|Duration||September 10 – December 25, 1989|
|Start date||December 31, 1989|
|AFC Champions||Denver Broncos|
|NFC Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Super Bowl XXIV|
|Date||January 28, 1990|
|Site||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Date||February 4, 1990|
The 1989 NFL season was the 70th regular season of the National Football League. Before the season, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announced his retirement. Paul Tagliabue was eventually chosen to succeed him, taking over on November 5.
The 1989 NFL Draft was held from April 23 to 24, 1989 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected quarterback Troy Aikman from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Fred Silva retired during the 1989 off-season. He joined the NFL in 1968 as a line judge before being promoted to referee in 1969. Games that he officiated include Super Bowl XIV and the Freezer Bowl.
Dale Hamer, the head linesman for Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XXII, and Howard Roe were promoted to referee. In addition to replacing Silva, an extra 16th officiating crew was added to help handle the weekly workload of 14 games.
Major rule changes
- After a foul that occurs inside the last two minutes of the first half and inside the last five minutes of the second half or overtime, the game clock will start at the snap, instead of when the ball is spotted and the Referee signals it is ready to be played.
- New rules were enacted, including loss of timeouts or five-yard penalties, to handle the problem of crowd noise when it becomes too loud for the offensive team to hear its signals.
- If a receiver and a defender eventually establish joint control of a pass, the ball will be awarded to whoever was the first player to establish control of the ball.
- While not a rule “change” per se, the “hurry up offense” was recognized as fully legal, and penalties for delay of game would be called against teams whose defenders faked injuries in order to slow down the tempo, unless those teams called for timeouts.
- Indianapolis finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on better conference record (7–5 vs. Dolphins' 6–8).
- Houston finished ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC Central based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
- Philadelphia was first NFC Wild Card ahead of L.A. Rams based on better record against common opponents (7–3 to Rams' 5–4).
- Minnesota finished ahead of Green Bay in the NFC Central based on better division record (6–2 vs. Packers' 5–3).
- NOTE: The San Francisco 49ers (the NFC 1 seed) did not play the Los Angeles Rams (the 5 seed) in the Divisional playoff round because both teams were in the same division.
|Jan. 7 – Giants Stadium|
|NFC Wild Card Game||NFC Championship|
|Dec. 31 – Veterans Stadium||Jan. 14 – Candlestick Park|
|5||LA Rams||21||5||LA Rams||3|
|Jan. 6 – Candlestick Park|
|4||Philadelphia||7||1||San Francisco||30||Super Bowl XXIV|
|Jan. 28 – Louisiana Superdome|
|Jan. 6 – Cleveland Stadium|
|AFC Wild Card Game||AFC Championship||A1||Denver||10|
|Dec. 31 – Astrodome||Jan. 14 – Mile High Stadium|
|Jan. 7 – Mile High Stadium|
- * Indicates overtime victory
|Points scored||San Francisco 49ers (442)|
|Total yards gained||San Francisco 49ers (6,268)|
|Yards rushing||Cincinnati Bengals (2,483)|
|Yards passing||Washington Redskins (4,349)|
|Fewest points allowed||Denver Broncos (226)|
|Fewest total yards allowed||Minnesota Vikings (4,184)|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||New Orleans Saints (1,326)|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||Minnesota Vikings (2,501)|
- Cleveland Browns: Marty Schottenheimer left the Browns to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns turned to Bud Carson to replace Schottenheimer.
- Dallas Cowboys: In a highly publicized move shortly after taking over, the Cowboys' new ownership fired Tom Landry, the team's only head coach in franchise history. Jimmy Johnson, who lead the Miami Hurricanes to a college football national championship in 1987, was named as Landry's replacement.
- Detroit Lions: Wayne Fontes began his first full season as head coach after replacing Darryl Rogers, who was fired after 11 games in 1988.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Frank Gansz was fired. Marty Schottenheimer then joined the Chiefs after leaving the Browns.
- San Diego Chargers: Al Saunders was replaced by Dan Henning.
- San Francisco 49ers: Bill Walsh retired after the team's 1988 NFL/Super Bowl championship. Defensive coordinator George Seifert was promoted to head coach.
- Atlanta Falcons: Marion Campbell's second tenure with the Falcons ended when was fired after the first 12 games, and former St. Louis Cardinals coach Jim Hanifan served as interim for the final four games.
- Los Angeles Raiders: Mike Shanahan was fired after the first four games. Assistant coach Art Shell served as interim for the last 12 games. Shell was given the position permanently and held it through 1994, then returned for one season in 2006.
- Phoenix Cardinals: Gene Stallings was fired after the first 11 games after announcing he would resign at the end of the season, and Hank Kuhlmann served as interim for the final five games. Stallings became coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he won the 1992 national championship.
- The Dallas Cowboys removed the elliptical blue circles with the player's number from the hip area of the pants
- The Green Bay Packers removed the helmet monogram from their jersey sleeves
- The Kansas City Chiefs began wearing their white pants with their white jerseys, discontinuing their red pants. It was the first time the Chiefs wore white pants with their white jerseys since 1967. The red pants returned in 2000.
- The Miami Dolphins introduced aqua pants to be worn with their white jerseys. They were not worn again in 1989 after a 39-7 loss at Houston in week four, but returned full-time in 1990.
- The Phoenix Cardinals added the flag of Arizona on top of the sleeve stripes of their white jerseys
- NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
- NFL History 1981–1990 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
- Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)