The 1992 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 33rd season in the National Football League and was the fourth year of the franchise under head coach Jimmy Johnson which the Cowboys made one of three Super Bowl appearances between 1992-95.
Headed by a powerful offense and the NFL's number one ranked defense, Dallas fielded at the time, the youngest team in the NFL and posted a franchise-best 13–3 record throughout the regular season. In the playoffs, the Cowboys disposed of the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by a memorable victory against the San Francisco 49ers en route to a Super Bowl XXVII win over the Buffalo Bills.
|1992 Dallas Cowboys season|
|Head coach||Jimmy Johnson|
|Home field||Texas Stadium|
|Division place||1st NFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (Eagles) 34–10|
Won NFC Championship (49ers) 30–20
Won Super Bowl XXVII (Bills) 52–17
|1992 Dallas Cowboys draft|
|1||17||Kevin Smith||CB||Texas A&M|
|1||24||Robert Jones *||LB||East Carolina|
|2||36||Jimmy Smith *||WR||Jackson State|
|2||37||Darren Woodson *||S||Arizona State|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
The season would start off with two crucial wins against the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, both victors of the previous two Super Bowls. A ferocious Dallas defense, with not a single player nominated to the Pro Bowl, placed first in the NFL in total defense. Running back Emmitt Smith would also collect his second straight NFL rushing title. The 1992 season would also see a renewed rivalry between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game set over a decade after the famous play known as The Catch. This ultimately started the rise of the 49ers and fall of the Cowboys throughout the 1980s. The rise of the 1990s Cowboys was christened with a 30–20 victory against San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Both franchises would later meet again in the next two NFC Championship games in what many consider to be a classic series of contest of future Hall of Fame players.
At the Rose Bowl, site of Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys would struggle early finding themselves down 0–7, but later regroup when Aikman's pass to tight end Jay Novacek tied the game 7–7. From there, Dallas would gain all momentum and rout the Buffalo Bills 52–17, forcing a record 9 turnovers and knocking Bills quarterback Jim Kelly out of the game. Troy Aikman would earn Super Bowl MVP honors after completing 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and 4 touchdowns to wrap up a phenomenal postseason performance.
Notable additions to the team this year included defensive end Charles Haley, cornerback Kevin Smith, linebacker Robert Jones, safety Thomas Everett, safety Darren Woodson and wide receiver Jimmy Smith (though Smith would never catch a pass during his time with the team).
The Dallas defense (nicknamed "Doomsday II") enjoyed a renaissance, but has never received due credit for its achievements:
|1||Washington Redskins||23||10||W||ABC 8:00pm||1–0|
|2||at New York Giants||34||28||W||CBS 12:00pm||2–0|
|3||Phoenix Cardinals||31||20||W||CBS 3:00pm||3–0|
|5||at Philadelphia Eagles||7||31||L||ABC 8:00pm||3–1|
|6||Seattle Seahawks||27||0||W||NBC 12:00pm||4–1|
|7||Kansas City Chiefs||17||10||W||NBC 12:00pm||5–1|
|8||at Los Angeles Raiders||28||13||W||CBS 3:00pm||6–1|
|9||Philadelphia Eagles||20||10||W||CBS 3:00pm||7–1|
|10||at Detroit Lions||37||3||W||CBS 12:00pm||8–1|
|11||Los Angeles Rams||23||27||L||CBS 3:00pm||8–2|
|12||at Phoenix Cardinals||16||10||W||CBS 3:00pm||9–2|
|13||New York Giants||30||3||W||CBS 3:00pm||10–2|
|14||at Denver Broncos||31||27||W||CBS 3:00pm||11–2|
|15||at Washington Redskins||17||20||L||CBS 3:00pm||11–3|
|16||at Atlanta Falcons||41||17||W||ABC 8:00pm||12–3|
|17||Chicago Bears||27||14||W||CBS 3:00pm||13–3|
|(2) Dallas Cowboys||13||3||0||.813||6–2||9–3||409||243||W2|
|(5) Philadelphia Eagles||11||5||0||.688||6–2||8–4||354||245||W4|
|(6) Washington Redskins||9||7||0||.563||4–4||7–5||300||255||L2|
|New York Giants||6||10||0||.375||2–6||4–8||306||367||L1|
The Cowboys won despite giving up the game's final 28 points.
The Cowboys were defeated in their first meeting with Eagles running back Herschel Walker since they traded him from Dallas to the Vikings during the 1989 season. Walker scored twice while putting up 100 all-purpose yards against the Cowboys. Troy Aikman was intercepted three times.
Emmitt Smith led the way with 152 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, with Troy Aikman running for a TD to go along with his 234 yards passing. The Cowboys' defense held Los Angeles to just 188 total offensive yards – 71 rushing and 117 passing.
The Cowboys had their hands full as Tommy Maddox threw three touchdowns but was intercepted four times. The Broncos took a fourth-quarter lead on an 81-yard touchdown to Cedric Tillman. Emmitt Smith was held to just 62 yards but ran in the winning score.
Emmitt Smith recovered a fumble in his own endzone in the fourth quarter; he threw the ball and was intercepted by Danny Copeland for the winning Redskins touchdown. A livid Jimmy Johnson railed at his players on the air flight home.
Curvin Richards rushed for his only career touchdown, but fumbled twice and was cut from the Cowboys the next day.
The Cowboys held the Eagles to 178 total net yards; Randall Cunningham managed a late touchdown but managed only 182 combined yards and was sacked five times for 45 lost yards; Herschel Walker managed only 29 rushing yards and caught six passes for 37 yards. Troy Aikman had two touchdowns and 200 passing yards (88 of them to Michael Irvin) while Emmitt Smith rushed for 114 yards and a score.
The two teams combined for 831 yards in the Cowboys first overall win over the 49ers since 1980. A failed Cowboys fourth-down conversion attempt while up 24-13 set up Steve Young's touchdown to Jerry Rice late in the fourth quarter, but San Francisco's comeback attempt ended when a 70-yard Alvin Harper catch set up Kelvin Martin's touchdown catch and a subsequent interception of Young, the Niners' fourth turnover of the game.
|Dallas Cowboys 1992 roster|
Rookies in italics
The National Football Conference (NFC) is one of two conferences within the National Football League (NFL), the American Football Conference (AFC) being the other. Prior to 1970, there were two separate professional football leagues, the National Football League and the American Football League (AFL). In 1970, the AFL merged with the NFL. As part of the merger, the former AFL teams, plus three former NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers), were placed into the AFC. The remaining former NFL teams were placed in the NFC. As of the 2018 season only the Detroit Lions have not won an NFC championship.
|Division championships (23)|
|Conference championships (10)|
|League Championships (5)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold