Throwback Game of the Week

Week 12 – 49ers at Cowboys | Archived Throwback Game of the Week

Next week: Throwback Thanksgiving

Series Summary | Memorable Games | Hall of Fame Perspective | Odds 'N Ends | Trivia | At the Hall's Throwback Game of the Week Series - Each week during this season, the NFL’s 89th, will reflect on one of the weekend’s matchups. Unlike anywhere on the web, you’ll get inside access to the world’s largest collection on the NFL. The Hall’s archives staff will comb through the millions of documents, artifacts and photos in our collection to help tell the story. The new edition of Throwback Game of the Week will be posted on each Thursday throughout the 2008 NFL season. Enjoy!

Series Summary
Shop our Museum Store for great 49ers and Cowboys items>>>

The 49ers-Cowboys rivalry has included a number of classic regular season games over the years. The series has also featured seven playoff games including six with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

San Francisco leads the regular season series, 14-9-1 and has outscored Dallas, 650-538 in those 24 games. The Cowboys have a 5-2 edge in the post-season and have outscored the Forty-Niners, 184-148, in those contests.

Memorable Games

Nov. 7, 1965 – Cowboys 39, 49ers 31 (Dallas)
The Cowboys scored touchdowns four different ways – a 100-yard kickoff return by Mel Renfro, a fumble recovery in the end zone by defensive end George Andrie, a 17-yard interception return by DT Bob Lilly and two TD receptions by wide receiver Bob Hayes, who finished the day with 108 yards receiving on four catches.

San Francisco was led by Dave Parks who had a game-high 6 receptions for 120 yards and scored on a 22-yard TD catch.

Read all about it. See a newspaper account of this thriller. Notice that Renfro's kickoff return was reported as 99 yards.  It was later changed to 100 yards. PDF (918 KB)>>>

No headlines. Andrie’s recovery of a fumble in the end zone marked the first of two touchdowns in his 11-season, 141-game career with the Cowboys. He scored his other TD the following season on an interception return. See an action photo of Andrie from the Hall’s photo collection. PDF (498 KB)>>>

Hall of Fame Day. The Cowboys win was fueled in part by future Hall of Famers Bob Lilly and Mel Renfro. Check out their HOF Bios. Lilly>> | Renfro>>>

Bob Hayes is one of two senior nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009. Story>>>


Nov. 27, 1969 – Cowboys 24, 49ers 24 (Dallas)
The teams battled to a tie on Thanksgiving Day. RB Ken Willard scored on a one-yard touchdown run and a 19-yard TD pass from QB John Brodie to give San Francisco a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Dallas rallied twice in the game as QB Craig Morton threw a pair of touchdown passes including a game-tying TD throw to wideout Lance Rentzel in the fourth quarter.

Tied up. See the cover and some interior pages from that game’s program. PDF (1.88 MB)>>>


Dec. 12, 1977 – Cowboys 42, 49ers 35 (San Francisco)
It was a duel of quarterbacks as Roger Staubach of the Cowboys and the 49ers’ Jim Plunkett lit up the stat sheet. Staubach threw three touchdown passes, ran for one TD and guided the Dallas offense for two other scores.

Plunkett guided the 49ers to a season-high 35 points by throwing four touchdowns. San Francisco’s Gene Washington had 5 catches for a season-high 130 yards and 1 TD.

The 49ers’ Gene Washington. Today, Gene Washington serves as the Director of Operations at the NFL office in New York. During his playing days, he was one of two wide receivers in the NFL named Gene Washington. While the “other” Gene, who played for the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, was a decent receiver, the 49ers’ Gene Washington was one of the most prolific pass catchers of the 1970s. His 57 TDs during the decade ranked tied for second among all receivers and his 6,145 receiving yards amassed in the decade trailed only Harold Jackson and Ken Burrough. In all, Washington caught 385 passes for 6,856 yards and 68 TDs during his career that spanned from 1969-1977 with San Francisco and one final season in 1979 with the Detroit Lions. View images of Washington that are part of the Hall’s photo collection. Launch Gallery>>>

The "Other" Gene Washington – See photos of Gene Washington who played for the Vikings from 1967-1972 and with the Broncos in 1973. Launch gallery>>>

Trifecta. A third NFL receiver by the name of Gene Washington played two games for the New York Giants in 1979. He was a 9th round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1977. See the complete ’77 draft>>>


Dec. 19, 1983 – 49ers 42, Cowboys 17 (San Francisco)
The 49ers clinched the NFC Western Division on Monday Night Football in the final game of the regular season. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana threw four touchdowns including a pair in the first quarter to help San Fran jump out to an early 21-3 lead. The 49ers also scored on a 56-yard punt return by Dana McLemore and a 48-yard interception return by Eric Wright.

Program. See the cover and rosters from the game’s program. PDF (1.39 MB)>>>


Sept. 24, 2000 – 49ers 41, Cowboys 24 (Dallas)
San Francisco won its first game of the season as RB Charlie Garner became the first player in 49ers history to rush for 200 yards in a game (201). QB Jeff Garcia threw four touchdowns. WR Jerry Rice had a pair of touchdown grabs that included a 68-yard touchdown reception three plays into the third quarter.

Cowboys WR James McKnight recorded his finest day as a pro to that point when he hauled in six catches for 129 yards.


Rundown. View the official gamebook (play-by-play) as produced by the team's stat crew. PDF (91 KB)>>>

200-yarders. Garner is the first of two 49ers and one of 111 NFL running backs to rush for 200 yards in a game. Only 22 of those players accomplished the feat two or more times. More>>>


Hall of Fame Perspective
Joe Montana, Class of 2000

One of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, Joe Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowl wins and was named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He passed for 40,551 yards and 273 TDs during his career with San Francisco (1979-1992) and Kansas City (1993-94).

In the five games that Montana played against the Cowboys he managed to throw multiple touchdowns in all but one. His four TD throws against Dallas in 1983 marked the second of eight times he threw for four or more touchdowns in a game during his career.

Perhaps the most famous pass of his career came against Dallas when he found wide receiver Dwight Clark in the right corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the 1981 NFC Championship Game. The TD which is now simply referred to as “The Catch” catapulted the 49ers into their first ever Super Bowl. It also marked the beginning of an era of dominance by the 49ers in the 1980s.

Montana vs. Cowboys
1981 – 19 of 29 for 279 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Int.
1981* – 22 of 35 for 286 yards, 3 TDs, 3 Int.
1983 – 14 of 26, 223 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int.
1985 – 24 of 34, 322 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int.
1990 – 27 of 37, 290 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.

*Playoff game

Joe Montana’s Hall of Fame Bio>>>
Photo Gallery40,000-yard passers>>>

See the program cover from the famous 1981 NFC Championship Game. PDF (819 KB)>>>

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49ers and Cowboys Odds 'N Ends

Twice in the early ‘70s, once in 1981 and three times in the mid-1990s, the road to the Super Bowl included a final showdown between the Cowboys and 49ers. The Cowboys won back-to-back conference titles and berths in Super Bowls V and VI with wins over San Francisco in the 1970 and 1971 seasons. The 49ers downed the Cowboys in the ’81 title game en route to a win in Super Bowl XVI. Then in 1992 and 1993, the Cowboys defeated the 49ers in back-to-back years on their way to consecutive Super Bowl wins. The last time the NFC Championship featured these two clubs was in 1994 when San Francisco beat Dallas, 38-28.

View the official game book (play-by-play) of the six NFC championship games featuring the Cowboys and 49ers. (PDFs)

1970 – Dallas, 17-10 | 1971 – Dallas, 14-3

1981 – San Francisco, 28-27 | 1992 – Dallas, 30-20

1993 – Dallas, 38-21 | 1994 – San Francisco, 38-28


The 49ers of the 1960s and early ‘70s were led by quarterback John Brodie. In all, he played 17 seasons in San Francisco (1957-1973) and passed for more than 31,000 yards and 214 touchdowns. His finest year came in 1965 when he threw for 3,112 yards and 30 touchdowns and posted a 95.3 passer rating. Brodie went on to a long and distinguished broadcasting career and also competed as a pro golfer on the Senior tour.

The photo collection in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s archives includes more than two million images. Here are several shots of John Brodie when he quarterbacked the 49ers. Launch Gallery>>>

Not surprisingly, as the team’s offensive leader, Brodie was featured on the cover of the 49ers media guide in 1969 and 1970. See covers. PDF (579 KB)>>>


One could say it was Forrest Gregg’s birthright to finish his career with the Cowboys. Described by legendary coach Vince Lombardi as “the best player I ever coached,” the Hall of Fame tackle starred for the Green Bay Packers from 1956 through 1970. Gregg was an integral part of the Packers’ team that dominated the 1960s. He helped lead the team to six championships including victories in the first two Super Bowls.

Following the ’70 season, Gregg decided to finish his storied NFL career in his home state of Texas. Born in the town of Birthright, Gregg also played his collegiate football in the “Lone Star” state at Southern Methodist. Gregg capped his career by playing in six games with the Cowboys during their Super Bowl season that year. Following his playing days, he embarked on a long coaching career that including stints as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns (1975-77), Cincinnati Bengals (1980-83) and Green Bay Packers (1984-87).

View our photo gallery featuring many images from Gregg’s career. Launch Gallery>>>

Forrest Gregg’s Hall of Fame Bio>>>


Tom Landry was the only coach the Dallas Cowboys knew for the first 29 years of the franchise’s history. The legendary coach led the team to 270 victories and two Super Bowl titles during his Hall of Fame career.

Before he went into coaching, Landry had a respectable career as a defensive back and punter. He began his playing days in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1949 with the New York Yankees. The following season, after the AAFC folded, Landry joined the New York Giants with whom he played for six years. Three times in his career, he picked off eight passes in a season (1951, 1952 and 1954).

See a photo of Tom Landry as a player with the Giants. PDF (522 KB)>>>

Before his pro football career, Landry served in the Army Air Corps during World War II where he survived a crash landing. Learn more about Landry and other NFL players who unselfishly served their country. Story>>>

Tom Landry’s Hall of Fame Bio>>>


 The entire backfield of the 49ers from the mid-1950s earned their way to Canton. The famous “Million Dollar Backfield” consisted of future Hall of Famers quarterback Y.A. Tittle, halfback Hugh McElhenny and fullbacks Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson. The unit was intact for three seasons from 1954-56.

The group of football greats reunited for an autograph session for the first time since their playing days at a special event held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in May 1999.

See a photo of the famous backfield as players and at their 1999 appearance in Canton. PDF (628 KB)>>>

Hall of Fame BiosJohnson | McElhenny | Perry | Tittle


Team Histories

 Forty-Niners - A charter member of the All-America Football Conference, the 49ers took the field in 1946. One of the more dominant teams…More>>>

 Cowboys - The Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL in 1960 and by 1966 had established themselves as one of the league's dynasty teams. Beginning that season… More>>>

Hall of Famers

Name, Position, Year of Induction

Ronnie Lott started at left cornerback as a rookie before switching to safety in his fifth season. He earned All-Pro honors at cornerback, strong safety and free safety during his career. Roger Staubach, who won four passing titles in his career, retired with the highest passer rating in history at the time.

The Forty-Niners have 12 long-time members inducted into the Hall of Fame. In addition, two other Hall of Fame members spent part of his career, albeit brief, with San Francisco.

Fred Dean, Defensive End, 2008
Jimmy Johnson, Cornerback, 1994
*John Henry Johnson, Fullback, 1987
Ronnie Lott, Cornerback/Safety, 2000
Hugh McElhenny, Halfback, 1970
Joe Montana, Quarterback, 2000
Leo Nomellini, Defensive Tackle, 1969
Joe Perry, Fullback, 1969
Bob St. Clair, Tackle, 1990
*O.J. Simpson, Running Back, 1985
Y.A. Tittle, Quarterback, 1971
Bill Walsh, Coach, 1993
Dave Wilcox, Linebacker, 2000
Steve Young, Quarterback, 2005

The Cowboys have 10 long-time members inducted into the Hall of Fame. In addition, six other Hall of Fame members spent part of his career, albeit brief, with Dallas.

*Herb Adderley, Cornerback, 1980
Troy Aikman, Quarterback, 2006
*Lance Alworth, Wide Receiver, 1978
*Mike Ditka, Tight End, 1988
Tony Dorsett, Running Back, 1994
*Forrest Gregg, Tackle, 1977
Michael Irvin, Wide Receiver, 2007
Tom Landry, Coach, 1990
Bob Lilly, Defensive Tackle, 1980
*Tommy McDonald, Wide Receiver, 1998
Mel Renfro, Cornerback/Safety, 1996
Tex Schramm, Administrator, 1991
*Jackie Smith, Tight End, 1994
Roger Staubach, Quarterback, 1985
Randy White, Defensive Tackle, 1994
Rayfield Wright, Tackle, 2006

* Notes that the Hall of Famer spent time with the 49ers or Cowboys but made their major contribution to the NFL with another team.

49ers Trivia Cowboys Trivia

1. Who holds the team mark for most games played in a 49ers uniform?
a. John Brodie
b. Roger Craig
c. Jerry Rice
d. Len Rohde

2. Who is the only 49ers player to intercept four passes in the same game?
a. Ronnie Lott
b. Jimmy Johnson
c. Eric Wright
d. Dave Baker

3. Who holds the 49ers record for longest punt return?
a. Deion Sanders
b. John Taylor
c. Dana McLemore
d. Hugh McElhenny

4. Who holds the team record for longest TD reception?
a. Jerry Rice
b. John Taylor
c. Terrell Owens
d. Gene Washington

5. Who holds the 49ers single-season rushing record?
a. Frank Gore
b. Garrison Hearst
c. Joe Perry
d. Roger Craig

1. What receiver holds the Cowboys record for most career 100-yard games?
a. Drew Pearson
b. Tony Hill
c. Michael Irvin
d. Billy Howton

2. Who holds the Cowboys’ single-game record for receiving yards?
a. Drew Pearson
b. Billy Joe Dupree
c. Bob Hayes
d. Terrell Owens

3. Who was the first player in Cowboys history to rush for 200 yards in a game?
a. Don Perkins
b. Robert Newhouse
c. Tony Dorsett
d. Emmitt Smith

4. Who played in the most games as a Cowboy?
a. Bill Bates
b. Lee Roy Jordan
c. Jethro Pugh
d. Ed “Too Tall” Jones

5. Who is the only Cowboys kicker to connect on a pair of 50-yard field goals in the same game?
a. Billy Cundiff
b. Richie Cunningham
c. Rafael Septien
d. Eddie Murray

At the Hall

Many mementos from the 49ers and Cowboys are on exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here are two such artifacts enjoyed by visitors to the museum in Canton.

Read the caption under the image below and then take a guess at what you’re looking at. Click on the picture for the full photo and more information on the treasured artifact.


Former 49ers receiver Terrell Owens had a career day against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 17, 2000 when he broke a long-standing receiving record previously held by Hall of Famer Tom Fears.


With 90 of his 94 career wins occuring during the 1990s, Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is the winningest starting QB in any decade.