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The 1970 Dallas Cowboys season was their 11th in the NFL. The club scored 299 points and allowed 221 points. For the fifth consecutive season, the Cowboys finished first in their division. In 1970, the club made its debut on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 38-0. The Cowboys made it to their first Super Bowl and lost to the Baltimore Colts.

NFL Draft

Pick # NFL Team Player Position College
23 Dallas Cowboys Duane Thomas Running Back West Texas Statemarker

Regular season

The Cowboys had to overcome many obstacles during the regular season. Fullback Calvin Hill, the team's second leading rusher with 577 yards and 4 touchdowns, was lost for the year after suffering a leg injury late in the regular season. And wide receiver Bob Hayes was benched by head coach Tom Landry for poor performances on several occasions.

Most significantly, the Cowboys had a quarterback controversy between Craig Morton and Roger Staubach. Morton and Staubach alternated as the starting quarterback during the regular season, but Landry eventually chose Morton to start Super Bowl V because he felt less confident that Staubach would follow his game plan (Landry called all of Morton's plays in Super Bowl V). Also, Morton had done extremely well in the regular season, throwing for 1,819 yards and 15 touchdowns, with only 7 interceptions, earning him a passer rating of 89.8. In contrast, Staubach, although a noted scrambler and able to salvage broken plays effectively, threw for 542 yards, and only 2 touchdowns compared to 8 interceptions, giving him a 42.9 rating.

Hayes was the main deep threat on the team, catching 34 passes for 889 yards (a 26.1 yards per catch average) and 10 touchdowns, while also rushing 4 times for 34 yards and another touchdown, and adding another 116 yards returning punts. On the other side of the field, wide receiver Lance Rentzel recorded 28 receptions for 556 yards and 5 touchdowns.

However, the main strength on the Cowboys offense was their running game. Rookie running back Duane Thomas rushed 151 times for 803 yards (a 5.1 yards per carry average) and 5 touchdowns, while adding another 416 yards returning kickoffs. Fullback Walt Garrison, who replaced the injured Hill, provided Thomas with excellent blocking and rushed for 507 yards and 3 touchdowns himself. Garrison was also a good receiver out of the backfield, catching 21 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. Up front, Pro Bowl guard John Niland and future Hall of Famer tackle Rayfield Wright anchored the offensive line.

Season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Game site
1 1970-09-20 Philadelphia Eagles W 17-7 Franklin Fieldmarker
2 1970-09-27 New York Giants W 28-10 Cotton Bowlmarker
3 1970-10-04 St. Louis Cardinals L 20-7 Busch Memorial Stadiummarker
4 1970-10-11 Atlanta Falcons W 13-0 Cotton Bowlmarker
5 1970-10-18 Minnesota Vikings L 54-13 Metropolitan Stadiummarker
6 1970-10-25 Kansas City Chiefs W 27-16 Municipal Stadiummarker
7 1970-11-01 Philadelphia Eagles W 21-17 Cotton Bowlmarker
8 1970-11-08 New York Giants L 23-20 Yankee Stadiummarker
9 1970-11-16 St. Louis Cardinals L 38-0 Cotton Bowlmarker
10 1970-11-22 Washington Redskins W 45-21 Robert F.marker Kennedy Memorial Stadiummarker
11 1970-11-26 Green Bay Packers W 16-3 Cotton Bowlmarker
12 1970-12-06 Washington Redskins W 34-0 Cotton Bowlmarker
13 1970-12-12 Cleveland Browns W 6-2 Cleveland Stadiummarker
14 1970-12-20 Houston Oilers W 52-10 Cotton Bowlmarker


Week Date Opponent Result
1 1970-12-26 Detroit Lions W 5-0
2 1971-01-03 at San Francisco 49ers W 17-10
3 1971-01-17 Baltimore Colts L 16-13

Division standings

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys 10 4 0 .714 299 221 W-5
New York Giants 9 5 0 .643 301 270 L-1
St. Louis Cardinals 8 5 1 .615 325 228 L-3
Washington Redskins 6 8 0 .429 297 314 W-2
Philadelphia Eagles 3 10 1 .231 241 332 W-1


NFC Divisional Playoff

  • Dallas Cowboys 5, Detroit Lions 0

at Cotton Bowlmarker, Dallas, Texasmarker

  • TV: CBS, 4PM EST (Play-by-Play: Frank Glieber, Color: Frank Gifford)

NFC Championship Game

  • Dallas Cowboys 17, San Francisco 49ers 10

at Kezar Stadiummarker, San Franciscomarker

  • TV: CBS, 5PM EST (Play-by-Play: Ray Scott, Color: Pat Summerall)

Super Bowl V

  • Chuck Howley became the first, and only, member of a losing team to be the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.
First Quarter
  • DAL - FG: Mike Clark 14 yards 3-0 DAL

Second Quarter
  • DAL - FG: Mike Clark 30 yards 6-0 DAL
  • BAL - TD: John Mackey 75 yard pass from Johnny Unitas (kick blocked) 6-6 tie
  • DAL - TD: Duane Thomas 7 yard pass from Craig Morton (Clark kick) 13-6 DAL

Third Quarter(none)

Fourth Quarter
  • BAL - TD: Tom Nowatzke 2 yard run (O'Brien kick) 13-13 tie
  • BAL - FG: Jim O'Brien 32 yards 16-13 BAL

Awards and records

  • Chuck Howley, Most Valuable Player, Super Bowl V
  • Mel Renfro, Pro Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player



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