The best games and moments of the Packers-Cowboys rivalry

Sunday should be chilly in Dallas for the Green Bay Packers playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, with the long-range forecast calling for a high of just 46 degrees and a low in the 20s.

This may seem cold for Texas, but it’s not an ice bowl. There are few things.

The 1967 NFL championship game that catapulted the Packers to Super Bowl II remains one of the most iconic moments in sports and the archetype of the deep freeze that Packers football represents.

Played in minus-13 temperatures and wind chills nearing minus-50, the 21-17 upset over the Cowboys came down to Bart Starr’s fumble with 16 seconds left on third down. Jerry Kramer and Ken Bowman threw the blocks that helped make it happen.

If we were chronicling the greatest moments in the Packers-Cowboys rivalry, it would be irresponsible to put him somewhere below No. 1 on the list. But this is a historic rivalry that has many other memorable chapters.

More ▼: The Ice Bowl, 50 Years Later: An Oral History of the Packers-Cowboys 1967 NFL Championship Game

More ▼: Was Ken Bowman denied the greatest block in Green Bay Packers history?

The Return of Mike McCarthy (Season 2022)

For the first time since being fired as Packers coach in 2018, Super Bowl-winning coach Mike McCarthy is back, this time leading Dallas to Lambeau Field in 2022. The Packers won in overtime, 31-28, when Christian Watson caught two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game (part of a three-TD day for the rookie) and Mason Crosby won the game in overtime with a field goal chip shot.

The Game LMAO (2017 Season)

It was immortalized thanks to a Snapchat posted by an unfazed Oshkosh man who attended the game, rightly believing that 1:13 was plenty of time for one last comeback. Although Dallas led 31-28 with that much time on the clock, Aaron Rodgers immediately led the Packers down the field and into the end zone, where Davante Adams’ touchdown with 11 seconds left gave Green Bay a 35-31 victory.

Aaron Rodgers finds Jared Cook (2016 season)

Is this Rodgers’ best pass as a Green Bay Packer? It’s awfully hard to beat the combination of skill and stakes. On third-and-20 from the Packers’ 32-yard line, Rodgers rolled out of the pocket and found tight end Jared Cook for a 36-yard run down the sideline, Cook’s feet patting the ground in bounds before falling to the sideline to stop the clock with 3 seconds left.

Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal — his second-longest of the game after an earlier 56-yard field goal — and the Packers knocked off the top-seeded Cowboys in the divisional round of the playoffs, 34-31.

Dez Bryant didn’t catch it (2014 season)

Before a disastrous performance against Seattle the following week, the Packers managed a big blowout against Dallas at Lambeau Field in the divisional round. It looked as if Tony Romo had completed a remarkable fourth-down pass with 5 minutes left in the game near the Packers’ goal line. Dez Bryant dived down the sideline, tackled cornerback Sam Shields and bounced into the end zone. It wouldn’t be a touchdown, but was it even a catch?

After a review, the officials ruled that Bryant did not have full control of the ball, a play that has been hotly debated in the years since. The Cowboys would have the first opportunity to score; instead, Green Bay ran out the clock and forced the Cowboys to take a 26-21 loss. Three years later, the NFL rewrote the rule to clarify that from then on it would be called a catch.

Biggest comeback since 1982 (2013 season)

Green Bay’s heart-pounding 2013 Finals victory over the Chicago Bears to reach the playoffs didn’t happen without Green Bay’s shock victory in Dallas two weeks earlier.

Down 26-3 at halftime, Eddie Lacy and backup quarterback Matt Flynn (who had been written off earlier in the year) engineered the team’s biggest comeback since 1982. Flynn found James Jones for a touchdown with 4:17 left in the game and Lacy added a go-ahead score with 1:31 left after Shields intercepted Tony Romo on a possession. When Tramon Williams intercepted Romo again with 1:24 left, the Packers had cemented a 37-36 stunner.

Aaron Rodgers Welcome to the Big Stage (2007)

In 2007, playing on Thursday Night Football in Texas, Brett Favre suffered an elbow injury and a dislocated shoulder that knocked him out of the game, forcing backup Aaron Rodgers to take the field. Green Bay didn’t win, falling 37-27 to end a six-game winning streak, but Rodgers acquitted himself well, completing 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys won the game and Favre returned the following week, but the Packers for the first time saw a promising future.

Now It’s The Green Bay Show (1997 Season)

The Packers have owned the Cowboys rivalry recently and certainly in the early stages of the Super Bowl era. But in the 1990s, it was all Cowboys. Dallas eliminated the Packers three times from the playoffs, then beat Green Bay again for good measure on Monday Night Football in 1996, 21-6, marking one of only three losses for the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers that year. The Packers didn’t even allow a touchdown that day; Dallas had seven field goals by Chris Boniol.

But in 1997, it was officially time for a new era. The Packers throttled Dallas 45-17 at Lambeau Field, with Favre throwing for four touchdowns and Dorsey Levens finishing with 190 yards and two all-purpose scores. The Packers would return to the Super Bowl later that year.

NFC title game near miss (1995 season)

For the third time in as many years, the Packers were eliminated by Dallas in the postseason, but it was the closest Green Bay had come so far to the promised land with Favre and Reggie White on the roster.

After Robert Brooks caught a touchdown with just over 5 minutes left in the third quarter, the Packers took a 27-24 lead. But the Cowboys regained the lead with a 90-yard touchdown run, and when Favre was intercepted by Larry Brown on the next drive, Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman found Michael Irvin for a 36-yard touchdown and a two-score lead. It ended with a whimper and a 38-27 loss, but the Packers were there and proved it by making it to the next two Super Bowls.

The Cowboys won the Super Bowl, but this is the last time they appeared in the NFC Championship Game. Meanwhile, the Packers have played in eight more since then.

The Jason Garrett Game (1994)

It became a questionable moment in Packers history when a Thanksgiving game went so wrong. It looks like Green Bay will have the upper hand with Aikman injured and replaced by backup Jason Garrett. But Garrett, the future Cowboys coach, threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns, and the Packers’ 24-13 second-half lead disappeared in a 42-31 loss despite four touchdowns and no interceptions by Favre. The Packers also lost to the Cowboys in the playoffs.

James Lofton’s reverse (1982 season)

Lynn Dickey threw to Eddie Lee Ivory, who passed the ball to wide receiver James Lofton in the divisional round of the 1982 playoffs. The electrifying Lofton blasted his way through tacklers and ran 71 yards for a touchdown against the Cowboys, cutting the deficit to 23-19 , but Dallas answered with a touchdown, just as they did on Mark Lee’s 22-yard punt return later in the fourth quarter. The 37-26 scoreline belied how exciting the finale was for a Packers team that hadn’t been in the playoffs in a decade.

Stunner vs. Super Bowl Qualifier (1975 Season)

Green Bay entered the meeting 0-4, while Dallas was 4-0 and in the midst of a season that would end with a loss in Super Bowl H. But somehow the Packers found a way at Texas Stadium. John Huddle’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Rich McGeorge with 1:52 remaining clinched the 19-17 win, the only win Bart Starr has had as coach against Dallas. Larry McCarron forced a fumble that allowed the Packers to take over at the Dallas 31-yard line in the closing minutes, and two plays later Green Bay took the lead. The Packers still finished the year 4-10.

Monday Night Ice Bowl Rematch (1968 Season)

In a rematch of the two Ice Bowl participants eight months later, Starr threw four touchdown passes with a national television audience watching on Monday night — no, it wasn’t officially Monday Night Football yet, but it was part of the experiment of the league to try out the format Monday night. The Packers won 28-17, but perhaps that can be seen as a last hurray.

Green Bay lost its next two games and four of its next five, and Vince Lombardi had already left as head coach. The Packers finished 6-7-1 that year, while the Cowboys finished 12-2 and were in the midst of a dynastic streak that would include four straight trips to the conference title games from 1970 to 1973, with two Super Bowls and one champion’s title . Three more Super Bowls (and one title) would follow from 1975 to 1978.

The final stop to reach the first Super Bowl (1966 season)

If someone said “Packers vs. Cowboys in the NFL championship game right before the merger,” you’d picture the Ice Bowl, right? But we still have to mention the year before when the Cowboys had a fourth down, last down from the 2 yard line trying to tie the game in the final seconds.

Dave Robinson nearly sacked Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith and instead came up with an errant pass that Tom Brown used for an interception in the end zone. Green Bay won the thriller 34-27 and advanced to the first Super Bowl.

Imagine how history changes if Dallas is in the first AFL-NFL title game. It was Green Bay’s 10th NFL championship.

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