1995 Dallas Cowboys
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1995 Dallas Cowboys
1995 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coachBarry Switzer
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Division place1st NFC East
Playoff finishWon NFC Divisional Playoff (Eagles) 30-11
Won NFC Championship (Packers) 38-27
Won Super Bowl XXX (Steelers) 27-17

The 1995 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League and was the second year under head coach Barry Switzer and final of the three Super Bowl titles they would win during 1992 to 1995. Dallas would be the first team to ever win three Super Bowls in a span of four seasons (would be later matched by the New England Patriots from the 2001 to 2004 seasons). Switzer guided the Cowboys to a fifth Super Bowl victory by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. As of 2019, this is the last time the Cowboys appeared in the NFC Championship Game, and in turn, their last Super Bowl appearance.


The 1995 NFL draft was one of the worst in Dallas Cowboys history. It is infamously known as the "backup draft", because the team considered their roster so strong, they drafted players based on their contributions as backups, which limited the future potential of their selections. The team traded their first-round draft choice (28th overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (they selected Derrick Brooks), in exchange for two second-round picks. The best player drafted would end up being Eric Bjornson.

NFL draft

1995 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 46 Sherman Williams  Running back Alabama
2 59 Kendell Watkins  Tight end Mississippi State
2 63 Shane Hannah  Guard Michigan State
3 92 Charlie Williams  Cornerback Bowling Green
4 110 Eric Bjornson  Tight end Washington
4 129 Alundis Brice  Cornerback Ole Miss
4 130 Linc Harden  Linebacker Oklahoma State
5 166 Ed Hervey  Wide Receiver USC
5 168 Dana Howard  Linebacker Illinois
7 236 Oscar Sturgis  Defensive end North Carolina
      Made roster    +   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Regular season

The 1995 season, due to the NFL salary cap, once more saw a number of key veterans depart via free agency including wide receiver Alvin Harper to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, safety James Washington to the Washington Redskins, center Mark Stepnoski to the Houston Oilers and longtime Cowboys veteran defensive end Jim Jeffcoat to the Buffalo Bills. Starting cornerback Kevin Smith was out the remainder of the season after an injury in week one and perhaps the most prominent addition came on September 11, 1995, when Dallas signed All-Pro cornerback Deion Sanders away from the San Francisco 49ers. Running back Emmitt Smith would earn his fourth NFL rushing title and set a then-record 25 rushing touchdowns in a season against the Arizona Cardinals to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The season began with 4 straight victories. In week five at Washington, Troy Aikman was injured early and Dallas suffered their first loss of the season. Aikman returned the next week and led Dallas to 4 more wins to move to 8-1. In week ten, the struggling 49ers (only 5-4) came to Texas Stadium and shocked the Cowboys, 38-20. Dallas rebounded with 2 wins to move to 10-2 but then were upset at home by the Washington Redskins (The Redskins, who finished only 6-10, swept the eventual world champions). The Cowboys would lose their second game in a row in a controversial loss at Philadelphia where with the game tied at 17 in the fourth quarter, Coach Barry Switzer elected to "go for it" on 4th and 1 at the Cowboys 29. The Eagles initially stopped Dallas for no gain but the play was ruled dead because the two-minute warning was reached before Dallas snapped the ball. Switzer then elected to not punt and try again, and this time the play was stopped for a 1-yard loss; Philly took over and soon kicked a field goal to provide the margin of victory. While the Cowboys in general and Switzer in particular were excoriated by fans and the media, the team became stronger and angrier after this game (Deion Sanders publicly supported Switzer and the decision to try the 4th down conversion) and eventually used those emotions to turn their season around.

The next week, Dallas appeared headed for a third straight defeat at home to the mediocre Giants (only 5-9 entering the game) but thanks to a clutch late reception by Kevin Williams and a last-second field goal by Chris Boniol, the Cowboys prevailed. Rejuvenated, the team defeated the Arizona Cardinals and (combined with a 49er loss the day before) secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The movie "Jerry Maguire" used film footage from the Arizona matchup.

The Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Game followed by a memorable NFC Championship Game victory against the Green Bay Packers at Texas Stadium. The team would go on to face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona for the right to tie the NFL record of a fifth Super Bowl title. Dallas dominated early, but as the Steelers gained momentum and threatened an upset over the heavily favored Cowboys, starting cornerback Larry Brown, after the tragic loss of his son Kristopher during the season, was named Super Bowl XXX Most Valuable Player when he intercepted his second pass from Steelers quarterback Neil O'Donnell to seal the game.


Opponent Result TV Time Attendance Record
at New York Giants 35 0 W ABC 9:00pm
Denver Broncos 31 21 W NBC 3:00pm
at Minnesota Vikings 23 17 W (OT) TNT 7:00pm
Arizona Cardinals 34 20 W FOX 3:00pm
at Washington Redskins 23 27 L FOX 12:00pm
Green Bay Packers 34 24 W FOX 12:00pm
at San Diego Chargers 23 9 W FOX 3:00pm
at Atlanta Falcons 28 13 W FOX 12:00pm
Philadelphia Eagles 34 12 W ABC 8:00pm
San Francisco 49ers 20 38 L FOX 3:00pm
at Oakland Raiders 34 21 W FOX 3:00pm
Kansas City Chiefs 24 12 W NBC 3:00pm
Washington Redskins 17 24 L FOX 3:00pm
at Philadelphia Eagles 17 20 L FOX 12:00pm
New York Giants 21 20 W FOX 3:00pm
at Arizona Cardinals 37 13 W ABC 8:00pm


NFC East
(1)Dallas Cowboys 12 4 0 .750 435 291 W2
(4)Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 318 338 L1
Washington Redskins 6 10 0 .375 326 359 W2
New York Giants 5 11 0 .313 290 340 L2
Arizona Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 275 422 L4


NFC Championship Game

Super Bowl XXX

Scoring summary

  • DAL - FG: Chris Boniol 42 yards 3-0 DAL
  • DAL - TD: Jay Novacek 3 yard pass from Troy Aikman (Chris Boniol kick) 10-0 DAL
  • DAL - FG: Chris Boniol 35 yards 13-0 DAL
  • PIT - TD: Yancey Thigpen 6 yard pass from Neil O'Donnell (Norm Johnson kick) 13-7 DAL
  • DAL - TD: Emmitt Smith 1 yard run (Chris Boniol kick) 20-7 DAL
  • PIT - FG: Norm Johnson 46 yards 20-10 DAL
  • PIT - TD: Byron "Bam" Morris 1 yard run (Norm Johnson kick) 20-17 DAL
  • DAL - TD: Emmitt Smith 4 yard run (Chris Boniol kick) 27-17 DAL


Awards and records

  • Emmitt Smith, NFL rushing leader
  • Larry Brown, Super Bowl Most Valuable Player


  • Michael Irvin, 100 Reception Season (Irvin finished the season with 111 receptions) [1]
  • In 1995, Emmitt Smith won his fourth rushing title. He would rush for a career-high 1,773 yards.[2]


  • 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. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 440
  2. ^ Numbelivable!, p.159, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0

External links

  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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