1984 Dallas Cowboys season
OwnerBum Bright
Head coachTom Landry
General managerTex Schramm
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Results
Record9–7
Division place4th NFC East
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro Bowlers3

The 1984 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 25th in the National Football League. The Cowboys finished the season with a record of nine wins and seven losses, and missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. A division record of 3–5 caused them to finish fourth in the NFC East, despite equaling the overall records of the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. A loss to the winless Buffalo Bills in week 12 cost the team a critical win. Nonetheless, the Cowboys had a 9-5 record and would have made the playoffs had they won one of their two remaining games, and would have won the division had they won both games. The team gave up a 15-point lead against the Washington Redskins in week 15, and then lost to the Miami Dolphins by one touchdown (surrendered with less than a minute to play) in the final week of the season. The season was overshadowed by a quarterback controversy between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom, with Hogeboom getting the majority of the starts.

Offseason

The Cowboys went through major changes during the offseason, as key players Drew Pearson, Billy Joe Dupree, Harvey Martin, Robert Newhouse, and Pat Donovan all retired, and Butch Johnson was traded to the Denver Broncos.

NFL Draft

Main article: 1984 NFL draft

1984 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 25 Billy Cannon, Jr.  LB Texas A&M
2 40 Victor Scott  S Colorado
3 81 Fred Cornwell  TE USC
4 110 Steve DeOssie  LB Boston College
5 113 Steve Pelluer  QB Washington
5 137 Norm Granger  FB Iowa
6 152 Eugene Lockhart  LB Houston
6 166 Joe Levelis  OG Iowa Signed with the USFL
7 193 Ed Martin  LB Indiana State Signed with the USFL
8 222 Mike Revell  RB Bethune-Cookman
9 232 John Hunt  OG Florida
9 249 Neil Maune  OG Notre Dame
10 278 Brian Salonen  TE Montana
11 305 Dowe Aughtman  DT Auburn
12 334 Carl Lewis  WR Houston He never played American football
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Roster

Dallas Cowboys 1984 roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics
49 Active, 4 Inactive

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance Recap
1 September 3 at Los Angeles Rams W 20–13 1–0 Anaheim Stadium 65,403 Recap
2 September 9 at New York Giants L 7–28 1–1 Giants Stadium 75,921 Recap
3 September 16 Philadelphia Eagles W 23–17 2–1 Texas Stadium 64,521 Recap
4 September 23 Green Bay Packers W 20–6 3–1 Texas Stadium 64,222 Recap
5 September 30 at Chicago Bears W 23–14 4–1 Soldier Field 63,623 Recap
6 October 7 St. Louis Cardinals L 20–31 4–2 Texas Stadium 61,438 Recap
7 October 14 at Washington Redskins L 14–34 4–3 RFK Stadium 55,431 Recap
8 October 21 New Orleans Saints W 30–27 (OT) 5–3 Texas Stadium 50,966 Recap
9 October 28 Indianapolis Colts W 22–3 6–3 Texas Stadium 58,724 Recap
10 November 4 New York Giants L 7–19 6–4 Texas Stadium 60,235 Recap
11 November 11 at St. Louis Cardinals W 24–17 7–4 Busch Stadium 48,721 Recap
12 November 18 at Buffalo Bills L 3–14 7–5 Rich Stadium 74,391 Recap
13 November 22 New England Patriots W 20–17 8–5 Texas Stadium 55,341 Recap
14 December 2 at Philadelphia Eagles W 26–10 9–5 Veterans Stadium 66,322 Recap
15 December 9 Washington Redskins L 28–30 9–6 Texas Stadium 64,286 Recap
16 December 17 at Miami Dolphins L 21–28 9–7 Orange Bowl 74,139 Recap

Division opponents are in bold text

Season summary

Week 1

Week One: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (1-0) 0 7 31020
Rams (0-1) 13 0 0013

at Anaheim Stadium

Week 2

Week Two: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (1-1) 0 0 707
Giants (2-0) 14 7 7028

at The Meadowlands

Week 3

Week Three: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Eagles (1-2) 0 10 0717
Cowboys (2-1) 3 10 10023

at Texas Stadium

Week 4

Week Four: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Packers (1-3) 0 0 606
Cowboys (3-1) 7 6 0720

at Texas Stadium

Week 5

Week Five: Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (4-1) 10 7 3323
Bears (3-2) 7 7 0014

at Soldier Field

Week 6

Week Six: St. Louis Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cardinals (3-3) 7 7 17031
Cowboys (4-2) 7 6 0720

at Texas Stadium

Week 7

Week Seven: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (4-3) 7 0 0714
Redskins (5-2) 7 10 10734

at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium

Week 8

Week Eight: New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34OTTotal
Saints (3-5) 0 17 100027
Cowboys (5-3) 3 3 021330

at Texas Stadium

Game information

Week 9

Week Nine: Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Colts (3-6) 0 0 033
Cowboys (6-3) 0 13 3622

at Texas Stadium

Week 10

Week Ten: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Giants (6-4) 6 0 7619
Cowboys (6-4) 0 7 007

at Texas Stadium

Week 11

Week Eleven: Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Cardinals – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (7-4) 7 10 0724
Cardinals (6-5) 0 7 10017

at Busch Stadium

Week 12

In their first visit to Rich Stadium and first overall to Buffalo since 1971, the Cowboys lost for the first time in four meetings with the Bills. The teams did not meet again until Super Bowl XXVII.

Week Twelve: Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (7-5) 0 3 003
Bills (1-11) 7 0 0714

at Rich Stadium

Week 13

Week Thirteen: New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Patriots (8-5) 3 0 01417
Cowboys (8-5) 7 3 7320

at Texas Stadium

Week 14

Week Fourteen: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (9-5) 7 0 16326
Eagles (5-8-1) 0 3 0710

at Veterans Stadium

  • Date: Sunday, December 2, 1984
  • Game time: 1:00pm(ET)
  • Game weather: 40 degrees, relative humidity 61%, wind 7 mph
  • Game attendance: 66,322
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
  • TV announcers (CBS): Dick Stockton (play-by-play) and Hank Stram (color commentator)
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com

Week 15

Week Fifteen: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Redskins (10-5) 0 6 17730
Cowboys (9-6) 7 14 0728

at Texas Stadium

Week 16

Week Sixteen: Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cowboys (9-7) 0 0 71421
Miami (14-2) 0 7 71428

at Orange Bowl

Game information

Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Washington Redskins(2) 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 426 310 W4
New York Giants(5) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–7 299 301 L2
St. Louis Cardinals 9 7 0 .563 5–3 6–6 423 345 L1
Dallas Cowboys 9 7 0 .563 3–5 7–5 308 308 L2
Philadelphia Eagles 6 9 1 .406 2–6 3–8–1 278 320 L1

Season recap

The Cowboys announced that they would celebrate their 25th anniversary during the 1984 season under the theme "Silver Season".

The sale of the franchise from the Murchison family to an 11-member limited partnership headed by Dallas businessman Harvey Roberts ("Bum") Bright was approved by NFL owners on March 19 and the sale was completed on May 18.

Gary Hogeboom replaced Danny White as the starting quarterback in the preseason, and a quarterback controversy ensued throughout the season. After a 4–1 start, Hogeboom played poorly in losses to St. Louis and Washington, and was replaced by White in both games. The following week against New Orleans, White had to relieve Hogeboom again, this time after Hogeboom injured his right wrist early in the second half. White led the Cowboys to victory, overcoming a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

White started the next two games, but after a poor performance by both quarterbacks against the Giants, Hogeboom regained the starting position. The constant change at quarterback didn't help the team's inconsistent play, and they reached their lowest point at Buffalo late in the season, suffering a humiliating 14–3 loss at the hands of the winless Bills. Afterwards, White would go on to start at quarterback for the rest of the season. Still, despite all the turmoil surrounding the Cowboys, they held a 9–5 record going into the season's final two weeks and were tied for the division lead. However, two heartbreaking losses to the Redskins (a game in which the Cowboys led 21–6 at halftime) and Dolphins ended the Cowboys' string of postseason appearances at nine.

The Cowboys perennially potent offense fell into disarray during the 1984 season. The offensive line was ravaged by injury and retirement, and Cowboy quarterbacks were under duress all season. The line also struggled to open holes for the running game, despite another productive season from running back Tony Dorsett, who rushed for 1,189 yards. Turnovers were another source of frustration, as the offense turned it over 42 times. The defense once again featured a strong pass rush, led by perennial all-pro defensive tackle Randy White, as well as an opportunistic secondary, with safety Michael Downs leading the way with seven interceptions. However, stopping the run was a problem throughout the season, as the defense allowed 4.4 yards per carry.

Awards

The Cowboys had three players represent them in the Pro Bowl: Randy White, Doug Cosbie, and Bill Bates, who became the first player to be chosen for the Pro Bowl for outstanding play on special teams coverage units.[1] White was named to the associated press' All-NFL first team for his play at defensive tackle, while safety Michael Downs was named second team All-NFL, despite being overlooked for the pro bowl.

Publications

References