Cowboys–Giants rivalry

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Dallas Cowboys–New York Giants
Cowboys wordmark.svg
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants wordmark.svg
New York Giants
First meetingDecember 4, 1960
Giants 31, Cowboys 31
Latest meetingNovember 4, 2019
Cowboys 37, Giants 18
Next meeting2020
Meetings total117 meetings[1]
All-time seriesCowboys, 68–46–2[1]
Postseason resultsGiants, 1–0[1]
Most recent
January 13, 2008
Giants 21, Cowboys 17
Largest victoryCowboys, 52–7 (1966)
Current win streakCowboys, 6 (2017—present)
Championship Success
NFL Championships (13)

NFC East Divisional Championships (31)

  • DAL (23)
  • NYG (8)

Super Bowl Appearances (13)[2]

The Cowboys–Giants rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The beginning of this rivalry is difficult to trace, but is perhaps best defined by the first game the two teams ever played back in 1960, which resulted in a 31–31 tie. In the early 1960s the New York Giants were beginning to wind down as an NFL powerhouse. After having been arguably the most dominant team in the Eastern Conference through the 1950s and early 1960s the Giants entered a period of poor play where they did not make the playoffs from 1964–80. While the Giants dominated the Cowboys in the first few years of the rivalry, the Cowboys picked up steam and took control from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, winning 17 of the 20 meetings between the 2 teams in the 1970s. In the 1980s however the Giants struck back, and the rivalry has been relatively even handed ever since with intermittent spurts of dominance (the Giants in the late 1980s and the Cowboys in the early 1990s). This is a unique rivalry in American sports in that no other Texas area team is in the same division as a New York area team, or has a consistent rivalry with one, most likely due to the relatively far geographical distance between the two regions (though during the 1960s, the New York Jets were division rivals with the Houston Oilers in the American Football League East Division).

Another important facet of this rivalry is Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry. Landry was one of the most fateful figures in the history of both franchises. Drafted by the Giants in 1947, it would be three more years before he actually played with them. He played multiple roles – defensive back, halfback, and quarterback – and in those roles he recorded one rushing touchdown, one passing touchdown, two touchdowns off fumble recoveries, and three touchdowns off INTs. He made one Pro Bowl as a player, in 1954, the same season he joined the Giants' coaching staff. After he retired as a player at the end of the 1955 season, he became the Giants' defensive coordinator inventing the 4-3 Defense, serving in that role through 1959. In 1960, he became head coach of the first-year Cowboys and in his 29 seasons went 35–17–2 against the Giants.[3]

Notable rivalry moments[edit]

  • The first meeting between the Cowboys and Giants occurred on December 4, 1960 at Yankee Stadium. The game ended in a 31–31 tie. Eddie LeBaron threw three touchdowns for Dallas including two in the fourth quarter, while George Shaw and Lee Grosscup combined for three touchdown throws for the Giants. L. G. Dupree ran for a Dallas touchdown and caught two scores. This was the first game in franchise history in which the Cowboys did not lose, as they opened their inaugural season with ten straight losses.
  • The Cowboys defeated the Giants 20–13 on October 11, 1971, the first Monday Night Football meeting between the teams and the last NFL game at the Cotton Bowl.
  • On December 19, 1981, the Giants defeated the Cowboys 13–10 in overtime on a frigid Saturday afternoon in Giants Stadium to clinch the Giants' first playoff berth in 17 seasons. Joe Danelo kicked the winning field goal in overtime after missing a potential game-winner earlier in the extra period.
  • In the final game of the 1993 season, with both teams at 11–4 and competing for the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs, Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith suffered a separated right shoulder in the first half, but continued to play in obvious pain, amassing 168 rushing yards, including 41 on the game-winning drive, as Dallas won 16–13 in overtime. Smith also locked up the NFL rushing title with his tough, gritty performance. After the game, sportscaster John Madden paid a visit to Smith in the locker room to congratulate him, the only time Madden (as an announcer) would pay such a visit to a player, later writing "[It] was one of the toughest efforts I've ever seen by any football player in any game."[8] The loss meant the Giants were the #4 seed, while the win earned the Cowboys the #1 seed (and a bye in the playoffs), giving Smith time to heal, and he would go on to lead the Cowboys to victory over the Bills as the MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII. Meanwhile, the Giants would defeat the Vikings 17-10 in the Wild Card round before falling to the San Francisco 49ers the following week.
  • On November 7, 1994, the 7–1 Cowboys hosted the 3–5 Giants. After a scoreless first quarter Alvin Harper's touchdown catch from Troy Aikman and a one-yard Emmitt Smith rushing score left the Cowboys up 14–3. On the final play of the first half Aikman launched a long pass to Harper in the end zone; Harper was hit in mid-air by Giants safety Tito Wooten and suffered a sprained left knee. Cowboys receivers coach Hubbard Alexander then attacked Jarvis Williams of the Giants and Michael Irvin punched Williams with a helmet. As the brawl escalated, Cowboys safety James Washington grabbed a camera and monopod from a local photographer and brandished it like a sword, yelling for Giants players to take him on. Irvin was fined $12,000 and Washington $10,000 by the league. When order was finally restored, The Cowboys defeated the Giants, 38–10.
  • In 2003, the teams met at Giants Stadium on Monday Night Football. The game marked former Giants coach Bill Parcells' first visit to Giants Stadium as head coach of the Cowboys. The Cowboys led 29–14 after three quarters, but they lost the lead over the last 15 minutes, and found themselves down 32–29 with 11 seconds to play. The Giants simply needed to kick off and play a "prevent" defense for 1 or 2 plays, but the kickoff went out of bounds, putting the Cowboys at their own 40 with no time elapsed, and Quincy Carter completed a deep pass to Antonio Bryant, who went out of bounds at the New York 34 to stop the clock with four seconds left. Billy Cundiff then converted a 52-yard field goal as time expired to send the game to overtime, and kicked a 25 yard field goal in the extra session to win the game for the Cowboys. Cundiff tied an NFL record with seven field goals in the game.
  • In 2007, the Cowboys swept the Giants in the regular season, winning the NFC East with a record of 13–3 and No. 1 Seed in the NFC. However, in the division round of the playoffs, the 5-seed Giants (10–6) went into Texas Stadium and stunned the top-seeded Cowboys 21–17 en route to winning Super Bowl XLII.
  • Amid several weeks of off-field acrimony involving Terrell Owens, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Marion Barber, and owner Jerry Jones, the Cowboys on December 14, 2008 shut down the Giants in New York's final trip to Texas Stadium (and first since the 2007 playoffs), 20–8. Owens and Witten combined for eight catches for 82 yards while Patrick Crayton and Deon Anderson had two receiving scores. Romo completed 20 of 30 throws for 244 yards despite being sacked four times (once for a Giants safety) and injuring his back in the process. The Cowboys sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning eight times and limited him to only 191 passing yards and two INTs snatched by Terence Newman.
  • On September 20, 2009, Lawrence Tynes made a 37-yard field goal as the game clock expired to give the Giants a 33–31 victory and spoil the opening of the new Cowboys Stadium, with a crowd of a record-breaking 105,121 people. After the game, Giants quarterback Eli Manning signed the wall of the visiting locker room, and wrote "'33–31' First win in the new stadium" next to his name.[4]
  • On October 26, 2010, the Giants defeated the Cowboys in Cowboys Stadium 41–35, leaving the Cowboys at a disappointing 1–5 for the year. This contest is notable for the Giants linebacker Michael Boley driving Tony Romo to the turf and causing Romo to break his left clavicle and most likely ending the Cowboys chances at a playoff run.
  • On December 11, 2011, during the teams' first meeting of the season, with the NFC East lead on the line, the Cowboys led the Giants 34–22 with 5:41 left to play. Eli Manning led the Giants to a comeback, and Giant's Jason Pierre-Paul blocked Dallas kicker Dan Bailey's game-tying field goal with 6 seconds remaining. The Giants took a knee with 1 second left, and won the game 37–34. This game was selected as #2 on Top 20 NFL Games of 2011.[5]
  • On January 1, 2012 the New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys in what amounted to a de facto NFC East championship game. Both teams entered the game with identical 8–7 records and a share of the lead of the NFC East. With the division title and a playoff berth on the line the game was flexed to the 8:30 pm Sunday Night Football slot. While the Giants took a 21–0 half time lead Tony Romo brought the Cowboys back, making the score 21–14 early in the 4th quarter. The Giants would hold on however, winning 31–14 and earning their first NFC East Division title and playoff berth since 2008 while knocking the Cowboys out of the playoffs. The Giants eventually won Super Bowl XLVI.
  • On October 28, 2012 the Cowboys and the Giants played for a second time in the 2012 season at Dallas. Giants looked to avenge themselves after losing the season opening game to the Cowboys at home. The Giants took an astounding 23–0 lead in the 2nd quarter partly because of three Tony Romo interceptions. Cowboys rallied up to make the game 23–10 before halftime. The Cowboys, took the third quarter 14–0 to take a 24–23 lead. Eli Manning led two successful drives for New York both resulting in a field goal regaining a 29–24 lead. The Cowboys had less than four minutes to score a touchdown and take the lead. On fourth down, in the Giants territory, Tony Romo was pressured and forced to throw yet another interception. The Cowboys used all three remaining time outs during that Giants' possession, but forced Giants to punt and got the ball back with under a minute remaining. Tony Romo threw a pass into the end zone with ten seconds left to Dez Bryant and the play was ruled a touchdown. The play was reviewed and the officials noticed that the first part of the receiver to touch the ground was his hand, which was partially out of bounds. The call was reversed and the play was ruled an incomplete pass. The Cowboys failed to score a touchdown and the Giants held on to win.
  • On November 23, 2014, Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. had 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including a one-handed touchdown reception hailed as the "catch of the year", with Cris Collinsworth, Tony Dungy, and Victor Cruz all saying that it was one of the best catches ever. Beckham made this catch despite a pass interference penalty called on Dallas's Brandon Carr while diving backwards with full extension of his right hand using only three fingers.[6][7] On December 8, 2014 the Pro Football Hall of Fame put Beckham's game-worn jersey from his famous one-handed catch game vs. Dallas on display. While that score made it 14-3 in favor of the Giants, the Cowboys rallied back, winning the game on Romo's 13-yard touchdown pass to Bryant with 1:01 to go in the fourth quarter to secure a come-from-behind 31-28 win and complete a season sweep of the series.
  • New Jersey governor Chris Christie indicated his support of the Cowboys despite the Giants having their home field in his state.[8]
  • The Giants and Cowboys met again at MetLife Stadium in Week 14, 2016 in a Sunday Night Showdown. The Cowboys were riding 11-1 while the Giants were just coming off a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys favorite to win, the Giants only allowed one touchdown to the Dallas Cowboys as the Giants won again 10-7 sweeping the Cowboys for the first time since 2011.
  • On November 4, 2019 a black cat ran onto the field at MetLife Stadium with the Giants leading 9-3 and delayed the game for two minutes until it left. Afterward, the Cowboys went on to beat the Giants for a 37-18 win.[9] The incident led to social media memes and videos spoofing the cat as an NFL player.

Game results[edit]

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants Season-by-Season Results


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ All Super Bowls from I through XLII (1966–2007)
  3. ^ "One hundred cool facts about the Cowboys and Giants". Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  4. ^ Vacchiano, Ralph. "Share on emailShare on printShare on redditMore Sharing Services The Giants knock out their fifth QB this season as Jon Kitna comes on for Tony Romo. > The Giants knock out their fifth QB this season as Jon Kitna comes on for Tony… (Gutierrez/AP ) Eli Manning's signature still on wall at Cowboys Stadium; Tom Coughlin on right end of 4 challenges". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Fox Sports. "Odell Beckham's one-handed grab might be the best catch of the year". FOX Sports.
  7. ^ "Giants' Odell Beckham makes catch of the year".
  8. ^
  9. ^ Victor, Daniel (November 4, 2019). "The Cowboys-Giants Game Had a Surprise Player: A Black Cat". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2020.