Bills, Cowboys rivalry is short-lived but full of drama

The Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys will play only their 11th game against each other today in 62 seasons that they have existed together.  If you take out the two Super Bowls this is only the 9th time that the two teams will meet during the regular season.  But somehow this seems like a rivalry game.  We are almost twenty full years removed from the back-to-back Super Bowl wins by the Cowboys over the Bills but the tension is still there.  How did there get to be so much heat between teams that hardly ever play each other?

The Cowboys are 7-3 all-time against the Bills.  They played only four times in the entire decades of the 70’s and 80’s, with Dallas taking the first three and the Bills winning the last one in 1984.  Then things got interesting.  They would play each other three times in a two year stretch between 1992 and 1993.  The first game was Super Bowl XXVII.  The Bills had lost the past two Super Bowls and completed a most resilient run to the big game which included playing two games without Jim Kelly, including the greatest comeback in NFL history against the Oilers and culminating in defeating their arch rivals Dan Marino and the Dolphins at Joe Robbie Stadium in the AFC Championship game.  The Cowboys were the worst team in the NFL just three seasons prior in Troy Aikman’s rookie year in which they won only one game.

What seemed to be a story book match-up turned into a nightmare for the Buffalo Bills.  The Cowboys jumped all over the Bills and injury was added to insult when Jim Kelly was knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter.  The Cowboys demolished the Bills 52-17, the lone Bills highlight being Don Beebe running down Leon Lett from behind and stripping the ball for him as he celebrated a touchdown prematurely.  The Bills and Cowboys would play again during the regular season in 1993.  The Bills thought that they may have gotten a bit of revenge from the prior Super Bowl when they defeated the Cowboys 13-10 but little did they know that they would meet again in Super Bowl XVIII.

Super Bowl XVIII started off differently for the Bills.  Not since their first of four Super Bowls in a row against the Giants did they succeed in keeping it a game in the first half.  As a matter of fact their defense was playing excellent against the Cowboys and they had a 13-6 lead at halftime.  That all fell apart in the second half as little known defensive back James Washington took control of the game with an interception and a fumble recovery.  The Cowboys scored 24 points in the second half, the Bills scored none.  The Cowboys were back to back champions and the Bills had lost four Super Bowls in a row.

The Bills and Cowboys only played twice between then and 2007, splitting a pair of low scoring games.  In 2007 the NFL decided to schedule the 10th ever contest between the two on Monday Night Football in Buffalo.  This was the first Monday night football game in Buffalo in years.  The Cowboys were considered Super Bowl contenders while the Bills were knee deep in the pile of mediocrity that they had been mired in for years.  The game was one of the best of the year.  The Bills defense fought hard, including a big game from Defensive Ends Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel as well as the first career interception in the first career start of some former wide-receiver turned safety named George Wilson.  In the end the Bills fans hearts were broken again by a last second game-winning field goal by Cowboys kicker Nick Folk.  The Cowboys had stunned the Bills again.

Fast forward to 2011.  Things are a bit different this time.  Both teams need this victory to stay in the heart of the playoff race.  The Bills have several key players from the Dallas area including Fred Jackson, David Nelson and Scott Chandler.  The guys that were here in 2007, including Wilson and Jackson, still have that bitter taste in their mouths from that last game.  If those story lines not juicy enough for you, try these – The house Fred Jackson grew up in was demolished to make room for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.  Or we can talk about the fact that David Nelson’s girlfriend is a Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleader.  There are story lines aplenty in this game and I dont expect to be disappointed, you rarely are when you watch the Bills play the Cowboys.  Well, unless you are a Bills fan.

Twitter @ErikVenskus

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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