Deep in the heart of Texas stands a proud city called Dallas. Known for its cheerleaders, highly attended basketball games, Dallas wings, and barbecue, Dallas has had its fair share of wins.
That said, every city has to endure some losses. Between the Mavericks, the Rangers, the Stars, and the Cowboys, Dallas has been through hell and back.
Keep reading to see the city’s biggest sports moments, from their glorious victories to their most heartbreaking losses. Cough, the botched snap, cough.
Almost every team in Dallas has won a championship. (Sorry, Rangers, we’re sure your time is coming reeeaaal soon.) From hockey to baseball to football, these are five of the franchises’ finest hours.
The no-hitter is every major league pitcher’s dream. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Or, if you are Nolan Ryan, it’s a seventh-in-a-lifetime moment. Eighteen years after his first no-hitter, the 44-year old legendary pitcher struck out 16 batters for the Texas Rangers. He crushed the favored ’91 Toronto Blue Jays and set a new record for no-hitters that no one else has even come close to.
It was December 16, 1979 – The Cowboys were down 17-0 in the first half and 34-21 in the fourth quarter during the NFC Championship against the Redskins. The game looked like it was for sure over. But what happened next shocked the world. Quarterback Roger Staubach made an incredible series of drives in the game’s final moments, sneaking out a victory, 35-34. The Cowboys advanced to the playoffs, and the Redskins hit vacation a little early that year. It was electric.
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Hailing from Michigan, Mike Modano was born to make hockey history. Known for his ability to move around the rink and a 100-mph killer shot, Modano was a mainstay and undoubtedly MVP for the 20 seasons he played with the Dallas Stars through their move from Minnesota to Texas.
On March 18, 2007, almost two decades after his first NHL appearance, he broke the record for most goals by an American-born player, with his 503rd goal scored against the Nashville Predators. Modano is Dallas’ most legendary hockey star, pivotal to the franchises’ only Stanley Cup win at Comerica Center.
The 49ers were uber dominant in the 1980s and seemed poised to repeat their NFL glory in the ’90s. Enter the 1992 NFC championship game.
The Cowboys were not favored, but they had some fire on the sidelines, which led to the bold and unexpected victory. It also led to one of the greatest post-game speeches ever given, with Coach Jimmy Johnson declaring, “How ‘bout them Cowboys!” If you ever stroll by AT&T Stadium, you’re likely to hear that phrase again, as it became an instant classic.
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The 2011 Mavericks were not supposed to win the NBA Championship. In every series during their postseason run, they were the underdogs. The odds never stopped them. They took on the Miami Heat in the finals, the team that had thwarted their last shot at the trophy in 2006. After six tough games, the Mavericks won it all, beating the Heat 105-95. We’re pretty sure this Dallas win motivated Lebron James to become the G.O.A.T. So, you’re welcome, Miami.
Dallas’ major league teams have all seen some success, but did you know about its local gems? Check out our Dallas collection to show your support for its small, defunct teams.
Sometimes the stars don’t shine so bright in Dallas. These are the city’s most heartbreaking losses.
As we mentioned before, the 49ers were the dominant team of the 1980s, and that began in earnest in 1981. The NFC Championship put the Cowboys up against them, and Dallas clutched to a six-point lead in the fourth quarter.
We were moments from a victory until Joe Montana called the now historic “Red Right Tight-Sprint Right” play, and Dwight Clark made an unforgettable catch in the endzone. The Cowboys would not see a Superbowl game in the ’80s, and this game marked the end of Dallas’ winning streak in the decade before.
If you’re a Rangers fan and can hear the year “2011” without cringing, we salute you. Game 6 of the World Series against the Cardinals remains one of the wildest World Series match-ups ever played. The Rangers were one game shy of winning, and Dallas could taste the ring.
The game itself was a nail-biter start to finish. The lead changed over and over again, and the adrenaline within the stadium was palpable. In the 11th inning, the Cardinals’ David Freese hit a homer and forced the series to Game Seven, where they won out in the end.
The Stars were the team to beat in the early 2000s, and after their 1999 Stanley Cup win, it looked like they were ready to repeat. That is until the Devils showed up. By Game 5, the Devils were up 3-1 games, but the Stars bounced back with a thrilling comeback.
Momentum was on their side, but in the end, the Stars succumbed to Jason Arnott’s Game Six overtime goal. It would take another two decades before the Stars appeared in the Stanley Cup finals again.
The date January 6, 2007, sticks out in the minds of Cowboys fans as an excruciating moment. Down by one point against the Seahawks and set up for a field goal in the fourth quarter, 26-year-old QB Tony Romo had everything he needed to secure a victory. You probably remember how this one went. Romo botched the snap, tried to run to the endzone, and got sacked right before it, literally and figuratively dropping the ball. Still stings.
The Mavericks went on a 15-game losing streak in 1992, flattening support for the franchise and breaking the hearts of Dallas fans everywhere. The worst came on December 29 up against the Sacramento Kings. The Mavs lost by 58 points—still their worst loss ever—scoring just 81 points. Ouch.
Just because Dallas doesn’t always deliver doesn’t mean this city will ever stop supporting its teams. Low points are simply laying down the foundation for greatness.
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Whether it’s a victory or a loss, everything’s bigger in Texas. Despite some awe-inspiring setbacks, Dallas sports has a lot to love, and this devoted fanbase is not known for giving up on their teams. With the love of the game on their side, Dallas fans are passionate, devoted, and most importantly, always willing to show up for their teams.