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.
|1984 Dallas Cowboys season|
|Head Coach||Tom Landry|
|Home Field||Texas Stadium|
|Place||4th in NFC East|
|Playoff Finish||did not qualify|
|Previous Season||Next Season|
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, 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 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 DraftEdit
|1||25||Billy Cannon, Jr.||Linebacker||Texas A&M|
|3||81||Fred Cornwell||Tight End||USC|
|4||110||Steve DeOssie||Linebacker||Boston College|
|5||137||Norm Granger||Running Back||Iowa|
|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|
Rookies in italics
49 Active, 0 Inactive
|Week||Date||Opponent||Result||Game site|| NFL|
|1||September 3||at Los Angeles Rams||W 20–13||Anaheim Stadium|||| |
|2||September 9||at New York Giants||L 7–28||Giants Stadium|||| |
|3||September 16||Philadelphia Eagles||W 23–17||Texas Stadium|||| |
|4||September 23||Green Bay Packers||W 20–6||Texas Stadium|||| |
|5||September 30||at Chicago Bears||W 23–14||Soldier Field|||| |
|6||October 7||St. Louis Cardinals||L 20–31||Texas Stadium|||| |
|7||October 14||at Washington Redskins||L 14–34||RFK Stadium|||| |
|8||October 21||New Orleans Saints||W 30–27 OT||Texas Stadium|||| |
|9||October 28||Indianapolis Colts||W 22–3||Texas Stadium|||| |
|10||November 4||New York Giants||L 7–19||Texas Stadium|||| |
|11||November 11||at St. Louis Cardinals||W 24–17||Busch Memorial Stadium|||| |
|12||November 18||at Buffalo Bills||L 3–14||Rich Stadium|||| |
|13||November 22||New England Patriots||W 20–17||Texas Stadium|||| |
|14||December 2||at Philadelphia Eagles||W 26–10||Veterans Stadium|||| |
|15||December 9||Washington Redskins||L 28–30||Texas Stadium|||| |
|16||December 17||at Miami Dolphins||L 21–28||Orange Bowl|||| |
|St. Louis Cardinals||9||7||0||.563||423||345||L-1|
|New York Giants||9||7||0||.563||308||308||L-2|
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.
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