They had lost a close game to the Steelers last week on a controversial call and the AFC North title with it.
And the Cowboys upset the Ravens even more. Jerry Jones personally picked the Ravens to be the opponent on this day, assuming that they would be an easy game. The Cowboys were going all out, they were rolling out the banners from their five Super Bowl wins and another to honor Emmitt Smith being the NFLs' all-time rushing leader. Not to mention the fact that they had 100 former players and 12 Ring of Honor inductees present such as Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Bob Lilly, and Roger Staubach. The Ravens weren't supposed to stand a chance with that kind of home field advantage.
But the Ravens did.
The Cowboys would take an early lead behind a Tashard Choice touchdown run, but the Ravens would eliminate it with three Matt Stover field goals and a touchdown pass to Derrick Mason, who played through a dislocated arm that night.
The Cowboys and Ravens traded field goals in the fourth quarter and they tried to rally with a Tony Romo to Terrell Owens touchdown, but a 77 yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee increased the Ravens' lead once more. The Cowboys tried to rally again, but Le'Ron McClain ended the Cowboys chances with an 82 yard touchdown run, the longest ever allowed in Cowboys stadium.
The Cowboys expected an easy win in Texas Stadium against the Ravens. In the end, the Cowboys would get embarrassed in their own home and they lost control of their destiny in the NFC, while the Ravens made it to the playoffs.