1998 wild-card playoff win over the Cowboys
The Cardinals entered the season having never won a playoff game in 50 seasons. And since the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970, they often found a seat reserved for them in the NFC East’s basement, or perhaps one level up.
That all changed during the wild-card round of the 1998 playoffs against a familiar foe in the Dallas Cowboys. The two teams met twice during the season, with the Cowboys outscoring the Cardinals 73-38. To compound things, the Cardinals had to pull off three miraculous wins just to make the playoffs.
Then came the road trip against the Cowboys, who still had the cornerstones of their 1992-1995 dynasty intact. The Cardinals weren’t phased, however, shutting out the Cowboys through three quarters in a 20-7 win.
Football Outsidersreferred to the 1998 Cardinals as a “fluke team.” And in many ways, they were.
- Opponents outscored them 378-325.
- Out of 30 teams, they ranked 25th statistically.
- Not a single team they beat that year, until the Dallas game, won more than six games.
But hey, a playoff win is a playoff win, especially against a division rival.