The 1993 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 34th season in the National Football League and was the fifth and final year of the franchise under head coach Jimmy Johnson which the Cowboys made two of three Super Bowl appearance between 1992-95.
and a won back-to-back Super Bowl titles. The season is notable for seeing the Cowboys that became the first team to start 0-2 and still reach (and subsequently win) the Super Bowl. The following off-season was marked by the sudden resignation of Johnson, though he would coach the Miami Dolphins for the 1996 season.
The Cowboys' journey towards Super Bowl XXVIII proved more difficult than the previous season. Running back Emmitt Smith held out the first two regular season games over a contract dispute. Dallas would lose both games to the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills starting the season at 0-2. The team would also acquire veteran quarterback Bernie Kosar after his release from the Cleveland Browns as insurance for starting quarterback Troy Aikman, who suffered a severe concussion in the NFC Championship game versus San Francisco.
In arguably his finest game as a professional, Emmitt Smith suffered a 2nd degree separated shoulder in the regular season finale versus their NFC East division rival, New York Giants. Smith willed himself through excruciating pain and carried the Cowboys to an overtime win. Dallas finished with an NFC-best 12-4 record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Smith was later named the NFL MVP and with 1,486 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns, also gave him his third NFL rushing title. Smith would also later be voted Super Bowl MVP, giving him the honor of being the only player to win all three awards in the same season. Another outstanding Smith performance came against the Eagles, where he rushed for a career-high 237 yards.
The season was also notable for the Leon Lett "blunder" in the annual Thanksgiving Day game. With Texas Stadium unusually covered with snow and ice, Dallas led the Dolphins 14-13 with seconds remaining as the Dolphins' Pete Stoyanovich attempted a long field goal. The Cowboys' Jimmie Jones blocked the field goal, apparently ending the game. However, with the blocked ball rolling around at the Dallas 10, Lett attempted to fall on it and slipped, kicking the ball and making it "live" again. Miami's Jeff Dellenbach recovered and Stoyanovich made the most of his shorter second chance, giving the Dolphins a most improbable 16-14 win.
Aikman finished the regular season completing 271 out of 392 passes for 3,100 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. While wide receiver Michael Irvin once again led the team with 88 catches for 1,330 yards and 7 touchdowns. Wide receiver Alvin Harper had 36 catches for 777 yards and 5 touchdowns and tight end Jay Novacek had 44 receptions for 445 yards and 1 touchdown. The offensive line consisted of Pro Bowlers Mark Stepnoski, Erik Williams, and Nate Newton. The defense was also anchored by Pro Bowlers such as Russell Maryland, Ken Norton Jr., Thomas Everett.
NFC Divisional Playoff
NFC Championship Game
Super Bowl XXVIII
- Scoring summary
- DAL - FG: Eddie Murray 41 yards 3-0 DAL
- BUF - FG: Steve Christie 54 yards 3-3 tie
- DAL - FG: Eddie Murray 24 yards 6-3 DAL
- BUF - TD: Thurman Thomas 4 yard run (Steve Christie kick) 10-6 BUF
- BUF - FG: Steve Christie 28 yards 13-6 BUF
- DAL - TD: James Washington 46 yard fumble return (Eddie Murray kick) 13-13 tie
- DAL - TD: Emmitt Smith 17 yard run (Eddie Murray kick) 20-13 DAL
- DAL - TD: Emmitt Smith 1 yard run (Eddie Murray kick) 27-13 DAL
- DAL - FG: Eddie Murray 20 yards 30-13 DAL
Awards and records