Cowboys-49ers: A Rivalry for the Ages

Michelle MunozContributor IAugust 27, 2009

I am 23 years old. In sports history terms, this is very young.

I am also a Cowboys fan. I’ve been one since I was eight years old. I don’t remember much as a young Cowboys fan but when people ask me what my top-hated teams are, San Francisco is always on the list, along with the 'Skins, Steelers, and Eagles.

I can’t really remember why the 49ers make that list, though. I don’t recall much from when I was eight except that I loved Full House, we had a kiddie pool, and the Cowboys were awesome. 

So in honor of the upcoming clash of these former titans, I have decided to take a gander back at this long-standing rivalry to remind myself and maybe a few others, why these two teams hate each other's guts. And why they are among the NFL's most popular teams

NFC Championships

For starters, the Cowboys and 49ers are each tied for second with five for all-time Super Bowl wins. Pittsburgh is now first with six.

But to make it to those Super Bowls, the two teams often had to conquer each other. They met in the NFC Championship three times during the 90s. In ‘92 and ‘93, Dallas won, in ‘94 San Fran did. Whoever won the match-up went on to win the Super Bowl.

It's no wonder these two teams were so evenly matched when you look at the talent each had during the early 90s. The Cowboys had the likes of Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Jay Novacek. The 49ers were equally stacked with Bill Romanowski, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and who can forget...

Neon Deion Sanders

Primetime himself. Another sore point in this rivalry.

In 1994, Sanders was making plays for the 49ers. After the season though he began fueding with teammates.

Jerry Jones must have been a touch bitter after losing out on the chance for a third Super Bowl victory in a row because he decided to lay on the Texas billionaire charm and stroke Sanders' ego. The cornerback signed with the Cowboys for the '95 season.

Deion reminds me of another diva we've all come to know and hate...

TO Disgraces the Star

In 2000, Terrell Owens visited Texas Stadium and gave Dallas fans a reason to hate him and more reason to hate San Fran.

He was donning the red and gold then and decided to take his touchdown celebrations to another level. After scoring, Owens ran to the famous star in the middle of the field and raised his hands into the air.

He attempted it a second time in the same game but George Teague had other ideas.
This was a big moment in the history of the rivalry but nothing compares with the single biggest moment...

The Catch

Ah, The Catch. I can't really speak on this because I wasn't alive when it happened, but I can give you a breakdown.

Before the antics of Owens, the defecting of Sanders and all the NFC Championship battles of the 90s there was Joe Montana and Dwight Clark.

On Jan. 10, 1982 during the NFC Championship game Montana and Clark made NFL history during the last minute of the game. Montana lofted a pass into the end zone and Clark reached up and gripped the ball with the tips of his fingers.

This play has gone down as one of the most famous in all of NFL history.

The 49ers won that game 28-27 and went on to win that Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals.

So, when you're kicking back watching the 49ers-Cowboys preseason game this Sunday, just remember you are watching a great rivalry that could make more NFL history at any moment.


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