30 greatest NFL rivalries of all-time

Aug 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of golden NFL shield logo in the end zone to commemorate Super Bowl 50 during the preseason NFL game between San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of golden NFL shield logo in the end zone to commemorate Super Bowl 50 during the preseason NFL game between San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /

22. Green Bay Packers – Dallas Cowboys

For a rivalry that has featured just 32 meetings throughout its 45-year history, the series between the Green Packers and Dallas Cowboys has incredible historical context.

First off, the series is tied at an even split of 16 games a piece, with the Cowboys holding a narrow edge in the point differential category with a mere four-point advantage. This makes for an average difference of just 0.125 points, in a series thats true greatness has nothing to do with the regular season.

The rivalry between Dallas and Green Bay dates back to the 1966 and 1967 NFL Championships, both of which were won by the Packers. During this time, a rivalry brewed between legendary head coaches Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi. Both would go down among the greatest coaches of all-time, regardless of sport, but Lombardi certainly held the edge in their head-to-head meetings.

The Cowboys would make up for their early shortcomings against the the Packers nearly three decades later, however. For three consecutive years in the mid-1990s, Dallas would end Green Bay’s season with convincing postseason victories, including a 38-27 defeat in the NFC Championship Game in 1996. The victory set up the Cowboys’ third Super Bowl title in four years.

The teams did not meet again in the playoffs until 2015, nearly 20 years later. This time, the game was a much tighter contest, and one that was not absent of controversy.

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant made a remarkable catch on a fourth down late in the fourth quarter that would have set Dallas up inside the one-yard line with a chance to take the lead. The ball came out as Bryant extended for the end zone, however, and the pass was ultimately ruled incomplete.

The Packers went on to win the game by a score of 26-21, sparking controversy and renewing one of the NFL’s great rivalries.

Next: 21. Houston Texans - Tennessee Titans