All Signs Pointing Toward a Postseason Berth for the Cowboys in 2016

cowboyseagles2016

The Cowboys’ 29-23 win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday gave the team a 6-1 record and a two game lead in the NFC East in a 2016 season that is starting to look special.

The Dallas Cowboys have won at least six of their first seven games in a season 12 times in franchise history, including this season’s team that stands at a surprising 6-1 as it nears the season’s midway point. Whether the 2016 team’s early success will lead to a playoff berth or not is uncertain but if history is a guide, start printing the playoff tickets.  In the 11 completed seasons where Dallas was at least 6-1 after seven games, the Cowboys reached the playoffs in all 11 of them.

Here’s a look at the 11 historical Cowboys teams who were at least 6-1 after seven games, along with a summary of what happened in the games that followed and a fun fact for each season.

1968

 

Record After Seven Games-  6-1

Seventh Game Result –  28-17 loss to Green Bay

Record in Last Seven Games-  6-1

Result-  12-2 Record, Capitol Division Champions.  Lost in divisional playoff round 31-20 at Cleveland.

NOTE:  The 1968 Cowboys were a powerhouse offensive squad leading the NFL in scoring with 431 points, and putting up 27 or more points in 10 of their 14 games.

1969

Record After Seven Games-  6-1

Seventh Game Result-  42-10 loss at Cleveland

Record in Last Seven Games-  5-1-1

Result- 11-3-1 mark, Capitol Division Champions. Lost in divisional playoff round 38-14 to Cleveland.

NOTE:  Rookie Calvin Hill had 942 yards rushing and tough veteran Walt Garrison chipped in with 818, marking the only time in franchise history where the team has had two players with 800 or  more yards on the ground in the same season.

1976 

Record After Seven Games-  6-1

Seventh Game Result-  31-21 win over Chicago

Record in Last Seven Games-  5-2

Result-  11-3 mark, NFC East Division Champions, lost 14-12 to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs.

NOTE:  Through seven games, quarterback Roger Staubach’s QBR was 97.7 or better six times. A game seven finger injury to Staubach changed the team’s fortunes on offense, as the team scored more than 24 points only one time in its last seven games.

1977

Record after Seven Games-  7-0

Seventh Game Result-  37-0 whitewashing of Detroit.

Record in Last Seven Games-  5-2

Result- 12-2 record, NFC East Division Champions, NFC Champion, Super Bowl 12 Champion.

NOTE:  Many believe that the 1977 Cowboys’ team was the franchises best all-time. The Cowboys were dominant on both sides of the ball in 1977, leading the NFL in yards gained on offense with 4812 and fewest yards allowed on defense with 3212.  

1979

Record After Seven Games-  6-1

Seventh Game Result-  30-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams

Record in Last Nine Games-  5-4

Result-  11-5 record, NFC East Division Champions, lost 21-19 the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional playoff round.

NOTE:  The Cowboys NFC East title was earned by the team’s winning three straight December games against divisional foes to end the year.  The Cowboys finished the decade of the 1970’s with an amazing 24-4 record in regular season games played in December. 

1982

Record After Seven Games-  6-1

Seventh Game Result- 21 win over New Orleans

Record in Last Two Games-  0-2

Result-  6-3 record in a strike shortened year, NFC wildcard berth, playoff victories over Tampa Bay and Green Bay, loss at Washington in the NFC Championship game.

NOTE:  The Cowboys beat an undefeated Redskins’ team at RFK Stadium in December in the teams’ only matchup of the regular season, but Dallas’ season ending losses to Philadelphia and at Minnesota cost the Cowboys the chance at winning the division and having home field advantage in the playoffs.   

1983

Record After Seven Games-  7-0

Seventh Game Result-  37-7 win over Philadelphia

Record in Last Nine Games-  5-4

Result-  12-4 record, NFC wildcard spot, 24-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the wildcard playoff round.

NOTE:  Dallas scored a franchise record 479 points in 1983, and scored 30 or more points in nine of its 16 games.  A disappointing loss to Washington at Texas Stadium in week 15 cost the Cowboys a chance at winning the NFC East.

1992

Record After Seven Games-  6-1

Seventh Game Result- 28-13 win at Los Angeles against the Raiders.

Record in Last Nine Games-  7-2

Result-  13-3 record, NFC East Division Champions, NFC Champion, Super Bowl 27 Champion.

NOTE:  If the 1977 team wasn’t the best in Cowboys’ history, the 1992 team was.  Sparked by the contributions of future Hall of Famers Troy Aikman (89.5 QBR, 23 touchdown passes), Emmitt Smith (1713 yards rushing, 18 touchdowns) and  Michael Irvin (1396 yards receiving with seven touchdowns), the 1992 Cowboys brought glory days back to Dallas.

1994

Record After Game Seven-  6-1

Seventh Game Result- 28-21 win at Arizona

Record in Last Nine Games-  6-3

Result- 12-4 record, NFC East Division Champions, playoff win over Green Bay, loss at San Francisco in the NFC Championship game.

NOTE:  The Cowboys played well defensively for most of the 1994 season, allowing less than 20 points in 10 of their 16 games.  Dallas had three interceptions returned for a touchdown on the year, and special team ace Kevin Williams scored on both a punt and kickoff return in the campaign.

1995

Record After Game Seven-  6-1

Seventh Game Result-  23-9 win at San Diego

Record in Last Nine Games-  6-3

Result- 12-4 record, NFC East Division Champions, NFC Champion, Super Bowl 30 Champions.

NOTE:  The 1995 Cowboys were powered by an imposing offensive line that paved the way for Emmitt Smith to score a then NFL record 25 rushing touchdowns on the year.

2014

Record After Game Seven-  6-1

Seventh Game Result-  31-21 win v.s. the New York Giants

Record in Last Nine Games- 6-3

Result-  12-4 record, NFC East Division Champions, playoff win over Detroit, loss in divisional round at Green Bay.

NOTE:  Powered by the passing of Tony Romo, the running of Demarco Murray and its offensive line, the Cowboys scored 30 or more points in a team record 10 of its 16 games on the year.

 

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