Since Cowboys fans, Lions fans and NFL fans around the country are still talking about it, last Sunday’s 24-20 victory was obviously a doozy for the ages.
Sure enough, even for a franchise with five Super Bowl trophies it has wedged its way into the immortal conversation of dramatic post-season success.
Most of the Cowboys’ playoff drama has come in the early rounds. In fact, they’ve won their five Super Bowls by an average of 20 points and none by less than 10 points. So let’s add the win over the Lions to the pile of foreplay and look at …
The Top 10 most pulsating playoff wins in Cowboys’ history:
10. Jan. 31, 1993 Cowboys 52, Bills 17: Super Bowl 27 blowout win was low on drama, but off-the-charts high on entertainment.
9. Jan. 23, 1994 at Cowboys 38, 49ers 21: After coach Jimmy Johnson guarantees win “in two-inch headlines”, they cruise to second consecutive NFC Championship at frenzied Texas Stadium.
8. Jan. 28, 1996 Cowboys 27, Steelers 17: Despite two interceptions by MVP Larry Brown, they don’t clinch Super Bowl 30 until Emmitt Smith’s scoring plunge with three minutes remaining.
7. Dec. 23, 1973 at Cowboys 27, Rams 16: Led only 17-6 late in fourth quarter when Drew Pearson hauled in a 83-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach.
6. Jan. 4, 2015 at Cowboys 24, Lions 20: Rally from 14-0 deficit behind two gutsy 4th-down conversions, a controversial picked-up flag and a last-minute sack-and-strip by rookie DeMarcus Lawrence.
5. Dec. 29, 1991 Cowboys 17, at Bears 13: Bill Bates’ interception of Jim Harbaugh inside Dallas’ 30 in the final two minutes seals Dallas’ first playoff win in nine years and sets the stage for its imminent dynasty.
4. Jan. 17, 1993 Cowboys 30, at 49ers 20: Underdogs triumph in NFC Championship Game at muddy Candlestick when Troy Aikman hits Alvin Harper with a 70-yard completion with their team nursing only a four-point lead in the final four minutes.
3. Jan. 4, 1981 Cowboys 30, at Falcons 27: A furious rally and 20-point fourth quarter is capped when Danny White connects with Drew Pearson for two touchdown passes in the final three minutes.
2. Dec. 23, 1972 Cowboys 30, at 49ers 28: Down 28-13 heading in the fourth quarter, Dallas rallies behind an onside kick sandwiched between Roger Staubach touchdown passes in the final two minutes to Billy Parks and Ron Sellers.
1. Jan. 4, 1976 Cowboys 17, at Vikings 14: Roger. Drew. Hail Mary.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.