Ranking the top five Packers-Cowboys games of all time
The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys have met 31 times — including six playoff matchups — in the history of the two franchises, and many of those games have provided memorable moments.
With the two teams set for a much-anticipated divisional-round showdown Sunday at Lambeau Field, here’s a look at five of the most noteworthy games in the Packers-Cowboys rivalry.
5. Dec. 13, 2013 — Packers 37, Cowboys 36 (at AT&T Stadium)
Sure, it was the most recent game between the two teams, but it has a lot of big-picture value to it.
Aaron Rodgers’ midseason broken left collarbone left the Packers with Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien at quarterback. That didn’t work out so well, leading Green Bay to sign its former backup, Matt Flynn, who had been cast aside by Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo in the 18 months prior to this game.
At halftime, the Cowboys led 26-3. It looked like the Packers were about to fall to 1-5-1 since Rodgers’ injury and likely eliminate any postseason hopes. A Dallas win would have improved its record to 8-6 to keep pace with Philadelphia for the NFC East division lead.
Instead, Flynn led Green Bay to a 37-36 victory, tying the record for the biggest comeback in franchise history. Flynn finished with four touchdowns, 299 yards and a 113.1 passer rating.
The Packers got Rodgers back two weeks later and won the NFC North. The Cowboys went 1-3 in December and missed the playoffs.
4. Thanksgiving 1994 — Cowboys 42, Packers 31 (at Texas Stadium)
Current Dallas head coach Jason Garrett didn’t see the field much in his time as an NFL quarterback. He finished his playing his career with 11 touchdown passes, five interceptions and 2,042 yards.
In the Cowboys’ 1994 Thanksgiving matchup against Green Bay, though, Garrett played his best game. Beginning the season as the third-string quarterback, Garrett was the starter that day.
The Packers led 17-6 at halftime, with Brett Favre having thrown two touchdown passes already to Sterling Sharpe. It would have been a small dose of revenge for Green Bay after losing in Dallas the prior postseason. But Garrett led the Cowboys to 36 second-half points to give Dallas the win.
It was the middle of three consecutive road losses near the end of the regular season by the Packers, and it led the Cowboys to finish 12-4 and win their division.
3. Nov. 29, 2007 — Cowboys 37, Packers 27 (at Texas Stadium)
The 10-1 Packers were rolling into the late part of their regular-season schedule when they traveled to Dallas in Week 13.
Early in the game, though, the Cowboys were getting the better of Brett Favre, who had thrown two interceptions and was 5-for-14 passing with an 8.9 passer rating. That’s when Favre suffered an elbow injury, and in stepped backup Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers was in his third season behind Favre and had yet to throw a touchdown pass.
When Rodgers came in midway through the second quarter, Green Bay was trailing, 27-10. In a performance that helped give the Packers the confidence to move on from Favre the following offseason, Rodgers completed 18-of-26 passes for 201 yards with his first career touchdown pass and no interceptions.
The Cowboys held on to win, 37-27, but it helped usher in the Rodgers era at quarterback the next season.
2. Jan. 14, 1996 — Cowboys 38, Packers 27 (at Texas Stadium)
Green Bay had lost in Dallas the past two postseasons. But with a 17-14 Packers lead in the second quarter, it looked like the Cowboys might be unable to make it three in a row.
Troy Aikman had already found Michael Irvin in the end zone twice, but Favre had responded each time with touchdown passes to Robert Brooks and Keith Jackson.
Even when Dallas scored 10 unanswered points and took a 24-17 halftime lead, Green Bay came back with 10 in a row of its own in the third quarter to go up 27-24.
The Cowboys showed their resolve, though, getting Emmitt Smith into the end zone twice in the fourth quarter to win by 11. Dallas would go on to win its third Super Bowl in four years.
1. Dec. 31, 1967 — Packers 21, Cowboys 17 (at Lambeau Field)
The Ice Bowl. Not much more needs to be said. It’s one of the most significant, historic football games ever played and featured 15 future Pro Football Hall of Famers.
With temperatures ranging from minus-15 degrees Fahrenheit to a wind chill of around minus-36 degrees, referees couldn’t use whistles, press-box coffee instantly froze and the field was barely playable after the turf’s heating system had failed.
The game-winning score came when Bart Starr called a quarterback sneak for himself and ran into the end zone behind a block from Jerry Kramer.
Green Bay would go on to win Super Bowl II, Vince Lombardi’s last championship.
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