1993 Review: Cowboys Rebound to Set Up Classic Season Finale
Once the Cowboys signed Emmitt Smith after the second week of the 1993 season, the team took off. Dallas won seven consecutive games before stumbling a bit, followed by another rebound.
By the season finale at the Meadowlands, both the Cowboys and Giants had 11-4 records. Their game was for all the marbles– NFC East title and a bye in the opening round of the playoffs. In a single game, Emmit showed he was worth every dime the Cowboys paid him.
A fairly big story during the middle of the 1993 season was the team’s signing of former Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar. His presence was even more important in the playoffs.
Another noteworthy feature of the 1993 season was that it was the first and only season where teams received two bye weeks. The experiment failed.
Here are the summaries for the rest of the regular season:
Week 3: Dallas 17, Phoenix 10
Smith debuted after signing three days later. But it was Derrick Lassic who rushed for 60 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns in the team’s first win of the season.
Week 4: Bye
Week 5: Dallas 36, Green Bay 14
Troy Aikman had a huge day, completing 18 of 23 passes for 317 yards, including a 61-yarder to Michael Irvin. New kicker Eddie Murray (formerly of the Lions) hit five field goals to tie a team record.
Week 6: Dallas 27, Indianapolis 3
The Cowboys picked off Indianapolis quarterbacks four times, while Smith had his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
Week 7: Dallas 26, San Francisco 17
Receiver Michael Irvin came up huge in the rematch of the 1992 NFC Championship Game, as he caught 12 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. It marked the first time since 1980 that the Cowboys had beaten the 49ers during the regular season.
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: Dallas 23, Philadelphia 10
In one of Smith’s signature games, the running back broke Tony Dorsett‘s single-game rushing record by gaining 237 yards in the Cowboys’ fifth straight wi
Week 10: Dallas 31, NY Giants 9
The Cowboys jumped out to a huge lead on the Giants, but with the Cowboys ahead 17-6, Troy Aikman hurt his hamstring. His injury left the team with Jason Garrett at quarterback until the Cowboys decided to bring Kosar on board
Week 11: Dallas 20, Phoenix 15
With just three days of practice, Kosar filled in for Garrett and completed 13 of 21 passes for 199 yards, including an 86-yard pass play to Smith. The 20-15 win gave the Cowboys a 7-2 record.
Week 12: Atlanta 27, Dallas 14
Smith missed most of this game with a thigh bruise, and Kosar struggled to get the offense going. Bobby Hebert threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcon win.
Week 13: Miami 16, Dallas 14
In one of the most peculiar game in team history, the Cowboys and Dolphins played in a snow storm at Texas Stadium that few could forget. The Cowboys appeared to win the game when Jimmie Jones blocked Pete Stoyanovich’s 41-yard field goal attempt. However, Leon Lett made an infamous mental mistake when he slid in the snow and touched the ball after the block. Stoyanovich’s 19-yard kick on the final play lifted Miami to victory and left the Cowboys staring at a 7-4 record.
Week 14: Dallas 23, Philadelphia 17
The Cowboys snapped the losing streak at two but failed to answer many questions in barely holding off the outmanned Eagles. Smith had another monster game with 172 yards on 23 carries, giving him more than 400 rushing yards in two regular-season games against Philadelphia.
Week 15: Dallas 37, Minnesota 20
The Dallas offense looked back on track against the Vikings as the Cowboys jumped out to a 27-6 lead. However, Jimmy Johnson said he was unhappy with a late touchdown scored by the Vikings and that the Cowboys had a long way to go before getting ready for the playoffs. It was the last regular-season game in which the defense would give up two touchdowns.
Week 16: Dallas 28, NY Jets 7
Dallas shut down the Jets’ struggling offense to raise its record to 10-4. The game was an ugly one as the teams combined for nine turnovers, including five by the Cowboys. Jets coach Bruce Coslet, who later coached in Dallas, confronted Johnson after the game, thinking the Cowboys should have backed off in the final minutes.
Week 17: Dallas 38, Washington 3
In what is still the biggest blowout in series history, the Cowboys dominated the Redskins at Texas Stadium to avenge the opening-game loss. Smith had his third 100-yard rushing effort in four games.
Week 18: Dallas 16, N.Y. Giants 13
By the time Eddie Murray nailed a 41-yard field goal in overtime, Emmitt Smith had practically guaranteed he would make the Hall of Fame. Dallas had jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the half, but the team struggled in the second half. The teams finished regulation tied at 13.
Smith touched the ball 42 times in the game. On the final drive in overtime, Smith accounted for 41 of the 52 yards to put the team in field-goal range.
Here’s the America’s Game clip focusing on this game:
With the win, the Cowboys had a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the first time since 1977.
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