from the sideline. Despite Washington's home-field advantage, the Cowboys were favored by a touchdown.

A field goal and a Morton touchdown pass gave Dallas a 10–0 lead at the end of the first quarter, which was extended to 13–0 in the second period. Jurgensen led a Washington drive that climaxed with a pass to Larry Brown for a touchdown, but at the half the Redskins trailed by six points. Another seven points were added to the lead in the third quarter when Walt Garrison scored a touchdown. But then, Larry Brown broke a run for 34 yards and a touchdown to bring the score to 20–14. Curt Knight kicked a 42-yard field goal to make it 20–17. Charley Harraway ran for 13 yards to make the score 24–20, Redskins on top. During this offensive scoring period, the Over-the-Hill Gang defense shut down the Cowboys. At the end, Washington had defeated the Cowboys and was in possession of first place in the NFC East.

Now with two games remaining, Washington was 11–1 and had clinched the NFC East title. An ensuing loss to the Cowboys (34–24) was meaningless. It was the first time since the NFL went to a divisional format in 1967 that the Cowboys had not won their division.

The playoffs in 1972 pitted Washington against the Green Bay Packers. The final score was Washington 16, Green Bay 3. The victory sent the Redskins to the NFC Championship Game against the Cowboys who entered the playoffs as a wild-card entry. The Cowboys, who had been runner-up to the Redskins in the regular season defeated the NFC West champions, the San Francisco 49ers, 30–28.

The game was played in Washington. Staubach was back for the Cowboys, and Dallas fans were thrilled to have him. But Billy Kilmer for the Redskins was the better quarterback that day. After a field goal got the scoring started, Kilmer connected with Charley Taylor on a 15-yard touchdown pass and Washington had a 10–3 lead at halftime. In the fourth quarter, Kilmer again went to Taylor, this time for a 45-yard touchdown. Knight added three more field goals that period and the Over-the-Hill Gang defense allowed only a second-quarter field goal. The final score was Washington 26, Dallas 3.

1973 Redskins 14, Cowboys 7

Roger Staubach had won back the quarterback job after missing most of the 1972 season with a shoulder injury, but Tom Landry pulled him in the third quarter when he missed an important signal and was sacked by the Redskins defense. Dallas led 7–0 when Staubach was replaced by Craig Morton. Late in the fourth quarter, the game was tied 7–7 when Redskins defender Brig Owens picked off Morton's errant pass and raced 26 yards to score a touchdown. The Cowboys threatened in the last seconds to tie the game, but Ken Houston tackled Walt Garrison on the one-yard line as time ran out, preserving the Redskins win.

1974 Thanksgiving Day Game

On November 28, 1974, the Redskins were 8–3 and ready to secure a playoff berth with a win against the Cowboys (6–5) in a nationally televised game in Dallas. With less than ten minutes to go in the third quarter, Washington was leading 16–3, when Redskins linebacker Dave Robinson knocked Roger Staubach out of the game. Rookie Clint Longley came into the game; before the game Redskins defensive tackle Diron Talbert had boasted the goal was to knock out Staubach “because all they’ve got left is that rookie Longley.”

Longley responded when he led the Cowboys to a last-minute come-from-behind victory, throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with 28 seconds left. The final score was Cowboys 24, Redskins 23.

The Redskins were stunned. "I don't have very much to say", coach George Allen said when it was over. "It was probably the toughest loss we ever had."[10]

1979 season-ending game

December 16, 1979: The NFC East Division Championship and home field advantage on the line for both teams. This set the stage for the regular season finale against Washington; the winner would capture the NFC East title while the loser missed the playoffs. In the game, Texas Stadium fans were treated to one of Staubach's greatest comebacks in his final regular season game. The Cowboys trailed 17–0, but then scored three touchdowns to take the lead. Led by running back John Riggins, the Redskins came back to build a 34–21 lead, but the Cowboys scored 2 touchdowns in the final five minutes — including a Staubach touchdown pass to Tony Hill with less than a minute remaining — for an amazing 35–34 victory. In the week leading up to the game, Cowboys’ defensive end Harvey Martin received a funeral wreath, supposedly sent by the Redskins. He kept it in his locker all week for motivation and after the win, he raced into Washington's locker room, opened the door and heaved it into the room, breaking up a team prayer. Adding insult to injury, the Chicago Bears defeated the St Louis Cardinals 42–6, the Redskins lost the tie breaker to the Bears for the last Wild Card spot. Riggins was particularly disgusted with the result of this game, and was one of the reasons he sat out the entire 1980 season.[11]


  • Jan. 22, 1983, NFC Championship Game at RFK Stadium, the Redskins defeated the Cowboys to earn a trip to Super Bowl XVII. Prior to the game the stadium physically shook as a capacity crowd of 54,000 chanted "We Want Dallas!" The game is best remembered for the quarterback hit by Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley that sent Cowboys' quarterback Danny White into the locker room shortly before halftime knocking him out for the rest of the game, and defensive tackle Darryl Grant's interception return for a 10-yard touchdown of a Gary Hogeboom pass tipped by Manley to score the decisive points. John Riggins rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries as the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 31–17. The Redskins went on to defeat Miami for their first Super Bowl championship.
  • Before a sold-out 1983 season opener on Monday Night Football, the Redskins were leading the visiting Cowboys 23–3 going into halftime. Danny White's second half comeback erased the lead and the Cowboys took an improbable 31–30 victory.
  • The second 1983 regular season meeting between the Redskins and Cowboys at Texas Stadium was more remembered for an infamous play by the Cowboys than it was for the game's outcome. On a 4th down and 1 play, Danny White was attempting to draw the Redskins offside by using hard counts, thereby giving the Cowboys a first down and keeping their drive going. But the Redskins' defense never moved and Danny White ran a play that resulted in a loss of yards, turning the ball over to the Redskins on downs. During the replay, coach Tom Landry was simultaneously shown yelling, "No, Danny, no!" from the sidelines (undoubtedly wanting White to call a time out to punt the ball). After the play, Landry was shown shaking his head in disgust. The Redskins went on to win, 31–10.
  • On December 9, 1984, down 21–6 at halftime, the Redskins scored 17 unanswered points on turnovers to take a 23–21 lead going into the fourth quarter. They came back to defeat the Cowboys, 30–28. Coupled with the 34–14 win earlier in the year, the Redskins enjoyed their first season sweep of the Cowboys in series history.
  • On September 9, 1985, the season opener of Monday Night Football was played at Texas Stadium. The Cowboys secondary, nicknamed "Thurman's Thieves", intercepted Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann five times. Redskins coach Joe Gibbs would pull Theismann from the game in the 4th Quarter due to his poor performance. To rub salt in the wound, fans at Texas Stadium began singing "Happy Birthday" to Theismann as he sat on the bench staring straight ahead (the game took place on Theismann's birthday). The Cowboys went on to win in a blowout, 44–14.
  • 1987-Scab Game: No team in the NFL had more players cross the picket line during the 1987 strike than the Cowboys, who were 2–0 with their "scab" players entering a game with the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Washington had also won their two games during the strike, but without any veterans. For this game the Cowboys had Danny White, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Ed Jones among other veterans, but were upset by the replacement Redskins players, 13–7, in a game former Washington head coach Joe Gibbs called "one of my greatest experiences and wins." The Redskins finished 3–0 with the replacements, the strike ending the following week. The Redskins would go on to win Super Bowl XXII later that season. In 2000 Warner Bros. made a movie loosely based on the 1987 Redskins, The Replacements.
  • On December 11, 1988, the Cowboys upset the reigning Super Bowl champion Redskins at RFK stadium, 24–17, ending any shot the Redskins had of making the playoffs. Rookie and eventual hall of fame wide receiver, Michael Irvin was the big star of the game with three touchdown catches. This game would prove to be the final victory for legendary Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry.
  • The Cowboys' lone victory of a woeful 1–15 season in 1989 would come on November 5 against the Redskins at RFK Stadium, 13–3. Ultimately this loss coupled with a last second loss to the Philadelphia Eagles where Gerald Riggs fumbled the football at the Eagles' goal line with less than a minute remaining in the game prevented the 10–6 Redskins from making the playoffs. The Redskins led the Eagles 37–35 at the time when Riggs was stripped and the football was returned 96 yards to the Redskins' 4-yard line. The Eagles scored a touchdown and won the football game 42–37.


  • On November 24, 1991, the 6–5 Cowboys handed the 11–0 Redskins their first defeat and their only defeat at home that season, 24–21. Despite the loss the Redskins would finish 14–2 and go on to win Super Bowl XXVI. The Cowboys, motivated by the victory, would start a 6-game win streak, finishing 11–5; Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would later tell The Washington Post that he believed this victory was a key turning point in the Cowboys' transformation into the dominant team they would become during the early 1990s.[12]
  • On September 7, 1992, on Monday Night Football, the Cowboys, led by Emmitt Smith's 140 yards rushing, handed the defending Super Bowl champion Redskins an embarrassing 23–10 loss at Texas Stadium in their first game of the season.
  • On December 13, 1992, the defending Super Bowl champion Redskins stunned the eventual Super Bowl champion Cowboys 20–17 in Washington thanks to Safety Danny Copeland's fourth quarter recovery of a Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith fumble in the end zone. This game would prove to be Hall of Fame Head Coach Joe Gibbs' final victory at RFK Stadium.
  • On September 6, 1993, on Monday Night Football, the Redskins gained revenge for their Week 1 Monday night loss the year before by defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys 35–16 at RFK to earn Richie Petitbon his first victory as a head coach.
  • On December 26, 1993, the Cowboys would gain revenge for their opening week loss by defeating the Redskins 38–3 at Texas Stadium. The Cowboys' 35 point margin of victory is the largest margin of victory by either team in the rivalry's history. The Cowboys would eventually close out the season with their second straight Super Bowl championship while the Redskins would finish 4–12, their worst regular season record since 1963.
  • On December 22, 1996, the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 37–10 in the final game played at RFK Stadium.
  • In Week 1 of the 1999 season, the Redskins opened a 35–14 lead. Then Dallas scored three touchdowns during the final 11 minutes of regulation. The Redskins botched a last-second field goal attempt and the game went to overtime. A play-action pass four minutes into overtime to Raghib Ismail fooled Redskins safety Matt Stevens and won the game for the visiting Cowboys.


  • In Week 6 of the 2001 season, the two teams met in a Monday Night Football matchup. What made that particular game unique was that both teams entered the game 0-4, a MNF first. Dallas won 9-7, and won the rematch as well.
  • In the 2002 regular season finale, Washington finally ended an 11-game losing streak to the Cowboys, defeating them 20-14. The win allowed Washington to finish 7-9, while Dallas finished 5-11 for the third straight year. Cowboys coach Dave Campo was fired following the 2002 season.
  • Week 2 of the 2005 season, the Redskins were at Dallas where Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin were inducted into the Cowboys' "Ring of Honor" with a pre-game and halftime ceremony. Throughout a poorly played game, Dallas kept the Redskins out of the endzone, and led 13–0 with less than 4 minutes left. It was at that point that the Redskins, led by quarterback Mark Brunell, took the lead thanks to two long touchdown passes to Santana Moss to win the game.
  • Week 15 of the 2005 season saw the Redskins' largest margin of victory against the Cowboys in a 35-7 blowout. The Cowboys lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter after Washington was already ahead 35-0. The victory gave Washington its first sweep against Dallas since the 1995 season. Dallas eventually finished 9-7, while Washington won its last two games to secure the final NFC wildcard playoff berth.
  • In Week 9 of the 2006 season, during the fourth quarter, the game was tied 19–19 (due in part to a missed two-point conversion by the Cowboys). With 31 seconds to go, the Redskins' recently acquired kicker, Nick Novak, missed a 49-yard field goal wide right. The Cowboys then worked their way up the field to set up Mike Vanderjagt, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, for a 35-yard field goal with only seconds left. However, the kick was blocked by Troy Vincent, a safety who had been picked up by the Redskins off waivers earlier that week. The ball was scooped up by the Redskins' free safety, Sean Taylor, who ran it back to the Cowboys' 44-yard line, where the Cowboys' offensive lineman Kyle Kosier grabbed him by his facemask in an attempt to tackle him. The game would have gone into overtime had it not been for Kosier's defensive penalty, which added fifteen yards to the end of the return (by rule an NFL game cannot end on a defensive penalty). Novak set up for a 47-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. Despite the recent missed field goal, Novak was able to make this field goal to give the Redskins a victory.
  • On November 18, 2007, the Cowboys beat the Redskins 28–23 with Terrell Owens gaining 173 yards on eight catches and four touchdowns. In the final game of that same season with the Cowboys already owning the NFC #1 seed, rested several key players due to injury including Owens, and limited Tony Romo to only one series into the second half in order to prevent possible injury before the playoffs. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 27–6 at FedEx Field, earning Washington the NFC's final playoff spot.
  • On September 28, 2008, the Redskins beat the Cowboys 26–24 in the final Redskins/Cowboys game at Texas Stadium.
  • On November 16, 2008, the Cowboys returned the favor of the 2005 Week 2 game defeat. Darrell Green and Art Monk were honored before the game for their recent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In a game that was highly touted for the return of Tony Romo, the Cowboys defense held the Redskins to ten points while the Cowboys scored 14.
  • December 27, 2009, the Cowboys shutout the Redskins 17-0. This marked the third time the Cowboys have blanked the Redskins. Washington has never shutout Dallas. 2009 would also be the 15th time the Cowboys have swept the two-game regular season series. Washington has swept the Cowboys only five times.


  • September 12, 2010 - The Redskins beat the Cowboys in Washington. One of the game's highlights was a fumble return for a touchdown for the Redskins as time expired in the first half. Late in the fourth quarter, Tony Romo led the team down the field. With three seconds on the clock and the score 13–7, Romo made a touchdown pass to wide receiver Roy Williams that would have tied the game with a successful extra point giving the Cowboys the win. However, the touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty against Alex Barron as time expired, and Washington went on to win.
  • December 19, 2010 - The Cowboys built a 20–7 lead by halftime in Dallas. By the end of the third quarter, the Cowboys led 30–14. The Redskins started quarterback Rex Grossman who filled in for the recently benched Donovan McNabb and he brought the Redskins back to an even 30–30 with minutes left to play. Cowboys kicker David Buehler kicked a 39-yard field goal to put Dallas up 33–30 with 50 seconds to play. Rex Grossman then drove the Redskins down the field only to be intercepted by cornerback Terrence Newman to end the game. Dallas' Jason Witten caught 10 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown and became only the fourth tight end in NFL history with 600 career catches. He did it the fastest, needing only 125 games.
  • September 26, 2011 - Prior to the game, the Redskins gathered in the middle of the field at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas where several players were seen to be "stomping on the star." London Fletcher was also overheard proclaiming to his team, "Why are we standing on this star? Cuz this is our house." Tony Romo overcame 4 botched snaps and several receivers running wrong routes to put the Cowboys within scoring position for the final field goal to ultimately win the game 18–16.
  • November 22, 2012 - The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 38–31 in Dallas. After the Redskins built a 28–3 halftime lead, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo led the Cowboys to within seven but the Redskins held on to win. This marked the first time the Redskins defeated the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, previously 0–5 to their rival on Thanksgiving. Robert Griffin III completed 19 of 27 passes for 304 yards and had 4 touchdown passes and 1 interception on his way to winning the Galloping Gobbler Award issued to the player deemed to have had the best performance in the game. Alfred Morris also had 113 yards rushing on 24 carries and 1 touchdown while the Redskins defense intercepted two Tony Romo passes and sacked him three times.
  • December 30, 2012 – In the last game of the 2012 NFL season the Redskins met the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Washington to decide the winner of the NFC East division. Three interceptions by Tony Romo doomed the Cowboys. The Redskins defense, led by London Fletcher's eleven total tackles and two sacks, confused and rattled Romo all game long. The Redskins defense had three interceptions in the game with the final one being the most costly. With Dallas trailing 21–18 late in the fourth quarter from the Cowboy, Romo threw a pass to the flat intended for running back DeMarco Murray which was intercepted by Redskins linebacker Rob Jackson. Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries, the last coming with one minute left, effectively putting the game out of reach (the referee initially called a fumble and Cowboys recovery, but reversed his ruling once convinced by the side judge that, as replays would clearly show,[13] Morris had crossed the goal line before losing the ball). The 28–18 win gave the Redskins their first NFC East title since 1999, while preventing the Cowboys from making the playoffs.
  • December 22, 2013 – The Cowboys were up 14-6 at halftime but fumble recovery by the Redskins and a 3rd quarter interception by Romo along with a field goal led to the Redskins being up 23-14 at the start of the 4th quarter. The Cowboys converted on a 4th and 6 Romo pass to Cole Beasley to eventually give them a field goal by Dan Bailey. With Dallas trailing 23-17 and Tony Romo hobbling from a severe back injury that would ultimately end his season, the Cowboys would have one last drive to win this game. With 3:39 left, Romo connected with rookie Terrance Williams for a 51-yard pass too deep into Redskins territory. Another pass from Romo to Dez Bryant got them into the Red Zone. With less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation and on a 4th and goal play from the 12-yard line, Romo threw a 10-yard pass to DeMarco Murray to score a touchdown and make the game 24-23. Kirk Cousins, starting for a shutdown Robert Griffin III, got the ball back with 1:04 left to go but couldn't get a first down after 4 attempts which clinched the game for the Cowboys.
  • October 27, 2014 – The Cowboys came into the game in Dallas with the Redskins on a six-game winning streak. Despite two fumbles, the Cowboys took a 7–3 lead into halftime. After halftime, the Redskins drove down the field and scored on a 5-yard run by Alfred Morris to make it 10–7. When Tony Romo left the game in the third quarter with a back injury, Brandon Weeden came in to lead the Cowboys to a Dan Bailey. The Redskins then scored on a Colt McCoy touchdown run early in the 4th to retake the lead 17–10. Dallas would score on its next possession as Weeden threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten to make the score 17–17. Romo would then make his return to the game in the last possession in the 4th but both teams failed to score again in regulation. The Redskins would score first in overtime with a Kai Forbath 41-yard field goal to make it 20–17. The Cowboys would be stopped on fourth down in their overtime drive to secure the Redskins victory.
  • December 7, 2015 – In their 17th meeting all-time on Monday Night Football, the Redskins and Cowboys both entered with losing records, but were still very much alive in the weak NFC East. Both teams traded field goals throughout the majority of the game with it being tied 9-9 with 1:30 left. On a punt return, Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Dallas. This led to the Cowboys' only touchdown when Darren McFadden ran it in from six yards to make it 16-9 with 1:14 left. The Redskins quickly recovered as Jackson would catch a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins with 44 seconds left to tie it at 16-16. Dallas would drive down the field, however, and Dan Bailey would hit a 54-yard field goal to win the game 19-16 for Dallas.
  • September 18, 2016 – Both teams came into their Week 2 match-up in Washington having lost their season openers. Dallas started hot, getting a field goal and a touchdown run by rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott on their first two possessions to take a 10–0 lead into the 2nd quarter. The Redskins responded with a Matt Jones touchdown to make it 10–7, and both teams traded field goals to make it 13–10 at halftime. The Redskins opened the second half scoring as Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown to Jamison Crowder. Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott responded with a 6-yard touchdown run to help Dallas retake the lead at 20–17. The Redskins got two field goals to make it 23–20 and were about to make it a potential two-score game in the fourth quarter, but Cousins threw an interception in the end zone. That proved costly as Alfred Morris, the former Redskin, scored a 4-yard touchdown to make the score 27–23 Dallas, and the Redskins failed to score on their final two possessions.
  • November 24, 2016 – This would be the 8th time the Cowboys and Redskins have faced off for the annual Thanksgiving Day event hosted in Dallas. The Redskins offense led by Kirk Cousins with 449 yards (8 yards shy of a career-best) would light up the air attack against a porous Dallas secondary. However, failing to convert key drives into touchdowns, missing two field goals, a questionable onside kick attempt, and the inability to stop the Cowboys' 4th ranked offense in the 4th quarter would be too much for the Redskins to overcome. The Cowboys rolled to a then franchise-best 10th win in a row with an easy 31–26 victory. The Cowboys–Redskins rivalry was rekindled between Josh Norman and Dez Bryant as both clashed several times during the game and both coaches were warned by referees about their antics. Immediately after the game, both players would go helmet-to-helmet while exchanging shoves and taunts. During an interview Dez Bryant added fuel to fire by saying, "Washington needs to get their money back...I honestly feel like the guy is extremely soft." 2016 would also be the 18th time the Cowboys have swept the two-game regular-season series. Washington has swept the Cowboys only 6 times.
  • October 29, 2017 – The Redskins and Cowboys entered their first matchup in 2017 both at 3–3 and behind the Eagles by 3.5 games in the division. In a rainy, washout game in Washington, the Cowboys would win 33–19 for their third straight win of the season. Ezekiel Elliott fumbled on the first play of the game, which led to a Redskins field goal and 3–0 lead. The Cowboys answered with an Elliott touchdown to take a 7–3 lead. The Redskins came back with 10 unanswered points to take a 13–7 lead, but momentum shifted when the Cowboys blocked a Nick Rose field goal attempt and returned it inside the Redskins 10-yard line. The Cowboys then scored 19 unanswered points to take a 26–13 lead late in the fourth, with Elliott's second touchdown coming right after the blocked field goal. The Redskins would score a touchdown yet miss an extra point to make the score to 26–19 and give them a chance, but Kirk Cousins had yet another untimely turnover as he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown with 21 seconds left to seal the Cowboys victory.
  • November 30, 2017 - In Dallas, former Redskins running back Alfred Morris rumbled for 127 yards while subbing for the suspended Ezekiel Elliott. The Redskins' hopes were all but doomed after Kirk Cousins' penchant for turnovers continued with two interceptions and a lost fumble on the day.
  • October 21, 2018 - The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 20–17 in Washington. In a low-scoring game that saw the two teams were tied at 7–7 heading into halftime, the Redskins would take a 20–10 lead with 4:55 left in the game after Dak Prescott fumbled the ball and Preston Smith picked it up and scored a touchdown. Prescott would run in from 1 yard out to make it 20–17, and Dallas had a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime, but after a rarely-called snap infraction penalty moved Dallas back 5 yards, kicker Brett Maher missed the game-tying field goal when it hit off the left upright; given its trajectory, the kick would have likely been good from 5 yards closer. Doomsday Podcast's Ed Werder (formerly with ESPN) claims an inside source told him coach Jay Gruden planted the idea in the officials' minds before the game when he told them to look how Ladouceur moves the ball before the play. Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg was also continuously shouting at the refs to watch out for Ladouceur's subtle movement during the game on Sunday.[14] Ezekiel Elliott was held to only 33 yards rushing, despite entering the game as the second-leading rusher in the NFL up to this point.
  • November 22, 2018 - For the 9th time, the Redskins came to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Dallas had won 7 of the first 8 matchups with history repeating itself as the Cowboys won 31–23 to move into first place of the NFC East. This game was a coming-out party for wide receiver Amari Cooper whom Dallas recently acquired from the Oakland Raiders. He had eight receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns, the first for 40 yards and the second for 91 yards. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott was very efficient as well with 288 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and 1 rushing touchdown. Running back Ezekiel Elliott ran strong for 121 rushing yards and caught 5 passes for 22 yards in this game with a touchdown. Washington had lost their starting quarterback Alex Smith to injury the week prior so the Redskins relied upon backup Colt McCoy, who had 268 passing yards with 2 touchdowns but also threw 3 interceptions.
  • December 29, 2019 - In the last game of the season, Dak Prescott threw 4 touchdowns in a blowout win for Dallas. This would mark the 17th time Dallas has swept the 2-game series. This would also be the last game that the Washington franchise would use the name Redskins. The name was dropped due to massive pressure from the team's major sponsors because of the perceived racial connotation of the name.[15][16][17]


  • October 25, 2020 - This was Washington's first win against Dallas since October 2018. The most notable play of the game came in the third quarter when Washington linebacker Jon Bostic made a dirty hit on Andy Dalton (who was starting for Dak Prescott who was on injured reserve for the season) as he was sliding, causing Dalton to exit the game due to a head injury. Jon Bostic was immediately ejected from the game and later fined. The result of the violent blow to the head would keep Andy Dalton sidelined for three consecutive weeks.
  • November 26, 2020 - For the 10th time, Washington came to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Both teams entered the game 3–7 with a chance to take the lead in the NFC East. This time, Washington came out with the victory, 41–16, with rookie Antonio Gibson rushing for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns and Montez Sweat picking off Andy Dalton for a pick 6 to seal the win and sweep Dallas for the first time since 2012. Ezekiel Elliott struggled and was held to only 32 yards rushing and lost a fumble. The win moved Washington to 4–7 in first place in the NFC East. This was Washington's second win in ten Thanksgiving day matchups with Dallas.[18][19]

Rivalry off the field

  • On December 19, 2005, Dallas Mavericks guard Darrell Armstrong was fined $1,000 for grabbing a microphone before a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center and yelling "How 'bout those Redskins!" Only a few hours prior, the Cowboys had been routed by the Redskins 35–7, in the most lopsided loss of Bill Parcells's coaching career. Armstrong was raised in North Carolina as a Redskins fan.[20]
  • Dallas coach Tom Landry appeared in a 1980s American Express TV commercial in which he visits an Old West-style saloon and makes the statement, "You never know when you'll be surrounded by Redskins". Several large men dressed in Redskins uniforms encircled Landry, who addressed them with, "Howdy!" After the credit card sales pitch was read, the ad returned to the scene where Landry, as he recites the company's slogan, "Don't leave home without it", leaves the saloon and the Redskins follow him out. The saloon doors knock the Redskins backwards as they swing shut.[21]
  • After Tom Landry was fired as Cowboys coach by new Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in 1989, Landry appeared in another TV commercial for Choice Hotels, in which he states that he feels so great being out of football that he might take up a new career. Landry then pulls out a guitar and sings the Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson classic, "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be", and after a pause, sings, "Redskins!" In the commercial's closing tag, Landry quips, "You didn't think I would say 'Cowboys', did ya?"
  • In 2017, the animosity between Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Redskins cornerback Josh Norman was part of an ad series for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone. In the first ad, Norman is asked by reporters about a picture he posts on Twitter that shows Bryant's hands replaced with sticks of butter and a picture in which he says "I'm Better Than Dez Bryant." Dez Bryant responded with his own commercial, where he says he's taking the high road when talking about Norman but draws Norman on a snail using the phone, indicating he's slow, and another drawing of the Redskins cornerback as a blanket, meaning Norman can't cover him.

Season-by-season results

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins/Football Team Season-by-Season Results
1960s (Cowboys, 10–7–2)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Overall series Notes
1960 Redskins 1–0 no game Redskins
Cowboys join NFL as an expansion team. The teams only played one game as Cowboys were placed in the Western Division and Redskins were in the Eastern division.
1961 Redskins 1–0–1 Tie
Cowboys moved to the Eastern division with the addition of the Minnesota Vikings to the NFL. The Cowboys and Redskins would play two games annually beginning in 1961. Redskins open Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (then known as District of Columbia Stadium).
1962 Cowboys 1–0–1 Tie
1963 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1964 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1965 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1966 Tie 1–1 Redskins
Cowboys lose 1966 NFL Championship.
1967 Tie 1–1 Redskins
Cowboys lose 1967 NFL Championship.
1968 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
1969 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
1970s (Cowboys, 12–9)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Overall series Notes
1970 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
AFL-NFL merger. Both teams placed in the NFC East. Cowboys lose Super Bowl V.
1971 Tie 1–1 Redskins
Cowboys win Super Bowl VI.
1972 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys open Texas Stadium. Redskins lose Super Bowl VII.
1972 playoffs Redskins 1–0 Redskins
NFC Championship Game.
1973 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1974 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys win game Thanksgiving game in Dallas on last-minute 50-yard touchdown pass.
1975 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys lose Super Bowl X.
1976 Tie 1–1 Redskins
1977 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
Cowboys win Super Bowl XII.
1978 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys lose Super Bowl XIII.
1979 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Game in Dallas was the final regular season game and de facto NFC East championship game. The Cowboys won to clinch the division while the Redskins loss kept them out of the playoffs all together.
1980s (Cowboys, 11–9)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Overall series Notes
1980 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
1981 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
1982 Cowboys 1–0 no game Cowboys
Game in Dallas cancelled as a result of the 1982 players strike reducing the season to nine games. Redskins win Super Bowl XVII.
1982 playoffs Redskins 1–0 Redskins
NFC Championship Game.
1983 Tie 1–1 Redskins
Redskins lose Super Bowl XVIII.
1984 Redskins 2–0 Redskins
Redskins' first two-game sweep over Cowboys.
1985 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
Cowboys intercept Redskins QB Joe Theismann five times in the game in Dallas.
1986 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1987 Redskins 2–0 Redskins
Redskins win Super Bowl XXII.
1988 Tie 1–1 Redskins
1989 Tie 1–1 Redskins
1990s (Cowboys, 12–8)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Overall series Notes
1990 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1991 Tie 1–1 Redskins
Redskins win Super Bowl XXVI.
1992 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVII.
1993 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys' 35-point win in Dallas is the largest margin of victory in the history of the rivalry. Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVIII.
1994 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
1995 Redskins 2–0 Redskins
Cowboys win Super Bowl XXX.
1996 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
1997 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Redskins open FedEx Field (then known as Jack Kent Cooke Stadium).
1998 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
1999 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
Cowboys come back from 21-point 4th quarter deficit to win game in Washington.
2000s (Cowboys, 14–6)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Overall series Notes
2000 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2001 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2002 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
Cowboys win 10 straight meetings (1997–2002).
2003 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2004 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
Cowboys win nine straight meetings in Dallas (1996–2004).
2005 Redskins 2–0 Redskins
2006 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
2007 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
2008 Tie 1–1 Redskins
2009 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
Cowboys open AT&T Stadium (then known as Cowboys Stadium).
2010s (Cowboys, 14–6)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Overall series Notes
2010 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
2011 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2012 Redskins 2–0 Redskins
Game in Washington was the final game of the regular season and a de facto NFC East championship game. The Redskins won to clinch the division and the Cowboys were left out of the playoffs.
2013 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2014 Tie 1–1 Redskins
2015 Tie 1–1 Redskins
2016 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
BryantNorman fight in the game in Dallas.
2017 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2018 Tie 1–1 Cowboys
2019 Cowboys 2–0 Cowboys
2020s (Washington, 2–0)
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Overall series Notes
2020 Washington 2–0 Washington
Washington drops the "Redskins" name after a decades-long controversy, adopts the temporary name "Washington Football Team".
Summary of Results
Season Season series at Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins/Football Team Notes
Regular season Cowboys 73–45–2 Cowboys 40–17–2 Cowboys 33–28
Postseason Washington 2–0 no games Washington 2–0 NFC Championship Game: 1972, 1982.
Regular and postseason Cowboys 73–47–2 Cowboys 40–17–2 Cowboys 33–30


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  2. ^ Chadiha, Jeffri (October 31, 2007). "Ranking the NFL's best rivalries: Where does Colts-Pats fit?". ESPN. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  3. ^ Nilsson, Jeff (14 December 2014). "Top 25 Biggest Sports Team Rivalries In The World". Entertainment. The Sportster. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Sports Money: 2017 NFL Valuations". Forbes. September 18, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "NFL History 1951-1960". National Football League. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Toomay, Pat (March 14, 2002). "A rivalry for a song ... and chicken feed". ESPN. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Redskins Trade LeBaron To Dallas". The Pittsburgh Press. June 23, 1960. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Cowboys own the Redskins". Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  9. ^ "Minority Players and the American Football League". Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  10. ^ Shapiro, Leonard (November 29, 1974). "Cowboy Bomb Shocks Redskins, 24-23". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  11. ^ "Harvey Martin 1950–2001". Cyberclopedia. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  12. ^ "Redskins 1991: Characters with character". The Washington Post. January 26, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Redskins PARTY! (Morris TD #3 + band playing Hail to the Redskins) on YouTube
  14. ^
  15. ^ Keim, John (July 14, 2020). "How the events of 2020 forced the Washington NFL team's name change". Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  16. ^ McDonald, Scott (July 1, 2020). "Washington Redskins Urged to Lose Name, or Millions in Sponsorships". Newsweek. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  17. ^ Clarke, Liz (July 10, 2020). "In private letter to Redskins, FedEx said it will remove signage if name isn't changed". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  18. ^ "Washington blows out Dallas, 41-16, improves to first place in NFC East". Washington Post. 26 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  19. ^ "WFT can do something it hasn't in 8 years with win in Dallas". RSN. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Mavs guard Armstrong fined $1,000 for cheering Redskins". USA Today. December 19, 2005. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  21. ^

External links

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