1977 Dallas Cowboys season
OwnerClint Murchison, Jr.
General managerTex Schramm
Head coachTom Landry
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Results
Record12–2
Division place1st in NFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Bears) 37–7
Won NFC Championship (vs. Vikings) 23–6
Won Super Bowl XII (vs. Broncos) 27–10
The Cowboys and Broncos in Super Bowl XII
The Cowboys and Broncos in Super Bowl XII

The 1977 Dallas Cowboys season was their 18th in the NFL. The club appeared twice on Monday Night Football. Rookie running back Tony Dorsett rushed for 1,007 yards and became the second member of the Cowboys (first since 1973) to have a 1,000-yard rushing season. Dallas scored 345 points, which ranked first in the NFC, while its defense only gave up 212 points. The Cowboys made it to their fourth Super Bowl and beat the Denver Broncos to capture their second Super Bowl title. They were the first team from the NFC East Division to win two Super Bowls. Their 15–2 (.882) record (including the postseason) remains the highest single-season winning percentage in franchise history.

As in 1975, the Cowboys did not play this season on Thanksgiving, again replaced by the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 1977 Cowboys ranked #17 on the 100 greatest teams of all time presented by the NFL on its 100th anniversary.[1][2]

Offseason

To improve their running game, the Cowboys orchestrated a big trade with the Seattle Seahawks, moving up in the NFL draft to acquire running back Tony Dorsett, the Heisman Trophy winner from national champion Pittsburgh.[3]

With the retirement of Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Breunig became the starting middle linebacker, Randy White was moved to defensive tackle, and Thomas Henderson became a starter at strongside linebacker, turning the defense into a dominant unit.

Draft

Main article: 1977 NFL Draft

1977 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 2 Tony Dorsett *   RB Pittsburgh Pick from SEA
2 54 Glenn Carano  QB UNLV
3 62 Tony Hill *  WR Stanford
3 81 Val Belcher  OG Houston
4 108 Guy Brown  LB Houston
5 137 Andy Frederick  OT New Mexico
6 164 Jim Cooper  OT Temple
7 191 Dave Stalls  DE Northern Colorado
8 208 Al Cleveland  DE Pacific
8 221 Fred Williams  RB Arizona State
9 248 Mark Cantrell  C North Carolina
10 275 Steve DeBerg  QB San Jose State
11 305 Don Wardlow  TE Washington
12 332 Greg Peters  OL California
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[4]

Preseason

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance Recap
1 August 6 San Diego Chargers W 34–14 1–0 Texas Stadium 59,504 Recap
2 August 13 at Seattle Seahawks L 17–23 (OT) 1–1 Kingdome 58,789 Recap
3 August 20 Miami Dolphins L 14–20 1–2 Texas Stadium 58,620 Recap
4 August 27 Baltimore Colts W 23–21 2–2 Texas Stadium 54,835 Recap
5 September 3 at Houston Oilers L 14–23 2–3 Astrodome 49,777 Recap
6 September 8 Pittsburgh Steelers W 30–0 3–3 Texas Stadium 49,824 Recap

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance Recap
1 September 18 at Minnesota Vikings W 16–10OT 1–0 Metropolitan Stadium 47,678 Recap
2 September 25 New York Giants W 41–21 2–0 Texas Stadium 64,215 Recap
3 October 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 23–7 3–0 Texas Stadium 55,316 Recap
4 October 9 at St. Louis Cardinals W 30–24 4–0 Busch Memorial Stadium 50,129 Recap
5 October 16 Washington Redskins W 34–16 5–0 Texas Stadium 62,115 Recap
6 October 23 at Philadelphia Eagles W 16–10 6–0 Veterans Stadium 65,507 Recap
7 October 30 Detroit Lions W 37–0 7–0 Texas Stadium 63,160 Recap
8 November 6 at New York Giants W 24–10 8–0 Giants Stadium 74,532 Recap
9 November 14 St. Louis Cardinals L 17–24 8–1 Texas Stadium 64,038 Recap
10 November 20 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 13–28 8–2 Three Rivers Stadium 49,761 Recap
11 November 27 at Washington Redskins W 14–7 9–2 RFK Stadium 55,031 Recap
12 December 4 Philadelphia Eagles W 24–14 10–2 Texas Stadium 60,289 Recap
13 December 12 at San Francisco 49ers W 42–35 11–2 Candlestick Park 55,851 Recap
14 December 18 Denver Broncos W 14–6 12–2 Texas Stadium 63,752 Recap
Division opponents are in bold text

Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys(1) 12 2 0 .857 7–1 11–1 345 212 W4
Washington Redskins 9 5 0 .643 4–4 8–4 196 189 W3
St. Louis Cardinals 7 7 0 .500 4–4 7–5 272 287 L4
Philadelphia Eagles 5 9 0 .357 2–6 4–8 220 207 W2
New York Giants 5 9 0 .357 3–5 5–7 181 265 L2

Roster

Dallas Cowboys 1977 roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Rookies in italics
45 active, 4 inactive

Game Summaries

Week 1: at Minnesota Vikings

See also: 1977 Minnesota Vikings season

1 2 34OTTotal
Cowboys 0 3 07616
Vikings 7 0 03010

at Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Week 2: vs. New York Giants

See also: 1977 New York Giants season

1 2 34Total
Giants 0 7 14021
Cowboys 14 17 3741

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 3: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

See also: 1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

1 2 34Total
Buccaneers 0 7 007
Cowboys 17 3 3023

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 4: at St. Louis Cardinals

See also: 1977 St. Louis Cardinals (NFL) season

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 3 10 31430
Cardinals 10 7 7024

at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

Game information

Week 5: vs. Washington Redskins

See also: 1977 Washington Redskins season

1 2 34Total
Redskins 6 7 3016
Cowboys 0 14 61434

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 6: at Philadelphia Eagles

See also: 1977 Philadelphia Eagles season

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 0 6 01016
Eagles 0 7 0310

at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

Game information

Week 7: vs. Detroit Lions

See also: 1977 Detroit Lions season

1 2 34Total
Lions 0 0 000
Cowboys 3 20 7737

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 8: at New York Giants

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 7 7 7324
Giants 0 3 7010

at The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

Week 9: vs. St. Louis Cardinals

1 2 34Total
Cardinals 3 0 71424
Cowboys 0 14 0317

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 10: at Pittsburgh Steelers

See also: 1977 Pittsburgh Steelers season

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 6 7 0013
Steelers 0 14 14028

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh

Game information

Week 11: at Washington Redskins

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 0 0 7714
Redskins 0 7 007

at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.

Game information

Week 12: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

1 2 34Total
Eagles 0 7 7014
Cowboys 7 7 3724

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 13: at San Francisco 49ers

See also: 1977 San Francisco 49ers season

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 0 21 71442
49ers 7 7 71435

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco

Game information

Week 14: vs. Denver Broncos

See also: 1977 Denver Broncos season

1 2 34Total
Broncos 0 0 336
Cowboys 7 0 7014

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Postseason

Main article: 1977–78 NFL playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result Game Site Attendance Recap
Divisional December 26, 1977 Chicago Bears (4) W 37–7 Texas Stadium 63,260 Recap
NFC Championship January 1, 1978 Minnesota Vikings (3) W 23–6 Texas Stadium 64,293 Recap
Super Bowl XII January 15, 1978 vs Denver Broncos (A 1) W 27–10 Louisiana Superdome 75,583 Recap

NFC Divisional Playoff

See also: 1977 Chicago Bears season

Dallas Cowboys 37, Chicago Bears 7
1 2 34Total
Bears 0 0 077
Cowboys 7 10 17337

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

NFC Championship Game

Dallas Cowboys 23, Minnesota Vikings 6
1 2 34Total
Vikings 0 6 006
Cowboys 6 10 0723

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Super Bowl XII

See also: Super Bowl XII

Dallas Cowboys 27, Denver Broncos 10
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (NFC) 10 3 7727
Broncos (AFC) 0 0 10010

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans

Game information

Season recap

With an improved offense and defense, the Cowboys finished with a 12-2 regular season record, breezing through the playoffs by beating the Chicago Bears 37–7 in the divisional round, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 23–6 in the NFC Championship Game and winning Super Bowl XII 27–10 against the Denver Broncos.

Dorsett set a franchise rookie record with 1,007 rushing yards. Defensive end Harvey Martin had one of the greatest seasons ever by an NFL player. In a 14-game season he totaled 85 tackles and an estimated league-leading 23 sacks[5] (more than Michael Strahan's 22.5 record in 16 games), he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a consensus All-Pro selection, was a key player in the Cowboys winning Super Bowl XII, and a co-MVP of the game with Randy White.

Awards and Records

Publications

References

  1. ^ "NFL Top 100 Teams". Pro Football Reference.
  2. ^ "100 Greatest Teams: Numbers 100-1 SUPERCUT". NFL.com.
  3. ^ "Tony Dorsett had all the right moves and a brilliant NFL career". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "1977 NFL Draft". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  5. ^ DeLuca, Sam (1981). The Football Handbook. Jonathan David Publishers. p. 143. ISBN 0824602749. Defensive tackle Harvey Martin of the Cowboys had 23 sacks in 1977 -as many as the entire San Diego team had in 1976

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