American Football Database

1990 Dallas Cowboys season
Head Coach Jimmy Johnson
Home Field Texas Stadium
Record 7–9
Place 4th NFC East
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Previous season Next season
1989 1991

The 1990 season was the Dallas Cowboys' 31st season in NFL. The Cowboys rebounded from a 1–15 season in 1989 to a 7–9 record. Jimmy Johnson won AP's NFL coach of the year honors.

The season began with a win over San Diego, breaking a 14 game home losing streak. The Cowboys showed some early season fight with two wins over Tampa Bay and a near-miss against Philadelphia, but still stood only 3–7 after ten weeks, and were seemingly out of playoff contention. However, the team caught fire in late November, winning four games in a row (including impressive wins over the Redskins and Saints, and a blowout win over the Cardinals). The Cowboys entered the season's final two weeks needing only one win or Saints' loss to make the playoffs as a wildcard. However, in game 15 quarterback Troy Aikman separated his shoulder early against the Eagles and was replaced by Babe Laufenberg (The Cowboys had traded backup Steve Walsh early in the season and Lauferberg was elevated from 3rd string to backup). With Aikman injured, the Cowboys mustered little offense against the Eagles and lost, 17–3. Meanwhile the Saints upset the 49ers (handing the Niners only their second loss) to keep the Cowboys from clinching in game 15. The next week, with Laufenberg again leading the offense, the Cowboys were thoroughly beaten, 26–7, by the 4–11 Atlanta Falcons. When the Saints beat the Rams the next night, the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention.

This season featured the debut of running back Emmitt Smith. Smith held out during training camp and was only a minimal contributor in the season's early games, but began to show his future greatness with a 100-plus performance in a week 5 win against Tampa Bay and had a few other outstanding games during the season.


NFL Draft

Pick # NFL Team Player Position College
17 Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith Running Back Florida
27 Dallas Cowboys Alexander Wright Wide Receiver Auburn
65 Dallas Cowboys Jimmie Jones Defensive Tackle Miami
222 Dallas Cowboys Kenneth Gant Defensive Back Albany State, Ga.

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 1990-09-09 San Diego Chargers W 17–14 Texas Stadium
2 1990-09-16 New York Giants L 28–7 Texas Stadium
3 1990-09-23 at Washington Redskins L 19–15 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
4 1990-09-30 at New York Giants L 31–17 Giants Stadium
5 1990-10-07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 14–10 Texas Stadium
6 1990-10-14 at Phoenix Cardinals L 20–3 Sun Devil Stadium
7 1990-10-21 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17–13 Tampa Stadium
8 1990-10-28 Philadelphia Eagles L 21–20 Texas Stadium
9 1990-11-04 at New York Jets L 24–9 The Meadowlands
10 1990-11-11 San Francisco 49ers L 24–6 Texas Stadium
11 1990-11-18 at Los Angeles Rams W 24–10 Anaheim Stadium
12 1990-11-22 Washington Redskins W 27–17 Texas Stadium
13 1990-12-02 New Orleans Saints W 17–13 Texas Stadium
14 Bye
15 1990-12-16 Phoenix Cardinals W 41–10 Texas Stadium
16 1990-12-23 at Philadelphia Eagles L 17–3 Veterans Stadium
17 1990-12-30 at Atlanta Falcons L 26–7 Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium


NFC East
view · talk · edit W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
New York Giants 13 3 0 .813 7–1 10–2 335 211 W2
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 5–3 9–3 396 299 W3
Washington Redskins 10 6 0 .625 4–4 7–5 381 301 W1
Dallas Cowboys 7 9 0 .438 2–6 6–8 244 308 L2
Phoenix Cardinals 5 11 0 .313 2–6 3–9 268 396 L3


Dallas Cowboys 1990 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
46 Active, 0 Inactive

Porkchop Bowl

Porkchop Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Philadelphia Eagles 7 0 0 14 7
Dallas Cowboys 0 3 3 14 3
Date October 28, 1990
Stadium Texas Stadium
Location Irving, Texas
Network CBS
Announcers Tim Ryan and Irv Cross

The Porkchop Bowl was the NFL matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys which followed the infamous Bounty Bowl II.

Even though almost a year had transpired since the notorious "Bounty Bowl" games, the vitriolic rivalry between the two teams was still firmly in Cowboys fans' memories. And this was the first encounter since Cowboys players and coaches were relentlessly pelted by snowballs during that last meeting at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium.

The week before game day in Dallas, Philadelphia head coach Buddy Ryan and Ted Plumb, his offensive coordinator were out for dinner. Coach Ryan was dining on pork chops and started to choke. Fortunately, Plumb quickly initiated the Heimlich maneuver and saved Ryan's life. Word of the incident spread in Dallas, and hatred by Dallas fans was so fevered towards Ryan that former Cowboys' president Tex Schramm dubbed the pending game on October 28 the "Porkchop Bowl." When the game began, Dallas fans tossed pork chops and similar simulated meat products from the stands toward the Eagles bench.

The final score was 21–20 in favor of the Eagles.

Awards and records


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 Phoenix Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1990 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXV