NFC Championship Game history: Most wins, losses and appearances


The two teams that will square off in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game are familiar with each other, as well as the conference title game itself.

On one side, there are the San Francisco 49ers, a team that ruled the NFC in the 1980s. After winning the conference crown just two seasons ago, a return to the NFC Championship Game seemed unlikely for the sixth-seeded 49ers in this year’s playoffs. After upsetting the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers on the road, they are just one more road win away from another Super Bowl berth.

Standing in their way are the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVay’s squad doesn’t have nearly the historic conference dominance that the 49ers do, but it reached the Super Bowl three seasons ago following a chaotic and controversial NFC Championship Game victory over the Saints in New Orleans. Sunday’s game against the 49ers will be in L.A., and the winner will be back at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13 for Super Bowl LVI.

Ahead of Sunday’s matchup, here’s a look at the teams with the most wins, losses and appearances in NFC Championship Games:

Which team has won the most NFC Championship Games?

The Cowboys have the most NFC Championship Game victories with eight.

Those eight wins have come in two dominant stints. The first came from 1970, the first year with an NFC Championship Game following the NFL-AFL merger, to 1978 and featured five NFC title game wins. The second stretch came from 1992 to 1995, when Dallas made four straight appearances and picked up three victories.

The 49ers have a chance to tie the Cowboys on Sunday, as they have seven NFC Championship Game wins under their belt. After the 49ers, the New York Giants and Washington Football Team are tied for the third-most victories with five apiece.

Which team has lost the most NFC Championship Games?

While San Francisco can tie the record for most wins, it can also extend its lead with the most losses in NFC Championship Game history. The 49ers have lost the game nine times, with their most recent defeat coming in 2013. 

The Cowboys, Rams and Packers are second on the list with six NFC Championship Game losses apiece.

Which team has the most NFC Championship Game appearances?

The 49ers are making a record 17th NFC Championship Game appearance this year. It is their fifth time reaching the game since 2011, and they are 2-2 in that span.

The Cowboys are second on the list with 14 appearances. The Rams are in third, as Sunday will mark their 11th appearance. Next on the list are the Packers and Minnesota Vikings with nine each.

Every team in the current NFC has reached at least one conference title game, and only one team has failed to represent the conference in a Super Bowl. Here is each team listed by NFC Championship Game appearances:

1. San Francisco 49ers: 17 (7-9)

2. Dallas Cowboys: 14 (8-6)

3. Los Angeles Rams: 11 (4-6)

T-4. Green Bay Packers: 9 (3-6)

T-4. Minnesota Vikings: 9 (3-6)

6. Philadelphia Eagles: 7 (3-4)

7. Washington Football Team: 6 (5-1)

T-8. New York Giants: 5 (5-0)

T-8. Chicago Bears: 5 (2-3)

T-10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4 (2-2)

T-10. Carolina Panthers: 4 (2-2)

T-10. Atlanta Falcons: 4 (2-2)

13. Seattle Seahawks: 3 (3-0)

14. New Orleans Saints: 3 (1-2)

15. Arizona Cardinals: 2 (1-1)

16. Detroit Lions: 1 (0-1)

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