1984 Dallas Cowboys season

1984 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coach Tom Landry
General manager Tex Schramm
Owner Bum Bright
Home field Texas Stadium
Record 9–7
Division place 4th in NFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify

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. The season was overshadowed by a quarterback controversy between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom, with Hogeboom getting the majority of the starts.


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.

1984 NFL Draft

Round Pick Name Position School
1 25 Billy Cannon, Jr. Linebacker Texas A&M
2 40 Victor Scott Safety Colorado
3 81 Fred Cornwell Tight end USC
4 110 Steve DeOssie Linebacker Boston College
5 113 Steve Pelluer Quarterback Washington
5 137 Norm Granger Running back Iowa
6 152 Eugene Lockhart Linebacker Houston
6 166 Joe Levelis Offensive guard Iowa
7 193 Ed Martin Linebacker Indiana State
8 222 Mike Revell Running back Bethune-Cookman
9 232 John Hunt Offensive guard Florida
9 249 Neil Maune Offensive guard Notre Dame
10 278 Brian Salonen Tight end Montana
11 304 Dowe Aughtman Defensive tackle Auburn
12 334 Carl Lewis Wide receiver Houston


Dallas Cowboys 1984 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics
49 Active, 4 Inactive


Week Date Opponent Result Game site NFL Recap Attendance
1 September 3, 1984 at Los Angeles Rams W 20–13 Anaheim Stadium
2 September 9, 1984 at New York Giants L 7–28 Giants Stadium
3 September 16, 1984 Philadelphia Eagles W 23–17 Texas Stadium
4 September 23, 1984 Green Bay Packers W 20–6 Texas Stadium
5 September 30, 1984 at Chicago Bears W 23–14 Soldier Field
6 October 7, 1984 St. Louis Cardinals L 20–31 Texas Stadium
7 October 14, 1984 at Washington Redskins L 14–34 RFK Stadium
8 October 21, 1984 New Orleans Saints W 30–27 OT Texas Stadium
9 October 28, 1984 Indianapolis Colts W 22–3 Texas Stadium
10 November 4, 1984 New York Giants L 7–19 Texas Stadium
11 November 11, 1984 at St. Louis Cardinals W 24–17 Busch Memorial Stadium
12 November 18, 1984 at Buffalo Bills L 3–14 Rich Stadium
13 November 22, 1984 New England Patriots W 20–17 Texas Stadium
14 December 2, 1984 at Philadelphia Eagles W 26–10 Veterans Stadium
15 December 9, 1984 Washington Redskins L 28–30 Texas Stadium
16 December 17, 1984 at Miami Dolphins L 21–28 Orange Bowl

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

First Quarter
  • Cowboys – Rafael Septien 37 yard field goal – NOS 0, Dal 3
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
  • Saints – Morten Andersen 50 yard field goal – NOS 20, Dal 6
  • Saints – Dirt Winston 43 yard interception return (Morten Andersen kick) – NOS 27, Dal 6
Fourth Quarter
Over Time
  • Cowboys – Rafael Septien 41 yard field goal – NOS 27, Dal 30

Vegas Spread
  • Vegas Line= Dal -6.0
  • Over/Under= 42.0(over)
Dallas vs New Orleans – 1984

The 1984 season will not go down in Cowboys history as one they want to remember. Actually it's one of those seasons that should be forgotten. The Cowboys finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs. It was also the season that coach Tom Landry made the preseason decision to make Gary Hogeboom the starting quarterback over veteran Danny White.

The Cowboys went into the game against the Saints with a 4-3 record. They started strong with their first drive of the game as Hogeboom drove them to the Saints 20 yard line before the drive stalled on a Hogeboom sack by Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson. Rafael Septien kicked a field goal and the Cowboys took a short lived 3-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter the Saints punted and pinned the Cowboys on their own one yard line. The Cowboys were forced to punt after three plays and no yards gained. Danny White could only manage a 36 yard punt and the Saints took over on the Cowboys 39 yard line. Two plays later the Saints took the lead on a Richard Todd (Yes, the same Richard Todd who played for the Jets in the late 70s and early 80′s) to Tyrone Young 36 yard touchdown pass as Young streaked across the middle beating Everson Walls and Ron Fellows. The Saints went ahead 7-3.

The Cowboys could only manage another Septien field goal before the Saints went back to work. The Saints alternated running backs in 1984. Their first back was Earl Campbell (67 yds rushing in the game) and they also had George Rodgers (52 yds rushing in the game). But it was fullback Hokie Gajan who took center stage in this game as he ran for 78 yards and a touchdown. His score came after Ed Jones got a hold of him in the backfield, but Gajan managed to break free and went untouched from that point and scored from 62 yards out. This gave the Saints a 14-6 lead with 2:54 left before halftime.

Saints kicker Morten Anderson added a field goal at the end of the first half increasing the Saints lead to 17-6. Things would only get worse for the Cowboys in the third quarter.

Morten Anderson kicked his second field goal of the game early in the third quarter. With the Saints leading 20-6 things went from bad to worse for the Cowboys as Hogeboom was intercepted by Dirt Winston who then returned it 43 yards for a Saints touchdown. The Saints now led 27-6.

On the interception Hogeboom hit his wrist on a Saints helmet and forced him to the bench for the rest of the game. With the injury, it forced Danny White into the game. The entrance of White seemed to wake the Cowboys up.

Early in the fourth quarter Cowboys special teams player Chuck McSwain blocked a Saints punt and the Cowboys recovered on the Saints three yard line. From there Tony Dorsett ran it in and got the Cowboys closer at 27-13.

Late in the fourth quarter with only 3:59 to play Danny White threw a 12 yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Renfro. This closed the Saints lead to 27-20.

With 2:53 left in the game and veteran Kenny Stabler in at quarterback for the Saints because of Richard Todd's injury early in the fourth quarter, the Dallas defense made a stand. Stabler attempted to pass from his own nine yard line as Randy White came crashing through the line and sacked Stabler forcing a fumble. The ball rolled into the end zone where Jim Jeffcoat fought through a wild scramble of players and recovered the fumble for the touchdown. With the extra point the Cowboys tied the game at 27-27.

The Cowboys actually got the ball back two more times in the final 1:20 of the game on two Stabler interceptions, but could not move the ball into scoring position. The game would go into overtime.

The Cowboys won the coin toss in overtime. From their own 29 yard line Danny White attempted a pass to Tony Hill who was interfered with, which resulted in a 24 yard penalty. Then White completed a 15 yard pass to Renfro to set up Septien for the winning field. Septein kicked a 41 yard field goal to complete the comeback and the Cowboys won the game 30-27. The comeback was the Cowboys biggest in team history.

"I always feel we can come back and win it", coach Tom Landry said. "Our guys found out how hard you have to work to win a football game."

"I feel good about our team now, said Landry. Better than I felt all year. We just haven’t played with the tough emotion we played with in the fourth quarter. It may be the difference the rest of the season. I’ve been saying all along we have to play hard to win."

"I thought all along I should start. But I don’t think because of the way Gary played I should start", White said. "I’d love to start to be back in there, where I should have been all along. But that's up to coach Landry. It meant a lot for my confidence."

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

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

First Quarter
  • No Score
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
Fourth Quarter

  • Passing

Danny White 20/34, 246 Yds, 1 TD, 2 Int, 66 Lng

  • Rushing
  • Tony Dorsett 19/58 Yds, O TD, 10 Lng
  • Timmy Newsome 6/20 Yds, 2 TD, 7 Lng
  • Receiving
  • Tony Hill 6 Rec, 115 Yds, 1 TD, 66 Lng
  • Doug Cosbie 5 Rec, 83 Yds, O TD, 25 Lng
  • Tony Dorsett 6 Rec, 28 Yds, O TD, 14 Lng
  • Passing
  • Dan Marino 23/40, 340 Yds, 4 TD, 2 Int, 63 Lng
  • Rushing
  • Tony Nathan 13/39 Yds, O TD, 15 Lng
  • Woody Bennett 7/14 Yds, O TD, 6 Lng
  • Receiving
  • Mark Clayton 4 Rec, 150 Yds, 3 TD, 63 Lng
  • Mark Duper 4 Rec, 57 Yds, O TD, 25 Lng
  • Nat Moore 3 Rec, 47 Yds, O TD, 22 Lng
  • Tony Nathan 7 Rec, 46 Yds, O TD, 15 Lng
  • Tony Nathan 7 Rec, 46 Yds, O TD, 15 Lng
  • Bruce Hardy 3 Rec, 25 Yds, 1 TD, 14 Lng
Vegas Spread
  • Vegas Line= Miami -6.5
  • Over/Under= 47.0(over)


NFC East
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 business man 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 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 nadir 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.


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.



External links

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