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1981 Dallas Cowboys season
Head Coach Tom Landry
Home Field Texas Stadium
Results
Record 12–4
Place 1st NFC East
Playoff Finish Lost Conference Championship
Timeline
Previous Season Next Season
1980 1982

The 1981 Dallas Cowboys season was their 22nd in the league. The team matched their previous output of 12–4.[1] They lost the Conference Championship game for the second straight season.

The season began with four straight victories, followed by two losses (including a surprising 45–14 blowout loss to the 49ers in week six). The Cowboys rebounded to win 8 of their 9 games to clinch the NFC East but had to settle for the conference's number two seed behind the 49ers.

The Cowboys easily defeated Tampa Bay in the divisional playoff to earn a rematch with the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. The game was much closer this time, and the Cowboys still held a 27–21 lead with less than a minute to play. However, Joe Montana led a late drive and hit Dwight Clark in the famous "Catch" to give San Francisco a 28–27 victory.

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1981 at Washington Redskins W 26–10
55,045
2 September 13, 1981 St. Louis Cardinals W 30–17
63,602
3 September 21, 1981 at New England Patriots W 35–21
60,311
4 September 27, 1981 New York Giants W 18–10
63,449
5 October 4, 1981 at St. Louis Cardinals L 20–17
49,477
6 October 11, 1981 at San Francisco 49ers L 45–14
57,574
7 October 18, 1981 Los Angeles Rams W 29–17
64,649
8 October 25, 1981 Miami Dolphins W 28–27
64,221
9 November 1, 1981 at Philadelphia Eagles W 17–14
72,111
10 November 9, 1981 Buffalo Bills W 27–14
62,583
11 November 15, 1981 at Detroit Lions L 27–24
79,694
12 November 22, 1981 Washington Redskins W 24–10
64,587
13 November 26, 1981 Chicago Bears W 10–9
63,499
14 December 6, 1981 at Baltimore Colts W 37–13
54,871
15 December 13, 1981 Philadelphia Eagles W 21–10
64,955
16 December 19, 1981 at New York Giants L 13–10
73,009

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional January 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 38–0
64,848
Conference January 10 at San Francisco 49ers L 28–27
60,525

Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys 12 4 0 .750 367 277 L-1
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 368 221 W-1
New York Giants 9 7 0 .563 295 257 W-3
Washington Redskins 8 8 0 .500 347 349 W-3
St. Louis Cardinals 7 9 0 .438 315 408 L-2

Roster

Dallas Cowboys 1981 roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

  • 33 Tony Dorsett
  • 23 James Jones RS
  • 44 Robert Newhouse FB
  • 30 Timmy Newsome RB/FB
  • 20 Ron Springs FB

Wide Receivers

  • 83 Doug Donley
  • 80 Tony Hill
  • 86 Butch Johnson
  • 88 Drew Pearson

Tight Ends

  • 84 Doug Cosbie
  • 89 Billy Joe DuPree
  • 87 Jay Saldi
Offensive Linemen
  • 61 Jim Cooper T/C
  • 67 Pat Donovan T
  • 71 Andy Frederick T
  • 65 Kurt Petersen G
  • 64 Tom Rafferty C/G
  • 70 Howard Richards G
  • 68 Herbert Scott G
  • 63 Glen Titensor C/G
  • 73 Steve Wright T

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers
  • 53 Bob Breunig MLB
  • 59 Guy Brown OLB
  • 51 Anthony Dickerson OLB
  • 58 Mike Hegman OLB
  • 57 Angelo King MLB/OLB
  • 50 D. D. Lewis OLB
  • 55 Danny Spradlin MLB

Defensive Backs

  • 31 Benny Barnes SS/CB
  • 26 Michael Downs FS
  • 27 Ron Fellows CB
  • 32 Dennis Thurman CB
  • 24 Everson Walls CB
  • 41 Charlie Waters SS
  • 45 Steve Wilson CB/WR

Special Teams

  •  1 Rafael Septien K
Reserve Lists

Vacant

Rookies in italics

45 Active, 0 Inactive

References

External links

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