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1990 Dallas Cowboys season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1990 Dallas Cowboys season
OwnerJerry Jones
Head coachJimmy Johnson
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Division place4th NFC East
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersRB Emmitt Smith

The 1990 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 31st season in the National Football League and was the second year of the franchise under the ownership of Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson. The Cowboys rebounded from a 1–15 season in 1989 to a 7–9 record, however, missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. Despite this, Jimmy Johnson won AP's NFL coach of the year honours.


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 improved significantly 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 16, 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 Laufenberg was elevated from third 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 16. 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 yard-plus performance in a week 5 win against Tampa Bay and had a few other outstanding games during the season.

Because of the dismal 1-15 record from the previous season, the home opener against the San Diego Chargers was threatened to be blacked out for the local television market, since Texas Stadium was not sold out. A local radio station ended up buying all of the unsold tickets so that the game could be broadcast to the local DFW market.


NFL draft

1990 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 17 Emmitt Smith *   RB Florida
2 26 Alexander Wright  WR Auburn
3 64 Jimmie Jones  DT Miami (FL)
9 221 Kenneth Gant  S Albany State
11 277 Dave Harper  LB Humboldt State
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance Record
1 September 9, 1990 San Diego Chargers W 17–14 Texas Stadium 48,063 1–0
2 September 16, 1990 New York Giants L 28–7 Texas Stadium 61,090 1–1
3 September 23, 1990 at Washington Redskins L 19–15 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium 53,804 1–2
4 September 20, 1990 at New York Giants L 31–17 Giants Stadium 75,923 1–3
5 October 7, 1990 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 14–10 Texas Stadium 60,076 2–3
6 October 14, 1990 at Phoenix Cardinals L 20–3 Sun Devil Stadium 45,235 2–4
7 October 21, 1990 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17–13 Tampa Stadium 68,315 3–4
8 October 28, 1990 Philadelphia Eagles L 21–20 Texas Stadium 62,605 3–5
9 November 4, 1990 at New York Jets L 24–9 The Meadowlands 68,086 3–6
10 November 11, 1990 San Francisco 49ers L 24–6 Texas Stadium 62,966 3–7
11 November 18, 1990 at Los Angeles Rams W 24–21 Anaheim Stadium 58,589 4–7
12 November 22, 1990 Washington Redskins W 27–17 Texas Stadium 60,355 5–7
13 December 2, 1990 New Orleans Saints W 17–13 Texas Stadium 60,087 6–7
14 Bye
15 December 16, 1990 Phoenix Cardinals W 41–10 Texas Stadium 60,190 7–7
16 December 23, 1990 at Philadelphia Eagles L 17–3 Veterans Stadium 63,895 7–8
17 December 30, 1990 at Atlanta Falcons L 26–7 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 50,097 7–9


NFC East
(2) New York Giants 13 3 0 .813 7–1 10–2 335 211 W2
(4) Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 5–3 9–3 396 299 W3
(5) 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

Rookies in italics
46 Active, 4 Inactive

Porkchop Bowl

Porkchop Bowl
1234 Total
PHI 70014 21
DAL 03314 20
DateOctober 28, 1990
StadiumTexas Stadium, Irving, Texas
RefereeHoward Roe
TV in the United States
AnnouncersTim 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. 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


  • 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


  1. ^ "Dallas deals Walsh to New Orleans". Associated Press. September 25, 1990. Retrieved February 19, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 June 2021, at 18:29
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