The Top 10 Most Heartbreaking Playoff Defeats in Cowboys’ History

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Last week I gave you the 10 most exciting playoff wins in Cowboys’ history. Success in the NFL, however, is fleeting.

Alas, on the heels of what happened last Sunday in Green Bay I guess it’s only fair and fitting to conjure up the corresponding list of the 10 most heartbreaking playoff losses in franchise history:

10. Jan. 15, 1995 - at 49ers 38, Cowboys 28 – Dallas spots San Francisco a 21-0 lead in the first quarter before its furious rally falls short in the NFC Championship Game to end its Super Bowl reign at two years.

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9. Jan. 21, 1979 - Steelers 35, Cowboys 31 – Jackie Smith drops a touchdown and Randy White fumbles on a deflating kickoff return in Super Bowl 13.

8. Jan. 11, 2015 - at Packers 26, Cowboys 21 – Dez Bryant’s potential game-winning catch in the final four minutes is inexplicably overturned into a gut-wrenching, possession-changing, season-ending incompletion.

7. Jan. 13, 2008 - Giants 21, at Cowboys 17 – Tony Romo ruins a 13-3 regular season and NFC home-field advantage by going to Cabo and then getting intercepted in the end zone in the final minute.

6. Jan. 1, 1967 - Packers 34, at Cowboys 27 – Driving toward a game-tying touchdown with 28 seconds remaining in the Cotton Bowl, Don Meredith is intercepted the end zone of the NFL Championship Game.

5. Jan. 18, 1976 - Steelers 21, Cowboys 17 – Despite Lynn Swann’s MVP heroics, Roger Staubach throws from Pittsburgh’s 38 toward Drew Pearson into the end zone only to have the pass intercepted on the final play of Super Bowl 10.

4. Jan. 6, 2007 - at Seahawks 21, Cowboys 20 – Tony Romo bobbles the snap and botches what would have been a chip-shot, potentially game-winning 21-yard field goal in the final two minutes of the Wild Card Game.

3. Dec. 31, 1967 - at Packers 21, Cowboys 17 – Bart Starr sneaks in from 1 yard with 13 seconds remaining to snatch the Ice Bowl and NFL Championship from Dallas for a second consecutive season.

2. Jan. 10, 1982 at 49ers 28, Cowboys 27 – Joe Montana to Dwight Clark over Everson Walls in the final minute of the NFC Championship Game. Better known as The Catch.

1. Jan. 17, 1971 - Colts 16, Cowboys 13 – After an unlucky tipped pass and a controversial fumble recovery call which gave the ball to Baltimore, Dallas loses Super Bowl 5 on a 32-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining.

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.

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