1981 Dallas Cowboys Season
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1981 Dallas Cowboys Season
1981 Dallas Cowboys season
OwnerClint Murchison, Jr.
Head coachTom Landry
General managerTex Schramm
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Results
Record12-4
Division place1st NFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (Buccaneers) 38-0
Lost Conference Championship (49ers) 28-27

The 1981 Dallas Cowboys season was their 22nd in the league. The team matched their previous output of 12-4, winning their fifth division title in six years.[1] They lost the Conference Championship game for the second straight season.

The season began with four straight victories, followed by two losses (including a surprising 45-14 blowout loss to the 49ers in week six). The Cowboys rebounded to win 8 of their last 9 games to clinch the NFC East but had to settle for the conference's number two seed behind the 49ers.

The Cowboys easily defeated Tampa Bay in the divisional playoff to earn a rematch with the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. The game was much closer this time, and the Cowboys still held a 27-21 lead with less than a minute to play. However, Joe Montana led a late drive and hit Dwight Clark in the famous "Catch" to give San Francisco a 28-27 lead. On the ensuing Cowboys possession, Danny White completed a pass to Drew Pearson, and was only an arms length away from breaking free from Eric Wright and most likely scoring a touchdown. Jim Stuckey recovered a White fumble on the next play, then the 49ers ran out the clock for the win.

Offseason

NFL Draft

1981 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 26 Howard Richards  OT Missouri
2 53 Doug Donley  WR Ohio State
3 81 Glen Titensor  OG BYU
4 91 Scott Pelluer  LB Washington State from San Francisco
4 108 Derrie Nelson  LB Nebraska
5 137 Danny Spradlin  LB Tennessee
6 163 Vince Skillings  DB Ohio State
7 173 Ron Fellows  CB Missouri
7 191 Ken Miller  DB Eastern Michigan
8 218 Paul Piurowski  LB Florida State
9 246 Mike Wilson  WR Washington State
10 273 Pat Graham  DT California
11 302 Tim Morrison  OG Georgia
12 329 Nate Lundy  WR Indiana
      Made roster    +   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Undrafted free agents

1981 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
Michael Downs Safety Rice
Angelo King Linebacker South Carolina State
Everson Walls Cornerback Grambling State
Steve Wright Tackle Northern Iowa

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance Recap
1 September 6 at Washington Redskins W 26-10 1-0 RFK Stadium 55,045 Recap
2 September 13 St. Louis Cardinals W 30-17 2-0 Texas Stadium 63,602 Recap
3 September 21 at New England Patriots W 35-21 3-0 Schaefer Stadium 60,311 Recap
4 September 27 New York Giants W 18-10 4-0 Texas Stadium 63,449 Recap
5 October 4 at St. Louis Cardinals L 17-20 4-1 Busch Memorial Stadium 49,477 Recap
6 October 11 at San Francisco 49ers L 14-45 4-2 Candlestick Park 57,574 Recap
7 October 18 Los Angeles Rams W 29-17 5-2 Texas Stadium 64,649 Recap
8 October 25 Miami Dolphins W 28-27 6-2 Texas Stadium 64,221 Recap
9 November 1 at Philadelphia Eagles W 17-14 7-2 Veterans Stadium 72,111 Recap
10 November 9 Buffalo Bills W 27-14 8-2 Texas Stadium 62,583 Recap
11 November 15 at Detroit Lions L 24-27 8-3 Pontiac Silverdome 79,694 Recap
12 November 22 Washington Redskins W 24-10 9-3 Texas Stadium 64,587 Recap
13 November 26 Chicago Bears W 10-9 10-3 Texas Stadium 63,499 Recap
14 December 6 at Baltimore Colts W 37-13 11-3 Memorial Stadium 54,871 Recap
15 December 13 Philadelphia Eagles W 21-10 12-3 Texas Stadium 64,955 Recap
16 December 19 at New York Giants L 10-13 (OT) 12-4 Giants Stadium 73,009 Recap

Division opponents are in bold text

Game notes

Week 1

1 234Total
• Cowboys 0 1466 26
Redskins 0 730 10
  • Date: Sunday Sept 6, 1981
  • Location: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 55,045
  • Game weather: 75°F, wind 8 mph
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers (CBS): Frank Glieber and Roger Staubach


Week 2

1 234Total
Cardinals 7 703 17
• Cowboys 14 1330 30
  • Date: Sunday Sep 16, 1981
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 63,602
  • Game weather: 82°F, wind 9 mph
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers (CBS): Frank Glieber and Roger Staubach


Week 3

1 234Total
• Cowboys 7 10711 35
Patriots 7 770 21
  • Date: Monday Sept 21, 1981
  • Location: Schaefer Stadium
  • Game start: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 60,311
  • Game weather: 62°F, wind 13 mph
  • Referee: Jerry Markbreit
  • TV announcers (ABC): Frank Gifford, Don Meredith & Howard Cosell


Week 4

1 234Total
Giants 0 307 10
• Cowboys 7 308 18
  • Date: Sunday Sep, 1981
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 63,449
  • Game weather: 82°F, wind 10 mph
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall & Hank Stram


Week 5

1 234Total
Cowboys 7 370 17
• Cardinals 10 073 20
  • Date: Sunday Oct 4,1981
  • Location: Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 49,477
  • Game weather: Clear; 64°F, wind 12 mph
  • Referee: Chuck Heberling
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden


Week 6

1 234Total
Cowboys 0 707 14
• 49ers 21 3147 45
  • Date: Sunday Oct 11, 1981
  • Location: Candlestick Park
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 57,574
  • Game weather: Sunny; 58°F, wind 18 mph
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden


Week 7

1 234Total
Rams 0 1070 17
• Cowboys 12 1403 29
  • Date: Sunday Oct 18, 1981
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 64,649
  • Game weather: 64°F, humidity 55%
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers (ABC): Frank Gifford, Fran Tarkenton, and Don Meredith


Week 8

1 234Total
Dolphins 0 6714 27
• Cowboys 7 7014 28
  • Date: Sunday Oct 25, 1981
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 64,221
  • Game weather: 54°F, humidity 74%
  • Referee: Fred Wyant
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen


Week 9

1 234Total
• Cowboys 0 3014 17
Eagles 0 770 14
  • Date: Sunday Nov 1, 1981
  • Location: Veterans Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 72,111
  • Game weather: 53°F, wind 6 mph
  • Referee: Jerry Seeman
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall & John Madden


Week 10

1 234Total
Bills 7 700 14
• Cowboys 7 0200 27

[2]

Week 11

1 234Total
Cowboys 7 1007 24
• Lions 0 71010 27
  • Date: Sunday Nov 15, 1981
  • Location: Pontiac Silverdome
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 79,694
  • Game weather: Dome
  • Referee: Fred Silva
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden


Week 12

1 234Total
Redskins 0 730 10
• Cowboys 7 377 24
  • Date: November 22
  • Location: Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas
  • Game start: 3:00 p.m.
  • Game attendance: 64,587
  • Game weather: 51°F; wind 7
  • Referee: Dick Jorgensen
  • TV announcers (CBS): Tom Brookshier and Roger Staubach

[3]

Week 13

1 234Total
Bears 0 306 9
• Cowboys 3 007 10
  • Date: Thursday Nov, 26 1981
  • Location: Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m.
  • Game attendance: 63,499
  • Game weather: 68°F; humidity 62%
  • Referee: Chuck Heberling
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden



Week 14

1 234Total
• Cowboys 17 10010 37
Colts 6 070 13
  • Date: Sunday Dec 6, 1981
  • Location: Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 54,871
  • Game weather: 39°F, wind 20 mph, wind chill 29°F
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Kelly & John Dockery


Week 15

1 234Total
Eagles 3 700 10
• Cowboys 0 777 21
  • Date: Sunday Dec 13, 1981
  • Location: Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 64,955
  • Game weather: 44°F, humidity 83%, wind 9 mph
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden


Week 16

1 234OTTotal
Cowboys 0 00100 10
Giants 0 0733 13
  • Date: Saturday Dec 19,1981
  • Location: Giants Stadium
  • Game start: 12:30 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 73,009
  • Game weather: Overcast; 27°F, wind chill 13°F, wind 20mph
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden


Playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result Game Site Attendance Recap
Wild Card First Round Bye
Divisional January 2, 1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3) W 38-0 Texas Stadium 64,848 Recap
NFC Championship January 10, 1982 at San Francisco 49ers (1) L 27-28 Candlestick Park 60,525 Recap

Divisional Round

1 234Total
Bucs 0 000 0
• Cowboys 0 10217 38
  • Date: Jan 2,1982
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 64,848
  • Game weather: Sunny; 57°F


Conference Championship

1 234Total
Cowboys 10 7010 27
49ers 7 777 28


Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys(2) 12 4 0 .750 6-2 8-4 367 277 L1
Philadelphia Eagles(4) 10 6 0 .625 4-4 7-5 368 221 W1
New York Giants(5) 9 7 0 .563 5-3 8-6 295 257 W3
Washington Redskins 8 8 0 .500 3-5 6-6 347 349 W3
St. Louis Cardinals 7 9 0 .438 2-6 4-8 315 408 L2

Roster

References


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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