Close menu

1972 Dallas Cowboys season

Updated: 2017-05-24T03:05Z
1972 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coachTom Landry
OwnerClint Murchison, Jr.
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Division place2nd NFC East
Playoff finishLost Conference Championship

The 1972 Dallas Cowboys season was their 13th in the league. The team failed to improve their previous output of 11–3, winning only ten games.[1] They qualified for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season but settled for the wildcard spot. A pre-season injury to quarterback Roger Staubach and the trade of Duane Thomas (both had been integral figures in the 1971 championship team) hindered the offense (mitigated somewhat since their replacements, Craig Morton and Calvin Hill, were former starters). In the divisional playoff round, Staubach came off the bench to engineer an improbable 30–28 comeback win over the 49ers (Dallas had trailed by 28–16 with less than 2 minutes to play). The win over the 49ers still ranks as one of the all-time great Cowboys wins. However, the momentum could not carry them to a victory over Washington in the NFC Championship game.

Regular season

Roger Staubach was lost in the 3rd pre season game with the Los Angeles Rams when Marlin McKeever tackled him. It required him to get a shoulder operation. Veteran backup Quarterback Craig Morton would lead the Cowboys for the 1972 season. When the Cowboys got down in the December 23rd playoff game Tom Landry inserted Roger who led them to a come from behind 30–28 victory over San Francisco. In 1972 the Cowboys would build up big leads in games only to hang on to win. Some examples of this would be Monday Night October 30 when they hosted Detroit, the November 5 game in San Diego, a November 12th game at home versus St. Louis, and the December 9 home game against Washington. The December 18, 1972 Sports Illustrated ran a story on the 1972 Dallas Cowboys surrounding their game with the Washington Redskins on pages 20–23, and featuring Cowboy middle linebacker #55 Lee Roy Jordan on the cover.

Still another factor in the Cowboys 1972 season was that All Pro defensive tackle Bob Lilly played through an injury to his back for most all of the year, along with a bone spur near his heel and an injured muscle just above his knee. Lilly was furthermore selected for his 10th Pro Bowl but did not play in the game. Lilly had 2 1/2 sacks on the season, while overall the team totaled 32.


1September 17, 1972Philadelphia EaglesW 28–6
2September 24, 1972at New York GiantsW 23–14
3October 1, 1972at Green Bay PackersL 16–13
4October 8, 1972Pittsburgh SteelersW 17–13
5October 15, 1972at Baltimore ColtsW 21–0
6October 22, 1972at Washington RedskinsL 24–20
7October 30, 1972Detroit LionsW 28–24
8November 5, 1972at San Diego ChargersW 34–28
9November 12, 1972St. Louis CardinalsW 33–24
10November 19, 1972at Philadelphia EaglesW 28–7
11November 23, 1972San Francisco 49ersL 31–10
12December 3, 1972at St. Louis CardinalsW 27–6
13December 9, 1972Washington RedskinsW 34–24
14December 17, 1972New York GiantsL 23–3

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week One: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys  – Game summary

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

  • Date: September 17
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 80 degrees, wind 11 mph
  • Box Score
Game information

Week 2: at New York Giants

Week Two: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants  – Game summary

at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

  • Date: September 24
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 60 degrees, wind 8 mph
  • Box Score
Game information


DivisionalDecember 23, 1972at San Francisco 49ersW 30–28
Conference ChampionshipDecember 31, 1972at Washington RedskinsL 26–3


NFC East
Washington Redskins1130.7867–110–1336218L2
Dallas Cowboys1040.7146–27–4319240L1
New York Giants860.5715–37–4331247W1
St. Louis Cardinals491.3211–6–13–7–1193303W2
Philadelphia Eagles2111.1790–7–10–10–1145352L5

Season recap

The Dallas Cowboys since its inception have always had cheerleaders, but during the team preparations to defend their World Championship title in 1972, a turning point in cheerleader history would be made with the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, wearing new star spangled uniforms and performing dance routines, instead of the traditional acrobatic displays.

The Cowboys qualified for the playoffs a record seventh consecutive year.


Dallas Cowboys 1972 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
45 Active, 0 Inactive


This season marks the first time in Cowboys history they wore their white jerseys for every game. The second and only other time so far was 2010.



External links

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Also On Wow


    Trending Now