- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Randy Moss warned the Cowboys. He vowed that he’d make them pay every time he played Dallas if Jerry Jones didn’t draft him.
Moss has been a man of his word, torching the Cowboys for 734 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games, including one playoff meeting. The Cowboys are 0-7 against arguably the greatest receiver since Jerry Rice.
“I’m sorry that we have to play him again,” Jones said after Moss was traded last week to the Vikings, the Cowboys’ opponent Sunday in a playoff rematch/potential elimination game.
A quick look at each of Moss’ performances against the Cowboys:
Vikings 46, Cowboys 36 (Nov. 26, 1998): The rookie made the most of his opportunities during a Thanksgiving shootout. He caught only three passes, scoring on touchdowns of 51, 56 and 56 yards. He also drew a 50-yard pass interference penalty. Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders sat out with a sprained big toe, leaving past-his-prime Kevin Smith and the forgettable Kenny Wheaton to try to cover Moss. Troy Aikman’s 455 passing yards weren’t enough to keep up with a Minnesota team on its way to the NFL scoring record.
Vikings 27, Cowboys 17 (Nov. 8, 1999): Moss caught six passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns, playing the starring role as the Vikings rallied from a 17-0 deficit. The Cowboys had no offensive firepower after Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman were knocked out of the game by midway through the third quarter.
Vikings 27, Cowboys 10 (Jan. 9, 2000): Moss caught five passes for 127 yards and a touchdown despite consistent double-teams in the NFC Wild Card Game, which was Chan Gailey’s not-so-grand finale as the Cowboys’ head coach. Moss’ 58-yard touchdown on a bomb in the final minute of the first half gave the Vikings the lead for good.
Vikings 27, Cowboys 15 (Nov. 23, 2000): Moss ruined another Thanksgiving at Texas Stadium, catching seven passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. "I just try to go out there and make it happen," Moss said after the game, "but I do like to show them that they did mess up on draft day."
Vikings 35, Cowboys 17 (Sept. 12, 2004): The Cowboys made Moss the primary focus of his game plan, holding Moss to four catches for 27 yards in the season opener. He still scored two touchdowns. And Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper threw for five TDs, the most against the Cowboys in 35 years.
Raiders 19, Cowboys 13 (Oct. 2, 2005): This is the only time Moss failed to get in the end zone against the Cowboys, but he caught four passes for 123 yards. It was one of five 100-yard games for Moss during his disappointing two-year tenure in Oakland.
Patriots 48, Cowboys 27 (Oct. 14, 2007): After all the hype about the “Other 81,” as Terrell Owens referred to Moss in a note to reporters taped to his Valley Ranch locker that week, it was Wes Welker (11-124-2) and Dante Stallworth (7-136-1) who really killed the Cowboys. Moss contributed six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown for the Patriots, who would break the 1998 Vikings’ scoring record.