In the immediate moments after the Dallas Stars’ season died with an embarrassing home loss in Game 7 to the St. Louis Blues, I pondered the following -
Is this the worst “big game” loss in the history of North Texas pro sports? Normally these types of games are close but Stars/St. Louis Blues Game 7 looked like a preseason snore.
In no particular order, here are some losing candidates from which to select:
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Philadelphia Eagles 44, Dallas Cowboys 6; December 28, 2008
This was not the playoffs but it was a defacto postseason game. The Cowboys entered this regular season finale in Philly just needing to win to make the playoffs. Instead, the Eagles crushed Tony Romo and the Cowboys from the start and led 27-3 at halftime. The Eagles went to the playoffs. The Cowboys finished 9-7 and missed out on the postseason.
This was the game when Tony Romo famously said, “If this is the worst thing that ever happened to me, I had a pretty good life.”
Edmonton Oilers 4, Dallas Stars 3 (ot). Game 7 Western Conference quarterfinals; April 29, 1997
In 1996-’97, the Stars won the Central Division with 104 points and 48 wins. This team was loaded. The Stars were the two seed and had home ice in their first-round series against the Edmonton Oilers. In the overtime, the Stars defenseman Grant Ledyard fell down at his blue line which allowed Oilers forward Todd Marchant a clean break at the net and he beat goalie Andy Moog in Reunion Arena to win it. The NHL Network did an entire show on this series.
Arizona Cardinals 20, Dallas Cowboys 7; NFC Wild Card; January 2, 1999
The Cowboys won 10 games under first-year head coach Chan Gailey and hosted a playoff game against the 9-7 Cardinals. Quarterback Jake Plummer and running back Adrian Murrell killed the Cowboys and Troy Aikman was intercepted three times. It was 20-0 in the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles Rams 21, Dallas Cowboys 19; NFC Wild Card; December 30, 1979
The Cowboys were 11-5 in what was to be the final season of Roger Staubach’s Hall of Fame career. The Rams led 14-5 at the half but the Cowboys 19-14 in the fourth quarter. But Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo found receiver Billy Waddy for a 50-yard game winning touchdown pass.
Miami Heat 95, Dallas Mavericks 92; Game 6 NBA Finals; June 20, 2006
The game was close and the Mavs had a chance to tie it at the end but this was the culmination of a brutal four consecutive losses by the team that had the home court advantage in the Finals. The Mavs led in these NBA Finals 2-0 but fell apart that led to the Heat celebrating its first NBA title at the American Airlines Center. The Mavs returned the favor on Miami’s home floor in 2011.
St. Louis Cardinals 6, Texas Rangers 2; Game 7 World Series; Oct. 28, 2011
The Rangers had the World Series won in Game 6 but infamously blew it in the ninth which led to another chance to win it all in Game 7. The Rangers scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning but that lead evaporated in the top of the inning and it was over. Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter was on it and the Rangers never had a chance.
Golden State Warriors 111, Dallas Mavericks 86; Game 6 NBA Western Conference quarterfinals; May 3, 2007
The Mavericks led the NBA in wins during the regular season and had the MVP in Dirk Nowitzki. The Warriors were the eight seed but had former Mavs head coach Don Nelson and a healthy guard Baron Davis. The Warriors defeated the Mavs by double digits in three games of what is considered one of the biggest playoff upsets in NBA history.
New York Yankees 3, Texas Rangers 0; Game 3 ALDS; Oct. 9, 1999
This was the final playoff game for the Rangers during their successful run in the ‘90s when they reached the playoffs three out of four seasons - all of which ended with defeats to the Yankees in the playoffs. The Rangers won Game 1 of the 1996 ALDS against the Yankees and then proceeded to lose nine consecutive postseason games to New York.
This Game 3 was a total dud as the Yankees scored three times in the first inning. Following a long rain delay the game continued in front of small crowd that would not see another Rangers playoff game until 2010.
Oakland A’s 12, Texas Rangers 5; Oct. 3, 2012
This was the infamous Josh Hamilton dropped ball game. The Rangers went to Oakland for the final three-game series of the regular season to clinch the American League West title. Instead, the Rangers were swept and lost the division to the A’s on the final day of the regular season with a seven-run loss. The Rangers went to the wild card game and lost that, too.
Los Angeles Lakers 117, Dallas Mavericks 102; Game 7 Western Conference Finals; June 4, 1988
The Mavs had pushed the dynasty Lakers to the edge and trailed Game 7 by one point at the half. But Lakers forward James Worthy scored 28 points and the Lakers pulled away to end the Mavs’ season one game shy of its first NBA Finals appearance.
Wasn’t this fun to re-live?