1972 Dallas Cowboys Season
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1972 Dallas Cowboys Season
1972 Dallas Cowboys season
OwnerClint Murchison, Jr.
Head coachTom Landry
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Division place2nd NFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional playoffs (at 49ers) 30-28
Lost NFC Championship (at Redskins) 3-26

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.

NFL Draft

1972 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 26 Bill Thomas  RB Boston College
2 35 Robert Newhouse  FB Houston
2 39 John Babinecz  LB Villanova
2 52 Charles McKee  WR Arizona
3 64 Mike Keller  LB Michigan
3 78 Marv Bateman  P Utah
4 83 Tim Kearney  LB Northern Michigan
4 90 Robert West  WR San Diego State
4 93 Chuck Zapiec  LB Penn State
6 156 Charles Bolden  DB Iowa
8 208 Ralph Coleman  LB North Carolina A&T
9 234 Roy Bell  RB Oklahoma Signed with the CFL
10 260 Richard Amman  DT Florida State
11 286 Lonnie Leonard  DE North Carolina A&T
12 312 Jimmy Harris  WR Morgan State
13 338 Jean Fugett *  TE Amherst College
14 363 Alan Thompson  RB Wisconsin Signed with the CFL
15 390 Carlos Alvarez  WR Florida
16 416 Gordon Longmire  QB Utah
17 442 Alphonso Cain  DE Bethune-Cookman
      Made roster    +   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

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 23 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 12 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.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance Recap
1 September 17 Philadelphia Eagles W 28-6 1-0 Texas Stadium 55,850 Recap
2 September 24 at New York Giants W 23-14 2-0 Yankee Stadium 62,725 Recap
3 October 1 at Green Bay Packers L 13-16 2-1 Milwaukee County Stadium 47,103 Recap
4 October 8 Pittsburgh Steelers W 17-13 3-1 Texas Stadium 65,682 Recap
5 October 15 at Baltimore Colts W 21-0 4-1 Memorial Stadium 58,992 Recap
6 October 22 at Washington Redskins L 20-24 4-2 RFK Stadium 53,039 Recap
7 October 30 Detroit Lions W 28-24 5-2 Texas Stadium 65,378 Recap
8 November 5 at San Diego Chargers W 34-28 6-2 San Diego Stadium 54,476 Recap
9 November 12 St. Louis Cardinals W 33-24 7-2 Texas Stadium 65,218 Recap
10 November 19 at Philadelphia Eagles W 28-7 8-2 Veterans Stadium 65,720 Recap
11 November 23 San Francisco 49ers L 10-31 8-3 Texas Stadium 65,124 Recap
12 December 3 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27-6 9-3 Busch Memorial Stadium 49,787 Recap
13 December 9 Washington Redskins W 34-24 10-3 Texas Stadium 65,136 Recap
14 December 17 New York Giants L 3-23 10-4 Texas Stadium 64,602 Recap

Division opponents are in bold text

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week 2: at New York Giants


Round Date Opponent Result Game Site Attendance Recap
Divisional December 23, 1972 at San Francisco 49ers W 30-28 Candlestick Park 61,214 Recap
NFC Championship December 31, 1972 at Washington Redskins L 3-26 RFK Stadium 53,129 Recap


NFC East
Washington Redskins 11 3 0 .786 7-1 10-1 336 218 L2
Dallas Cowboys 10 4 0 .714 6-2 7-4 319 240 L1
New York Giants 8 6 0 .571 5-3 7-4 331 247 W1
St. Louis Cardinals 4 9 1 .321 1-6-1 3-7-1 193 303 W2
Philadelphia Eagles 2 11 1 .179 0-7-1 0-10-1 145 352 L5

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.



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.


  • 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. ^ "1972 Dallas Cowboys". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2019.

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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