4-4 Starts Have Not Led to Fairy Tale Endings

4-4 starts have not been very magical for the Cowboys in their history.

The Cowboys are 4-4 for the eighth time in franchise history. The bottom line: Dallas finished at below .500 in four of those seasons and at .500 in another. Although the Cowboys made the playoffs the last two times they finished at .500, they lost in the wildcard round of the playoffs both times.

Here’s a review of those seasons.


Started: 4-4-1

Ended: 5-8-1 (no playoffs)

The team was in its third year of existence and started the season at 4-3-1. However, a bad loss to the Giants started a three-game losing streak, and Dallas ended up losing five of its last six.


Started: 4-4-1

Ended: 5-8-1 (no playoffs)

Two years later, the Cowboys beat the Giants to improve to 4-4-1, but the team lost four straight after that.


Started: 4-4

Ended: 8-6 (no playoffs)

After eight straight playoff seasons, the 1974 team limped to a 1-4 start. However, three consecutive wins helped Dallas to a 4-4 record. Dallas managed a winning record at 8-6, thanks in part to Clint Longley’s miracle win over Washington on Thanksgiving Day, but the team finished at 8-6.


Started: 4-4

Ended: 7-8

Dallas went 2-1 with its replacement players during the strike-shortened 1987 season. However, the team was mediocre at best for the rest of the season and finished at 7-8.


Started: 4-4

Ended: 6-10 (no playoffs)

There was some hope that the 1997 team could bring another title to Dallas, but this team was flawed. A loss to the Eagles dropped Dallas to 4-4 midway through the season. Although Dallas stood at 6-5 at one point, five consecutive losses ensured the team’s first losing season since 1990.


Started: 4-4

Ended: 8-8 (lost to Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs)

The 1999 Cowboys held a lead in every game but could only manage to win half of them. Nevertheless, in a bizarre finish to the season, four NFC teams were tied at 8-8, and Dallas found itself in the playoffs. That run didn’t last long, though.


Started: 4-4

Ended: 9-7 (lost to Seattle in the first round of the playoffs)

Drew Bledsoe struggled as the team’s starter and was replaced by Tony Romo after the team had fallen to 3-3. Romo went 1-1 during his first two starts, but the team finished the season at 5-3 to make the playoffs.

  • Jason Neighbors

    At least the Eagles lost last night 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t believe the Patriots lost to the Giants. We would look pretty good right now if the Giants had fallen to 5-3. Still possible to catch up.