1992 Dallas Cowboys season

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1992 Dallas Cowboys season
Cowboys wordmark.svg
OwnerJerry Jones
Head coachJimmy Johnson
General managerJerry Jones
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Division place1st NFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Eagles) 34–10
Won NFC Championship (at 49ers) 30–20
Won Super Bowl XXVII (vs. Bills) 52–17
Pro BowlersQB Troy Aikman
RB Emmitt Smith
WR Michael Irvin
TE Jay Novacek
OL Nate Newton
C Mark Stepnoski

The 1992 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 33rd season in the National Football League and was the fourth year of the franchise under head coach Jimmy Johnson which the Cowboys made one of three Super Bowl appearances between 1992–95.

Headed by a powerful offense and the NFL's number one ranked defense, Dallas fielded at the time, the youngest team in the NFL and posted a franchise-best 13–3 record throughout the regular season. In the playoffs, the Cowboys disposed of the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by a memorable victory against the San Francisco 49ers en route to a Super Bowl XXVII win over the Buffalo Bills.


Additions Subtractions
C Frank Cornish (Chargers) TE Rob Awalt (Broncos)
S Thomas Everett (Steelers) LB Jack Del Rio (Vikings)
DE Charles Haley (49ers) K Ken Wills (Buccaneers)

NFL Draft

1992 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 17 Kevin Smith *  CB Texas A&M
1 24 Robert Jones *  LB East Carolina
2 36 Jimmy Smith *  WR Jackson State
2 37 Darren Woodson *  S Arizona State
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Regular season

The season would start off with two crucial wins against the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, both victors of the previous two Super Bowls. A ferocious Dallas defense, with not a single player nominated to the Pro Bowl, placed first in the NFL in total defense. Running back Emmitt Smith would also collect his second straight NFL rushing title. The 1992 season would also see a renewed rivalry between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game set over a decade after the famous play known as The Catch. This ultimately started the rise of the 49ers and fall of the Cowboys throughout the 1980s. The rise of the 1990s Cowboys was christened with a 30–20 victory against San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Both franchises would later meet again in the next two NFC Championship games in what many consider to be a classic series of contest of future Hall of Fame players.

At the Rose Bowl, site of Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys would struggle early, finding themselves down 0–7, but later regroup when Aikman's pass to tight end Jay Novacek tied the game 7–7. From there, Dallas would gain all momentum and rout the Buffalo Bills 52–17, forcing a record 9 turnovers and knocking Bills quarterback Jim Kelly out of the game. Troy Aikman would earn Super Bowl MVP honors after completing 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and 4 touchdowns to wrap up a phenomenal postseason performance.

Notable additions to the team this year included defensive end Charles Haley, cornerback Kevin Smith, linebacker Robert Jones, safety Thomas Everett, safety Darren Woodson and wide receiver Jimmy Smith (though Smith would never catch a pass during his time with the team).

The Dallas defense (nicknamed "Doomsday II") enjoyed a renaissance, but has never received due credit for its achievements:

  • It was only the third defense since 1980 to hold opponents to fewer than 4,000 yards in a 16-game season. The other defenses to have done it are recognized as two of the greatest of modern era – the 1984 Chicago Bears and the 1991 Philadelphia Eagles.
  • It was the second defense to rank No. 1 in fewest yards yielded without sending a player to the Pro Bowl. The 1983 Cincinnati Bengals, who had a losing record were the first.
  • The defense finished first in the NFL in total defense (245.8 yards-per-game), while the secondary finished the year fifth in passing defense (168.1 yards-per-game).
  • It led the NFL in defense against the rush and fewest first downs allowed. Its league lead in preventing third-down conversions was staggering. Dallas's opponents converted 27.2 percent. The Seattle Seahawks ranked second at 32.6 percent.
  • It set a club record by holding the Seattle Seahawks to 62 yards in a 27–0 victory and closed the season by holding the Chicago Bears to fewer than 100 yards.
  • Super Bowl XXVII saw the Cowboys defense at its best, producing a Super Bowl record 9 turnovers (5 fumbles and 4 interceptions) and even scoring two touchdowns.
  • Four starters were rookies or second year players (Russell Maryland, Robert Jones, Larry Brown and Kevin Smith), and two other joined the team after the preseason (Charles Haley and Thomas Everett).
  • This version of the "Doomsday Defense" had tremendous speed and depth. They were also young, with the age of the starters averaging 25 ½ years.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 7 Washington Redskins W 23–10 1–0 Texas Stadium Recap
2 September 13 at New York Giants W 34–28 2–0 Giants Stadium Recap
3 September 20 Phoenix Cardinals W 31–20 3–0 Texas Stadium Recap
4 Bye
5 October 5 at Philadelphia Eagles L 7–31 3–1 Veterans Stadium Recap
6 October 11 Seattle Seahawks W 27–0 4–1 Texas Stadium Recap
7 October 18 Kansas City Chiefs W 17–10 5–1 Texas Stadium Recap
8 October 25 at Los Angeles Raiders W 28–13 6–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Recap
9 November 1 Philadelphia Eagles W 20–10 7–1 Texas Stadium Recap
10 November 8 at Detroit Lions W 37–3 8–1 Pontiac Silverdome Recap
11 November 15 Los Angeles Rams L 23–27 8–2 Texas Stadium Recap
12 November 22 at Phoenix Cardinals W 16–10 9–2 Sun Devil Stadium Recap
13 November 26 New York Giants W 30–3 10–2 Texas Stadium Recap
14 December 6 at Denver Broncos W 31–27 11–2 Mile High Stadium Recap
15 December 13 at Washington Redskins L 17–20 11–3 RFK Stadium Recap
16 December 21 at Atlanta Falcons W 41–17 12–3 Georgia Dome Recap
17 December 27 Chicago Bears W 27–14 13–3 Texas Stadium Recap


NFC East
(2) Dallas Cowboys 13 3 0 .813 6–2 9–3 409 243 W2
(5) Philadelphia Eagles 11 5 0 .688 6–2 8–4 354 245 W4
(6) Washington Redskins 9 7 0 .563 4–4 7–5 300 255 L2
New York Giants 6 10 0 .375 2–6 4–8 306 367 L1
Phoenix Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 2–6 4–10 243 332 L2

Game summaries

Week 1: vs Washington Redskins

Week 1: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Redskins 0 7 0310
Cowboys 9 7 7023

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 2: at New York Giants

Week 2: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 17 10 7034
Giants 0 0 141428

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cowboys won despite giving up the game's final 28 points.

Week 3: vs Phoenix Cardinals

Week 3: Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Cardinals 7 3 3720
Cowboys 14 7 7331

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 5: at Philadelphia Eagles

Week 5: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 7 0 007
Eagles 10 0 71431

at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Cowboys were defeated in their first meeting with Eagles running back Herschel Walker since they traded him from Dallas to the Vikings during the 1989 season. Walker scored twice while putting up 100 all-purpose yards against the Cowboys. Troy Aikman was intercepted three times.

Week 6: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 6: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Seahawks 0 0 000
Cowboys 7 13 7027

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 7: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 3 7 0010
Cowboys 7 7 3017

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 8: at Los Angeles Raiders

Week 8: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Raiders
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 7 0 71428
Raiders 6 0 7013

at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Emmitt Smith led the way with 152 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, with Troy Aikman running for a TD to go along with his 234 yards passing. The Cowboys' defense held Los Angeles to just 188 total offensive yards – 71 rushing and 117 passing.

Week 9: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 9: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Eagles 0 0 10010
Cowboys 0 3 71020

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 10: at Detroit Lions

Week 10: Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 14 6 14337
Lions 0 3 003

at Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan

The Cowboys held the Lions to 201 total yards, 108 of them from Barry Sanders. Rodney Peete and Erik Kramer were intercepted a total of three times.

Week 11: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 11: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Rams 7 14 0627
Cowboys 3 10 10023

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 12: at Phoenix Cardinals

Week 12: Dallas Cowboys at Phoenix Cardinals
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 0 10 6016
Cardinals 7 0 0310

at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

Week 13: vs New York Giants

Week 13: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Giants 0 3 003
Cowboys 3 6 14730

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Week 14: at Denver Broncos

Week 14: Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 14 3 7731
Broncos 7 6 7727

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

The Cowboys had their hands full as Tommy Maddox threw three touchdowns but was intercepted four times. The Broncos took a fourth-quarter lead on an 81-yard touchdown to Cedric Tillman. Emmitt Smith was held to just 62 yards but ran in the winning score.

Week 15: at Washington Redskins

Week 15: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 3 14 0017
Redskins 0 7 31020

at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C:

Emmitt Smith recovered a fumble in his own endzone in the fourth quarter; he threw the ball and was intercepted by Danny Copeland for the winning Redskins touchdown. A livid Jimmy Johnson railed at his players on the air flight home.

Week 16: at Atlanta Falcons

Week 16: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 3 17 14741
Falcons 7 3 0717

at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

Week 17: vs Chicago Bears

Week 17: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Bears 0 0 01414
Cowboys 0 3 24027

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Curvin Richards rushed for his only career touchdown, but fumbled twice and was cut from the Cowboys the next day.



Round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Game Recap
Wild Card First-round bye
Divisional January 10, 1993 Philadelphia Eagles (5) W 34–10 1–0 Texas Stadium Recap
NFC Championship January 17, 1993 San Francisco 49ers (1) W 30–20 2–0 Candlestick Park Recap
Super Bowl XXVII January 30, 1993 Buffalo Bills (A4) W 52–17 3–0 Rose Bowl Recap

NFC Divisional Round: Dallas Cowboys 34, Philadelphia Eagles 10

1 2 34Total
Eagles 3 0 0710
Cowboys 7 10 10734

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

The Cowboys held the Eagles to 178 total net yards; Randall Cunningham managed a late touchdown but managed only 182 combined yards and was sacked five times for 45 lost yards; Herschel Walker managed only 29 rushing yards and caught six passes for 37 yards. Troy Aikman had two touchdowns and 200 passing yards (88 of them to Michael Irvin) while Emmitt Smith rushed for 114 yards and a score.

NFC Conference Championship: Dallas Cowboys 30, San Francisco 49ers 20

1 2 34Total
Cowboys 3 7 71330
49ers 7 3 3720

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco

The two teams combined for 831 yards in the Cowboys first overall win over the 49ers since 1980. A failed Cowboys fourth-down conversion attempt while up 24–13 set up Steve Young's touchdown to Jerry Rice late in the fourth quarter, but San Francisco's comeback attempt ended when a 70-yard Alvin Harper catch set up Kelvin Martin's touchdown catch and a subsequent interception of Young, the Niners' fourth turnover of the game. On Harper’s late catch the play was initially intended for Michael Irvin but he and Harper switched routes in the huddle.

Super Bowl

1 2 34Total
Bills (AFC) 7 3 7017
Cowboys (NFC) 14 14 32152

at Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California


Dallas Cowboys 1992 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics
51 Active, 2 Inactive

Awards and records


  • The Football Encyclopedia ISBN 0-312-11435-4
  • Total Football ISBN 0-06-270170-3
  • Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes ISBN 0-446-51950-2


External links