NFL

What Are the Top 5 Dallas Cowboys’ Comebacks in Team History?

Dak Prescott led the Dallas Cowboys back from a 20-point deficit on Sunday to shock the Atlanta Falcons for a 40-39 last-second victory. It was the second-largest deficit overcome in the club’s storied 60-year history. Here’s a look back at the top five all-time greatest Dallas Cowboys comebacks.

2 (Tie). 20 points — Dak Prescott leads Dallas Cowboys’ comeback to defeat Atlanta Falcons (Sept. 20, 2020)

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The Dallas Cowboys fell behind early after turning the ball over on multiple occasions. At the end of the first quarter, Dallas trailed 20-0. After trailing at half 29-10, the Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott put up a strong second half on offense.

The Cowboys outscored Atlanta 14-0 in the third quarter and closed the gap. In the final quarter, Dallas scored a touchdown and trailed 39-37. After pulling off the improbable and recovering an onside kick, the Dallas Cowboys completed the comeback by going down the field and kicking a field goal with no time remaining on the clock. It was the only time Dallas led the entire contest.

2 (Tie). 20 points — Danny White directs Dallas Cowboys’ comeback over Washington in season opener (Sept. 5, 1983)

Dallas Cowboys comeback win
Danny White leads Dallas Cowboys to comeback win over Washington in 1983. | Photo by ABC via Getty Images

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The Dallas Cowboys traveled to Washington to take on the Redskins during the 1983 season opener. After Washington jumped out to an early 10-0 in the first, Dallas kicked a field goal but then Washington answered scoring 13 in the second and led 23-3 at the half. 

In the third quarter, quarterback Danny White connected with receiver Tony Hill on a pair of long touchdown scores that were key to the Dallas Cowboys’ comeback. In the final quarter, Dallas scored a pair of touchdowns and finished off a run of 28 unanswered points before Washington scored late. Dallas held on for the 31-30 victory.

1 (Tie). 21 points — Dallas Cowboys overcome 21-point deficit to defeat New Orleans Saints in overtime (Oct. 21, 1984)

The Dallas Cowboys hosted the New Orleans Saints in the middle of the 1984 season. After Dallas put up the only points in the first quarter, a Rafael Septien field goal, the Saints managed to score 27 points over the next two quarters while limiting the Cowboys to another field goal.

Trailing 27-6 in the fourth, the Dallas Cowboys responded with a comeback aided with help on both sides of the ball, including a Jim Jeffcoat fumble recovery in the end zone. The game went into overtime and Septien was the hero kicking a 41-yard field goal to win the game 30-27.

1 (Tie). 21 points — Dallas Cowboys outlast Washington in overtime season-opening thriller (Sept. 12, 1999)

The Washington Football Team has twice been victim to an improbable Dallas Cowboys comeback, including in 1999. In that contest, Troy Aikman and the Cowboys actually jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter only to see Washington roar back and score 32 unanswered points to take a 35-14 lead into the fourth.

In that final quarter, the Cowboys responded in a huge way as Aikman connected with Michael Irvin for a pair of touchdowns that tied the game up with less than two minutes remaining. In overtime, the Dallas Cowboys comeback was complete when Aikman found Rocket Ismail on a 76-yard bomb to pull off the victory, 41-35.

1 (Tie). 21 points — Dallas Cowboys stun St. Louis Rams in comeback (Sept. 21, 2014)

In the third game of the 2014 season against the St. Louis Rams, the Cowboys started the game eerily similar to the 2020 version against the Atlanta Falcons. Halfway through the second quarter, Dallas trailed 21-0. Before the half, Dallas scored a touchdown and field goal to cut the lead to 21-10.

In the second half, Tony Romo led the comeback charge, including connections with Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams for a pair of touchdown scores. The Cowboys held off the Rams for the 34-31 victory.

In the 60 years of Cowboys football, there have been some iconic moments, including five Super Bowl victories. Some of the other most memorable moments have come in the form of Dallas Cowboys comebacks. And on Sunday against the the Falcons, the small number of fans in attendance were treated to one of those moments and a piece of Cowboys history. 

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.