Know Your 1992 Dallas Cowboys: Diet Plans of the Dallas Coaching Staff

This post is part of the 1992 Season in Review series, marking the 25th anniversary of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl championship season.

Head coach Jimmy Johnson weighed less than 200 pounds during May 1992 after losing 22.1 pounds in two months.

On or about May 9, 1992…

The Dallas coaching staff decided to focus on their waistlines during the 1992 offseason.

The tally of how much weight each coach lost—

Defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt: 22.4 pounds

Defensive line coach Butch Davis: 22.1 pounds

Head coach Jimmy Johnson: 22.1 pounds

Offensive line coach Tony Wise: 20.8 pounds

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner: 16 pounds.


Much of the focus about the Dallas Cowboys 25 years ago centered on the schedule that had just been released.

The team would open the 1992 season against the World Champion Redskins, and the rest of the schedule did not get much easier. The Cowboys would travel to New York for game #2, and Dallas opponents in 1992 had a winning percentage of .570 in 1991.

Here’s how Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News saw the remaining 14 games:

* Sept. 20 — Phoenix at Texas Stadium. Easiest game on the schedule. The Cardinals are at least a year away. They’re always at least a year away.

* Sept. 27 — Bye week. Almost as easy as the Cardinals. Unless the Cowboys suffer some early casualties, a bye several weeks later in the season would be more useful.

* Oct. 5 (Monday) — At Philadelphia. The Cowboys will have two weeks and a day to get ready for this big Monday night game. Against the Eagles, they often need it, although they scored their key victory of 1991 at the Vet last year.

Monday night crowds in Philadelphia tend to be, uh, well-oiled, so the Cowboys can’t afford a slow start in this one.

* Oct. 11 — Seattle at Texas Stadium. A game fans will chalk up as an easy victory but Johnson won’t be able to. Again, Dallas will be working on a short week after returning early Tuesday morning from Philadelphia. The Cowboys haven’t played the Seahawks since 1986, so they are a real unknown quantity for Johnson’s staff.

* Oct. 18 — Kansas City at Texas Stadium. The Cowboys are more familiar with the Chiefs, having played them in 1989 and in pre-season last year. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Chiefs are a better team than the Seahawks. Dallas generally has had more problems against pass-oriented teams that spread the field. But assuming Dave Krieg has grown comfortable with the Chiefs’ system by mid-October, this should be a difficult home game.

* Oct. 25 — At Los Angeles Raiders. By this time, the Raiders should know whether Todd Marinovich is their quarterback of the present. The Coliseum is never an easy place to play.

* Nov. 1 — Philadelphia at Texas Stadium. The Eagles come to town following the easiest game on their schedule (Phoenix at home). Is Randall Cunningham still healthy? That will be the key question.

* Nov. 8 — At Detroit. The scene of the crime. Combined 72-16 score in two losses there last year. Maybe the Lions’ addition of a tight end will change the Cowboys’ luck. Anything’s better than covering four wide receivers and Barry Sanders.

* Nov. 15 — Los Angeles Rams at Texas Stadium. On paper, it has the appearance of a blowout. Are the Rams on their way back at this point after a 3-13 disaster? Not unless their defense performs miracles.

* Nov. 22 — At Phoenix. Dallas has lost games that it should have won at Sun Devil Stadium, but catching the Cards at home late in the season should be a break. By then, Phoenix will be long gone from the NFC East race.

* Nov. 26 — New York Giants at Texas Stadium. As good as the Giants can be, at least they’re one of the easier clubs to prepare for on short notice. The Cowboys know what they like to do.

* Dec. 6 — At Denver. How does Norv Turner’s offense function in snow flurries? Will Chad Hennings’ Air Force experience give him an edge with the altitude? Tough game by any definition. The Broncos have a great home record.

* Dec. 13 — At Washington. An open press box in December; this game may be tougher on the writers than the players. At least Washington will be coming off a likely physical battle with the Giants.

* Dec. 21 (Monday) — At Atlanta. Final Monday night appearance for the Cowboys. In the Georgia Dome, the Falcons’ speed at receiver — Michael Haynes, Andre Rison, Drew Hill and Mike Pritchard — should be an awesome weapon.

* Dec. 27 — Chicago at Texas Stadium. Is the Cowboys’ playoff fate sealed by now, or does this become the biggest game of the season? How Dallas handles its final short week of 1992 could determine whether the Cowboys keep playing right on into 1993.


Kicker Ken Willis nearly lost the 1991 playoff game at Chicago by missing two field goals. The Cowboys brought in two kickers to compete for the job—former Giant Brad Duluiso and free agent Lin Elliott.

Said Jimmy Johnson, “Daluiso I think is going to be a fine kicker. When you look at Brad, he just hasn’t kicked a lot in past years. So he just needs the coaching. I think we’ll be stronger in field goals than in the past, and it will be nice to know occasionally we can kick off into the end zone and get a touchback.

“I think Lin Elliott, too, looked good during mini-camp. I don’t see bringing another kicker in. Unless something unforeseen happens, it will be a battle between those two.”


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