American Football Database

2005 Dallas Cowboys season
Head Coach Bill Parcells
Home Field Texas Stadium
Record 9–7
Place 3rd NFC East
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Previous season Next season
2004 2006

The 2005 Dallas Cowboys season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record in 2004. Despite a 7–3 start, the Cowboys ended the season with a 9–7 record and narrowly missed the playoffs.


During the 2005 offseason, the team found a temporary solution to the quarterback situation by signing former Buffalo Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Earlier in his career, Bledsoe played for Bill Parcells while he was the coach for the New England Patriots. The Cowboys also signed cornerback Aaron Glenn [1] and cornerback Anthony Henry.[2]

The Cowboys also lost their last remaining three-time super bowl champion when Darren Woodson announced his retirement just before the offseason began.[3]

The Cowboys installed a 3-4 defensive scheme, marking the first departure from the 4–3 defense since the club was founded in 1960. In their first year in the new system the team finished tenth in the NFL in total defense and opponents completed just 54.7 percent of their passes against the Cowboys’ secondary, the second-lowest number in the NFL that year.

2005 NFL Draft

Round Pick Name Position School
1 11 DeMarcus Ware Linebacker Troy
1 20 Marcus Spears Defensive end Louisiana State
2 42 Kevin Burnett Linebacker Tennessee
4 109 Marion Barber Running back Minnesota
4 132 Chris Canty Defensive end Virginia
6 208 Justin Beriault Safety Ball State
7 209 Rob Pettiti Offensive tackle Pittsburgh
7 224 Jay Ratliff Defensive tackle Auburn

2005 NFL Draft Notes

  • DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears started all 16 games.
  • Marion Barber had several starts when starting running back Julius Jones sprained his ankle, and he took full advantage to solidify his role as a "third-down" running back.
  • Chris Canty was expected to be drafted in the first round until an injury hurt his chances to be drafted earlier. After noticing he was still available, the Cowboys traded up with the Eagles to take him with the 132nd overall pick.

Preseason schedule

Date Opponent Result Game site NFL Recap
August 13, 2005 Arizona Cardinals L 11–13 Sun Devil Stadium Recap
August 22, 2005 Seattle Seahawks W 18–10 Qwest Field Recap
August 27, 2005 Houston Texans W 21–9 Texas Stadium Recap
September 1, 2005 Jacksonville Jaguars W 27–20 Texas Stadium Recap


Week Date Opponent Result Game site NFL Recap
1 September 11, 2005 San Diego Chargers W 28–24 Qualcomm Stadium Recap
2 September 19, 2005 Washington Redskins L 13–14 Texas Stadium Recap
3 September 25, 2005 San Francisco 49ers W 34–31 Monster Park Recap
4 October 2, 2005 Oakland Raiders L 13–19 McAfee Coliseum Recap
5 October 9, 2005 Philadelphia Eagles W 33–10 Texas Stadium Recap
6 October 16, 2005 New York Giants W 16–13 OT Texas Stadium Recap
7 October 23, 2005 Seattle Seahawks L 10–13 Qwest Field Recap
8 October 30, 2005 Arizona Cardinals W 34–13 Texas Stadium Recap
9 Bye
10 November 14, 2005 Philadelphia Eagles W 21–20 Lincoln Financial Field Recap
11 November 20, 2005 Detroit Lions W 20–7 Texas Stadium Recap
12 November 24, 2005 Denver Broncos L 21–24 OT Texas Stadium Recap
13 December 4, 2005 New York Giants L 10–17 Giants Stadium Recap
14 December 11, 2005 Kansas City Chiefs W 31–28 Texas Stadium Recap
15 December 18, 2005 Washington Redskins L 35–7 Fedex Field Recap
16 December 24, 2005 Carolina Panthers W 24–20 Bank of America Stadium Recap
17 January 1, 2006 St. Louis Rams L 10–20 Texas Stadium Recap

Regular season

Week 1: at San Diego Chargers

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 14 7 7


Chargers 7 7 10 0


at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EST/3:15 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 67 °F, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 67,679
  • TV announcers (FOX): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Patrick O'Neal

After losing on opening weekend for five straight years, the Cowboys looked to end the streak on opening weekend against the San Diego Chargers. The defending AFC West Champion Chargers just had a 12–4 season and they were at home. The game was not decided until the final 30 seconds, when looking to score the game-winning touchdown on the Dallas 7-yard line, San Diego Quarterback Drew Brees threw an interception to Aaron Glenn. Both teams would go on to get a "disappointing" 9–7 record. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 2: vs. Washington Redskins

1 2 3 4 Total
Redskins 0 0 0 14


Cowboys 0 3 7 3


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Going into the game, the Dallas Cowboys had won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams. The Redskins had not won in Texas Stadium since 1995. After holding a 13–0 with 3:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Redskins came out with an extremely improbable rally late in the fourth quarter to stun the Cowboys 14–13 when Mark Brunell threw two touchdown passes to Santana Moss. It was an extremely painful loss for the Cowboys, and it was the first time (after 77 times) that Coach Parcells lost after going into the fourth quarter with at least a 13 point lead. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 12 7 15


49ers 7 17 7 0


at Monster Park, San Francisco, California

The Dallas Cowboys did the exact opposite of what they did a week earlier by scoring 15 unanswered point in the fourth quarter to shock the 49ers 34–31, in a game that was decided with less than 2 minutes remaining. Summary

Scoring summary

  • Q1 – 3:29 – Arnaz Battle, 15 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney extra point is good) (SF 7–0)
  • Q2 – 8:46 – Drew Bledsoe 6 yard run (Jose Cortez extra point fails) (SF 7–6)
  • Q2 – 7:43 – Brandon Lloyd, 89 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney extra point is good) (SF 14–6)
  • Q2 – 6:42 – Tony Parrish 34 yard interception return (Joe Nedney extra point is good) (SF 21–6)
  • Q2 – 3:33 – Jason Witten, 6 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Drew Bledsoe throws an incomplete pass to Dan Campbell for a failed two point conversion) (SF 21–12)
  • Q2 – 0:15 – Joe Nedney 20 yard field goal (SF 24–12)
  • Q3 – 9:24 – Julius Jones 1 yard run (Jose Cortez extra point is good) (SF 24–19)
  • Q3 – 0:40 – Brandon Lloyd, 13 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney extra point is good) (SF 31–19)
  • Q4 – 14:51 – Julius Jones 1 yard run (Jose Cortez extra point is good) (SF 31–26)
  • Q4 – 1:51 – Keyshawn Johnson, 14 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Drew Bledsoe throws to Keyshawn Johnson for a successful two point conversion) (DAL 34–31)

Week 4: at Oakland Raiders

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 3 3 7


Raiders 10 0 3 6


at McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, California

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EST/ 3:15 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 66 °F, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 62,400
  • TV announcers (FOX): Not available

Despite staying in the Bay area over the week to prepare for the game against the Raiders game, the Cowboys were unable to take advantage of the winless Oakland Raiders, and failed to score on a potential game saving drive late in the fourth quarter. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 5: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

1 2 3 4 Total
Eagles 0 3 7 0


Cowboys 17 10 3 3


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

The Cowboys exploded offensively in what Parcells said was the best performance he has seen since coming to Dallas. The Cowboys would not let the Eagles offense score a single touchdown (they had one defensive touchdown), and the Cowboys outscored the Eagles 27–3 in the first half to put the game out of reach. Summary

Scoring summary

  • Q1 – 13:01 – Terry Glenn, 15 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Jose Cortez extra point is good) (DAL 7–0)
  • Q1 – 7:41 – Terry Glenn, 38 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Jose Cortez extra point is good) (DAL 14–0)
  • Q1 – 0:19 – Jose Cortez 28 yard field goal (DAL 17–0)
  • Q2 – 10:23 – Todd France 23 yard field goal (DAL 17–3)
  • Q2 – 5:22 – Lousaka Polite, 12 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Jose Cortez extra point is good) (DAL 24–3)
  • Q2 – 0:09 – Jose Cortez 33 yard field goal (DAL 27–3)
  • Q3 – 11:39 – Jose Cortez 37 yard field goal (DAL 30–3)
  • Q3 – 1:12 – Sheldon Brown 80 yard fumble return (Todd France extra point is good) (DAL 30–10)
  • Q4 – 4:39 – Jose Cortez 45-yard field goal (DAL 33–10)

Week 6: vs. New York Giants

1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 3 3 0 7


Cowboys 0 7 0 6


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Dallas hoped to continue playing great offensively as they did in the previous week by beating the New York Giants at home. Instead, they played very sloppily and Coach Parcells said his team was "fortunate" to win. The Cowboys were sacked 4 times for a loss of 36 yards and turned over the ball 4 times. Summary

The Cowboys lost left tackle Flozell Adams for the remainder of the season when he tore an ACL in his knee. With an immobile quarterback like Drew Bledsoe, this would be devastating for the Dallas Cowboys later in the Season because Bledsoe would be sacked 36 more times (after being sacked "only" 13 times during the first six games), and he would throw 13 more interceptions after this game (while throwing only 4 picks during the first six games).

Scoring summary

  • Q1 – 10:36 – Jay Feely 50 yard field goal (NYG 3–0)
  • Q2 – 8:42 – Jay Feely 45 yard field goal (NYG 6–0)
  • Q2 – 0:40 – Jason Witten 2 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Jose Cortez extra point is good) (DAL 7–6)
  • Q4 – 12:44 – Jose Cortez 29 yard field goal (DAL 10–6)
  • Q4 – 4:40 – Jose Cortez 28 yard field goal (DAL 13–6)
  • Q4 – 0:19 – Jeremy Shockey 24 yard pass from Eli Manning (Jay Feely extra point is good) (13–13)
  • OT – 11:13 – Jose Cortez 45 yard field goal (DAL 16–13)

Week 7: at Seattle Seahawks

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 7 0 0 3


Seahawks 0 3 0 10


at Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington

The Cowboys came to Seattle for a defensive showdown. After scoring a touchdown early in the first quarter, the Cowboys had the lead until 59 minutes and 20 second into the game when Seattle tied the game at 10–10. Trying to win with 14 seconds left in regulation, Drew Bledsoe threw an interception and Seahawks kicker Josh Brown kicked the game-winning field goal, taking their first lead of the game as time expired. Summary

Jose Cortez missed a field goal which cost Dallas the game, and he was fired after the game.[4] Ryan Hannam, who scored a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent the following season.

Scoring summary

Week 8: vs. Arizona Cardinals

1 2 3 4 Total
Cardinals 3 7 3 0


Cowboys 10 14 3 7


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/ 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 71 °F, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 62,068
  • TV announcers (FOX): Not available

The Dallas Cowboys bounced back from a painful loss a week earlier and routed the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys had a new kicker on their roster, rookie Shaun Suisham, and another rookie making his first start was Marion Barber, who was starting in place of injured Julius Jones. He ran for 127 yards and scored two touchdowns in his breakout game. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 9: Bye Week

Week 10: at Philadelphia Eagles

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 7 0 0 14


Eagles 7 7 3 3


at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Cowboys came to Philadelphia hoping to sweep the Eagles for the first time since 1998, and beat them at Philadelphia for the first time since 1998. After trailing by 13 points late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys stunned the Eagles by scoring two touchdowns (one of which was an interception return) to win the game 21–20. Also, Donovan McNabb injured his knee and he would leave for the remainder of the season. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 11: vs. Detroit Lions

1 2 3 4 Total
Lions 0 7 0 0


Cowboys 7 6 7 0


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Earlier in the week, Coach Parcells hung mousetraps in the locker room to warn his players that this game was a "trap game".[5] Dallas rushed for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns, and kicker Billy Cundiff kicked a franchise record 56 yard field goal. After the game, the Cowboys were 7–3 and tied for second place in the NFC. The Cowboys had already won more game than they did in the previous seasonSummary

Scoring summary

Week 12: vs. Denver Broncos

1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 7 7 7 0


Cowboys 7 7 0 7


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

In the annual Thanksgiving Day Game, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Denver Broncos. The Cowboys offense had 314 yards, greater than Denver's 293 yards, but Cowboys kicker Billy Cundiff a missed field goal in the fourth quarter so the game went into overtime. Denver won the coin toss and Broncos backup runningback Ron Dayne ran 55 yards on the second play in overtime and Jason Elam kicked the game winning field goal. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 13: at New York Giants

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 0 10 0


Giants 0 10 7 0


at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/ 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 30 °F (Wind chill: 23 °F), Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 78,645
  • TV: FOX

In this season's rematch, the New York Giants made the Dallas Cowboys pay for an overtime 16–13 win earlier in the season, but both teams had a sloppy performance overall. Both teams threw two interceptions, but the Cowboys lost two fumbles. Drew Bledsoe was sacked 4 times for a loss of 21 yards, both quarterbacks completed under 40% of their passes, and both teams missed a field goal. The Giants ran for 127 yards rushing (including 115 yards by Tiki Barber) and one rushing touchdown which made the difference in the game. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 14: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 7 7 7 7


Cowboys 0 17 0 14


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

In a back-and-forth offensive thriller, Kansas City running back Larry Johnson scored three touchdowns and Drew Bledsoe threw for three touchdowns. The Chief's offense had 493, more than the Cowboys 445 yards, but the Chiefs mistakes (including a lost fumble) made the difference in the game. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 15: at Washington Redskins

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 0 0 7


Redskins 7 21 7 0


at Fedex Field, Landover, Maryland

After losing a painful Monday Night game in Week Two 13–14, the Cowboys were unable to avenge their former team. Instead, Washington gave Bill Parcells his biggest loss ever as an NFL coach. Tight end Chris Cooley had a career day catching three touchdown passes. After being down 35–0 early in the fourth quarter, Dallas prevented a shutout by throwing a conselation touchdown pass to Jason Witten. Drew Bledsoe was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions. Only the Danny White led Dallas 44–14 victory on September 9, 1985 had a larger margin of victory between the two teams. Summary

Scoring summary

Week 16: at Carolina Panthers

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 7 3 7 7


Panthers 10 3 0 7


at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/ 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 60 °F, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 73,436
  • TV: FOX

Going into the game, the Panthers needed a win to secure a playoff spot. The Cowboys needed a win to stay alive in the playoff race after losing three out of the last four games. Despite falling behind 0–10 early in the game, the Cowboys rallied to outscore Carolina 17–3 for almost three quarters, including two Julius Jones touchdowns. Julius Jones rushed for 194 yards, the fourth best in franchise history.[6] Late in the fourth quarter while trailing 17–20, Billy Cundiff attempted to tie the game on a 33 yard field goal, but missed. The only reason Dallas still managed to win the game was because Carolina was penalized for "running into the kicker" (Carolina contended that they had slightly blocked the kick but replays proved inconclusive) and Terry Glenn scored a touchdown with one hand to take the lead (he dislocated his hand early in the game). Summary

Billy Cundiff had a 32-yard field goal attempt blocked, and missed a 33-yard attempt. He already missed two field goals earlier in the season, including one that cost Dallas the game on Thanksgiving against Denver, so two days after the game he was fired by coach Parcells [5]. Carolina won next week to secure a wildcard spot in the playoffs, but despite several likely playoff scenarios Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs before their last game when the Panthers, the Redskins, and the Giants all won a week later.

Scoring summary

Week 17: vs. St. Louis Rams

1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 0 10 0 10


Cowboys 7 3 0 0


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Only minutes before the game, the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoff race when the Washington Redskins beat the Philadelphia Eagles The deflated Cowboys only managed to score 10 points against the St. Louis Rams, who came into the game 5–10. After running for a meager 35 yards, Julius Jones had 993 yards for the season, painfully just 7 yards short of 1,000 yards. Summary

Just days after the game, head coach Bill Parcells announced he was staying for at least one more season, and his contract was extended through 2007. At the time, there had been some speculation he would be retiring. [6]

Scoring summary


NFC East
view · talk · edit W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
New York Giants 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 422 314 W1
Washington Redskins 10 6 0 .625 5–1 10–2 359 293 W5
Dallas Cowboys 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 325 308 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 6 10 0 .375 0–6 3–9 310 388 L2


Dallas Cowboys 2005 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve lists

Rookies in italics
53 Active, 11 Inactive


AFC East North South West East North South West NFC
Buffalo Baltimore Houston Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta Arizona
Miami Cincinnati Indianapolis Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Carolina St. Louis
New England Cleveland Jacksonville Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans San Francisco
NY Jets Pittsburgh Tennessee San Diego Washington Minnesota Tampa Bay Seattle
2005 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XL