When the Green Bay Packers 2013 schedule was announced, one thing was very clear: it’s going to be a doozy of a season for the Packers. They have one of the toughest schedules in the league and it will certainly challenge them to repeat as NFC North division winners.
I thought we’d take a quick break from our daily coverage of current Packers happenings and look at some interesting history.
There are two games that really stand out to me on this year’s slate. Not because of the playoff implications or because they are the “team to beat”. It’s simply about some Packers history and how it also connects these two opponents. I’m talking about the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Packers visit Dallas and will play the Cowboys on December 15th. One week later, they will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 22nd. The last time the Packers beat the Cowboys in Dallas was on December 24, 1989. The last time they beat the Steelers during the regular season was on December 24, 1995.
So how ironic is it that this year’s games against each opponent come in back-to-back weeks and so close to the Christmas holiday? As you’ve heard me say before: history has a tendency to repeat itself. Is this the year the Packers finally exercise the ghost of Christmas Eve? Beyond that connection, there are others throughout these rivalries. Let’s take a look at each.
Packers at Cowboys
Here’s the box score from that last Packers win in Dallas over the Boys. To put some perspective on how long ago that was, that year was Jimmy Johnson’s first as Cowboys Head Coach and it was quarterback Troy Aikman’s rookie season. Emmitt Smith was still in college and hadn’t yet started collecting any of his NFL-record 18,355 yards. The Cowboys were 1-15 that year and they seemed destined for some rough seasons ahead until that little trade with the Minnesota Vikings. Herschel Walker went to Minnesota and in Dallas, the rest is history. They would go on to win three Super Bowls in the next six seasons. Along that Packers losing streak in Dallas have been some memorable games, including the 1996 NFC Championship game that the Packers almost came back and won. More on that in a bit.