There is something about the Philadelphia Eagles that brings out record-setting plays and memorable outcomes for the Cowboys. It's really inexplicable considering Dallas has played both the New York Giants and Washington Football Team roughly the same number of times over the decades. The Cowboys have also faced the St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals 90 times, just 34 fewer than the Eagles. Yet, none of the other three have even half of the milestone-type games and individual feats.
- Philadelphia and Dallas have played on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. They have also played on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The rare Friday game came in 1960, just the second game in franchise annals. The Cowboys were a heavy underdog as Philly would win the league championship that season. But thanks in part to a 75-yard touchdown pass to Frank Clarke, Dallas almost pulled off the stunner before falling, 27-25, at the Cotton Bowl.
- The second-longest kickoff return in team history came in a 41-19 win against Philly on Oct. 14, 1962. Fullback Amos Marsh returned one 101 yards in the fourth quarter to cap an impressive day with 254 all-purpose yards and two scores. Tied for the fourth longest is the legendary, epic 100-yard effort by Reggie Swinton on Sept. 22, 2002, maybe the most underappreciated single play in franchise history. Give it a Google, kids. Next on the list is Felix Jones, who returned one 98 yards against the Eagles on Sept. 15, 2008.
- Undrafted free agent rookie cornerback Mike Gaechter returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown against Philadelphia on Oct. 14, 1962, which was the same game as Marsh's kickoff return mentioned earlier. In the process, the Cowboys became the first team in NFL history with two 100-yard plays in the same game. Gaechter ran the third leg of Oregon's world record-setting 4x110-yard relay team in which Cowboys Hall of Famer Mel Renfro ran the anchor leg.
- The largest margin of victory in franchise history came on Oct. 9, 1966 when the Cowboys defeated Philly, 56-7, at the Cotton Bowl. The Eagles weren't a bad team, either, finishing at 9-5, just a game and a half behind Dallas at 10-3-1. This was just one of those gridiron perfect storms, the Cowboys putting up a still-standing, single-game record of 652 yards from scrimmage. Could have been worse if Dallas wasn't flagged seven times for 104 yards. Don Meredith threw for 394 yards and five scores, three to Hall of Fame wideout Bob Hayes, while Dan Reeves caught four balls for 98 yards and a score, rushed nine times for 33 yards and a score and completed his lone pass for nine yards.
- In a 38-17 blowout of the Eagles on Dec. 10, 1967, Dan Reeves had a 5-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter and then ran for a 1-yard score in the third. But, he wasn't finished. In the fourth quarter, he threw a 45-yard bomb to Lance Rentzel for yet another touchdown. With his effort, Reeves became the only player in Cowboys history and just the 10th in NFL record books to score by running, receiving and passing.
- The 1980 NFC Championship Game was the first-ever playoff meeting between these two, a brutally cold affair at Veterans Stadium. The temperature at kickoff was a balmy 16 degrees, still the second-coldest postseason game in Cowboys history behind only the Ice Bowl in 1967. Behind Wilbert Montgomery, Philadelphia rushed for 263 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Montgomery himself finished with 194, the second-most by an opponent in Dallas' postseason annals.
- This is hard to fathom. Not only did Philadelphia and Dallas combine to play the lowest scoring regular-season game in franchise history, the Cowboys winning 6-0 in a meaningless finale on Dec. 31, 2017, Dallas has also scored its most points in a half against Philly, 42, on six touchdowns/extra points on Oct. 19, 1969. Receiver Lance Rentzel caught a trio from Craig Morton. That game also saw Dallas set a still-standing team record with 28 first-quarter points. There's more, though. The most points an opponent has scored against the Cowboys is also the Eagles with 35 on Nov. 15, 2004. And the second-most points Dallas and an opponent have scored in the first half combined? Yes, the Eagles. On Monday Night Football, on Sept. 15, 2008, Philadelphia led 30-24, with 34 of those points coming in the second quarter. Dallas came back to win the game, 41-37.
- Three of the five longest rushes in Cowboys team history have come against the Eagles: Tony Dorsett's 84-yard score on Dec. 4, 1977, Herschel Walker's 84-yard touchdown dash on Dec. 14, 1986 and Troy Hambrick's 80-yard jaunt, which is the longest in franchise lore that didn't conclude in the end zone. Also, the second and third biggest rushing performances in team history came against Philly: Emmitt Smith's career-high 237 on Halloween 1993 and Dorsett's personal best of 206 in the aforementioned Dec. 4 contest.
- The Cowboys made big headlines in 1995 with the acquisition of Deion Sanders, who instantly improved their defense and special teams. But Sanders, whose five-year, $35 million contract was astronomical at the time, earned his money in all three phases of the game. In the NFC Divisional round against the Eagles, Sanders scored his first touchdown with the Cowboys, taking a reverse hand-off all over the field for a touchdown run of ... 21 yards of course.
- The first regular-season game of the Dave Campo Era, on Sept. 3, 2000 was by far the warmest at kickoff in franchise history at 109 degrees. The only other two games to even crack the century mark both came at Arizona, 101 degrees for a 25-22 overtime loss on Sept. 7, 1997 and unbelievably, the week after this Philly game. Happened three times in 60 years and two of them, 1,100 miles apart, happened in back-to-back weeks. The Eagles didn't have any issues with the heat, though, defeating Dallas, 41-14, behind 201 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards from Duce Staley. Andy Reid stole the headlines, though, by giving his players pickle juice and starting the game with a successful onside kick.
- Worth mentioning but not reliving in any way, shape or form, but the biggest must-win-to-make-the-playoffs loss in franchise history was 44-6 at Philadelphia in the 2008 finale, which really might be the worst team performance of the last 60 years.
- The only two shutout victories since 2003 have come against the Eagles, both in Week 17. The first was a 24-0 triumph on Jan. 3, 2010 that clinched the NFC East and led to a rematch the following week in a wild-card game, also won by Dallas, 34-14. The second was that 2017 finale in which Philly, at 13-2, had nothing to play for with the No. 1 seed in the NFC already secured. Dallas won that game, 6-0, on a fourth-quarter Brice Butler touchdown catch.
- In that wild-card matchup on Jan. 9, 2010, running back Felix Jones led the way with 148 rushing yards, which included a 73-yard dash to the end zone, the longest carry in Cowboys' playoff history. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick did connect on a 76-yard touchdown pass, the longest ever for a Dallas opponent in the postseason, but it was not nearly enough. This game also served as the only time a Cowboys playoff opponent didn't rush for a first down.
- Finally, the two longest field goals in team history came just recently against Philadelphia: Brett Maher, from 63 and 62 yards on Oct. 20, 2019 and Dec. 9, 2018, respectively. Amazing that a kicker who didn't last two full seasons with Dallas has the four longest field goals in team history, including another 62-yarder.
The Cowboys will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in their last home game of the regular season on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 3:25 p.m. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Get yours now before they sell out!
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