When the Dallas Cowboys host the New England Patriots on Oct. 1st, it will be the 15th regular season meeting between the two franchises since the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970.
Dallas holds a slim 8-6 record over New England while the Patriots have outscored the Cowboys overall, 288-284.
The series has been one marked by two significant streaks.
Dallas won the first seven meetings between the two clubs from 1971 to 1996. The Patriots then ran off six wins in a row between 1999 and 2019.
The Cowboys snapped that streak in 2021 with a 35-28 win in overtime.
Cowboys Love Home Cooking
Dallas lost the only meeting between the two teams at AT&T Stadium, a 30-6 loss powered by two Tom Brady touchdown passes and a one-yard scoring run.
Brandon Weeden was the Cowboys' starting quarterback that day.
The Cowboys also lost the last meeting between the two teams at Texas Stadium, a 48-27 blowout loss fueled by five Brady touchdown passes, on October 14, 2007.
Prior to that, the Cowboys had won four straight games played at Texas Stadium.
The First Game At Texas Stadium
Just 13 days after giving the Cotton Bowl a proper sendoff with a win over the Giants, the Cowboys hosted the Patriots for the first game ever played at Texas Stadium.
The Patriots probably wished they'd just stayed home in Boston instead.
After playing a close opening quarter, with Dallas holding a 10-7 lead, the Cowboys erupted for 27 unanswered points, They piled up 24 of those points in the second quarter and rolled to a 44-21 victory.
Roger Staubach threw for two touchdowns — both to Bob Hayes — and ran for another on 13-for-21 passing for 197 yards.
The Patriots quarterback, a rookie and the previous year's Heisman Trophy winner, Jim Plunkett, was literally thrown to the wolves.
Sacked five times and intercepted once, by Chuck Howley, Plunkett managed to go 16-for-29 with 228 yards. He threw two touchdown passes in the final quarter, long after the game had been decided.
Not Loving New England
Dallas was 3-1 in games played at the Patriots' original stadium.
They have played in all three variations of the stadium's name, starting with Schaffer Stadium in 1970s, then Sullivan Stadium in the 1980s and finally Foxboro Stadium.
But Dallas is just 1-3 in games played in the newer Gillette Stadium, thanks primarily to the rise of the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.
Dallas is 4-4 in games played on the road against New England overall.
See You At The Big Game, Maybe
The Patriots began in the AFL as the Boston Patriots in 1960 and joined the AFC when the two leagues merged for the 1970 season.
Meaning the Cowboys can only face the Patriots in the post-season if both make it to the Super Bowl.
Or if a very massive realignment occurs.
The only time the Patriots made it to a conference title game in the 1970s and 1980s was in 1985.
The Bears clobbered them. In 1985 the Cowboys were on their slow decline that would lead to the Jimmy Johnson era four years later.
In 1985 they were routed by the Rams in the wild card game.
New England's next return to the AFC title game/Super Bowl would be in 1996 — and a loss to the Packers.
Dallas was the defending champions, but were shown the door in the Divisional round by the Panthers that season.
While New England's Super Bowl run was just beginning, the Cowboys have never come close since.
That drought had denied the teams a chance to meet with a championship on the line. For now.