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After three rivalries in football (soccer), we move to American football. The NFL is one of the most watched competitions in the world, and especially so in the USA. There are many different opinions about which the biggest rivalry there is, but the one you most hear about is Cowboys-Redskins. The forming of the Cowboys is what actually started the rivalry before the team even existed, since it was a movie-script worthy affair.  Oilman Clint Murchison, Jr. had a huge desire to bring NFL to Texas. After attempts to buy 2 teams, he finally managed to agree the purchase of the Washington Redskins from their owner George Preston Marshall.

You can imagine Murchison’s happiness. But then, just as the deal was about to be completed, Marshall requested a different deal. Now you can imagine how angry Murchison was. He called the whole deal off, disappointed over what he thought was another failed attempt. However, at the time Marshall had a dispute with Barnee Breeskin, who was the band director with the Redskins and also the guy who wrote the Redskins fight song, and, more importantly, owned the rights to it. Out of revenge, he sold the rights to Murchison, which turned out to be an amazingly smart business move for the future Cowboys owner. Apparently, he had decided to form his own team, since there opened an opportunity for this through the NFL expansion committee.

The only problem was that the decision for expansion needed to be put before the owners of other teams, and even worse it had to be unanimous, which put Marshall in the position to prevent the forming of Murchison’s team. This is when Murchison informed Marshall about the purchase of the song and he was forced to approve the Dallas team in return for the rights to the song, and the Cowboys were finally formed in 1960. You can only imagine the rivalry that spawned out from this.

The Cowboys went on to win 5 Super Bowl Championships, 10 Conference championships and 21 division championships. They also hold the record of eight Super Bowl appearances, together with Pittsburgh Steelers. Their history in the NFL has been full of ups and downs. The eighties were hard on them, but by the end of the decade Jimmy Johnson brought the team back to the top. The new millennium has been full of ups and downs for the Cowboys.

On the other hand, Redskins have won 2 NFL Championships, 3 Super Bowls, 5 Conference championships and 12 Division championships. All their league titles came during two decade-long runs, 1936-1945 and 1982-1991, while their worst period was from 1946 to 1970 which ended mainly due to the success brought by George Allen and, after him, Joe Gibbs.  But since the retirement of Gibbs, things got worse, but the franchise still has extraordinarily loyal and numerous fan base.

The two teams have met 104 times in regular season so far with Dallas Cowboys leading with the record of 62-40-2, as well as holding the biggest victory of 38-3. When it comes to post season the Redskins lead 2-0.

Their rivalry is very big even outside the pitch. In 2005 NBA player Darrell Armstrong was fined for taking a microphone before NBA match of his team Dallas against Minnesota and boasting about the Redskin’s win over Cowboys just a few hours earlier. Cowboys’ ex head coach Tom Landry also starred in two TV commercials in which he mentioned his team’s rival in a derogatory way. Here they are.

Even though the two teams are not in their heyday at the moment, their rivalry is just as fierce as it has ever been. Being a fan of one of these teams inevitably involves despising the other.

 

 


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