1969: Cowboys 24, 49ers 24
were one of the best teams in the league with QB Craig Morton under center and a two-pronged backfield of Calvin Hill and Walt Garrison leading the rushing attack. They were 8-2 going into
and were a heavy favorite against the 2-7-1
. San Francisco proved surprisingly resilient, however, and went ahead when WR Gene Washington caught a 19-yard TD pass from John Brodie. A late Morton TD pass salvaged a tie for Dallas and it went on to finish the season 11-2-1 before losing to Cleveland in the playoffs.
1971: Cowboys 28, Los Angeles Rams 21
In a battle of two of the NFC's premier teams, the
got a fourth-quarter touchdown run from Duane Thomas to break a 21-21 tie and knock off the
. The win was Dallas' fourth-straight and it would go on to end the season with 10 consecutive victories, culminating with a
Super Bowl VI
win over Miami. The loss was costly for Los Angeles as it narrowly missed a playoff berth.
1974: Cowboys 24, Redskins 23
Just two weeks after having lost to rival Washington, Dallas got its revenge in dramatic fashion. Backup QB Clint Longley came in for an injured Roger Staubach and engineered a frantic comeback. He connected on a 50-yard TD pass to Drew Pearson with just 28 seconds remaining as the
salvaged a down season with one of the most exciting victories in
history. The loss did not doom the
as they went on to win their final two games and the NFC East, before losing to Los Angeles in the playoffs.
1976: Lions 27, Bills 14
Buffalo's O.J. Simpson set a then-NFL record with 273 rushing yards, but it was not enough as Detroit's David Hill had two touchdown receptions to lead the
. Simpson's effort was undermined by the struggles of
quarterback Gary Marangi, who completed just 4 of 21 pass attempts for 29 yards and an interception. Simpson's big rushing total put him over 1,000 yards for the fifth and final time in his 11-year career. The rookie Hill would catch two touchdown passes in a game just once more in his 12-year career.
1980: Bears 23, Lions 17 (OT)
Down 17-3 entering the fourth quarter, Chicago begins a major comeback with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Vince Evans to Bob Fisher. A 4-yard touchdown run by Evans forced overtime and Dave Williams returned the kickoff 95 yards to give the
a dramatic victory. Williams' return touchdown is one of only two in NFL history that have occurred in overtime. The loss would come back to haunt the
in the standings as they would lose a tie-breaker to the
and finish second in the NFC Central with a 9-7 record.
1986: Packers 44, Lions 40
In the highest scoring game ever to take place on
, Green Bay overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and won when Walter Stanley returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown. Stanley had the best game of his otherwise undistinguished 8-year career, catching two touchdown passes and finishing with 124 receiving yards to go along with the winning punt return. The game did not matter much in the standings, as both teams were among the league's worst, but it provided memories nonetheless.
1987: Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 (OT)
went up 38-24 in the fourth quarter when quarterback Danny White led the
on one last surge. He threw two touchdown passes to Mike Renfro in the final minutes to send the game into overtime. That is when
running back Darrin Nelson scampered into the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown run to end the game. The victory ultimately allowed Minnesota to make the playoffs, where it pulled off two upsets before losing to Washington in the NFC Championship Game.
1993: Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14
It does not snow in Dallas very often, but to show how strange this game went, the field was actually covered in snow by the end. The
were 7-3, but coming off a damaging loss to the lowly
, while the
were 8-2 and seemingly on their way to a playoff berth. The
appeared to have the game in hand after they blocked a late
field goal to preserve a 14-13 lead, but Leon Lett tried to pick up the ball and fumbled it back to Miami, allowing the
another FG try. This time Pete Stoyanovich nailed the 19-yarder to win the game. Ironically, the
would not lose a game the rest of the season en route to a
Super Bowl XXVIII
victory, while the
would not win another game the rest of the year, finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs.
1998: Lions 19, Steelers 16 (OT)
This contest will always be remembered for a bizarre overtime coin toss. Jerome Bettis was audibly heard yelling tails, but official Phil Luckett said Bettis called heads and awarded the ball to the
when the coin landed on tails. Later, it was reported that Bettis started to say heads prior to staying tails and Luckett abided by NFL rules by going with Bettis' first call. Regardless of the confusion, Detroit took over the ball and went on to win on a 42-yard FG by Jason Hanson. The loss began a tailspin for the
as they did not win a game the rest of the year, finishing 7-9.