Former Dallas Cowboys stars Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin celebrate a touchdown in the NFC championship game on Jan. 14, 1996. With Cowboys won three Super Bowls in four seasons with the trio but also suffered bad losses in each of those championship seasons. The championship NFL jerseys are hot for those years.
Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman, who led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles in four seasons in the 1990s, also were beat badly at least once in each of those championship seasons.
Does the Dallas Cowboys’ embarrassing defeat in Denver have you worried?
Are you concerned it might mean they don’t have what it takes to get back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 21 years?
Relax. Their 42-17 loss to the Broncos might not mean much by the time the playoffs arrive.
Even the greatest Cowboys teams took it on the chin a few times.
Those 1990s Cowboys who won three Super Bowls in four seasons had some bad days. In 1992, they were pummeled by the Eagles 31-7 on October 5. Philadelphia went 11-5 that season so it wasn’t a pushover but Dallas finished 13-3 and started the ’90s dynasty with a title.
In 1993, the Cowboys lost their first two games, including a 35-16 beating against the Redskins in Washington DC. This wasn’t a good Skins team, either. They finished 4-12. The next week Dallas lost at home to the Bills, 13-10. It was a rematch of the previous Super Bowl and the Cowboys were without Emmitt Smith for the second consecutive week. Later in the season, they lost to the Falcons in Atlanta after falling behind 20-0. The Falcons went 6-10. Dallas lost the next week on Thanksgiving to the Dolphins in the infamous Leon Lett fiasco. But they didn’t lose again en route to consecutive Super Bowl titles.
The Barry Switzer coached ’95 Cowboys Super Bowl winner lost four games, including three by seven or fewer points. The exception? A beatdown at home against the 49ers on November 12. San Francisco jumped out to a 17-0 lead and won 38-20.
Even some of those Cowboys’ vaunted ’70s Super Bowl teams laid some eggs every now and then. In 1970, they were blown out 54-13 in Minnesota and blanked 38-0 at home by the St. Louis Cardinals.
In ’71, they lost 24-14 in New Orleans to a Saints team that finished 4-8-2.
The ’77 Super Bowl champion Cowboys lost at home 24-17 to the Cardinals, who finished 7-7.
And as a reminder that teams can look different three months later, the ’78 Cowboys lost to the Rams 27-14 in Los Angeles but responded in the NFC title game later that season with a dominating 28-0 payback.