America's Team vs. Titletown, In A Battle of Attrition

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Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms his hands on the heater during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms his hands on the heater during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys and Packers have had a glorious History against each other. It springs from the fact that Lombardi and Tom Landry were assistants with the New York Giants. Lombardi was the Offensive Coordinator and Landry was the Defensive Coordinator. Not many people know this, but Landry’s Flex Defense was created specifically to stop Lombardi’s rushing attack that featured Jim Taylor. Jim Taylor is the only RB to ever lead the NFL in rushing other than Jim Brown when Brown was playing. Eight of Brown’s nine NFL seasons saw him lead the NFL in rushing, Jim Taylor led the only year he did not.

Landry never did stop Lombardi’s Packers Offense (Lombardi was 0-2 against Landry and the Cowboys as Redskins Head Coach). The two coaching giants faced each other a total of five times while Lombardi was with the Packers, including twice in the Post Season. Lombardi’s Packers won all five games. One of those games, and the last one where the two ever faced each other was the 1967 NFL Championship, dubbed “The Ice Bowl.” This game is generally accepted as one of the greatest games in NFL History because the players performed under inhuman circumstances. Depending upon which report you believe, the wind chill factor made this game somewhere between -44 degrees and -48 degrees at game time.

The game ended on a controversial play. With the Packers knocking at the goal line on 3rd and goal, Jerry Kramer appeared to move early. No flag was thrown and Bart Starr snuck the ball over the goal line for the winning score. According to Starr, he asked Lombardi to call the sneak. Lombardi reportedly replied, “run it, and let’s get the hell out of here.”

Some have theorized that the referees did not see the False Start because then the Packers could have kicked a Field Goal to send the game into overtime. They wanted to get in the locker room as fast as they could too. No matter what you believe is the reason why no flag was thrown, the Packers went on to Super Bowl II having defeated the Cowboys in back to back NFL Championships for the right to face the AFL in the Super Bowl.

The all time regular season series is 12-12. The Cowboys lead the Post Season series 4-2. Lombardi being the only Packers coach to ever win against the Cowboys in the Post Season. The two storied teams with, great nicknames, are clinging to fading playoff hopes, dreaming of better days ahead with key pieces back healthy.

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