Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

Last Updated:

Read Time: 4 minutes

One of the best rivalries in all of sports is the NFL rivalry between the Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys. Fans in the Midwest will look at the Bears and Packers as the top NFL rivalry, but fans of these two NFC East rivals will disagree. The Football Team and the Cowboys are two of the most storied franchises in National Football League history, and they frequently battle each other for the NFC East title.

The Football Team and Cowboys have played each other at least twice a season since 1961. In that time, they have combined for 32 division titles and eight Super Bowl wins. Not only is the competition on the field intense between these two rivals, but fans of both teams share extreme hatred and disdain for one another.

History of the Washington Football Team-Cowboys Rivalry

The first game between the Dallas and Washington took place on October 2, 1960, and the then called Washington Football Team came away with a 26-14 victory. The Washington Football Team won two of the first four meetings with the Cowboys, with the other two games ending in a tie. Things quickly turned and the Cowboys have dominated their rivals since.

In the 120 regular season meetings between the Washington Football Team and Cowboys, Dallas holds a commanding 73-45-2 record against Washington. The Football Team has gotten the better of the Cowboys in the postseason, however, winning the only two playoff games in this rivalry. In the 1972 season, Washington defeated Dallas 26-3 to win the NFC Championship Game. A decade later, they met for the NFC title again, and the result was the same as Washington won 31-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.

While Washington has the edge in the most important matchups and swept the season series in the 2020 NFL season, the Cowboys have most of the bragging rights otherwise.

The Washington Football Team got their start as the Boston Braves in 1932 and were renamed the Boston Washington Football Team a season later. The team was moved to Washington in 1937, and they have remained there ever since. More recently, the team changed its name and branding to remove any Native American references. After spending the 2020 season with their new generic name, they have kept the name for the 2021 season but will have a new name for the 2022 season.

The Football team has played over 1,000 games in franchise history and are one of five teams that have won at least 600 games. Of those five teams, Washington is the only one with an all-time winning percentage under .500 as of the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Under coach Joe Gibbs, Washington experienced a lot of success in the 1980s and early 1990s, winning all three of the franchise’s Super Bowl titles in that period. The Football Team has made just five playoff appearances in the 21st century, but there is positive momentum for the franchise after winning the NFC East in the 2020.

The Dallas Cowboys entered the NFL in 1960, and both teams have been in the same division since the following year. Since the inception of the NFC East in 1970, Dallas and Washington have played in that division along with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

Dallas is the youngest of the four NFC East franchises but has eight Super Bowl appearances, which is tied for second all-time with the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys have also won the conference championship eight times, which is the most among teams in the NFC. Entering the 2021 season, the Cowboys had won almost 57 percent of their regular season games, which is a testament to the level of consistent success they have achieved in their history.

Their most success period was in the early 1990s, when the Cowboys were an unstoppable force, winning three Super Bowl titles from 1992-1995. The Cowboys are known as “America’s Team,” and they are always a popular preseason pick to win the NFC East.

Head-to-Head Analysis of the Football Team and the Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have a clear and distinct edge in the all-time series between these two fierce rivals, and they have a clear advantage in recent history as well.

Dallas has posted a 13-7 straight up record in the last 20 meetings, and they have dominated both at home and on the road. The Cowboys are 6-4 in the last ten games played at AT&T Stadium, while they are 7-3 in the last ten games played at FedEx Field. Will Washington’s sweep last season be the beginning of a reversal in results?

Looking at the head-to-head records sort of limits our view of this rivalry from a betting perspective, as it only focuses on the records of each team in relation to the money line. But for fans, winning is the only thing that matters when it comes to the outcomes of their matchups.

A Glance at Postseason Success for Both Teams

Both the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team have five championships in their franchise history, but the Cowboys have been better in the Super Bowl era. The Cowboys have recorded five Super Bowl wins, while Washington has won just three. Neither team has had recent Super Bowl success, however. Washington’s last Super Bowl win was in the 1991 season, when they defeated the Buffalo Bills to win Super Bowl XXVI. The Cowboys’ last title triumph was in the 1995 season, when they downed the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XXX.

Both teams have been frequent visitors to the NFL playoffs. Though Washington had a head start, the Cowboys have the edge in all-time playoff appearances. Dallas has made 34 trips to the postseason, while Washington has made 25. Most of their appearances have come as division champions, as Dallas has 23 division titles and Washington has 15.

The Cowboys and Washington Football Team are two teams that you can consistently count on for exciting, rough and tumble football games. Don’t look for that to change anytime soon.