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Cowboys: Top 10 Most Memorable MNF Games

Eagles' improbable gift in 1997 finds it way onto Dallas' classic Monday Night Football games

With 82 starring roles, the Dallas Cowboys have the second-most appearances on Monday Night Football behind only the Miami Dolphins.

With that quantity has come quality.

The Cowboys are 48-34 all-time on Monday nights entering next week's prime-time home opener against the rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Of course, not all the memories are fond. Like, say, last season's embarrassing 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals which prompted ESPN play-by-plan voice Steve Levy to pronounce of the Cowboys, "Let's face it, right now they're a mess."

When the Cowboys hosted the Eagles in 1997 it featured a more pleasing mental souvenir, and one of the most improbable and wacky endings in franchise history (see No. 4). Who knows, maybe we’ll get a classic Monday that cracks this Top 10:

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10, Oct. 25, 2010 — Giants 41, at Cowboys 35. The Cowboys take a 20-7 lead thanks to a 93-yard punt return by rookie Dez Bryant. But in the second quarter Giants linebacker Michael Boley sacks Tony Romo, the quarterback breaks his collar bone, and Dallas’ season spirals to 1-5 on its way to 1-7 and the firing of head coach Wade Phillips.

9, Sept. 19, 2005 — Redskins 14, at Cowboys 13: On an emotional night when Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin are inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium, Santana Moss ruins the party with two long touchdown catches in the final 3:46.

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8, Sept. 2, 1996 — Bears 22, Cowboys 6: With Irvin suspended and Smith carted off on a stretcher, 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.

7, Sept. 4, 1995 — Cowboys 35, at Giants 0: Smith bolts 60 yards for a touchdown on the season’s first hand-off and rushes for 163 yards to stun the Meadowlands and catapult a Super Bowl season.

6, Sept. 7, 1992 — at Cowboys 23, Redskins 10: Issiac Holt blocks a punt on the game’s first possession and the Cowboys whip Mark Rypien and the defending Super Bowl champs. It was the beginning of the beginning of the dynasty.

5, Sept. 8, 1986 — at Cowboys 31, Giants 28: Teaming in Dallas’ Dream Team Backfield with Tony Dorsett, a heralded newcomer named Herschel Walker hurdles his way to the winning 10-yard touchdown with 1:16 remaining.

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4, Sept. 15, 1997 — at Cowboys 21, Eagles 20: Dallas survives when Philadelphia holder Tom Hutton bobbles the snap on kicker Chris Boniol’s 22-yard field-goal attempt with :04 remaining. That, like, never happens. Right, Romo?

3, Sept. 15, 2003 — 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 on the final play.

2, Sept. 5, 1983 — Cowboys 31, at Redskins 30: Trailing 23-3 at halftime, Danny White rallies Dallas to an electrifying season-opening win at old RFK Stadium behind three second-half touchdown passes, two to Tony Hill and the game-winner to Doug Cosbie with 1:49 remaining.

1, Oct. 8, 2007 — Cowboys 25, Bills 24: It’s the first MNF game in Buffalo in 13 years and one of the wildest finishes in the Cowboys’ 60-year history. The Cowboys trail 24-13 entering the fourth quarter because of six Romo turnovers (a fumble and five interceptions, two of which are returned for touchdowns). Romo hits Patrick Crayton for a short touchdown, but Terrell Owens is stripped of a two-point conversion pass to leave Dallas trailing 24-22 with :20 remaining. After a wonky carom off Sam Hurd, Cowboys' tight end Tony Curtis then recovers an onside kick. Rookie Nick Folk boots a 53-yard field goal at the gun for a dramatic win, only to have Buffalo call the last-millisecond timeout. But on the second go, Folk is good again. Whew.