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The 1980 Dallas Cowboys season was their 21st in the league. The team improved their previous output of 11–5, winning twelve games.[1] They qualified for the playoffs as an NFC Wild Card, but lost in the Conference Championship.

1980 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coachTom Landry
General managerTex Schramm
OwnerClint Murchison, Jr.
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Results
Record12–4
Division place2nd NFC East
Playoff finishWon Wild Card Playoffs (Rams) 34–13
Won Divisional Playoffs (Falcons) 30–27
Lost Conference Championship (Eagles) 20–7
The Cowboys playing the Eagles in the 1980 NFC Championship Game.

The season featured a very unusual end to the regular season. Going into the final week of the season, Dallas (11–4) played Philadelphia (12–3) at Texas Stadium. Under the NFL's tiebreaking rules, if Dallas could beat the Eagles by 25 points, they would earn the NFC East title and the number two seed in the NFC playoffs while Philadelphia would be a wildcard team. However, if the Cowboys lost (or won by less than 25) then the roles would reverse. Atlanta (12-4) had the number one NFC seed over either team in any scenario since they beat Philadelphia head-to-head and enjoyed a better conference record (10-2 vs. 9-3) over Dallas.

Dallas led the game 35–10 in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles rallied to lose only 35–27. This forced Dallas to play an extra week in the playoffs and a road game in Atlanta in the divisional round. Dallas ultimately lost at Philadelphia in the NFC Championship game.

Contents

OffseasonEdit

NFL DraftEdit

1980 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
3 78 Bill Roe  Linebacker Colorado
3 80 James Jones  Running back Mississippi State
4 105 Kurt Petersen  Guard Missouri
5 133 Gary Hogeboom  Quarterback Central Michigan
6 162 Timmy Newsome  Fullback Winston-Salem State
7 189 Lester Brown  Running back Clemson
8 216 Larry Savage  Linebacker Michigan State
9 246 Jackie Flowers  Wide Receiver Florida State
10 273 Matthew Teague  Linebacker Prairie View A&M
11 300 Gary Padjen  Linebacker Arizona State
12 330 Norm Wells  Defensive end Northwestern
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Undrafted free agentsEdit

1980 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
Dextor Clinkscale Safety South Carolina State
Anthony Dickerson Linebacker SMU
Don Smerek Defensive end Nevada

ScheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance Record
1 September 8, 1980 at Washington Redskins W 17–3
55,045
1–0
2 September 14, 1980 at Denver Broncos L 41–20
74,919
1–1
3 September 21, 1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 28–17
62,750
2–1
4 September 28, 1980 at Green Bay Packers W 28–7
54,776
3–1
5 October 5, 1980 New York Giants W 24–3
59,126
4–1
6 October 12, 1980 San Francisco 49ers W 59–14
63,399
5–1
7 October 19, 1980 at Philadelphia Eagles L 17–10
70,696
5–2
8 October 26, 1980 San Diego Chargers W 42–31
60,639
6–2
9 November 2, 1980 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27–24
50,701
7–2
10 November 9, 1980 at New York Giants L 38–35
68,343
7–3
11 November 16, 1980 St. Louis Cardinals W 31–21
52,567
8–3
12 November 23, 1980 Washington Redskins W 14–10
58,809
9–3
13 November 27, 1980 Seattle Seahawks W 51–7
57,540
10–3
14 December 7, 1980 at Oakland Raiders W 19–13
53,194
11–3
15 December 15, 1980 at Los Angeles Rams L 38–14
65,154
11–4
16 December 21, 1980 Philadelphia Eagles W 35–27
62,548
12–4

Game summariesEdit

Week 1Edit

1 234Total
• Cowboys 7 307 17
Redskins 0 003 3

Week 2Edit

1 234Total
Cowboys 0 1037 20
• Broncos 7 17143 41
  • Date: September 14, 1980
  • Location: Mile High Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 74,919
  • Game weather: Sunny; 67°F

Week 3Edit

1 234Total
Bucs 7 1000 17
• Cowboys 7 777 28
  • Date: Sunday Sept 21, 1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Sunny; 86°F

Week 4Edit

1 234Total
• Cowboys 7 777 28
Packers 0 700 7

Week 5Edit

1 234Total
Giants 0 003 3
• Cowboys 3 1407 24
  • Date: Sunday Oct 5, 1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 69°F

Week 6Edit

1 234Total
49ers 0 707 14
• Cowboys 14 24147 59
  • Date: Sunday Oct 12, 1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Sunny; 86°F

Week 7Edit

1 234Total
Cowboys 7 300 10
• Eagles 0 1007 17

Week 8Edit

1 234Total
Chargers 3 2107 31
• Cowboys 7 7217 42
  • Date: Sunday Oct 26,1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Clear; 55°F

Week 9Edit

1 234Total
• Cowboys 0 10314 27
Cardinals 7 377 24

Week 10Edit

1 234Total
Cowboys 7 14140 35
• Giants 7 21010 38
  • Date: Sunday Nov 9,1980
  • Location: Giants Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Overcast; 44°F, wind 12 mph

Week 11Edit

1 234Total
Cardinals 14 700 21
• Cowboys 7 1077 31
  • Date: Sunday Nov 16,1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 44°F, wind 18 mph

Week 12Edit

1 234Total
Redskins 0 307 10
• Cowboys 7 007 14
  • Date: Sunday Nov 23,1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 47°F, wind 8 mph

Week 13Edit

1 234Total
Seahawks 0 007 7
• Cowboys 9 21021 51
  • Date: Thursday Nov 27, 1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 40°F, wind 14 mph

Week 14Edit

1 234Total
• Cowboys 7 930 19
Raiders 7 330 13

Week 15Edit

1 234Total
Cowboys 0 0014 14
• Rams 7 21100 38

Week 16Edit

1 234Total
Eagles 0 01017 27
• Cowboys 7 1477 35

[2]

PlayoffsEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Wild Card December 28, 1980 Los Angeles Rams W 34–13
64,533
Division January 4, 1981 at Atlanta Falcons W 30–27
60,022
Conference January 11, 1981 at Philadelphia Eagles L 20–7
70,696

Wildcard RoundEdit

1 234Total
Rams 6 700 13
• Cowboys 3 10147 34
  • Date: December 28,1980
  • Location: Texas Stadium
  • Game start: 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 64,533
  • Game weather: Sunny; 49°F

Divisional RoundEdit

1 234Total
• Cowboys 3 7020 30
Falcons 10 773 27


Conference ChampionshipEdit

1 234Total
Cowboys 0 700 7
Eagles 7 0103 20
 
Veterans Stadium during the 1980 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys, January 11, 1981.

StandingsEdit

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Philadelphia Eagles(2) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 9–3 384 222 L1
Dallas Cowboys(4) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 9–3 454 311 W1
Washington Redskins 6 10 0 .375 4–4 5–7 261 293 W3
St. Louis Cardinals 5 11 0 .313 2–6 4–10 299 350 L2
New York Giants 4 12 0 .250 2–6 3–9 249 425 L2

RosterEdit

Dallas Cowboys 1980 roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics
45 Active, 2 Inactive

ReferencesEdit