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Dec. 19, 1981 Giants 13, Cowboys 10 (OT) (Credit: AP)

Dec. 19, 1981
Giants 13, Cowboys 10 (OT)
Giants Stadium
Eighteen years removed from their last postseason game, the 8-7 Giants had a chance to get into the playoffs for the first time since 1963 if they could knock off the 12-3 Cowboys. Joe Danelo had one of the worst kicking days of his career, converting just two of his five field goal attempts. But with 30 seconds left in regulation he kicked a 40-yarder to tie the score and after clanking a game-winning attempt off the upright in overtime he converted a 35-yarder after Byron Hunt’s interception in Cowboys territory. Danelo, who was 2-for-5, was carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders and a day later, when the Jets beat the Packers, the Giants were in the playoffs.

Flashback: 6 memorable Giants-Cowboys games

The Cowboys and Giants first met in 1960. Since then there have been many memorable meetings between them. Here are six that stand out.

Dec. 19, 1981 Giants 13, Cowboys 10 (OT)
(Credit: AP)

Dec. 19, 1981
Giants 13, Cowboys 10 (OT)
Giants Stadium
Eighteen years removed from their last postseason game, the 8-7 Giants had a chance to get into the playoffs for the first time since 1963 if they could knock off the 12-3 Cowboys. Joe Danelo had one of the worst kicking days of his career, converting just two of his five field goal attempts. But with 30 seconds left in regulation he kicked a 40-yarder to tie the score and after clanking a game-winning attempt off the upright in overtime he converted a 35-yarder after Byron Hunt’s interception in Cowboys territory. Danelo, who was 2-for-5, was carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders and a day later, when the Jets beat the Packers, the Giants were in the playoffs.

January 2, 1994 Cowboys 13, Giants 10 (OT)
(Credit: AP)

January 2, 1994
Cowboys 13, Giants 10 (OT)
Giants Stadium
Playing with a separated shoulder for most of the game, Emmitt Smith managed to run for 168 yards and catch 10 passes for 229 all-purpose yards in a game that blazed a path to another Dallas Super Bowl victory. The Giants and Cowboys both came into the battle at 11-4 and knowing that the winner would get a playoff bye and the loser would have to go through Minnesota and San Francisco. Refusing to leave the game, Smith accounted for 41 of the 52 yards on the Cowboys’ game-winning drive in overtime in what is considered by many to be one of the gutsiest performances in NFL history. The contest also marked the final regular-season home game in the careers of Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms.

Sept. 15, 2003 Cowboys 35, Giants 32 (OT)
(Credit: Paul J. Bereswill)

Sept. 15, 2003
Cowboys 35, Giants 32 (OT)
Giants Stadium

A Monday Night game that started out as Bill Parcells’ return to Giants Stadium with the Cowboys ended as one of the worst and quickest collapses in Giants history. The Giants erased a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter and were ahead, 32-29, with 14 seconds remaining when Matt Bryant’s attempt at a squib kickoff inexplicably went out of bounds at the 1. With 11 seconds remaining and the ball at their own 40, Quincy Carter hit Antonio Bryant with a 25-yard pass setting the stage for Billy Cundiff’s 52-yard game-tying field goal. Cundiff went on to kick a 25-yard game-winner in overtime, his NFL record-tying seventh field goal of the game. It was Parcells’ first win with the Cowboys.

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Jan 2, 2005 Giants 28, Cowboys 24 Giants
(Credit: Newsday/David L. Pokress)

Jan 2, 2005
Giants 28, Cowboys 24
Giants Stadium

The first win of Eli Manning’s NFL career came at the expense of the Cowboys in the final game of the 2004 season. Manning had been a starter since November and had lost his first five games. But against the Cowboys, he engineered a comeback as the Giants scored 21 fourth-quarter points. Trailing by three with 11 seconds left, Manning audibled from pass to run and Tiki Barber scored from 3 yards out for the win. Manning also threw three touchdowns. Barber run for 95 yards, giving him the team’s career rushing record and 1,518 on the season, a Giants record he later broke.

Jan. 13, 2008 Giants 21, Cowboys 17 Texas
(Credit: Getty Images)

Jan. 13, 2008
Giants 21, Cowboys 17
Texas Stadium

The wild card Giants became the first team since 1990 to knock off the NFC’s top seed in the division round since 1990, taking their second step toward a Super Bowl victory. Brandon Jacobs scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter and R.W. McQuarters intercepted a pass from Tony Romo to seal the win. As exciting as the game was, it may be best remembered for the teary-eyed Terrell Owens defending Romo in interviews afterward.

Dec. 11, 2011 Giants 37, Cowboys 34 Cowboys
(Credit: Getty Images)

Dec. 11, 2011
Giants 37, Cowboys 34
Cowboys Stadium
In a season that has been filled with games going down to the wire for the Giants, the first meeting of the season with the Cowboys would be no different. Trailing 34-22 with 5:41 left, the Giants drove 80 yards in 2:27 to close to 34-29 on Eli Manning's 8-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ballard. After a three-and-out by the Giants defensive unit, Manning and his offense drove 60 yards. Brandon Jacobs scored on a 1-yard run to give the Giants the lead. D.J. Ware added a two-point conversion for a 37-34 lead with 46 seconds left. It would be the eighth and final lead change of the game thanks to Jason Pierre-Paul, who blocked a last-second field goal attempt by the Cowboys.

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