Are You Ready For Some (Monday Night) Football?

Cowboys. Eagles. Monday Night Football. September. All that'll be missing is these guys.
Cowboys. Eagles. Monday Night Football. September. All that'll be missing is these guys.

Cowboys. Eagles. Monday Night Football. September. All that'll be missing is these guys.

Remember September?

I do. Especially when the Dallas Cowboys played on Monday Night Football. I know, it’s not the same these days on ESPN as it was in the glory days back on ABC, but it’s still more “event” than “game.”

And next week – when Dallas hosts the Philadelphia Eagles – will be the final MNF game ever at Texas Stadium.

Which got me to thinking. To remembering. Man, there’s been a lot of memorable MNF games involving the Cowboys in September. (Attention Norm Hitzges: The Cowboys are 18-8 in MNF games in September and 22-21 in MNF games in other months. Hmm. Do I smell a trend?)

A little research and – presto – my Top 10:

10. 9-4-78 at Cowboys 38, Colts 0 – Fresh off winning Super Bowl XII, Dallas opens the season by obliterating a Baltimore team missing stars Bert Jones and Lydell Mitchell with 583 yards of offense. Even a backup quarterback named Danny White throws a touchdown.

9. 9-19-05 Redskins 14, at Cowboys 13 – On an emotional night when Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin go into the Ring of Honor, Santana Moss ruins the party with two long touchdown catches in the final 3:46.

8. 9-21-81 Cowboys 35, at Patriots 21 – Tony Dorsett spins and sprints 75 yards for a score en route to a 162 yards rushing.

7. 9-7-92 at Cowboys 23, Redskins 10 – Isiaac Holt blocks a punt and the Cowboys whip Mark Rypien and the defending Super Bowl champs. It was the beginning of the beginning of the dynasty.

6. 9-2-96 at Bears 22, Cowboys 6 – With Michael Irvin suspended and Emmitt Smith injured, the Cowboys fail to score a touchdown for the first time in 70 games. It was the beginning of the beginning of the end of the dynasty.

5. 9-4-95 Cowboys 35, at Giants 0 – Emmitt Smith bolts 60 yards for a touchdown on the season’s first handoff and rushes for 163 yards in a stunned Meadowlands.

4. 9-8-86 at Cowboys 31, Giants 28 – Filling in for an injured Tony Dorsett, a heralded newcomer named Herschel Walker hurdles his way to the winning 10-yard touchdown with 1:16 remaining.

3. 9-15-97 at Cowboys 21, Eagles 20 – Dallas survives when holder Tom Hutton bobbles the snap on Chris Boniol’s 22-yard field-goal attempt with four seconds remaining. That, like, never happens. Right, Tony Romo?

2. 9-15-03 Cowboys 35, at Giants 32 – Head coach Bill Parcells gets his first win in Dallas after his team blows a 15-point fourth-quarter lead, only to be bailed out by Quincy Carter’s passing, Antonio Bryant’s clutch receiving and seven field goals by Billy Cundiff, including a 52-yarder to force overtime and the game-winner from 25.

1. 9-5-83 Cowboys 31, at Redskins 30 – Trailing 23-3 at halftime, Danny White rallies Dallas to an electrifying season-opening win behind three second-half touchdown passes, two to Tony Hill and the game-winner to Doug Cosbie with 1:49 remaining. -- Richie Whitt


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