Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys: The Historic Rivalry

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AP Photo/Scott Boehm

Garrett Gess, Sports Writer

Every 4 years, football fans across all of America gather to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Dallas Cowboys for one of the biggest rivalries in all of football. Though the rivalry has lost some of its significance and popularity in recent years, it still remains a bitter matchup among Western Pennsylvanians and North Texans alike. The Steelers and Cowboys are set to play Sunday, Nov. 8 from A&T Stadium in Arlington, TX at 4:25ET on CBS. Before the game gets underway, here is a look back at the tense history between the Steelers-Cowboys.

1960: In the Dallas Cowboys’ inaugural season in the NFL, they hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers at the historic Cotton Bowl for their opening game. The Steelers would welcome the Cowboys to the NFL by delivering them a 35-28 loss.

1961-1966: The Steelers and Cowboys would face off against each other twice a year from 1961 to 1966. In the entire 1960s, they played each other 16 times; the Cowboys winning 9 and the Steelers winning 7.

1975: The Cowboys and Steelers would play in Super Bowl X at the Miami Orange Bowl. The Steelers would defeat the Cowboys by a score of 21-17 and a famous 64-yard Lynn Swann touchdown catch, helped seal the victory in the 4th Quarter.

1978: The Steelers and Cowboys met again in Super Bowl XIII which was also played at the Miami Orange Bowl. The Steelers would confirm their dominance and win in a 35-31 shootout. In the 3rd Quarter, Cowboys’ wide receiver Jackie Smith dropped a wide-open touchdown pass that would have tied the game. That touchdown drop remained one of the most infamous moments in Super Bowl history. 7 out of the 10 seasons in the 1970s cultivated with either the Steelers or the Cowboys playing for an NFL Title.

1982: In a Monday Night Football season opener, the Steelers and Cowboys met up at Texas Stadium. Although both Steelers and Cowboys were not the same powerhouses as they were in the 1970s, the game was surely an exciting highlight of the decade as the Steelers and Cowboys would feature their aging stars of the previous Super Bowl’s. The Steelers would overtake the Cowboys 36-28.

1991: On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys continued their home tradition and hosted the Steelers. The Cowboys would get the victory 20-10 in one of Chuck Noll’s final few games as longtime Steelers head coach.

1995: For the third time, the Cowboys and Steelers competed against each other for the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XXX was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona State, and the Cowboys opened as heavy 13.5 point favorites. In the 4th Quarter, the Steelers were down 20-10 and called for a surprise onsides kick. It worked, and the Steelers proceeded to score a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 20-17. It was not enough as quarterback Neil O’Donnell threw 2 crucial interceptions to Larry Brown. The Steelers would lose 27-17 as a result. To this date, Super Bowl XXX was the last non-Wildcard playoff game that the Cowboys won.

2004: Rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would play his best game yet when the Steelers played a road game against the Cowboys in only his 4th career start. The Cowboys who finished that season 6-10 still matched up well against the Steelers who finished 15-1. The Steelers would win 24-20 in a comeback victory.

2008: The Steelers would partake in a defensive battle while playing the Cowboys at home. The Steelers forced 5 turnovers while their offensive play was struggling. The Steelers would score 17-unanswered points after being down 13-3 in the 4th Quarter with the help of a pick-six by cornerback Deshea Townsend. The Steelers would later go on to win their 6th and final Super Bowl that year.

2010: Although the Steelers never played the Cowboys in 2010, the Steelers played Super Bowl XLV against the Packers at the Cowboys home-field in AT&T Stadium. What is significant about it, is that the current head coach of the Cowboys is Mike McCarthy, who was the coach of the Packers for that Super Bowl. Mike McCarthy and the Packers defeated the Steelers 31-25.

2012: In another great matchup in Arlington, the Steelers and Cowboys battled to the end in a long fight. While the game was tied 24-24, both teams had opportunities to be in the position for a field goal in the 4th quarter, but could not come through to force overtime. Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in overtime and the Cowboys won 27-24 OT.

2016: In a game with 7 lead changes at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the Cowboys and Steelers showcased a great game between the two. In the final minute, Ben Roethlisberger performed a fake spike and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown which gave the Steelers a 30-29 lead. It did not seal the deal as running back Ezekiel Elliott would run for a touchdown on the ensuing drive, giving the Cowboys a 35-30 victory.

2020: The Steelers will renew their historic rivalry with the Cowboys this Sunday. The Steelers are looking to stay undefeated and improve to 8-0 while the Cowboys are looking to get back on track after a devastating injury to quarterback Dak Prescott and a losing start to the season.

Dallas Cowboys lead regular-season series 13-16. Pittsburgh Steelers lead postseason series 2-1.