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1966 Dallas Cowboys season
|1966 Dallas Cowboys season|
|Owner||Clint Murchison, Jr.|
|Head coach||Tom Landry|
|Home field||Cotton Bowl|
|Division place||1st NFL Eastern|
|Playoff finish||Lost NFL Championship
The 1966 Dallas Cowboys season was the seventh for the franchise in the National Football League. The Cowboys finished the regular season at 10–3–1, their first winning record as a franchise and first Eastern Conference title. They hosted the NFL Championship Game at the Cotton Bowl, but lost to the defending champion Green Bay Packers, who went on to win the first Super Bowl two weeks later.
|1966 Dallas Cowboys draft|
|1||5||John Niland *||OG||Iowa|
|5||79||Walt Garrison *||FB||Auburn|
|6||86||Bob Dunlevy||OT||West Virginia|
|7||100||Arthur Robinson||WR||Florida A&M|
|8||116||Don Kunit||RB||Penn State|
|9||130||Darrell Elam||WR||West Virginia Tech|
|12||173||Les Shy||DB||Long Beach State|
|12||176||Craig Baynham||RB||Georgia Tech|
|13||190||Ron Lamb||RB||South Carolina|
|14||206||Lewis Turner||RB||Norfolk State|
|15||220||Mark Gartung||OT||Oregon State|
|16||236||Tom Piggee||RB||San Francisco State|
|17||250||George Allen||DT||West Texas State||Signed with the AFL|
|19||280||Byron Johnson||OT||Central Washington|
|20||296||Lou Hudson||WR||Minnesota||Signed with the NBA|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
|2||September 18||New York Giants||W 52–7||1–0||Cotton Bowl||60,010||Recap|
|3||September 25||Minnesota Vikings||W 27–17||2–0||Cotton Bowl||64,116||Recap|
|4||October 2||at Atlanta Falcons||W 47–14||3–0||Atlanta Stadium||56,990||Recap|
|5||October 9||Philadelphia Eagles||W 56–7||4–0||Cotton Bowl||69,372||Recap|
|6||October 16||at St. Louis Cardinals||T 10–10||4–0–1||Busch Memorial Stadium||50,673||Recap|
|7||October 23||at Cleveland Browns||L 21–30||4–1–1||Cleveland Stadium||84,721||Recap|
|8||October 30||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 52–21||5–1–1||Cotton Bowl||58,453||Recap|
|9||November 6||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 23–24||5–2–1||Franklin Field||60,658||Recap|
|10||November 13||at Washington Redskins||W 31–30||6–2–1||D.C. Stadium||50,927||Recap|
|11||November 20||at Pittsburgh Steelers||W 20–7||7–2–1||Pitt Stadium||42,185||Recap|
|12||November 24||Cleveland Browns||W 26–14||8–2–1||Cotton Bowl||80,259||Recap|
|13||December 4||St. Louis Cardinals||W 31–17||9–2–1||Cotton Bowl||76,965||Recap|
|14||December 11||Washington Redskins||L 31–34||9–3–1||Cotton Bowl||64,198||Recap|
|15||December 18||at New York Giants||W 17–7||10–3–1||Yankee Stadium||62,735||Recap|
Conference opponents are in bold text
- A bye week was necessary in 1966, as the league expanded to an odd-number (15) of teams (Atlanta); one team was idle each week.
- This year was the first time the Dallas Cowboys played on Thanksgiving Day
Week 12: (Thanksgiving Day) Cleveland Browns
|NFL Championship||January 1, 1967||Green Bay Packers||L 27–34||Cotton Bowl||75,504||Recap|
NFL Championship Game
Green Bay took an early 14–0 lead on two first-quarter scores; a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bart Starr to Elijah Pitts and an 18-yard fumble return by Jim Grabowski on the ensuing kickoff. The Cowboys tied the score with two touchdowns towards the end of the quarter.
Starr's third touchdown pass of the game gave the Packers a 34–20 lead with 5:20 left in the game, but the Cowboys responded with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Don Meredith to Frank Clarke. Dallas advanced to the Green Bay 22-yard line on their next drive, when a pass interference penalty gave the Cowboys a first down at the Packer 2-yard line. But Green Bay's Tom Brown intercepted a Meredith pass in the end zone with 28 seconds left to play to preserve the victory for the Packers.
|NFL Eastern Conference|
|St. Louis Cardinals||8||5||1||.615||7–5–1||264||265||L3|
|New York Giants||1||12||1||.077||1–11–1||263||501||L8|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
With the growth in popularity of televised NFL games, the league began looking for a second team in addition to the Detroit Lions, to host an annual Thanksgiving Day game. Every team turned down the offer, except for the Dallas Cowboys. General Manager Tex Schramm recognized this as an opportunity for the franchise to increase its popularity and establish its own Thanksgiving Day game tradition.
In 1966, the Cowboys who had been founded six years earlier, adopted the practice of hosting Thanksgiving games. It is widely rumored that the Cowboys sought a guarantee that they would regularly host Thanksgiving games as a condition of their very first one (since games on days other than Sunday were uncommon at the time and thus high attendance was not a certainty). Since then, the two "traditional" Thanksgiving Day pro football games have been in Detroit and Dallas.
|Dallas Cowboys 1966 roster|
Rookies in italics
Awards and honors
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