Ranking Dallas Cowboys' worst playoff losses of all-time

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys have suffered some brutal losses in the NFL Playoffs over the years. From major letdowns to questionable calls by the officiating crew, some losses sting more than others. Of all the tough defeats they have endured in the postseason, here are five of the worst in Cowboys history.

Dallas Cowboys' worst playoff losses

#5 - 2021 NFL Wild Card Playoffs vs. San Francisco 49ers

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

The most recent loss in the NFL Playoffs by the Cowboys was a tough one. After an excellent season in which they achieved a 12-5 record and were the top-ranked offense in the NFL, they were unable to win their home game against the 49ers. The Cowboys committed 14 penalties, the second most by any team ever in a postseason game.

Dak Prescott ran a QB draw with 14 seconds left and handed the ball to the center, who placed the ball himself.However, the ref is supposed to spot the ball.The move cost Dallas a chance at a game-winning play. The 49ers advance.🎥 @NFL

Despite sloppy play by the Cowboys, they still had their chances to win. They could not convert on an offensive drive with three minutes remaining in the game after trailing by six points. They had one more chance after that, but the game ended when the Cowboys were unable to spike the ball in time after a bizarre quarterback draw with no time outs and a limited clock remaining.

#4 - 2014 NFL Divisional Playoffs vs. Green Bay Packers

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant

The Cowboys trailed by five points with less than five minutes to go against the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Tony Romo threw a deep pass to wide receiver Dez Bryant on a fourth-down play. Bryant leaped over the defender and made what appeared to be a spectacular catch. After the play was reviewed, the official overturned the play and called it incomplete.

Five years ago today, controversy in Lambeau ...Did Dez catch it? 🤔 (via @nflthrowback)

"No Catch Game" is one of the most famous games in Cowboys history. The Cowboys would go on to lose the game after the controversial call. A couple of months later, the NFL changed the rules about what qualifies as a catch, with this play being one of the main reasons why. A couple of years later, the competition committee admitted that the play should have been ruled a catch.

Also check out: New England Patriots Playoff History, Appearances, Wins and more

Dallas Cowboys' most brutal playoff losses

Here are the Dallas Cowboys' worst losses ever in the NFL Playoffs.

#3 - 2007 NFL Divisional Playoffs vs. New York Giants

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana

The Cowboys matched a franchise record with 13 wins in the 2007 NFL season. They earned the top seed in the NFC Playoffs, and were considered the best Cowboys team overall during the Tony Romo era. They were heavily favored to win the game, but were instead upset by Eli Manning and the New York Giants, their division rivals. Romo threw a late interception that ended the game.

ON THIS DAY in 2008 — Following a playoff bye week vacation in Mexico with his then girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, Tony Romo and the Cowboys lost to the Giants 21-17 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs ... and Terrell Owens came to the defense of his quarterback 😢 #DallasCowboys

The biggest controversy surrounding this upsetting defeat was what happened leading up to the game. The Cowboys earned a first-round bye to be the one seed. Rather than getting in extra practice, Tony Romo, his girlfriend Jessica Simpson, and other Cowboys players took a vacation to Cabo San Lucas. It was labeled a distraction and many believe it contributed to the defeat.

#2 - 1981 NFC Championship Game vs. San Francisco 49ers

Joe Montana inflicted a painful playoff on the Dallas Cowboys
Joe Montana inflicted a painful playoff on the Dallas Cowboys

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys with one of the most famous plays of all time. It will forever be known as "The Catch" in NFL history. Joe Montana completed a game-winning touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to Dwight Clark, despite excellent defensive pressure and coverage by the Cowboys.

Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship.The Catch. 40 years ago today. (Jan. 10, 1982)

Joe Montana would go on to win four Super Bowls following that famous game while establishing himself as one of the very best quarterbacks in NFL history. Many believe that this single moment was a catalyst for the 49ers to become a dominant NFL dynasty in the 1980s from the previous Cowboys dynasty.

#1 - 2006 NFL Wild Card Playoffs vs. Seattle Seahawks

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo

At the top of the list for the worst losses in Cowboys playoff history is the result of a rare and massive mistake on routine play. The Cowboys trailed the Seattle Seahawks by just one point. Tony Romo put together a drive to set up a game-winning chip shot field goal for the Cowboys. They lined up for the kick and then disaster struck.

On this day in 2007, Tony Romo fumbles the snap to lose a Wild Card game against the Seahawks. 😥(🎥:@TDISportsClips)

Romo, who was also the holder for kicking attempts, fumbled the snap and was unable to place it down for the kicker. Romo picked up his own fumble but was tackled short of the endzone. The fundamental error eliminated the Dallas Cowboys from the 2006 NFL Playoffs.

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Edited by David Nyland
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