1984 Dallas Cowboys season
Head Coach Tom Landry
Home Field Texas Stadium
Record 9–7
Place 4th in NFC East
Playoff Finish did not qualify
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1983 1985

The Cowboys finished the 1984 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 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. Adding to the overhaul, 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 onto to start at quarterback for the rest of the season. Still, for 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 Tony Dorsett, who rushed for 1189 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.

1984 NFL DraftEdit

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

Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
49 Active, 0 Inactive


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


NFC East
Washington Redskins 11 5 0 .688 426 310 W-4
Dallas Cowboys 9 7 0 .563 308 308 L-2
St. Louis Cardinals 9 7 0 .563 423 345 L-1
New York Giants 9 7 0 .563 308 308 L-2
Philadelphia Eagles 6 9 1 .406 278 320 L-1


The Cowboys had three players represent them in the pro bowl: Randy White, Doug Cosbie, and Bill Bates, who became the first player (along with the Seattle Seahawks' Fredd Young) to be chosen for the pro bowl for outstanding play on special teams coverage units. 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.


1. The Football Encyclopedia ISBN 0-312-11435-4
2. Total Football ISBN 0-06-270170-3
3. [17]
4. [18]
5. [19]

AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1984 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XIX

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