In the initial months following the its formation, the Dallas team was known as the “Steers.” After a few weeks, however, the name was changed to “Rangers.” At the same time, a baseball team operated in Dallas under that name, but was scheduled to fold before the 1960 football season. However, when the baseball team decided to play one more season, Clint Murchison Jr. and Bedford Wynne, owners of the new NFL team, selected the name of Cowboys to avoid confusion.
Jason Garrett 2010-
AT&T Stadium 2009-
First Game Played Septmeber 24, 1960
One Legends Way
Arlington, TX 76011
Phone: (817) 892-4161
Tom Landry 1960-1988
Jimmy Johnson 1989-1993
Barry Switzer 1994-1997
Chan Gailey 1998-1999
Dave Campo 2000-2002
Bill Parcells 2003-2006
Wade Phillips 2007-2010
Jason Garrett 2010-Present
Cotton Bowl 1960-1970
Texas Stadium 1971-2008
AT&T Stadium* 2009-Present
*-Cowboys Stadium 2009-2012
Super Bowl Champions: (5)
VI (1971), XII, (1977), XXVII (1992), XXVIII (1993), XXX (1995)
NFL Champions (pre 1966):
Super Bowls Appearances: (8)
V (1970), VI (1971), X (1975),
XII (1977), XIII (1978), XXVII (1992), XXVIII (1993), XXX (1995)
NFL Championship Games (Pre-1966):
NFL/NFC Championship Games: (16)
1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Division Champions: (23)
1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016
Playoff Appearences: (32)
1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016
Record in Playoff Games:
Hall of Famers: (24)
Herb Adderley DB 1970-1972
Troy Aikman QB 1989-2000
Larry Allen OT, OG 1994-2005
Lance Alworth WR 1971-1972
Mike Ditka TE 1969-1972
Tony Dorsett RB 1977-1987
Forrest Gregg OT 1971
Charles Haley DE 1992-1997
Bob Hayes WR 1965-1974
Michael Irvin WR 1988-1999
Jerry Jones Owner 1989-Present
Tom Landry Coach 1960-1988
Bob Lilly DT 1961-1974
Tommy McDonald WR 1964
Terrell Owens WR 2006-2008
Bill Parcells Coach 2003-2006
Mel Renfro DB 1964-1977
Deion Sanders CB 1995-1999
Tex Schramm Pres. 1960-1988
Emmitt Smith RB 1990-2002
Jackie Smith TE 1978
Roger Staubach QB 1969-1979
Randy White DT 1975-1988
Rayfield Wright OT 1967-1979
Ring of Honor: (21)
Troy Aikman QB 1989-2000
Larry Allen OT, OG 1994-2005
Tony Dorsett RB 1977-1987
Charles Haley DE 1992-1996
Bob Hayes WR 1965-1974
Cliff Harris S 1970-1979
Chuck Howley LB 1961-1973
Michael Irvin WR 1988-1999
Lee Roy Jordan LB 1963-1976
Tom Landry Coach 1960-1988
Bob Lilly DT 1961-1974
Don Meredith QB 1960-1970
Drew Pearson WR 1983-1993
Don Perkins DT 1961-1974
Mel Renfro DB 1961-1977
Tex Schramm Pres. 1960-1989
Emmitt Smith RB 1990-2002
Roger Staubach QB 1969-1979
Randy White DT 1975-1988
Darren Woodson S 1992-2004
Rayfield Wright OT 1967-1979
Pro Bowl MVP: (3)
1970 George Andrie DE
1971 Mel Renfro DB
1992 Michael Irvin WR
Coach of the Year: (2)
1966 Tom Landry
2016 Jason Garrett
Defensive Rookie of the Year:
Offensive Rookie of the Year: (5)
1969 Calvin Hill RB
1970 Duane Thomas RB
1977 Tony Dorsett RB
1990 Emmitt Smith RB
2016 Dak Prescott QB
Defensive Player of the Year: (1)
1977 Harvey Martin DE
Offensive Player of the Year: (1)
2014 DeMarco Murray RB
NFL MVP: (1)
1993 Emmitt Smith RB
Super Bowl MVP: (7)
V Chuck Howley LB (1970)
VI Roger Staubach QB (1971)
XII Harvey Martin DE (1977)
XII Randy White DE (1977)
XXVII Troy Aikman QB (1992)
XXVIII Emmitt Smith RB (1993)
XXX Larry Brown CB (1995)
1992, 2007, 2016 (13-3)
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Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
1960: Nearly a decade after the one year failure of the Dallas Texans. Clint Murchison, Jr., and Bedford Wynne were awarded an expansion franchise in the NFL at the annual league meeting in Miami Beach. The Cowboys were to play as a "swing" team, playing every other team one time during the first season, although listed in the Western Division standings. On September 24th the Cowboys host the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Cotton Bowl in their first official game. The Cowboys held the lead into the 4th Quarter but watched helpless as Quarterback Bobby Lane led the Steelers to a 35-24 come from behind win. The Cowboys would go to lose their first ten games before earning a tie with Giants in New York, in the next to last game of the season. The Cowboys would go on to lose their final game of the season to close out their inaugural season winless at 0-11-1.
1961: Now in the Eastern Division, the Cowboys started their second season at the Cotton Bowl on September 17th still seeking their first win in franchise history, playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thanks to Kicker Allan Green's 27-yard Field Goal, the Cowboys won 27-24 win, to start the season 1-0. The Cowboys would go on to win three of their first four games, beating the expansion Minnesota Vikings twice. However, once Dallas faced the rest of the league it was back to reality as they finished with a 4-9-1 record.
1962: The Cowboys began to show some promise in year three, as their offense scored the second most points in the league at 398, on the way to a 4-3-1 start. However, the defense allowed the second most points in the league, and the Cowboys lost five of their last six to finish with a 5-8-1 record.
1963: Picked by Sports Illustrated to win the Eastern Division the Cowboys get off to a terrible start losing their first four games, and six of their first seven. Just as the Cowboys started to play better football the city of Dallas was thrown into darkness as President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in a motorcade, the Cowboys would go on to lose three games in a row before winning their final game of the season in St. Louis against the Cardinals to finish with a 4-10 record.
1964: The draft was to the stage for the future, as the Cowboys selected Defensive Back Mel Renfro in the second round and Quarterback Roger Staubach in the tenth. Despite Staubach winning the 1963 Heisman Trophy while at the US Naval Academy, his selection was a gamble, as he had four years to serve in the Navy before he could ever report to the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys would struggle again, finishing with a 5-8-1 record. However, despite calls for his firing, Coach Tom Landry is given an unprecedented ten year contract extension.
1965: The Cowboys get off to a promising start winning their first two games both against division rivals. The good start would not last as the Cowboys inconsistent play reared its ugly head again during five consecutive losses. However, the team would rebound to end the season on a strong note winning five of their last seven games to finish with a 7-7 record.
1966: President and General Manager Tex Schramm is heavily involved in the negotiations as the AFL and NFL agree to a merger setting up a season ending Championship Game. The Cowboys looked like a candidate for that game from the start of the season as they won their first four games in blowout fashion. After a rough four game stretch in which the team went 1-2-1, the Cowboys pulled out a one point victory in Washington over the Redskins to get back on track. A week later the Cowboys set a record by sacking Steelers Quarterbacks 12 times in Pittsburgh to improve to 6-2-1. Four days later a tradition would be born as the Cowboys hosted the Cleveland Browns in the first Thanksgiving game in Dallas. The game would end up being a key game as a 26-14 win put the Cowboys in the driver's seat for the Eastern Division Championship, as they went on to claim their first title with a solid 10-3-1 record. In the NFL Championship Game the Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers at the Cotton Bowl in front of 75,504 fans. The Packers would prove to be the better team that day, but the Cowboys did not go down without a fight, as they gave the Packers all they could handle before a Don Meredith pass was intercepted in the endzone with 28 seconds left in a 34-27 loss.
1967: Despite losing three of their final five games the Cowboys cruise to a Division Championship in the newly formed Capitol Division, by posting a solid 9-5 record. In the Eastern Conference Championship the Cowboys slaughtered the Cleveland Browns 52-14 for their first ever playoff win, earning them a trip to the NFL Championship Game in Green Bay for a rematch with the Packers. The game would take on legendary status as win chill temperatures dipped to 52 degrees below zero, in what would be come instantly known as "The Ice Bowl," Despite the frigid weather the Cowboys took advantage of Packers turnovers to hold a 17-14 lead late in the 4th Quarter. However, the Packers would drive down the field and would break the Cowboy hearts when Bart Starr plunged over the goal line with 16 seconds left to pull out a 21-17 win.
1968: The Cowboys jump out of the gate with six straight wins, never looking back as they capture the Capitol Division with a 12-2 record, as the Cowboys scored a league high 431 points while the "Doomsday Defense" allowed only 186. However, the Cowboys season would end with a disappointing 31-20 loss in Cleveland to the Browns in the Eastern Conference Championship.
1969: With original Cowboy Don Meredith retiring Craig Morton earns the starting job at Quarterback, as the Cowboys roll to the Capitol Division Championship with an 11-2-1 record, as Rookie Running Back Calvin Hill captures the Rookie of the Year with 942 yards rushing. However, once again the Cowboys season would end in disappointment as the Cowboys are crushed at the Cotton Bowl 38-14 by the Cleveland Browns in the Eastern Conference Championship.
1970: On November 16th the Cowboys suffer a humiliating 38-0 home loss on Monday Night to the St. Louis Cardinals to fall to 5-4 as their hopes for a return trip to the playoffs look bleak. However, the loss would prove to be a turning point as the Cowboys would win their final five games to capture the NFC East with a 10-4 record. In the Divisional Round the Cowboys would host the Detroit Lions in the lowest scoring playoff game in NFL history, as Doomsday shutout the Lions, and picked up two points in the Cowboys 5-0 win, which was the lowest scoring playoff game in NFL history. In the NFC Championship Game the Cowboys finally reached the Super Bowl by defeating the 49ers 170-10 in San Francisco.
Super Bowl V: Finally playing in the Super Bowl the Cowboys faced the Baltimore Colts in Miami with the Lombardi Trophy on the line. In an ugly game marred by turnovers, the Cowboys led the Colts 13-6 midway through the 4th quarter. However, two Craig Morton interceptions led to ten points including Jim O'Brien's game winning Field Goal that gave the Colts a 16-13 win in a game better known as the Blunder Bowl. Despite the loss Line Backer Chuck Howley was named the game's MVP.
1971: On October 24th the Cowboys new state of the art stadium finally opens as the Cowboys slaughter the New England Patriots 44-21 in the first ever game at Texas Stadium. However, the Cowboys struggled early sitting at 4-3, as Craig Morton and Roger Staubach alternated between plays at Quarterback. On November 7th the Cowboys finally gave Staubach the job fulltime and the Cowboys never looked back winning their final seven games to win the NFC East with an 11-3 record. In the Divisional Playoff the Cowboys would defeat the Minnesota Vikings 20-12 to earn a NFC Championship rematch with the San Francisco 49ers. In the Championship Game Doomsday carried the Cowboys to their 2nd straight Super Bowl by crushing the 49ers in a 14-3 victory.
Super Bowl VI: Playing in New Orleans the Cowboys faced the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl, as the Cowboys tried to erase their reputation of losing the big game. The Cowboys would jump out to a 10-3 halftime, as Doomsday shut down the Dolphins offense all day. The Cowboys would go on to shut out the Dolphins in the second half finally becoming World Champions with a 24-3 super triumph, as Quarterback Roger Staubach earned MVP honors.
1972: With Quarertback Roger Staubach lost to a shoulder injury the Cowboys don't miss a beat sitting at 10-3 with a chance for their seven straight Division Championship with a win. However, the Cowboys would be stunned at Texas Stadium by the New York Giants 30-28 ending their stranglehold on the NFC East. However, at 10-4 the Cowboys still made the playoffs by earning the Wild Card berth. In the Divisional Round at San Francisco the Cowboys trailed the 49ers 28-16 in the 3rd Quarter when Roger Staubach replaced Craig Morton under center. Staubach would spark to 4th Quarter scoring drives as the Cowboys came from behind to win 30-28. However, the Cowboys season would end a week later in Washington in a 26-3 Championship Game loss to the Redskins.
1973: After a 4-3 start the Cowboys win six of their last seve games to reclaim supremacy in the NFC East with a solid 10-4 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys slaughtered the Los Angeles Rams 27-16 at Texas Stadium to earn their four straight Championship Game Appearance. However, not even the home crowd at Texas Stadium could help the Cowboys as they fell to the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
1974: The Cowboys stumbled and tripped out of the gate losing four straight games after winning their season opener to sit at 1-4, as their playoff hopes were all but dashed. The Cowboys would go on to win seven of their final nine games to finish with a 8-6 record, but it was not good enough, as the Cowboys run of eight straight seasons in the playoffs came to an end. The Highlight of the season came on Thanksgiving when backup Quarterback Clint Longley led the Cowboys in a dramatic comeback win over the Washington Redskins.
1975: The season did not begin with allot of optimism, as Defensive Tackle Bob Lilly, Corner Back Cornell Green, and Running Back Walt Garrison retired, while Running Back Calvin Hill left for the rival WFL. However, the draft was a boom, as they drafted 12 players that made immediate contributions. The Cowboys won their first four games before hitting a mid-season slump by losing three of four games. However, the Cowboys quickly rebounded to win five of the last six games to finish with a 10-4 record. Although their record was not good enough to win the division it would earn them a berth in the playoffs as a Wild Card. In the Divisional Playoffs at Minnesota the Cowboys hopes were fading as time slipped away in game they trailed 14-10 to the Vikings in the waning seconds of the game. With 24 seconds left Quarterback Roger Staubach threw up a prayer from midfield, and the prayer was answered as WR Drew Person fought off a Vikings defender to catch the ball in the endzone, giving the Cowboys a miraculous 17-14 win. The Cowboys would use the "Hail Mary" as a springboard, going on to blowout the Rams 37-7 in Los Angeles to advance to Super Bowl X.
Super Bowl X: In the tenth Super Bowl the Cowboys were matched up against the Pittsburgh Steelers who were seeking their second Lombardi Trophy in Miami. The game was close through out as the Cowboys held a 10-7 lead entering the 4th Quarter. However the game turned when Punter Mitch Hoopes's punt was blocked through the end zone. The Steelers would score on their next three possessions, caped by Lynn Swann's 64-yard Touchdown reception. However the Cowboys would not go down without a fight, first after Roger Staubach hit Percy Howard with a 34 Yard Touchdown pass. The Cowboys quickly got the ball back and had 1:22 left to pull out another miracle. However, this time Staubach Hail Mary was intercepted, as the Cowboys lost 21-17.
1976: The Cowboys jump out to a 5-0 start on the way to reclaiming the crown in the NFC East with an 11-3 record. However, the Cowboys lack of a running game would catch up with them in the Divisional Playoffs, as they were stunned at Texas Stadium by the Los Angeles Rams 14-12. Following the season the Cowboys would deal several draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks to move up in the draft to select Running Back Tony Dorsett, who had just won the Heisman Trophy.
1977: With Offensive Rookie of the Year Tony Dorsett providing the needed running support, the Cowboys could not be denied winning their first 8 games, on the way to dominating the NFC with a 12-2 record. In the playoffs the Cowboys continued to roll destroying the Chicago Bears 37-7 in the Divisional Playoffs. In the NFC Championship the Cowboys would also win easily beating the Minnesota Viking 23-6 at Texas Stadium to earn a trip to their fourth Super Bowl, establishing a new NFL record.
Super Bowl XII: In the first Super Bowl played in a dome the Cowboys faced the upstart Denver Broncos led by former Cowboys Quarterback Craig Morton in New Orleans. Once again the Cowboys were the dominant force jumping out to a 13-0 lead at halftime. After the Broncos got on the scoreboard with a Field Goal, the Cowboys would get a stranglehold on the game when Roger Staubach found Butch Johnson for a 45-yard Touchdown pass. The Broncos would answer it with a Touchdown of their own, but the Cowboys would shut Denver down the rest of the way scoring a 4th Quarter Touchdown to complete a 27-10 rout. Defensive stalwarts Randy White, and Harvey Martin would share game MVP honors.
1978: Through the first ten games the Cowboys struggled with inconstancy losing four times, but keeping control of first Place in the NFC East. However, in their final six games the Cowboys finally played the dominant football they showcased the year before winning all six games, and five of them by 18 points or more. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys got a little scare when they trailed the Atlanta Falcons at halftime. However, they would rally and pull out a 27-20 win to advance to their seventh NFC Championship Game in nine years. In the game the Cowboys would avenge an early season loss by shutting out the Rams 28-0 in Los Angeles to earn a trip to their fifth Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XIII: Three years after losing Super Bowl X, the Cowboys faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Miami in the first ever Super Bowl rematch. The game went back and forth n the first half before the Steelers scored a late Touchdown to take a 21-14 lead into halftime. After the Cowboys could only muster a Field Goal in the 3rd Quarter, the Steelers grabbed control of the game in the 4th Quarter scoring two touchdowns as Cowboys Tight End Jackie Smith dropped a sure Touchdown in the endzone. However, despite trailing 35-17 the defending Champions would not go down without a fight scoring two Touchdowns in two minutes to get within four points at 35-31. However, needing to recover an on-side-kick with 22 seconds left the Cowboys hopes died as the Steelers laid on the ball.
1979: The Cowboys would jump out to a 7-1 start and appeared to be cruising for another NFC East Championship. However, a mid season slump that saw them drop four out of five games, and out of first in the East. However, America's Team would rebound to win their next two against division opponents to clinch a playoff spot. At 10-5 the Cowboys went into the final week of the season needing a win to capture the NFC East title. However, the Cowboys trailed the hated Washington Redskins late 34-21 at Texas Stadium. However, Quarterback Roger Staubach had one last miracle leading two Touchdown drives to win the East with a dramatic 35-34 win. In the Divisional Playoffs at Texas Stadium Staubach was magical again leading the Cowboys back from a 14-5 deficit to take a 19-14 lead over the Los Angeles Rams. However, the Cowboys could not hold the lead as the Rams answered back to win the game 21-19. It would mark the end of an era as after the season Staubach would announce his retirement.
1980: With the retirement of Roger Staubach not much was expected for the Cowboys, as even Coach Tom Landry felt he had an 8-8 team at best. However, Quarterback Danny White would prove to be a worthy replacement, passing for 3,287 yards, as the Cowboys finished the season with an impressive 12-4 record. However, a costly midseason loss to the New York Giants forced them to settle for a Wild Card berth after losing the division via tiebreaker. In the Wild Card Game the Cowboys got revenge from the 1979 season ending loss by beating the Los Angeles Rams 34-13 at Texas Stadium as Coach Landry earned his 200th career victory. The following week staged a 4th Quarter comeback to beat the Falcons 30-27 in Atlanta to earn a trip to the NFC Championship in Philadelphia. Facing the Eagles the Cowboys found themselves decked out in there dreaded blue uniforms, and would fall to their division rivals 20-7.
1981: The Cowboys jump out to a 4-0 start before losing back-to-back games on the road. The second of which, came in San Francisco as the 49ers destroyed the Cowboys 45-14. That loss would serve as inspiration as the Cowboys looked to avenge it in the postseason. The Cowboys would go on to recapture the NFC East with a 12-4 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys destroyed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-0 before a frenzied Texas Stadium earning a rematch with 49ers in the San Francisco with the NF Championship on the line. Early on it was clear, that the Cowboys were not going to be blown out again. The game went back and forth as the Cowboys held a 27-21 lead late in the 4th Quarter. However, Quarterback Joe Montana marched the 49ers up the field and into Cowboys territory with time winding down. With less than a minute left Montana was flushed out of the pocket as he desperately tried to throw the ball out the back of the endzone. However, fate and luck were against the Cowboys that day as Wide Receiver Dwight Clark made an unbelievable catch to steal the game away from the Cowboys 28-27.
1982: The Cowboys would open the season with a loss for the first time in 18 years as the fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-28 at Texas Stadium. The Cowboys would bounce back to win their next game to sit at 1-1 when a two month players strike canceled the next seven games. When the players returned the Cowboys would win five games in a row to sew up a playoff berth. However, losses in their final two games cost them the top seed as they ended the season with a 6-3 record. In the First Round the Cowboys easily beat the overmatch Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-17. From there the Cowboys moved on to get revenge for the Ice Bowl, beating the Green Bay Packers 37-26 in Texas Stadium. The win set up an NFC Championship showdown with Redskins in Washington. However, for the third year in a row the Cowboys season would end one step away from the Super Bowl as the Redskins won the game 31-17, after knocking Quarterback Danny White out of the game with a concussion.
1983: The Cowboys jumped out of the gates by winning their winning their first seven games, and sat at 12-2 entering a key game with the Washington Redskins with NFC East on the line at Texas Stadium. The game was never even close as the Cowboys fell 31-10, all but ending their hopes of winning the division. A week later the Cowboys were blown out again and entered the playoffs with a 12-4 record, but playing their worst football of the season. The Cowboys losing trend would continue into the Wild Card Game when the Cowboys lost to the Los Angeles Rams 24-17 at home.
1984: The Cowboys got off to another good start winning four of their first five games. However, inconstancy and age would catch up with them as they lost four out of seven games. The Cowboys would rebound to win their next two games and sat in the driver's eat for the playoffs at 9-5. However by losing their final two games the Cowboys fell to 9-7, and missed the playoffs for the first time in ten years, and just the second time since 1966.
1985: The Cowboys jump out of the gate quickly again winning five of their first six games, to gain control of the top spot in the NFC East. Although the Cowboys alternated wins and losses in the final ten games the Cowboys 10-6 record was good enough to capture the Division Title. However, in the Divisional Playoff the Cowboys weaknesses would be exposed in a 20-0 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles.
1986: The Cowboys got off to another good start winning six of their first eight games, as they appeared to be in the thick of three-team race for the top spot in the NFC East. However, in a key game at the Meadowlands the Cowboys decked out in blue would fall to the Giants 17-14, but what was more costly was that Quarterback Danny White suffered a season ending hand injury. With Back up Steve Pelluer holding the reigns the Cowboys would only win one more game, and finished the season with a 7-9 record, ending a string of 20 consecutive seasons with a winning record, in which they made the playoffs 18 times.
1987: After a 1-1 start the NFL went on strike and continued the season with replacement players. However, during these games the Cowboys had an advantage as most of the Cowboys top players crossed the picket line. The Cowboys easily won their first two scab games, but in the final game the Cowboys regulars were stunned by a group of Washington Redskins replacements on a Monday Night at Texas Stadium. When the regulars returned the Cowboys weaknesses were exposed as they lost six of their next eight games. The Cowboys would win their final two games of the season, but still finished with a 7-8 record.
1988: After a 2-2 start, the Cowboys downfall continued as they lost ten games in a row on the way to a horrid 3-13 record. The lone bright spot of the season was Running Bacl Herschel Walker who collected 2,019 All-Purpose Yards. However, the season would best be known as the end of an era, as shortly after the season ended, the Cowboys are sold to Jerry Jones. In Jones first move as owner he unceremoniously fired General Manager Tex Schramm, and Coach Tom Landry who had been with the franchise form the very start.
1989: A new era began with Coach Jimmy Johnson and Owner Jerry Jones running the show, to rebuild the Cowboys their first move was to draft a Quarterback, and they would select Troy Aikman out of UCLA. Aikman and the young Cowboys struggled right away losing their first eight games. The Cowboys would only get worse as Herschel Walker is traded in October for a number of conditional draft picks. The Cowboys would finally get their first win of the season in Washington by beating the Redskins 13-3. However, it would be the only win of the season as the Cowboys finished with an embarrassing 1-15 record. However, despite the poor season, the groundwork was being laid for a return to glory.
1990: Despite losing their first round pick with the supplemental selection of Quarterback Steve Walsh, the Cowboys were able to have a strong draft keyed by the Herschel Walker trade, highlighted by the selection of Running Back Emmitt Smith in the middle of the first round. The season began with a win, but the Cowboys still struggled early getting off to a 3-7 start. However, the Cowboys began to gel and ran off a four game winning streak to get in the playoff hunt. However, with Quarterback Babe Laufenberg playing for an injured Troy Aikman the Cowboys lost their final two games to finish with a 7-9 record. Had they won either of those final game they would have made the playoffs. Following the season, Running Back Emmitt Smith earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
1991: The Cowboys continued to come making the playoffs by winning their final five games to finish with an 11-5 record, despite an injury to Quarterback Troy Aikman. In the Wild Card round the Cowboys led by back up Quarterback Steve Beuerlein stunned the Bears in Chicago 17-13. However, a week later the Cowboys season would end in Detroit with a 38-6 loss to the Lions.
1992: The Cowboys continued to stockpile players in the draft selecting Corner Back Kevin Smith, Linebacker Robert Jones, Saftety Darren Woodsen, and Corner Back Clayton Holmes. In addition the Cowboys acquired Defensive End Charles Hailey to give their young defense a veteran leader. The moves worked out as the Cowboys quickly established themselves as a NFL power with a 9-1 start. They would go on to finish with a 13-3 record, winning the NFC East for the first time in seven years. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles 34-10 to earn a trip to San Francisco with Super Bowl on the line. A decade earlier the Cowboys faced the 49ers for a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, in that game the 49ers won establishing themselves as the new power in the NFC. Now it was the Cowboys turn to claim that title back, beating the 49ers 30-20 after a 10-10 tie at half time.
Super Bowl XXVII: For the first time in 15 years the Cowboys were back in the Super Bowl, facing the Buffalo Bills in Pasadena. The Bills jumped on the scoreboard first capitalizing on a fumble near the goal line to take a 7-0 lead. However, the Cowboys would turn the tables capitalizing on Bills mistakes to score 14 points in 25 seconds late in the 1st Quarter. The Cowboys would continue to make the Bills pay late in the 2nd Quarter by scoring another 14 points in 18 seconds to take a 28-10 halftime lead. After being outscored 7-3 in the 3rd Quarter, the Cowboys put the game away in the 4th Quarter, scoring 21 points to take a 52-17 lead, as the Bills committed nine turnovers. The Cowboys would have the all time record for points in a Super Bowl with 59, but Leon Lett's long fumble return for a Touchdown was wiped out when he began to showboat by the goal line, and had the ball knocked out of his hands by Don Bebe. However, there was no denying in the Cowboys were back on top, as Troy Aikman firmly established himself as one of the game's best Quarterbacks by winning the Super Bowl MVP.
1993: The season did not begin well; Emmitt Smith was in the midst of contract dispute with Jerry Jones and did not play in the first two games of the season, as the Cowboys got off to a 0-2 start. However, after the dispute was resolved the Cowboys did not miss a beat winning 12 of their final 14 games as Emmitt Smith took home NFL MVP honors with 1,486 yards rushing, as the Cowboys won the NFC East and earned Home Field Advantage. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys held off the Green Bay Packers 27-17 to earn a rematch in the NFC Championship with San Francisco 49ers. After the game was tied at 7 the Cowboys reeled off 21 unanswered points on the way to 38-21 win, as the Cowboys walked the walk after Coach Jimmy Johnson talked talk, guaranteeing in three inch letters the Cowboys would win.
Super Bowl XXVIII: The Cowboys were back in the Super Bowl for the seventh time seeking to win their second straight Lombardi Trophy against Buffalo Bills in Atlanta. Through the first half the Cowboys were held in check trailing the Bills 13-6. However, the game turned in the Cowboys favor when James Washington scooped up a Thurman Thomas fumble and returned in 46 yards for a game tying Touchdown less than a minute into the 3rd Quarter. From there it became the Emmitt Smith show as earned the Super Bowl MVP by scoring two Touchdowns as the Cowboys won going away 30-13.
1994: Midway through the off season the Cowboys went from America's Team to America's Soap Opera, when Coach Jimmy Johnson resigned after a public feud with Owner Jerry Jones. The feud had come over Jones seeking more credit for building the team into Super Bowl Champions. To replace Johnson, Jones turned to an old rival of Barry Switzer. Despite the turmoil the Cowboys would win the NFC East again with a 12-4 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys easily beat the Green Bay Packers 35-9 to earn a NFC Championship game match up with the 49ers for the third year in a row. The NFC Championship Game in San Francisco was billed as the real Super Bowl, as the Cowboys looked to get the Super Bowl for the third year in a row. However, when the 49ers jumped out quickly to a 21-0 lead, the Cowboys round themselves in a hole too deep to climb. They would go on to make the game close before falling 38-28.
1995: While the Cowboys were beginning their season with a 35-0 blowout of the Giants in New York Jerry Jones was finalizing a Free Agent contract with Corner Back Deion Sanders. With Sanders in the fold the Cowboys easily won their fourth straight Division Title with a 12-4 record, as Emmitt Smith set a record with 25 Touchdowns on the season. In the Divisional Playoffs the Cowboys easily beat the Philadelphia Eagles 30-11 to advance to the NFC Championship Game, where they were matched up against the Green Bay Packers who upset the San Francisco 49ers a week earlier. The Cowboys would lead the Packers 28-27, before pulling away to win the game 38-27, with ten unanswered points in the 4th Quarter.
Super Bowl XXX: Back in the Super Bowl for the third time in four years Cowboys fans must have had a flashback to the 70's as they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tempe, Arizona. The Cowboys appeared to have the game in control leading 20-7 after a Larry Brown Interception set up an Emmittt Smith Touchdown run. However the Steelers would score ten unanswered points in the 4th Quarter to get back in the game. After the Cowboys stalled on offense the Steelers got the ball and drove down the field getting into Cowboys territory and appeared on the way to at least tying the game. However, Corner Back Larry Brown stepped up again intercepting a Neil O'Donnell pass and returning it deep into Steelers, to set up Emmitt Smith for a Touchdown that sealed the Cowboys fifth Super Bowl Championship 27-17. For his two key interception return unheralded Larry Brown received MVP honors.
1996: The once-powerful offense of the Cowboys was in big trouble as Tight End Jay Novacek was injured and lost for the season, while Wide Reciever Michael Irvin was suspended for the first five games by the league for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Even reliable Running Back Emmitt Smith began the season injured and never was 100%. The Cowboys would begin the season with a 1-3 record, trailing 10-0 at Philadelphia in Week 5, before Herschel Walker's kickoff return changed the game and the season. The Cowboys would go on to win the NFC East again with a 10-6 record, but were forced to play an extra round in the playoff not earning a first round bye. In the Wild Card Round the Cowboys would easily beat the Minnesota Vikings 40-15 to earn a trip to the Divisional Round in Carolina. In what was seen as David vs. Goliath the Cowboys faced the second year Panthers for a trip to Green Bay for the NFC Championship. However, the Cowboys would enter the game banged up and full of distractions as allegations flew around several players, before the Cowboys fell 26-17.
1997: The Cowboys battling injuries started the season with a 6-5 record entering a midseason show down with the Packers in Green Bay. The Cowboys would be blow out in that game 45-17, and it would the start of a season ending losing streak that ended their season with a disappointing 6-10 record. Following the season Barry Switzer would resign under pressure, he would be replaced by offensive guru Chan Gailey.
1998: The Cowboys take advantage of a weakened NFC East to win the Division Title for the sixth time in seven years with a 10-6 record. On the way to the Division Title the Cowboys became the first team ever to march through the NFC East undefeated sweeping all opponents for an 8-0 record against division rivals. In the Wild Card round the Cowboys were matched up against another division rival in the Arizona Cardinals who they man handled twice in the regular season. However, the Cowboys playing without Deion Sanders were stunned by the Cardinals 20-7.
1999: After a rough off-season in which Leon Lett was suspended for the entire season for drug use, and former Tackle Mark Tuinei died form an overdose the Cowboys started the season 3-0. However storm clouds were on the horizon as Fullback Darryl "Moose" Johnston career came to an end with a series of neck and back injuries. In Week 4 the Cowboys would suffer another loss when Michael Irvin suffered a career ending neck injury in a 13-10 loss to the Eagles. Making matters worse was the tasteless Eagles fans who actually cheered as Irvin was taken out on a backboard with his head and neck immobilized. The Cowboys would still go on to make the playoffs despite a mediocre 8-8 record. In the Wild Card game at Minnesota the Vikings scored 24 unanswered points to win the game 27-10. Following the season Coach Chan Gailey is fired and replaced by Dave Campo.
2000: The Cowboys continued to decline in their first year under head coach Dave Campo, as the Cowboys age, and lack of depth led to a miserable 5-11 season. During the season Quarterback Troy Aikman suffered two concussions, and would be forced to retire when the Cowboys released him out of medical concerns.
2001: There is an old saying if you have two Quarterback you don't have any, well including preseason the Cowboys had five. Starting with Tony Banks who was released midway through the exhibition schedule, the Cowboys went through four Quarterbacks trying to find one who could replace Troy Aikman. However, despite brief bright spots from Rookie Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, and Clint Stoener, the results were any thing but good as the Cowboys finished 5-11 for the second season in a row while residing in the NFC East cellar. The lone bright spot of the season was Running Back Emmitt Smith who rushed for 1,021 yards for his 11th season in a row over 1000 yards.
2002: An air of anticipation surrounded the Cowboys as Running Back Emmitt Smith entered the season needing just 539 rushing yards to break Walter Payton's all-time record of 16,726. However, the Cowboys struggles of the last few seasons continued as they alternated wins and losses over their first six games. After a frustrating 9-6 loss on the road to the Arizona Cardinals the Cowboys came home in Week 8 with the record in reach for Emmitt. Emmitt Smith would achieve the record early in the 4th Quarter with an 11-yard run. However, his day would be spoiled as the Cowboys lost to the Seattle Seahawks 17-14. The Cowboys would continue to struggle dropping to 3-7 and into last place in the NFC East. After ending their losing streak with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Emmitt had his finest game of the season on Thanksgiving rushing for 144 yards, as the Cowboys kept their slip playoff hopes alive with a 27-20 win over the Washington Redskins. However it would be the last positive moment for the Cowboys as they lost their final four games to finish with a record of 5-11 for the third straight season. Following the season Coach Dave Campo would be fired and replaced by Bill Parcells as Owner Jerry Jones finally chose a coach with a winning reputation that would challenges his authority over personnel decisions. With the addition of Parcells the Cowboys would completely torn the page, which meant saying good-bye to Emmitt Smith who was released after failing to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the first time since his rookie season.
2003: The Bill Parcells era got off to a rocky start when the Cowboys dropped the first game to the Atlanta Falcons at home 27-13. In Week 2 Coach Parcells returned to the home of his greatest success as the Cowboys stunned the New York Giants 35-32 as Billy Cundiff nailed seven Field Goals including a 52-yarder as time expired to force overtime and the game winning 25-yarder in Overtime. The win launched the Cowboys on a five game winning streak as they held an early 2-game lead for the NFC Eastern Division. After a shutout loss on the road to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Cowboys to use defense to win their next two games to improve to 7-2. However a week later Coach Parcells returned to another former home and things did not go as well as the Cowboys were shutout by the New England Patriots 12-0. After an impressive home win over the Carolina Panthers the Cowboys defense that was ranked number one was exposed in a 40-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thanksgiving. After their Thanksgiving roasting the Cowboys were exposed again in a 36-10 loss on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles which saw them lose their grip on first place. The Cowboys would go on to close out the season with two wins in their final three games to reach the playoffs for the first time in four years. However, in the playoffs the Cowboys would make a quick exit as they were beaten by the Panthers 29-10 on the road. In the game the Cowboys offense was stuck in neutral as they collected just 204 yards total in the game much of which came after the game was out of reach.
2004: The Cowboys stumbled before the season even began as Quarterback Quincy Carter who had had solid 2003 was suddenly released at the start of the training camp reportedly due to problems with drugs. Without Carter, the Cowboys turned to 40-year old veteran Vinny Testeverde, whose best days were clearly behind him. With Testeverde under center the Cowboys would struggle losing 7 of their first 10 games knocking the Cowboys out of the playoff picture early. On Thanksgiving the Cowboys handed the ball to rookie Drew Henson who had not picked up a football in three years while playing minor league baseball with the New York Yankees. However, Henson was horrible having an interception returned for a Touchdown while completing just four passes, as Testeverde took over in the second half creating tension between Owner Jerry Jones, who wanted to give Henson and Coach Bill Parcells, who did not think Henson is ready. However, amidst the Quarterback controversy another young Cowboys emerged as the hope of the future Rookie Running Back Julius Jones who missed most of the season with an injury finally shined with 150 yards and two Touchdowns in a 21-7 win over the Chicago Bears. A week later Jones was at it again rushing for 198 yards and three Touchdowns in a 43-39 upset win over the Seattle Seahawks on the road. Jones would be the focal point for the Cowboys the rest of the season rushing for 819 yards with seven Touchdowns in just eight games as the Cowboys finished with a 6-10 record.
2005: The Cowboys with new Quarterback Drew Bledsoe got off to a strong start by stunning the San Diego Chargers on the road 28-24. Coming home for Week 2 the Cowboys looked well on the way to a 2-0 start as "The Triplets" Troy Aikman, Emmett Smith and Michael Irvin join the ring of honor at halftime of a Monday Night Game with the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys led by their defense led 13-0 late in the 4th Quarter as the Redskins offense was stalled all night. However, two passes to Santana Moss would stun the Cowboys as the Skins came back to win 14-13 with two passes totaling 109 yards in 71 seconds. The Cowboys would rebound for a comeback win of their own on the road against the San Francisco 49ers, but a week later stumbled again losing to the Oakland Raiders. Coming home the Cowboys won their next two games at home against the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants to improve to 4-2, to claim first place. After a loss on the road to the Seattle Seahawks the Cowboys won three in a row to enter a Thanksgiving Day match up with the Denver Broncos at 7-3. However, the Cowboys had trouble stopping Ron Dayne as the Broncos won in overtime 20-17. The loss on Thanksgiving would single the start of a late season collapse as the Cowboys followed it up with a 17-10 loss to the Giants, as they lost four of their last six games and ended up missing the playoffs while finishing in third place with a 9-7 record.
2006: To help get the Cowboys back into the playoffs, Owner Jerry Jones, always known for making the bold move signed Wide Receiver Terrell Owens after his disruptive behavior caused his exit from the Philadelphia Eagles. From the start it was clear that Coach Bill Parcells was not happy with the move, as Owens, claiming a hamstring injury spent most of training camp working on an exercise bike. When the season began Owens played well scoring a Touchdown with 80 yards receiving, but the Cowboys would lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-17. In their home opener T.O. would make just 19 yards on three catches, while breaking a finger as the Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 27-10. Owens would not miss a game despite undergoing surgery, as the Cowboys had an early Week 3 bye. However, there would be no lacking of drama, as Terrell Owens was rushed to the hospital on September 27th after an accidental overdose of pain killers, that some initially reported as a suicide attempt. T.O. would recover in time for the Cowboys 45-14 win on the road over the Tennessee Titans. A week later Owens would return to Philadelphia with extra security on hand as the Eagles handed the Cowboys a frustrating 38-24 loss with QB Drew Bledsoe throwing three interceptions. The Cowboys would return home a week later as T.O. scored 3 TDs in a dominant 34-6 win over the Houston Texans. However a week later with first place on the line Bledsoe would experience more frustration being sacked four times before being benched at halftime in a 36-22 loss to the New York Giants with first place on the line. Taking over for Beldsoe would be Tony Romo, who had been on the Cowboys roster since 2003 after being signed as an undrafted Free Agent out of Eastern Illinois. In his first start Romo led the Cowboys to a comeback 35-10 win over the Carolina Panthers, leading the way in a 25-point fourth quarter. The Cowboys appeared to be close to a second straight win as Mike Vanderjagt the Cowboys big Free Agent kicking acquisition set up for a 35-yard Field with six seconds left on the road against the Redskins. However, the kick would be blocked by Troy Vincent who returned it across midfield as time expired. However, a face mask penalty gave the Redskins 15 extra yards and an un-timed down allowing Nick Novak to deliver the Redskins a 22-19 win with a 47-yard Field Goal. The loss would be a mere bump in the road, as Tony Romo seemed to give the Cowboys offense the boost it needed leading the way in four straight wins, culminating with a 23-20 win on the road against the Giants, with Martin Gramatica hitting a game winning 46-yard Field Goal just six days after being signed to replace Mike Vanderjagt who was released, after struggling to live up to expectations. After a 42-17 humbling loss to the New Orleans Saints, and a 38-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons the Cowboys hosted the Eagles in a Christmas Day game with first place on the line. Much like their first meeting T.O. was held in check with just 23 yards receiving and a TD, as the Tony Romo struggled in a 23-7 loss. The Cowboys would also lose their final game to the lowly Detroit Lions 39-31, but their 9-7 record was good enough to make the playoffs. Facing the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks on the road, the Cowboys found themselves in an exciting back and forth game that saw them hold a 20-13 lead, before Terry Glenn fumble through the endzone gave the Sehawks life, which they used to take a 21-20 lead on a Touchdown on the ensuing possession. The Cowboys would not go down quietly as they drove deep into Seahawks territory with a chance to win the game with 1:19 left. However, Tony Romo fumbled the snap on what would have been a game winning 19-yard Field Goal, as the Cowboys season ended in heartbreak. Following the heartbreaking loss, Coach Bill Parcells decided to end his tenure in Dallas, as the Cowboys decided to keep Terrell Owens despite a season of distractions. To replace Parcells the Cowboys would tab Wade Phillips.
2007: Coming into the season the big questions that surrounded the Cowboys involved Quarterback Tony Romo and if he could build off the 2006 season when he came out of nowhere to deliver the Cowboys into the playoffs, and how would new Coach Wade Phillips handle the spotlight and the drama that often came with Wide Reciever Terrell Owens. In the opener the Cowboys got more then they could hope for as Romo had four touchdowns and 345 yards passing in a 45-34 win over the New York Giants. It would be no fluke as the Cowboys easily won their first four games scoring 34 or more points in every game, with Romo establishing himself as one of the best QBs in the NFL, while T.O. was quiet and happy, which helped the Cowboys become a team in harmony. However, in Week 5 they were singing off key as Romo had two passes intercepted and returned for touchdowns, while committing seven turnovers as the Cowboys were being beat by the Buffalo Bills much of the game on Monday Night. They would not give up as the Tony Romo connected with Patrick Crayton with 20 seconds left to give the Cowboys a chance to tie the game. However, down 24-22 the two point conversion failed as the Cowboys needed to recover an on-side kick to have any hope to remain unbeaten. However, thanks to Tony Curtis they did just that as Nick Folk hit a 53 yarder to give the Cowboys a stunning 25-24 win on the road. However, a week later in a match up of unbeatens in Dallas the Cowboys would not be able to stage a big comeback as the New England Patriots behind five touchdown passes from Tom Brady beat the Cowboys 48-27. However, the loss would be a mere bump in the road for the Cowboys as they would win their next seven games to cruise to their first division championship since 1998. Along the way Tony Romo firmly established himself as an All-Pro as he passed for 4,211 yards with 36 Touchdown passes. He would also become a tabloid star as he began dating Actress and Singer Jessica Simpson. Jessica Simpson would be sitting in the Cowboys boxes when Romo suffered through one of his worst games of the season a 10-6 loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, as the Cowboys dropped two of their last three games to finish with a 13-3 record. During the bye week of the playoffs the relationship between Romo and Simpson would take center stage as the two visited a Mexican Beach Resort. Maybe it was that lack of focus, maybe it was the defense of the New York Giants, but when the playoffs rolled around the Cowboys appeared out of sync, as the Giants scored a Touchdown late in the second quarter to send the game to halftime tied 14-14. In the second half the Cowboys would only manage a 34-yard Field Goal as Tony Romo struggled completing just 50% of his passes as he seemed to be missing wide open receivers all game as the Giants improved pass rush seemed to have the Cowboys flustered. In the regular season the Cowboys had easily beaten the Giants twice, but now they were in a struggle for survival as the Giants took a 21-17 lead early in the 4th Quarter. The Cowboys would have plenty of time to answer back but Romo could never get on track as he had a pass intercepted by R.W. McQuarters who stepped in front of Terry Glenn to seal the victory for the Giants in the final minute. The Giants would go on to win Super Bowl XLII, as the Cowboys were left just to scratch their heads about how such a great season ended with such disappointment.
2008: In their final season at Texas Stadium, the Cowboys hoped to get past the disapointing playoff loss, as they were considered a favorite in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl. One player the Cowboys hoped could get them to the promise land was Adam "Pac Man" Jones, a talented but troubled Defensive Back, who was coming off a year suspension for a nightclub incident that left a man paralyzed. Early on things looked good for the Cowboys as they won their first three games, with Quarterback Tony Romo leading the way. However, seeking to start 4-0 the Cowboys are stunned at home by the Washington Redskins. After beating the Cincinnati Bengals at home, the Cowboys suffered another setback as they are beaten by the Arizona Cardinals 30-24 in an overtime thriller in the desert. The loss was a heartbreaker, for Dallas, as the Cowboys had rallied to score ten points in the final two minutes, led by a 70-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo, who was playing with a broken finger to Marion Barber. However, in OT Matt McBriar had a punt blocked and recovered in the endzone to end the game. Without Romo the Cowboys would lose two of their next three games, allowing the New York Giants, to run away with NFC East. The Cowboys were also without Pac Man Jones, who was suspended after an altercation with a Cowboys security official. After a Week 10 bye, Tony Romo would return and lead the Cowboys to three straight wins, to have them comfortably at the door for a return to the playoffs at 8-4. After a 20-13 loss on the road to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cowboys got some revenge on the Giants, beating their rivals in primetime 20-8, as the Cowboys led by DeMarcus Ware sacked Eli Manning eight times. However, in the final game ever at Texas Stadium the Cowboys suffered a costly 34-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, as the Cowboys defense was burnt for a 77-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee and an 82-yard touchdown gallop by Le'Ron McClain late in the 4th Quarter. Each touchdown came on the first play from scrimmage after the Cowboys cut the deficit to two points with a touchdown of their own. Despite the loss the Cowboys still had a shot at the playoffs, needing just to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the season. However, the Cowboys would play their worst game of the season, suffering an embarrassing 44-6 loss in Philadelphia that finished their season at 9-7, as the Eagles grabbed the last playoff spot in the NFC. Following the season the Cowboys, would cut some of their distractions, as they released both Pac Man Jones, and Terrell Owens.
2009: After starting the season with a 34-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cowboys opened their new stadium with a Sunday Night Showdown against the New York Giants. At a cost of a $1.15 Billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, became the most talked about stadium in the league, as they set a new NFL single game attendance record with 105,121 fans, some of which could only see the game on television screens in the party plaza. The new stadium featured a retractable roof, and a seven story tall, 60-yard wide video board that hung over the center of the field that occasionally played havoc with punts. The game would be a classic division rival nail bitter as the lead changed eight times, as the Cowboys running game collected 251 yards against the Giants defense. However, three costly interceptions by Tony Romo kept the Giants in the game, allowing them to spoil the grand opening with a 33-31 win, as Lawrence Tynes kicked a 37 yard field goal as time expired. A week later the Cowboys rebounded to win their first game at Cowboys Stadium by beating the Carolina Panthers 21-7, thanks to 21 unanswered points in the second half. However, the Cowboys continued to struggle losing a week later on the road against the Denver Broncos. In danger of losing again the following week, the Cowboys found a new go to receiver in Miles Austin who had a 59 yard touchdown reception in the 4th Quarter to give the Cowboys a 20-17 lead on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs would tie the game and force overtime, where Romo connected with Austin again this time on a 60 yard TD pass to give the Cowboys a 26-20 win heading into the bye week. Coming out of the bye the Cowboys played their best football of the season winning their next three games, as Mile Austin continued to excel. However, the Cowboys hit another road bump, losing three of their next five games as November rolled into December. At 8-5 with two straight losses the Cowboys faced a road game against the New Orleans Saints who were off to a 13-0 start. The Cowboys looked for Miles Austin to make the big play again, as he had a 49 yard Touchdown reception as the Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the 1st Quarter. After leading 24-3 entering the 4th Quarter, the Cowboys needed a big play by their defense, as the Saints scored twice to cut the lead to 24-21. They would get it from DaMarcus Ware, who was coming off a neck injury as he sacked QB Drew Brees and caused a fumble as the Saints were driving for a potential winning drive. The play would help inspire the Cowboys defense as they shutout the Washington Redskins 17-0 a week later to set the Cowboys up for a chance to win the NFC East with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the season. A year earlier the Cowboys faced the Eagles in a similar spot just to get into the playoffs, and were embarrassed. This time it was the Cowboys who would dominate the game, as their defense pitched a second straight shutout, winning 24-0 to end the season at 11-5. The Cowboys would host the Eagles again a week later in the Wild Card round. This time the Eagles would get into the endzone as Michael Vick came in for a play and connected with Jeremy Maclin on a 76 yard Touchdown pass in the 2nd Quarter. However, it was a mere blip on the radar as the Cowboys scored 27 points in the same quarter to take a big lead into halftime. The game would be salted away with a 73 yard Touchdown run by Felix Jones in the 3rd Quarter as the Cowboys won their first playoff game in more than a decade 34-3. The Cowboys run would come to an end a week later, as they suffered a 34-3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Divisional Round, as the Cowboys committed three turnovers.
2010: After winning a playoff game, the Cowboys entered the season with an air of anticipation as they were set to host Super Bowl XLV, and had dreams of playing in the big game on their own field. However, when the season started the Cowboys stumbled out of the gate with a 13-7 Sunday Night loss to the Washington Redskins, the big play came at the end of the first half when Tony Romo had an ill-advised pass brought back 32 yards for a Touchdown by DeAngelo Hall. In their home opener a week later, Romo passed for 374 yards, but had two more interceptions in a 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears. In Week 3, the Cowboys would earn their first win by beating the Houston Texans 27-13, in showdown for Lone Star State bragging rights in Houston. After the bye, the Cowboys would suffer another setback as they were beaten by the Tennessee Titans 34-27, as Tony Romo was picked off three times. The Cowboys would continue to struggle, as they lost to the Minnesota Vikings 24-21 in a game of survival between two teams that met in the 2009 NFC Playoffs that were off to disappointing starts. Things would get even worse in a 41-35 Monday Night loss to the New York Giants at home, as Tony Romo suffered a season ending collarbone injury. With Jon Kitna starting for Romo, the Cowboys season continued to spiral out of control as they lost the next two games to fall to 1-7, which included an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers in primetime. Before the Cowboys returned from Lambeau Field, a change was made, as Coach Wade Phillips was fired and replaced by Jason Garrett. Spurred by a 101 yard interception return by Bryan McCann, the Cowboys played their best game of the season in Garrett's debut, stunning the Giants at the Meadowlands 33-20. A week later McCann would have another big return, taking a punt back 97 yards for a Touchdown as the Cowboys won Jason Garrett's home debut 35-19 against the Detroit Lions. On Thanksgiving the Cowboys continued to play better football as they played the New Orleans Saints tough. Holding a 27-23 lead in the 4th Quarter, the Cowboys chances for a third straight win were hampered as Roy Williams fumbled, setting up the Saints for the winning score in a 30-27 loss. A week later, the Cowboys would stun the Indianapolis Colts on the road 38-35 in overtime, as their defense picked off Peyton Manning four times, with Sean Lee and Orlando Scandrick returning picks for touchdowns. However, the Cowboys momentum would again be thwarted as they suffered a 30-27 loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, allowing DeSean Jackson to collect 210 receiving yards. Following a 33-30 win over the Redskins, the Cowboys would face the Arizona Cardinals in a special Christmas Day game. Unfortunately it was the Cowboys who gifted the Cardinals a win, as a botched PAT was the difference in a 27-26 loss in the desert. The Cowboys would go on to finish the season with a 14-13 win over the Eagles to finish the season with a record of 6-10. However, by going 5-3 in the second half Jason Garrett was promoted from interim coach to head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
2011: With Jason Garrett coaching his first full season, the Cowboys looked to rebound off one of their most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Starting the season on the road against the New York Jets, the Cowboys got off to a good start as Tony Romo passed for 342 yards, with two touchdowns as they built a 24-10 led in the fourth quarter. However, the Jets would make a comeback as Mat McBriar had a punt blocked by Isaiah Trufant leading to a game tying touchdown. With the game on the line, Romo would again make the big mistake as he was picked off at midfield as the Jets won the game 27-24. A week later the Cowboys needed to comeback as they trailed the San Francisco 49ers early 14-0. With Miles Austin catching three touchdown passes from Tony Romo, the Cowboys would send the game to overtime as Dan Bailey kicked a 48 yard Field Goal at the end of regulation. In overtime Romo would connect with Jesse Holley on a 77 yard pass that set up Bailey to win the game 27-24, with a 19 yard Field Goal. Playing the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football in their home opener, Bailey again played hero with six Field Goals in an 18-16 win to improve the Cowboys to 2-1. Leading the Detroit Lions at home 27-3 in the third quarter the Cowboys appeared to be cruising to the bye week with three straight wins. However, Tony Romo had two interceptions returned for touchdowns as the Lions roared back to win the game 34-30. After the bye week the Cowboys had another letdown in the fourth quarter, as they lost to the New England Patriots on the road 20-16, with Tom Brady connecting with Aaron Hernandez on the game winning Touchdown in the final minute. After splitting the next two games against the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys began to hit their stride with a solid 23-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks as the Cowboys defense picked off Tavaris Jackson three times. Following a 44-7 win over the Buffalo Bills, the Cowboys and Redskins played another nail biter, winning 27-24, with Dan Bailey winning the game in overtime with a 39 yard Field Goal. Dan Bailey would be there at the end of the game again with a 22 yard Field Goal on Thanksgiving as the Cowboys won their fourth straight game 20-19 over the Miami Dolphins to improve to 7-4. However, with a chance to secure a playoff spot and secure the NFC East, the Cowboys suffered a frustrating road loss against the Arizona Cardinals 19-13 in overtime. Hosting the New York Giants who entered the game on a four game losing streak the Cowboys held a 34-22 lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Giants would stage a furious comeback to take 37-34 lead. The Cowboys had chance to put the game away with a first down, but Tony Romo overthrew TE Jason Whitten. After the Giants took the lead, the Cowboys had a chance to even the score, but Dan Bailey's 47 yard Field Goal was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul. The Cowboys and Giants would meet again in the final game of the regular season with the NFC East on the line, after the Cowboys split their next two games. Beginning and ending their season at the Meadowlands the Cowboys would find themselves in an early hole as the Giants came out red hot on an unseasonably warm New Year's Day. Down 21-0 at halftime, the Cowboys would get within a touchdown as Tony Romo hooked up with Laurent Robinson early in the fourth quarter. However, that is as close as it would get as the Giants went on to win the game 31-14, going on to win Super Bowl XLVI. Meanwhile, the Cowboys finished the season at 8-8, wondering what if.
2012: After losing the final game of the season, the Cowboys could only feel helpless to watch as the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI. The Cowboys would get their chance for revenge right away as they faced the Champions in the season opener on a Wednesday Night at the Meadowlands. The Cowboys would spoil the Giants banner raising as Kevin Oglitree caught eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns, while DeMarco Murray ran for 131 yards in a 24-17 win. However, the Cowboys would suffer a letdown a week later as they suffered a 27-7 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Despite an early Tony Romo interception leading to a touchdown, the Cowboys would win their home opener by beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-10. A week later Romo's turnover troubles continued as he was picked off five times, with two returned for Touchdowns in a 34-18 Monday Night loss to the Chicago Bears. A week later it would be horrible clock management that doomed the Cowboys. Trailing 31-23 in a back and forth battle on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, the Cowboys scored on a pass to Dez Bryant. However, a game tying two point try failed, forcing the Cowboys with 31 seconds left to attempt an onside kick. The Cowboys would recover the kick, but left without time outs, Dan Bailey was forced to rush a 51 yard Field Goal which sailed wide as the Ravens held on to win the game 31-29. The Cowboys would quickly get back to .500 with a 19-14 road win against the Carolina Panthers as they got set to face the Giants for the second time in the season. Losing their three previous games against the Giants at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys looked to get control of the game right away. However, turnovers again were the culprit as the Giants took a 23-0 lead in the 2nd Quarter. The Cowboys would answer back with 24 straight points of their own to take a 24-23 lead into the 4th Quarter. The Giants would get the lead back with two Field Goals; the Cowboys though still had a chance to win as they were driving down the field with time running out. In the last ten seconds it appeared as if the Cowboys got the win as Romo connected with Dez Bryant in the back of the endzone. However, when Bryant tried to brace himself from the leaping catch he had one finger out of bounds, and it was enough to overturn the catch and allow the Giants to escape with a 29-24 win. A week later on Sunday Night Football the Cowboys got a milestone as Jason Whitten caught seven passes and became the Cowboys all-time leading receiver, but did not get the win as the Atlanta Falcons won the game 19-13. At 3-5 the Cowboys season was teetering on the brink as they faced the Philadelphia Eagles on the road with the game tied 17-17 at the start of the 4th Quarter. The Cowboys would get the lead on a 78 yard punt return by Dwayne Harris. That would be the turning point as Brandon Carr added a 47 yard interception return and Jason Hatcher recovered a fumble in the endzone to secure a 38-23 win. Returning home with a chance to get back to .500, the Cowboys got off to a sluggish start and trailed the Cleveland Browns 13-0 at the half. After a Dan Bailey Field Goal in the 3rd Quarter the Cowboys would take the lead with touchdowns from Felix Jones and Dez Bryant. However, they still needed another Dan Bailey Field Goal to force overtime after the Browns briefly retook the lead in the final moments. Overtime would be similar to the game with both teams letting chances to win the game slip away as the Cowboys escaped with a 23-20 win. Four days later the Cowboys would get a bad case of indigestion as Robert Griffin III had four touchdowns to lead the Washington Redskins to a 38-31 win on Thanksgiving. During the loss, injuries to the Cowboys defense continued to mount as both CB Orlando Scandrik and LB Bruce Carter were lost for the season. The Cowboys were already playing without Sean Lee and Kenyon Coleman, while DeMarcus Ware played all season through various injuries including a torn labrum that required off-season surgery. Despite the injuries, the Cowboys rallied to beat the Eagles the following 38-33, behind three 4th Quarter Touchdowns, including a 50 yard fumble return by Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys would also rally to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on the road, 20-19 as they scored ten unanswered points in the final 6:44, including a game winning 40 yard Field Goal by Dan Bailey. The Cowboys comeback magic continued in a third straight game as they edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 on a Dan Bailey overtime Field Goal. In Week 16 the Cowboys would rally again scoring two late touchdowns to send their game against the New Orleans Saints to overtime. However, the Saints would rebound to win the game 34-31. The loss eliminated the Cowboys Wild Card safety net as they found themselves in another Sunday Night showdown with the NFC East on the line against the Redskins. Early on the Cowboys dominated the game, but two costly Tony Romo interceptions led to the game being tied 7-7 at the half. The Redskins would take over in the second half as Romo added another pick with the Cowboys season ending in disappointment and a 28-18 loss at 8-8.
2013: After losing the division title in the final week of the season for a second straight season, the Cowboys began the season with a Sunday Night showdown against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys were able to take advantage of six turnovers, including a 49 yard interception return by Brandon Carr that sealed the 36-31 win as the Cowboys finally beat the Giants at AT&T Stadium. However, in typical fashion the Cowboys suffered a letdown after a big win, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-16 as Tony Romo had two costly fumbles in the second half. Returning to Dallas, the Cowboys got a big game from DeMarco Murray who rushed for 175 yards with a touchdown in a solid 31-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The Cowboys continued their up and down play in Week 4 suffering a 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers, as they allowed 401 passing yards to Phillip Rivers. The Cowboys defense would continue to struggle as they returned to Dallas, losing to the Denver Broncos in an old fashioned shoot out 51-48. Tony Romo had one of the finest games of his career passing for 506 yards, with five touchdowns. However, late in the fourth quarter with the game tied he threw a back breaking interception that allowed the Broncos to end the game with a 28 yard Field Goal by Matt Prater. The Cowboys would get back to .500 with a 31-16 Sunday Night win over the Washington Redskins. The game's biggest play came Dwayne Harris returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys would run their record inside the NFC East to 3-0 with a 17-3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7. The Cowboys knocked Nick Foles out of the game early and took advantage of rookie Matt Barkley with three interceptions. Returning to Dallas the Cowboys appeared to be cruising to a third straight win as they led 27-17 late in the fourth quarter following a 50 yard touchdown reception by Dez Bryant. However, the Lions clawed their way back with a Reggie Bush touchdown. The Lions would quickly get the ball back with the Cowboys turning them aside one more time. The Cowboys though would fail to run out the clock, but still looked to be on the verge of a win following a Field Goal by Dan Bailey. The Lions would quickly drive down the field with no timeouts, expecting Matthew Stafford to clock the ball at the goal line, the Cowboys were fooled as Stafford snuck the ball into the endzone for a touchdown that won the game 31-30. The Cowboys appeared to be suffering a Lions hangover as they struggled a week later against the Minnesota Vikings. However. The Cowboys turned the game in their favor with two touchdowns in ten seconds during the third quarter. As Jason Witten caught a 26 yard TD pass which was followed by a George Selvie strip sack of Christian Ponder that Nick Hayden recovered in the endzone. The Vikings would rebound and take a 23-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter. This time the Cowboys would find late magic as Tony Romo hit Dwayne Harris on a seven yard TD pass with seven seconds left to win the game 27-23. The Cowboys defense continued to have trouble against strong offenses dropping to 5-5 with a 49-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints in a Sunday Night game. Following their bye week, the Cowboys looked to take a step towards winning the NFC East, as they completed a sweep of the Giants with a 27-24 win at the Meadowlands as Dan Bailey hit a 35 yard Field Goal as time expired, thwarting a Giants comeback. On Thanksgiving, the Cowboys overcame an early 21-7 deficit to beat the Oakland Raiders 31-24, as DeMarco Murray scored three times. The Cowboys defense continued to be a weak spot as losses to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers dropped them back to .500. The loss to the Packers was especially painful as the Cowboys blew a 29-10 third quarter lead. The collapse was helped by two Tony Romo interceptions. In the final minutes of the Packers 37-36 win, Dez Bryant created a stir by leaving the field in anger before the game was officially over. The losses would cost the Cowboys the division lead, but a 24-23 comeback win against the Washington Redskins put them in the familiar position of playing the final regular season game on Sunday Night with the division title and the last spot in the playoffs on the line. This time the Cowboys would face the Philadelphia Eagles and this time the game would be at home. However, they would be without Tony Romo, who was lost to a back injury. Backup Kyle Orton would play strong in the finale passing for 358 yards. However, with the Cowboys down 24-22 with 1:49 left Orton would be picked off Brandon Boykin, ending another season in disappointment at 8-8 as they lost a chance to win the division for the third year in a row against each of their three NFC East rivals.
2014: The Dallas Cowboys entered the season with a series of questions hanging over their heads, as Tony Romo was coming off back surgery and the Cowboys questionable defense was made weaker with the departure of DeMarcus Ware. One thing that looked strong for the Cowboys was their offensive line which got a boost with the drafting of Zack Martin from Notre Dame. The selection of Martin came after a debate in the Cowboys war room, with Owner Jerry Jones desiring Quarterback Johnny Manziel while his advisers rightfully to select the offensive lineman. Starting the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys got off to a terrible start a just 43 seconds in, DeMarco Murray had a fumble scooped up and returned for a touchdown, enabling the 49ers to build a 28-3 halftime lead. The Cowboys would hold the Niners scoreless in the second half but were unable to catch up, falling 28-17. The Cowboys would bounce back in Week 2, as they defeated the Tennessee Titans on the road 26-10 as they began to establish dominance on the offensive line, with DeMarco Murray carrying the ball 29 times for 167 yards with a touchdown. In Week 3, the Cowboys again got off to a slow start as they trailed the St. Louis Rams 21-0 in the second quarter, the Cowboys would begin to claw their way back late in the first half scoring the next ten points. In the second half they continued their comeback, with Tony Romo hooking up with Dez Bryant on a 68 yard touchdown reception. Dan Bailey added a second Field Goal to cut the deficit to 21-20. The Rams would answer with a Greg Zuerlein Field Goal, but the Cowboys comeback would not be stopped a Terrance Williams caught a 12 yard pass from Romo to give Dallas the lead 27-24. The lead would expand to 34-24 just 15 seconds later as Bruce Carter returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown as the Cowboys would go on to win the game 34-31. Returning home the Cowboys made a statement in Week 4, beating the New Orleans Saints 38-17 on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys got big games from DeMarco Murray who rushed for 149 yards with two touchdowns and Tony Romo who passed 262 yards with three touchdowns. A week later at AT&T Stadium the Cowboys played host to the Houston Texans for Lone Star bragging rights. The first half was a defensive struggle, with Dan Bailey giving the Cowboys a 3-0 halftime lead with a 33 yard field goal with 16 seconds left in the second quarter. The Texans would get on the board with an Arian Foster scoring a 15 yard touchdown run. The Cowboys quickly answered with Tony Romo connecting with Terrance Williams on a 43 yard Touchdown pass. The Cowboys would add a Dez Bryant score in the fourth quarter and led 17-7. However, the Texans scratched their way back with Foster scoring again with 45 seconds left to tie the game. After the Texans were unable to score on the first series in overtime, the Cowboys drove down the field with Bailey winning the game on 49 yard boot to give the Cowboys a 20-17 win. Going into Seattle, not many gave the Cowboys a chance to win surrounded by the infamous 12th man, and early on things did not look good as the Seahawks jumped out to a 10-0 lead. However, with their offensive line pushing around the Seahawks and controlling the clock and pace of the game, the Cowboys would quickly turn things around and win their fifth straight game by a score of 30-23. Along the way DeMarco Murray who rushed for 115 yards with a touchdown became the second running back in NFL history to rush for 100 yards in each of his first six games. DeMarco Murray continued his amazing start, rushing for 128 yards with a touchdown as the Cowboys beat the New York Giants 31-21. Murray's seventh straight 100 yard game to start the season broke the record held by the legendary Jim Brown. The Cowboys would suffer a letdown in Week 8, losing to the Washington Redskins 20-17 in overtime. DeMarco Murray continued to collect 100 yard games, with 141 yards, but an injury to Tony Romo was the games big story as he broke two small bones in his back. Brandon Weeden started for Romo a week later and struggled throwing for just 183 yards with two interceptions as the Cowboys suffered a 28-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. In the same game, DeMarco Murray's string of 100 yard games came to an end with 79 yards. Fortunately for the Cowboys Tony Romo returned in Week 10 and helped Dez Bryant have a big day with 158 yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-17 in London. Following a bye week, the Cowboys overcame the early shock from a mind boggling catch from Odell Beckham Jr. to beat the Giants 31-28 at the Meadowlands on Sunday Night Football, as Tony Romo passed for 279 yards with four touchdowns including a pair to Dez Bryant each giving the Cowboys the lead. However, four days later the Cowboys suffered a big letdown losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 33-10 on Thanksgiving as the entire team struggled, with Romo throwing two back breaking interceptions. The Cowboys would bounce back the following week with a 41-28 win over the Chicago Bears, with DeMarco Murray rushing for 179 yards, while Romo had three touchdown passes. The Cowboys would then enact revenge on the Eagles, winning a Sunday Night Game in Philadelphia 38-27 as Dez Bryant caught three touchdown passes to lift Dallas back into first place where they would remain for the rest of the season. After beating the Eagles the Cowboys ended the season strong with a 42-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts and a 44-17 win over the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys 12-4 record was their best season since 2007, as DeMarco Murray was named Offensive Player of the Year with a league leading 1,845 yards with 13 touchdowns.
2014 Playoffs: While posting a record of 12-4 the Cowboys were a perfect 8-0 away from home, but struggled at Jerry's world posting just a 4-4 mark at AT&T Stadium. Against the Detroit Lions the Cowboys looked to be heading for another home field letdown as they trailed 20-7 midway in the third quarter. The Cowboys would get back in the game with a DeMarco Murray touchdown. In the fourth quarter they would draw even closer on a 51 yard Field Goal by Dan Bailey. Trailing 20-17 things looked bleak for the Cowboys when Anthony Hitchens was called for pass inference. However, the officials huddled and rescinded the flag. The play would turn the game around as the Lions were forced to punt. After getting the ball back the Cowboys faced another turning point at 4th down and six and the Lions 42 yard line, when Tony Romo kept the drive alive with a 21 yard pass to Jason Witten. The Cowboys would go on to take the lead on an 8-yard pass from Romo to Terrance Williams with 2:32 left. The Lions would drive down to the Cowboys 42 on the ensuing drive, but could not get any further as the Cowboys held on to win 24-20 with DeMarcus Lawrence getting a strip sack of Matthew Stafford to clinch the victory. In the Cowboys first postseason trip to Lambeau Field since the Ice Bowl, the first quarter saw both teams score touchdowns in the first quarter. The Cowboys would take control of the game in the second quarter with Terrance Williams catching a 38 yard TD pass. The Packers would answer with a Mason Crosby Field Goal as Dallas led 14-10 at the half. A DeMarco Murray fumble would lead to another Crosby Field Goal in the third quarter, but Murray quickly redeemed himself giving the Cowboys a 21-13 lead with a one yard touchdown run. The Packers would answer late in the third quarter with Devante Adams catch a 46 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay would then take the lead on a Touchdown catch by Richard Rodgers in the fourth quarter. The Packers however, failed to convert the two point attempt and held a slim 26-21 lead. With just over two minutes left the Cowboys appeared poised to retake the lead as Tony Romo on 4th and 2 completed a 27 yard pass to Dez Bryant down to the Packers 5 yard line. However, the play was challenged by the Packers and replay revealed that the ball slightly touched the ground and was ruled incomplete, allowing the Packers to hold on to the win and advance to the NFC Championship.
2015: Coming off a season in which they won the NFC East and nearly went to the NFC Championship Game, expectations were high for the Dallas Cowboys. Most expected the defense to improve with the addition of one of the league's top pass rushers Greg Hardy, though they would have to wait for him to finish surviving a four game suspension due to violating the NFL's domestic violence policy. Despite the loss of leading rusher DeMarco Murray the Cowboys offense expected to be just as strong as they had what many felt was the best line in the NFL. Opening the season at home against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, the Cowboys season of pain began when leading receiver Dez Bryant broke his foot. Despite the loss of Bryant the Cowboys won the game in dramatic fashion as Tony Romo drove them 72 yards in 1:27 with no timeouts as he hit Jason Witten on an 11-yard pass in the endzone with seven seconds left to win the game 27-26. A week later the Cowboys dished out some pain of their own on DeMarco Murray, holding him to just two yards rushing as the Cowboys doubled uped the Philadelphia Eagles 20-10 at Lincoln Financial Field. Sean Lee had a big day, with 13 tackles and an interception, but the win came with a price as Tony Romo broke his collar bone on a sack from Jordan Hicks in the third quarter. Returning home the Cowboys saw an early lead evaporate as they suffered their first loss of the season to the Atlanta Falcons 39-28, as Brandon Weeden played well in Romo's absence completing 22 of 26 passes for 232 yards before throwing a back breaking interception in the fourth quarter. The injuries continued to mount in Week 4 on Sunday Night Football, as Running Back Lance Dunbar was lost for the season after tearing his ACL, while Sean Lee suffered a concussion and Brandon Butler injured his hamstring. Despite the injuries the Cowboys rallied to force overtime as Weeden was solid again. However, on the first play of overtime Drew Brees connected with C.J. Spiller on an 80-yard pass play to win the game for the New Orleans Saints 26-20 at the Superdome. The loss of manpower began to show in Week 5 as the Cowboys dropped to 2-3 with a 30-6 loss at AT&T stadium against the New England Patriots. Things would not get any better after the bye week, as the losses continued to mount for the Cowboys who despite the debut of Greg Hardy lost to the Giants at the Meadowlands 27-20. Matt Cassel making his Dallas debuted started inauspiciously for the Cowboys throwing three interceptions, including a back breaking pick six. Returning home the Dallas defense did their best to keep the Cowboys in the game, but the offense only managed four Dan Bailey Field Goals as Matt Cassel managed just 97 yards in a 13-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Eagles came to Dallas in Week 9, as DeMarco Murray was booed every time he carried the ball. Matt Cassel had his best start with the Cowboys, passing for 299 yards with three touchdowns as Dan Bailey forced overtime with a 44-yard boot as time expired. However, in overtime it would be more heartbreak as Jordan Matthews reeled in a 41-yard catch from Sam Bradford to hand the Cowboys their sixth straight defeat 33-27. The streak would reach seven games when the Cowboys suffered a 10-6 loss on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Tony Romo returned for a road game against the Miami Dolphins. Romo would throw for 227 yards with two scores as the Cowboys ended their losing streak with a 24-14 win. However, four days later Tony Romo would be sidelined again reinjuring his collarbone while throwing three interceptions as the Carolina Panthers carved the Cowboys 33-14 con Thanksgiving. Without Romo, the Cowboys would get a 19-16 Monday Night win against the Washington Redskins, but there was no doubt it was a lost season, as they dropped their final four games with Kellen Moore getting a chance under center and doing no better than Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden. The Cowboys would go on to finish the year with a terrible record of 4-12.
2016: Coming off a disappointing injury riddled 4-12 season, there had to be an alarming sense of déjà vu for the Dallas Cowboys, as Tony Romo was sidelined with a back injury in the preseason. Making matters worse backup Kellen Moore was previously hurt with a broken fibula, forcing them to name Rookie Dak Prescott as the starting quarterback for the season opener against the New York Giants. The Cowboys would add veteran Mark Sanchez off the waiver wire, as they went into the season with a rookie at quarterback and a rookie at their top running back position. The Cowboys did their best to protect their rookies, as Dak Prescott completed 25 of 45 passes for 227 yards, while Ezekiel Elliott had 51 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown. The Cowboys would lose the game, however, as they failed to get the Field Goal team on the field after the final play, losing 20-19. A week later in their first road game, Prescott and Elliott were solid again, playing mistake free football. Each had a touchdown run as the Cowboys stunned the Washington Redskins 27-23 on the road. Returning home for a Sunday Night Showdown with the Chicago Bears, the Cowboys began to loosen the reigns on their rookies, Dak Prescott again played mistake free football, passing for 248 yards with his first career touchdown pass, while Ezekiel Elliott rushed 140 yards on 30 carriers to beat the Bears 31-17. Falling behind 14-0 on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4, the young Cowboys showed the ability to comeback, winning the game 24-17 as Prescott and Elliott continued to show veteran poise. Making it possible for the Cowboys rookies to have such a good start was their offensive line, Left Tackle Tyron Smith, Left Guard La'el Collins, Center Travis Frederick, Right Guard Zack Martin and Right Tackle Doug Free had become the consensus choice for the best unit in the league, deserving more of a starring role than being stuck in anonymity. Returning home, Dak Prescott set the record for consecutive passes without an interception to start a career with 227 yards with one touchdown, while Eliott had a pair of scores, rushing for 134 highlighted by a 60-yard touchdown run as the Cowboys doubled up the Cincinnati Bengals 28-14. Facing their first big test, the Dallas Cowboys stunned the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field 30-16. Dak Prescott continued to play flawless football passing for 247 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, while Ezekiel Elliott had 157 yards on 28 carriers. Coming off their bye holding a 5-1 record the Cowboys hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in a primetime battle for first place in the NFC East. Dak Prescott threw his first career interception, ending a record streak at 176 to begin his career. When it mattered most Prescott was on the money leading a game tying touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys erased a ten-point deficit. In overtime, Prescott tossed a second touchdown to win the game 29-23. The Cowboys extended their winning streak to seven, as Dak Prescott ripped apart the Cleveland Browns passing for 247 yards with three touchdowns. If people did not believe in the Cowboys at 7-1, they certainly had to believe in Week 10. In one of the craziest ending of the season, the Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers traded haymakers in the final minutes at Heinz Field. Ezekiel Elliott gave the Cowboys a 29-24 lead with 1:55 left, on a 14-yard run. The Steelers answered back right taking a 30-29 lead with 42 seconds left. The Cowboys though stunned the Steelers, going up the field in a flash, as Elliott scored the game winner with nine seconds left on a 32-yard run. After the 35-30 win, even though Tony Romo was healthy enough to play, Dak Prescott was named the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. Back home against the Baltimore Ravens, Elliott set the team’s rookie record for rushing yards, while Prescott remained red hot with 301 yards with three touchdowns in a 27-17 win. On Thanksgiving, the Cowboys would extend their winning streak to a franchise record ten games beating the Redskins 31-26, as Ezekiel Elliott carried the load with 97 yards with two touchdowns. A week later, the Cowboys became the first NFL team to clinch a playoff berth beating the Minnesota Vikings 17-15. The Cowboys winning streak would end in the Meadowlands, as Dak Prescott was picked off twice in a physical war against the Giants, losing 10-7. Following the loss, Cowboys rebounded to clinch the division with a 26-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Elliott rushed for 150 yards with a touchdown. Playing in the final Monday Night Game of the season a day after Christmas, the Cowboys ran up and down the field on the Detroit Lions, as Dak Prescott passed for 212 yards, with three touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott ran for 80 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Facing the Eagles in the season finale, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott saw only limited action, as Tony Romo threw what would be the final pass of his career a three-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. The game had the feel of a pre-season finale as the Cowboys had home field locked up. The Eagles would win the game 27-13 as the Cowboys completed a 13-3 season.
2016 Playoffs: Against the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round, the Dallas Cowboys got off to a slow start as the Packers jumped out to a 21-3 lead. Dak Prescott would get on track, with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, while he got Dallas into field goal range to cut the deficit to 21-13 on a Dan Bailey hit one from 33 yards. The Packers answered back in the third quarter, scoring on the first drive of the second half. In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys battled back to tie the game on a pair of Dak Prescott touchdown passes. The Packers though regained the lead with 1:33 left on a Mason Crosby F-yard Field Goal. Undeterred, Dak and the Cowboys answered back on a 52-yarded by Dan Bailey with 35 seconds left. However, Aaron Rodgers throwing a tight rope pass to Jared Cook, set Mason up from 51 yards to win the game for the Packers 34-31. Despite a heartbreaking end to their season, Dak Prescott had a great playoff debut passing for 302 yards with three touchdowns. While Ezekiel Elliott ran for 125 yards. The two rookies were without a doubt the story for Dallas, as they finished 1-2 in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, with Prescott getting the nod, with 3,667 yards with 23 touchdowns to just four interceptions, in addition, Dak ran for 282 yards with six touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott meanwhile led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards with 15 touchdowns. In addition to Dak Prescott winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, Jason Garrett was named Coach of the Year and Jerry Jones was elected the Pro-Football Hall of Fame at the NFL’s Annual Awards Show.
2017: Hopes were high for the Dallas Cowboys coming off a 2016 campaign that saw them post the best record in the NFC at 13-3, led by Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott and NFL leading rusher, rookie Ezekiel Elliott. However, just before the season began, a yearlong NFL investigation into accusations made by his ex-girlfriend of domestic violence left Zeke facing a six-game suspension to start the season. With the support of \owner, Jerry Jones, Elliott would appeal the suspension and was granted an injunction two days prior to the Cowboy’s opener, allowing him to play. With their offensive core intact, the Cowboys would welcome the New York Giants, to AT&T stadium for a week one matchup that would see the lone touchdown of the game come from long-time Tight End stalwart, Jason Witten, as he would also pass Michael Irvin as the all-time Cowboys receiving-yards leader. Zeke would continue his reign of rushing terror in this game as well, going for 104 yards rushing and 36 receiving on 29 total touches while Dak was as a solid game manager, with no turnovers on their way to a 19-3 win. The Cowboys would go to the Mile High City to face the Denver Broncos. Against the Broncos strong pass defense, Dallas looked to lean heavily on Ezekiel Elliott. However, they would find themselves behind early as Emmanuel Sanders and CJ Anderson would both get two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dallas looked lost as Zeke would only see 14 combined targets for a career-worst eight rushing yards and 14 receiving yards while Dak Prescott was picked off twice, the second of which was returned 103 yards by Aqib Talib with 53 seconds left as the Broncos won 42-17. Dallas would face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 on Monday Night Football and respond with a balanced offensive effort with four different Cowboys finding the end zone in a game where Dak Prescott returned to form in a solid 28-17 win on the road. The Cowboys would host the emerging Los Angeles Rams in Week 4. The Cowboys came out of the gate strong, punching LA in the mouth with three early touchdowns, including two by Ezekiel Elliott, 2 by Zeke as we went ground and air while holding a 24-13 halftime lead. The wheels would fall off in the second half for the Cowboys as the Rams stormed back to a 35-30 victory. A Week 5 playoff rematch with the Green Bay Packers would lead to another offensive shootout in Dallas. Dak Prescott would garner four touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground, while Ezekiel Elliott would eat up 132 total yards. Prescott’s rushing score would put Dallas ahead 31-28 with 1:13 left. However, much like the Divisional Playoffs in January the Packers led by Aaron Rodgers would rip out the heart of Dallas, with a game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds left. As the Packers won 35-31 to drop the Cowboys to 2-3 heading into their bye week. During the bye, the Cowboys would again find them in controversy as Ezekiel Elliott suspension had been reinstated effective immediately, only for Elliott to file an approved restraining order, allowing him to play Week 7 against the winless San Francisco 49ers. The pending case seemed to have lit a fire under Zeke as he went for 147 rushing and 72 receiving yards amassing three touchdowns in his best game of the season as Dallas slammed San Fran 40-10. Dallas would continue to roll in Week 8 against the arch-rival Washington Redskins, riding a 150 yard and two touchdowns performance by Elliott, five field goals by Mike Nugent, and a late-game pick-six by Byron Jones to improve to 4-3 via a 33-19 win. Elliott’s issues would resurface the following day, as his injunction was again denied, followed by the NFLPA filing an emergency injunction that would get Elliott a stay four days later, again delaying the potential suspension. Coming off the crazy week of back and forth, the Cowboys would welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to Dallas and would employ another balanced attack that would see Cole Beasley score two touchdown, Terrence Williams catch 141 yards on nine catches, and Zeke rush for 93 with a touchdown in a 28-17 win to move to 5-3 on the season. However, on November 9th, the rug would be yanked out from under their star running back for the final time, as the suspension was once again reinstated, and Ezekiel Elliott was forced accept the six-game ban. Without Elliott, the Cowboys would and only muster 233 yards of offense as Dak was sacked eight times in a 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Matter matters work the Cowboys, already thin defense would lose Sean Lee and Tyron Smith a key member of the offensive line to injury. The Cowboys would next see the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium, taking a 9-7 lead into halftime, only to give up 30 unanswered points in the second half points, to fall to 5-5 with a 37-9 defeat on Sunday Night Football, as Da Prescott was sacked four times, threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. The slide would continue on Thanksgiving as the Los Angeles Chargers were able to keep Dallas off the scoreboard until 12:48 of the fourth quarter, when Rod Smith would take a two-yard rush for the only points of the game for the Cowboys while Prescott continued his struggles, throwing for two more picas as the Cowboys slipped to 5-6 after a 28-6 loss. Defiantly, the Cowboys refused to go quietly in their second consecutive Thursday game, finding their balanced attack again against the Redskins with five different players finding pay-dirt capped off by rookie Ryan Switzer returning a punt 83 yards as Dallas would easily roll to a 38-14 victory. Returning to form against a depleted Giants team, Dallas would continue to roll thanks to three passes by Dak Prescott winning their week 14 matchup 30-10, to improve to 7-6. Still chasing a wild card berth, the Cowboys would go on the road in Week 15 and beat the Oakland Raiders 20-17 in a nail-biter. Using a rushing attack that would see Dak Prescott and Rod Smith both find the end zone, it would be Dan Bailey’s 19-yard field goal with 1:44 remaining that would clinch the win, moving them to 8-6 and 3-3 without Ezekiel Elliott as he was ready to return. Trying to chase down Atlanta for the sixth playoff spot, in a must-win game, Dallas hosted the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16 as Ezekiel Elliott returned to the fold. Despite Zeke’s 118 total yards, Dallas couldn’t get anything going against Seattle and Dan Bailey’s four field goal were not enough to overcome the poor offensive performance, including another pick-six thrown by Dak as Dallas saw its playoff window close on a 21-12 loss to Seattle. The Cowboys would head into Week 17 against the practice squad of the Eagles to finish their season with a 6-0 win as both teams appeared to be more focused on the day after with the Cowboys going into the off-season and the Eagles going into the playoffs. Despite the disappointing 9-7 record, the Cowboys with a plethora of youth of both sides of the ball, look to be a factor for years to come in the playoff conversation. Though Dak Prescott took a step back going for 3,324/22/13, he managed to perform better as a dual-threat QB, again rushing for six touchdowns and gaining 357 yards on the ground. With better decision making and ball control, he could again ascend into the upper echelon of the NFL quarterbacks. Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension-shortened season also saw him lose six games worth of work and finished with 983 yards on the ground with nine touchdowns.
Written by Kyle Pellerin
©MMXVIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 11 , 2002. Last updated on September 24, 2018 at 11:40 pm ET.
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