The 1986 Dallas Cowboys

The 1986 Dallas Cowboys season, their 27th in National Football League, was their worst since 1964. The team was in a relegation-wrecking position after going 8-0-1 in the first two seasons of the season. Despite a poor start, the team rallied to win 17 points in the final two games. Although this was the Cowboys first losing season since 1964 it was still a good finish to the conference. They were able qualify for the Super Bowl.

The 1986 Dallas Cowboys won seven and lost nine games. They finished third in the NFL’s East Division with 346 points scored and 337 losses. Their offense threw for 2,708 yards, and their defense surrendered 337. The Cowboys’ top receiver, Herschel Walker, hauled in 76 passes for 837 yards. Tony Dorsett rushed for 748 yards.

The 1987 season was less successful than the 1986 season. Although the Dallas Cowboys didn’t win a Super Bowl, they did win two home games against two of their top NFC East rivals. Although the Cowboys lost a close game against the Philadelphia Eagles, a strong Pelleur to Walker combination helped them escape defeat. White was back at quarterback during the Cardinals’ season finale and threw three touchdown passes, one each to Hill and Sherrard.

The team’s success during the 1986 season was temporary. The team was 0-17 in the first half of 1986, but only twice made it to the playoffs during the second half. While the team did not win a playoff game until 2010, it was still a strong finish for the franchise. Under the direction of Tony Romo, the Cowboys won their first playoff game in 2010. They went on to win the division title in 2009 as well as 2010. The Cowboys won their division against their archrivals, the Philadelphia Eagles by the end the season.

The New York Giants favored the Dallas Cowboys 6-2 in the season opener. The oddsmakers had predicted that the Cowboys would be a three-point road favorite at the time. They were in a 34-0 hole at halftime and the game ended 41-14. They didn’t give in and won 41-14. This was the first time the Cowboys had fallen behind in the regular season.

The offense flourished under Danny White, but the Cowboys struggled to protect their quarterback. Additionally, Tony Hill, wide receiver, and Doug Cosbie, tight end, were both beginning to show signs of age. Mike Renfro was also injured and missed the entire season. A rookie wide receiver Mike Sherrard was a strong threat despite the absence of running backs. Despite this, the defense could only intercept 17 passes.

The 1986 Dallas Cowboys finished their regular season with a record of 7-9. They went 3-5 at home and 4-4 away. They didn’t make it to the Playoffs but finished the regular season with an eight-point difference in points. That would have been a solid 8-8 record if they’d been able to play a positive point differential. But, their 7-9 record was certainly disappointing, especially compared to the high expectations for the team’s future.

The 1986 Dallas Cowboys
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