Here are the Cowboys’ top five rivals ranked all time.
5. Los Angeles Rams
The L.A. Rams and the Cowboys have a shared history in the NFL’s postseason, meeting the most number of times in the playoffs (9).
The Rams and Cowboys were part of the cream of the crop in the NFC in the 1970’s, meeting five times in the decade, with Dallas winning three times, en route to two Super Bowl victories during the era for America’s Team.
The intra-conference rivalry between the two franchises cooled off a bit, with both teams getting good at different, not really overlapping times. But the Cowboys and Rams rekindled their rivalry after 33 years of not meeting in the playoffs. Last time both teams made the postseason—the 2018-19 season, L.A. won at home against Dallas on their way to a Super Bowl berth and loss.
4. Washington Redskins
The Redskins and Cowboys have only met in the playoffs twice over their respective franchise histories, but more importantly, Washington appears as the first NFC East division rival here—and the two teams have taken turns knocking each other out of the playoffs with twice annual matchups.
First, on the playoffs note, the Cowboys lost both times in the postseason against the Redskins—10 years apart, too—both times coming with a Super Bowl berth at the line. The first time was a total beat down and afterwards Washington couldn’t compete with the mighty Dolphins; 10 years afterwards it was a more even matchup after which the Redskins captured their first Super Bowl victory.
The Cowboys also upset the Redskins with a single win during their 1989 season, preventing Washington from making the playoffs. Later, in the 1990’s, the Cowboys also beat up the Redskins by more than 30 en route to a Super Bowl win.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Cowboys have bested another one of their NFC East rivals, Philadelphia Eagles, three out of four times meeting in the postseason. Two of which came in the ’90s during their great three-time Super Bowl journey that decade.
Additionally, with two matchups per year in the regular season, the Eagles and Cowboys have been frequent combatants, like during the Terrell Owens saga. And more recently this past season with Philly upsetting Dallas and winning the division before sputtering out of the first round of the playoffs.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers and Cowboys have some of the most notable moments in their shared history due to peaking and becoming great at similar times during the course of the NFL. The Niners also have the same number of Super Bowl wins, and the two NFC teams have met seven times in the postseason, with Dallas winning five of those matchups.
The 49ers’ glorious “The Catch” moment came against the ‘Boys in the conference title game in 1981, and both teams have met in a pair of three consecutive postseason matchups in 1970-72 and almost 20 years later to the date in 1992-94.
Right after the Cowboys got over the hump of the Joe Montana years, star quarterback Troy Aikman had to contend with successor Steve Young on the Niners during the ’90s. The rivalry has cooled off a bit since the mid-’90s, but there is still bad blood in two of the NFL’s best teams.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers are the Cowboys’ biggest rival; two teams that defined the pre-merger era and vaulted the Super Bowl era into the notoriety we know today. Meeting eight times in the postseason, Green Bay would beat Dallas in the conference championship en route to winning the first Super Bowl in 1967. The next year, a rematch, the “Ice Bowl,” dramatized the toughness required during the era between the teams, leading to another Packers win and Super Bowl victory.
After owning the rivalry from the pre-merger days up until the 1970’s (Dallas won once in nine regular season plus playoff matchups), the Cowboys finally got the better of the Packers, winning four straight times at the end of the decade in the ’80s and later an immaculate eight straight wins in the ’90s.
The Packers have gone on since to dominate the rivalry in recent years, including nine of 12 games this side of the millennium. They then beat Dallas twice in the playoffs in the span of three years, the earlier match being the Dez Bryant “no catch” game.
It hasn’t always been easy, but this rivalry remains the best in Cowboys history and one of the best in sports.