1995 NFL season

The 1995 NFL season was the 76th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded to 30 teams with the addition of the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The two expansion teams were slotted into the two remaining divisions that previously had only four teams (while the other four had five teams): the AFC Central (Jaguars) and the NFC West (Panthers).

Meanwhile, the two teams in Los Angeles relocated to other cities: the Rams transferred to St. Louis (but would return to Los Angeles in 2016) and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. During the course of the season it emerged that the Cleveland Browns would relocate to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The Raiders’ move was not announced until after the schedule had been announced, which resulted in a problem in the third week of the season when both the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers had games scheduled to air on NBC which ended up overlapping each other. The Raiders game was rescheduled for 10:00 AM PDT in case they were to relocate and NBC was given the doubleheader so that both Bay Area teams had their games televised locally.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXX, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–17 at the Sun Devil Stadium. They became the first team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years. This season was legendary Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula’s last season as coach.

1995 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 3 – December 25, 1995
Start dateDecember 30, 1995
AFC ChampionsPittsburgh Steelers
NFC ChampionsDallas Cowboys
Super Bowl XXX
DateJanuary 28, 1996
SiteSun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
ChampionsDallas Cowboys
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 4, 1996
SiteAloha Stadium

Major rule changes

  • An eligible receiver forced out of bounds by a defensive player may return to the field and automatically become eligible to legally be the first player to touch a forward pass.
  • Quarterbacks may now receive communications from the bench from a small radio receiver in their helmets, partly repealing a rule that had been in force since 1956.

Final regular season standings

AFC East
(3) Buffalo Bills 10 6 0 .625 350 335 L1
(5) Indianapolis Colts 9 7 0 .563 331 316 W1
(6) Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 .563 398 332 W1
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 294 377 L2
New York Jets 3 13 0 .188 233 384 L4
AFC Central
(2) Pittsburgh Steelers 11 5 0 .688 407 327 L1
Cincinnati Bengals 7 9 0 .438 349 374 W1
Houston Oilers 7 9 0 .438 348 324 W2
Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .313 289 356 L1
Jacksonville Jaguars 4 12 0 .250 275 404 W1
AFC West
(1) Kansas City Chiefs 13 3 0 .813 358 241 W2
(4) San Diego Chargers 9 7 0 .563 321 323 W5
Seattle Seahawks 8 8 0 .500 363 366 L1
Denver Broncos 8 8 0 .500 388 345 W1
Oakland Raiders 8 8 0 .500 348 332 L6
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 Central
(3) Green Bay Packers 11 5 0 .688 404 314 W2
(5) Detroit Lions 10 6 0 .625 436 336 W7
Chicago Bears 9 7 0 .563 392 360 W2
Minnesota Vikings 8 8 0 .500 412 385 L2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 9 0 .438 238 335 L2
NFC West
(2) San Francisco 49ers 11 5 0 .688 457 258 L1
(6) Atlanta Falcons 9 7 0 .563 362 349 W1
St. Louis Rams 7 9 0 .438 309 418 L3
Carolina Panthers 7 9 0 .438 289 325 L1
New Orleans Saints 7 9 0 .438 319 348 W1


  • Indianapolis finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • San Diego was the first AFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Indianapolis (1–0).
  • Cincinnati finished ahead of Houston in the AFC Central based on better division record (4–4 to Oilers’ 3–5).
  • Seattle finished ahead of Denver and Oakland in the AFC West based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Broncos’ 2–2 and Raiders’ 1–3).
  • Denver finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Philadelphia was the first NFC Wild Card ahead of Detroit based on better conference record (9–3 to Lions’ 7–5).
  • San Francisco was the second NFC playoff seed ahead of Green Bay based on better conference record (8–4 to Packers’ 7–5).
  • Atlanta was the third NFC Wild Card ahead of Chicago based on better record against common opponents (4–2 to Bears’ 3–3).
  • St. Louis finished ahead of Carolina and New Orleans in the NFC West based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Panthers’ 1–3 and Saints’ 2–2).
  • Carolina finished ahead of New Orleans in the NFC West based on better conference record (4–8 to 3–9).


Dec. 31 – Lambeau Field   Jan. 6 – 3Com Park          
 6  Atlanta  20
 3  Green Bay  27
 3  Green Bay  37     Jan. 14 – Texas Stadium
 2  San Francisco  17  
Dec. 30 – Veterans Stadium  3  Green Bay  27
Jan. 7 – Texas Stadium
   1  Dallas  38  
 5  Detroit  37 NFC Championship
 4  Philadelphia  11
 4  Philadelphia  58   Jan. 28 – Sun Devil Stadium
 1  Dallas  30  
Wild card playoffs  
Divisional playoffs
Dec. 31 – Jack Murphy Stadium  N1  Dallas  27
Jan. 7 – Arrowhead Stadium
   A2  Pittsburgh  17
 5  Indianapolis  35 Super Bowl XXX
 5  Indianapolis  10
 4  San Diego  20     Jan. 14 – Three Rivers Stadium
 1  Kansas City  7  
Dec. 30 – Rich Stadium  5  Indianapolis  16
Jan. 6 – Three Rivers Stadium
   2  Pittsburgh  20  
 6  Miami  22 AFC Championship
 3  Buffalo  21
 3  Buffalo  37  
 2  Pittsburgh  40  

Coaching changes


Statistical leaders


Points scored San Francisco 49ers (457)
Total yards gained Detroit Lions (6,113)
Yards rushing Kansas City Chiefs (2,222)
Yards passing San Francisco 49ers (4,608)
Fewest points allowed Kansas City Chiefs (241)
Fewest total yards allowed San Francisco 49ers (4,398)
Fewest rushing yards allowed San Francisco 49ers (1,061)
Fewest passing yards allowed New York Jets (2,740)


Scoring Emmitt Smith, Dallas (150 points)
Touchdowns Emmitt Smith, Dallas (25 TDs)
Most field goals made Norm Johnson, Pittsburgh (34 FGs)
Rushing Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1,773 yards)
Passing Jim Harbaugh, Indianapolis (100.7 rating)
Passing touchdowns Brett Favre, Green Bay (38 TDs)
Pass receiving Herman Moore, Detroit (123 catches)
Pass receiving yards Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1,848)
Punt returns David Palmer, Minnesota (13.2 average yards)
Kickoff returns Ron Carpenter, New York Jets (27.7 average yards)
Interceptions Orlando Thomas, Minnesota (9)
Punting Rick Tuten, Seattle (45.0 average yards)
Sacks Bryce Paup, Buffalo (17.5)

The 1995 season produced four of the top eleven highest single-season totals for receiving yards. The top two receiving yard totals of all time – Jerry Rice's 1,848 & Isaac Bruce's 1,781 – were recorded in 1995. Detroit Lions receiver Herman Moore gained 1,686 yards (6th highest all time) and Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin gained 1,603 yards (11th most in NFL history).


The following players set all-time records during the season:

Most Touchdowns, season Emmitt Smith, Dallas (25)
Most Passing Attempts, career Dan Marino, Miami (6,531 at the end of the season)
Most Passes Completed, career Dan Marino, Miami (3,913 at the end of the season)
Most Passing Yards, career Dan Marino, Miami (48,841 at the end of the season)
Most Touchdown Passes, career Dan Marino, Miami (352 at the end of the season)
Most Pass Receptions, career Jerry Rice, San Francisco (942 at the end of the season)
Most Pass Receiving Yards Gained, career Jerry Rice, San Francisco (15,123 at the end of the season)


Most Valuable Player Brett Favre, Quarterback, Green Bay
Coach of the Year Ray Rhodes, Philadelphia
Offensive Player of the Year Brett Favre, Quarterback, Green Bay
Defensive Player of the Year Bryce Paup, Linebacker, Buffalo
Offensive Rookie of the Year Curtis Martin, Running Back, New England
Defensive Rookie of the Year Hugh Douglas, Defensive End, New York Jets
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Jim Harbaugh, Quarterback, Indianapolis and Garrison Hearst, Running Back, Arizona
NFL Man of the Year Award Boomer Esiason, Quarterback, NY Jets
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Larry Brown, Cornerback, Dallas


The 1995 NFL Draft was held from April 22 to 23, 1995 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected running back Ki-Jana Carter from Penn State University.


American Football Conference

National Football Conference

External links


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1991–2000 (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
  • Steelers Fever – History of NFL Rules (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
1995 Chicago Bears season

The 1995 Chicago Bears season was their 76th regular season completed in the National Football League (NFL). the Bears matched to a second straight 9–7 record under head coach Dave Wannstedt, but failed to make the playoffs due to a tiebreaker loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears started the 1995 NFL season as one of the hottest teams with a 6–2 record halfway through the season; however, a stunning overtime home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers 37–34 triggered a three-game losing streak as part of losing five out of their next six games falling to a disappointing 7–7 record, essentially eliminating themselves out of playoff contention.

1995 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1995 Seattle Seahawks season was the franchise's 20th season in the National Football League, the 20th playing their home games at the Kingdome and the first under head coach head coach Dennis Erickson. They were able to impove on their 6–10 record and finshied the season 8–8, however missing the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.

1999 NFL expansion draft

The Cleveland Browns had spent three years with its operations suspended after Art Modell had relocated the Browns' organization and players to Baltimore, Maryland to form the Baltimore Ravens at the end of the 1995 NFL season. Upon returning to the league, in order to become competitive with existing teams, the Browns were awarded the first pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, and the league gave the Browns the opportunity to select current players from the other teams. That selection was provided by the 1999 National Football League expansion draft, held on February 9, 1999. 150 players were left unprotected by their teams for the Browns to draft.

Byron Boston

Byron Boston is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1995 NFL season. He is a line judge and wears the uniform number 18. During his NFL officiating career, Boston was assigned Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 and has worked two wild card playoff games (1999 and 2005), three divisional playoff games (1996, 2002, and 2003), and three conference championship games (1997, 1998, and 2005).

Boston graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas with a bachelor's degree in Economics.

He began his officiating career in 1977 in Dallas, Texas where he worked Texas high school football from 1977 to 1984, which included two State Championship games. After working high school games, Byron moved up to Junior College football in 1985 and later joined the Southland Conference in 1987. In 1990, Boston began working games in the Southwest Conference. Over his college football officiating career, Boston was selected for Division 1AA playoff games and ended his final game at the collegiate level with the 1994 Holiday Bowl.

In 1995, Boston was selected to the NFL officiating staff and has nine post-season assignments since joining the league.

Byron and his wife Carolyn reside in Humble, Texas and have three children, Alicia, Byron Jr., and David. Byron also has two other grandchildren ( that aren't mentioned) Briana Boston and Jaxon Mace. David was an American football wide receiver in the NFL. Byron also serves as a tax consultant outside of his NFL officiating duties.

For the 2017 NFL season, Boston will serve as the line judge on the officiating crew headed by referee Walt Anderson.On February 15, 2007, the Southland Conference named Byron Boston as coordinator of football officials.

Boston was chosen as the line judge for Super Bowl XLVII.

Cleveland Browns relocation controversy

The Cleveland Browns relocation controversy, sometimes called "The Move" by fans, was the decision by then-Browns owner Art Modell to move the National Football League (NFL)'s Cleveland Browns from its long-time home of Cleveland to Baltimore during the 1995 NFL season. Subsequent legal actions by the city of Cleveland and Browns season ticket holders led the NFL to broker a compromise that saw the Browns history, records, and intellectual property remain in Cleveland. In return, Modell was permitted to move his football organization to Baltimore and establish the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are officially regarded by the NFL as an expansion team that began play in 1996. The city of Cleveland agreed to demolish Cleveland Stadium and build a new stadium on the same site, and the NFL agreed to reactivate the Browns by the 1999 season by adding a team or moving one from another city. The Browns were reactivated in 1998 through the expansion process and resumed play in 1999.

This compromise, which was unprecedented in North American professional sports, has since been cited in franchise moves and agreements in other leagues, including ones in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.

Dale Hamer

Dale Hamer is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) who served from 1978 to 2001, with a break taken for health reasons during the 1995 season. During his 23 seasons in the NFL, Hamer was assigned to officiate in two Super Bowls, as a head linesman in Super Bowl XVII and in Super Bowl XXII. Additionally, he was an alternate referee for Super Bowl XXVII.

Hamer's career in the NFL started in 1978 as a head linesman. He was later promoted to referee in 1989 upon the retirement of long-time referee Fred Silva. In 1995, Hamer was forced to take a leave from officiating when doctors discovered that he had a heart murmur. Further tests revealed that Hamer had stenosis and calcification of his aortic heart valve, and it would need to be replaced. In July 1995, Dale received a pericardial tissue heart valve. As a result, he missed the entire 1995 NFL season, but returned at the start of the 1996 NFL season after Gordon McCarter announced his retirement. He returned to the head linesman position in 1998 and worked on the crews of Larry Nemmers and Bernie Kukar. After retiring as an on-field official following the 2001 NFL season, Hamer assumed new duties as an instant replay official for the NFL, a position he continues to serve in today.

Hamer, who wore uniform number 104, is a past president of the National Football League Referees Association.

Hamer is a 1960 graduate of California State College in Western Pennsylvania (now California University of Pennsylvania), and in the early 1960s taught algebra at Clairton High School in Clairton, Pennsylvania.

Gene McGuire

Walter Eugene McGuire, Jr. (born July 17, 1970) is a former center in the National Football League.

Gordon McCarter

Gordon McCarter (May 26, 1931 − December 20, 2002) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1967 to 1995. He joined the NFL as a line judge and back judge (now known as the field judge) in 1967 before being promoted to referee with the start of the 1974 NFL season when Jack Reader was named Assistant Supervisor of Officials at NFL headquarters in New York City. McCarter is most likely remembered for a 1995 game in which Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher stuffed a Polaroid photo in McCarter's uniform pocket while leaving the field. McCarter wore the uniform number 48 for the majority of his career.

McCarter was a 1954 graduate of Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, now known as Case Western Reserve University, and was the star fullback and team captain on the school's football team in 1954 and also worked for the university from 1963 to 1977 as director of alumni affairs and registrar.

After officiating at school football games and amateur track meets, McCarter joined the NFL in 1967 and later was in charge of several disputed games during his last years in the league. McCarter retired from the NFL following the 1995 NFL season.

McCarter died on December 20, 2002, in Cleveland at the age of 71.

History of the Jacksonville Jaguars

The history of the Jacksonville Jaguars, an American football team in the National Football League (NFL), formally dates to November 30, 1993, when the NFL awarded Jacksonville, Florida the expansion franchise that became the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars, along with the Carolina Panthers, started play in the 1995 NFL season as expansion teams.

Jason Burns (American football)

Jason Burns was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals during the 1995 NFL season as a running back. Born November 27, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois, Burns attended Percy L. Julian High School. He played at the collegiate level with the Wisconsin Badgers.

Joe Aska

Joe Aska (born July 14, 1972 in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands) is a former American football running back who played for the Oakland Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League, as well as the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL.

Keith Crawford

Keith LaCharles Crawford (born November 21, 1970 in Palestine, Texas) is a former cornerback in the National Football League.

Laird Hayes

Dr. Laird Hayes (born in Newport Beach, California) is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1995 NFL season, who wears uniform number 125. He currently works as a side judge. For the 2017 NFL season, Hayes is the side judge on the officiating crew headed by referee Walt Anderson.Hayes graduated from San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. Hayes earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in New Jersey in 1971. He was awarded a Master's and Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976.

He played on football, basketball and baseball teams in high school, which prepared him for an athletic performance at Princeton. He played on the freshman football team and four years as a catcher for the Princeton Tigers baseball team.

Hayes' officiating career started with basketball, baseball, and football games in high school and community colleges. In 1983, he was elevated to the Pac-10 as a football official. This was followed with a 1995 appointment to the National Football League roster of officials and his designation as a side judge. During his career in the NFL, he has officiated in three Super Bowls: XXXVI in 2002, XXXVIII in 2004, and XLVI in 2012 (where he made a call which might be consider one of the greatest calls in Super Bowl history). He also officiated at the 2006 Pro Bowl.

Laird Hayes has held the post of Men's Soccer Coach and Professor of Education and Athletics at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, since 1976 and retired in November 2010. He also taught First Aid/CPR, surfing, bowling, soccer, and weight training.

Hayes is President of the Quarterback and Receiver Camp (QBR) in its 50th year of non-contact, football fundamentals training for youth players, grades 6 through 12. QBR schedules six summer camps held in California, New Jersey, Arkansas, Ohio and Georgia.

Madden NFL '96

Madden NFL '96 is a football video game designed for the 1995 NFL season, licensed by the NFL. The AI has been boosted and can now hurry in two-minute drill situations, spike the ball, and cover the receivers with better efficiency.

It was the last to explicitly be endorsed by the NFL on Fox, although a knock-off/rendition of the NFL on Fox's iconic theme would continue to be used in Madden for several years afterward.

Reggie Holt

Reggie Holt is a former defensive back in the National Football League. He was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1995 NFL season. Though he did not see any playing time during the regular season, he did appear in that season's NFC Championship Game during the playoffs. Later he played with the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football in 1997.

The Dome at America's Center

The Dome at America's Center, known locally throughout its existence simply as "The Dome", is a multi-purpose stadium used for concerts, major conventions, and sporting events in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, United States. The stadium, previously known as the Trans World Dome from 1995 to 2001, and then as the Edward Jones Dome from 2002 to 2016, was constructed largely to lure an NFL team back to St. Louis and to serve as a convention space.

The Dome received its initial main tenant with the arrival of the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams, who relocated to St. Louis for the 1995 NFL season. The Rams spent the next twenty-one seasons in the Dome, departing after the 2015 NFL season to return to Los Angeles. Beginning in Spring 2020 the Dome will serve as the home stadium for St. Louis' (XFL) football team.

The Dome provides multiple stadium configurations that can seat up to 82,624 people. Seating levels include a private luxury suite level with 120 suites, a private club seat and luxury suite level with 6,400 club seats, a concourse level (lower bowl) with 28,352 seats and a terrace level (upper bowl) with 29,400.The Dome is part of the America's Center convention center. The convention portion has a much bigger footprint and adjoins to the west of the Dome, Cole Street to the north, Broadway to the east and Convention Plaza to the south. The stadium is serviced by the Convention Center MetroLink rail station.

Tommy Bennett

Tommy Bennett (born February 19, 1973 in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a former American football safety in the National Football League.

Bennett graduated from Samuel F. B. Morse High School in 1991, where he was a member of the 1990 Morse Tigers, voted by the San Diego Union-Tribune as the best high school football team in the history of San Diego County at the time of the poll. Bennett played college football at UCLA, then signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent for the 1995 NFL season. Bennett played for the Cardinals for six years, then spent one year with the Detroit Lions. He presently resides in the Phoenix area.

Bennett was arrested for possession of cocaine and was suspended by the NFL for violating no-steroid use policies.

Tony Corrente

Anthony Joseph Corrente (born November 12, 1951) is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1995 NFL season. He wears uniform number 99. He was the referee of Super Bowl XLI. He has also served as the Coordinator of Football Officiating for the Pac-12 Conference since June 2011. He resigned this position in October 2014.

Walt Coleman

Walt Coleman III is a former American football official who officiated in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1989 season until the end of the 2018 season. He wore uniform number 65. As of 2018, Coleman was the NFL's longest current tenured referee.

1995 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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