|1972 Dallas Cowboys season|
|Head coach||Tom Landry|
|Owner||Clint Murchison, Jr.|
|Home field||Texas Stadium|
|Division place||2nd NFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional playoffs (at 49ers) 30–28|
Lost NFC Championship (at Redskins) 3–26
The 1972 Dallas Cowboys season was their 13th in the league. The team failed to improve their previous output of 11–3, winning only ten games. They qualified for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season but settled for the wildcard spot. A pre-season injury to quarterback Roger Staubach and the trade of Duane Thomas (both had been integral figures in the 1971 championship team) hindered the offense (mitigated somewhat since their replacements, Craig Morton and Calvin Hill, were former starters). In the divisional playoff round, Staubach came off the bench to engineer an improbable 30–28 comeback win over the 49ers (Dallas had trailed by 28–16 with less than 2 minutes to play). The win over the 49ers still ranks as one of the all-time great Cowboys wins. However, the momentum could not carry them to a victory over Washington in the NFC Championship game.
Roger Staubach was lost in the 3rd pre season game with the Los Angeles Rams when Marlin McKeever tackled him. It required him to get a shoulder operation. Veteran backup Quarterback Craig Morton would lead the Cowboys for the 1972 season. When the Cowboys got down in the December 23rd playoff game Tom Landry inserted Roger who led them to a come from behind 30–28 victory over San Francisco. In 1972 the Cowboys would build up big leads in games only to hang on to win. Some examples of this would be Monday Night October 30 when they hosted Detroit, the November 5 game in San Diego, a November 12th game at home versus St. Louis, and the December 9 home game against Washington. The December 18, 1972 Sports Illustrated ran a story on the 1972 Dallas Cowboys surrounding their game with the Washington Redskins on pages 20–23, and featuring Cowboy middle linebacker #55 Lee Roy Jordan on the cover.
Still another factor in the Cowboys 1972 season was that All Pro defensive tackle Bob Lilly played through an injury to his back for most all of the year, along with a bone spur near his heel and an injured muscle just above his knee. Lilly was furthermore selected for his 10th Pro Bowl but did not play in the game. Lilly had 2 1/2 sacks on the season, while overall the team totaled 32.
|1||September 17||Philadelphia Eagles||W 28–6||1–0||Texas Stadium||55,850||Recap|
|2||September 24||at New York Giants||W 23–14||2–0||Yankee Stadium||62,725||Recap|
|3||October 1||at Green Bay Packers||L 13–16||2–1||Milwaukee County Stadium||47,103||Recap|
|4||October 8||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 17–13||3–1||Texas Stadium||65,682||Recap|
|5||October 15||at Baltimore Colts||W 21–0||4–1||Memorial Stadium||58,992||Recap|
|6||October 22||at Washington Redskins||L 20–24||4–2||RFK Stadium||53,039||Recap|
|7||Detroit Lions||W 28–24||5–2||Texas Stadium||65,378||Recap|
|8||November 5||at San Diego Chargers||W 34–28||6–2||San Diego Stadium||54,476||Recap|
|9||November 12||St. Louis Cardinals||W 33–24||7–2||Texas Stadium||65,218||Recap|
|10||November 19||at Philadelphia Eagles||W 28–7||8–2||Veterans Stadium||65,720||Recap|
|11||November 23||San Francisco 49ers||L 10–31||8–3||Texas Stadium||65,124||Recap|
|12||December 3||at St. Louis Cardinals||W 27–6||9–3||Busch Memorial Stadium||49,787||Recap|
|13||Washington Redskins||W 34–24||10–3||Texas Stadium||65,136||Recap|
|14||December 17||New York Giants||L 3–23||10–4||Texas Stadium||64,602||Recap|
Division opponents are in bold text
Week 1: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
- Date: September 17
- Game time: 1:00 p.m.
- Game weather: 80 degrees, wind 11 mph
- Box Score
Week 2: at New York Giants
- Date: September 24
- Game time: 1:00 p.m.
- Game weather: 60 degrees, wind 8 mph
- Box Score
|Divisional||at San Francisco 49ers||W 30–28||Candlestick Park||61,214||Recap|
|NFC Championship||December 31, 1972||at Washington Redskins||L 3–26||RFK Stadium||53,129||Recap|
|New York Giants||8||6||0||.571||5–3||7–4||331||247||W1|
|St. Louis Cardinals||4||9||1||.321||1–6–1||3–7–1||193||303||W2|
The Dallas Cowboys since its inception have always had cheerleaders, but during the team preparations to defend their World Championship title in 1972, a turning point in cheerleader history would be made with the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, wearing new star spangled uniforms and performing dance routines, instead of the traditional acrobatic displays.
The Cowboys qualified for the playoffs a record seventh consecutive year.
|1972 Dallas Cowboys draft|
|1||26||Bill Thomas||RB||Boston College|
|4||83||Tim Kearney||LB||Northern Michigan|
|4||90||Robert West||WR||San Diego State|
|4||93||Chuck Zapiec||LB||Penn State|
|8||208||Ralph Coleman||LB||North Carolina A&T|
|9||234||Roy Bell||RB||Oklahoma||Signed with the CFL|
|10||260||Richard Amman||DT||Florida State|
|11||286||Lonnie Leonard||DE||North Carolina A&T|
|12||312||Jimmy Harris||WR||Morgan State|
|13||338||Jean Fugett *||TE||Amherst College|
|14||363||Alan Thompson||RB||Wisconsin||Signed with the CFL|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
|Dallas Cowboys 1972 roster|
Rookies in italics
This season marks the first time in Cowboys history they wore their white jerseys for every game. The second and only other time so far was 2010.
- The Football Encyclopedia ISBN 0-312-11435-4
- Total Football ISBN 0-06-270170-3
- Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes ISBN 0-446-51950-2
- "1972 Dallas Cowboys". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved September 15, 2019.