When the Cowboys boarded the plane for Arizona on Sunday afternoon at the end of the 1995 season, the optimism wasn't too high for the upcoming playoffs.
The Cowboys had already lost to the 49ers badly at home and expected that a return trip to the Super Bowl would run through San Francisco again. But as they flew to face the Cardinals on Monday Night, word spread around the plane the 49ers had lost to the Falcons in their Week 17 game, opening the door for the Cowboys to obtain the No. 1 seed in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout he playoffs.
The only obstacle in their way was the Cardinals. And that didn't prove to be much of a fight as the Cowboys trounced Arizona with a combined attack of Emmitt Smith and Kevin Williams, and even got some defensive help as well.
Smith set an NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a season with his 25th score, while Williams had a career night, catching nine passes for 203 yards and two scores from Troy Aikman, who had 350 yards.
Brock Marion had an interception return for a touchdown as the Cowboys built up a 24-0 first-half lead.
The win propelled the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and the top spot in the NFC, where they handled the Eagles and Packers in the playoffs before beating the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX for their third title in a four-year span.