The 1966 Dallas Cowboys finished the season with their first winning record. They finished the season with a 10-3-1 record. A surprise to most of the NFL but not to Cowboys ownership who signed Tom Landry to a new 10 year contract after the before the 1964 season despite the teams lack of success during their first 5 seasons in the NFL.
The Cowboys shot out of the gate in 1966 winning their first 4 games by an average of almost 35 points. They scored over 50 points in two of those games and 47 in another. The stumbled at mid season and went 1-2-1 over their next 4 games but they did reach 50 points again in their lone win during that span. They won their next 4 games and 5 of their final 6 giving them 10 wins for the season, the most in franchise history up until that point.
The Cowboys played in their first playoff game on January 1st, 1967 vs the Green Bay Packers. This game was the NFL Championship and the winner earned the right to play the Kansas City Chiefs, the champions of the AFL, in the first Super Bowl. The Cowboys played well but in the end they came up just a few yards short as the Packers won 34-27.
The Cowboys offense was ranked #1 in 1966 and thier defense was ranked #2. Don Meredith, Don Perkins and Bob Hayes were named to the Pro Bowl from the offense. Mel Renfro, Chuck Howley, Cornell Green, George Andrie and Bob Lilly were named to the Pro Bowl from the Defense. Don Meredith was awarded the Bert Bell award for the NFL Player of the Year.
The Cowboys first pick in the 1966 NFL draft was John Niland who played 9 seasons with the Cowboys and was named to the Pro Bowl 6 times. Walt Garrison was selected in the 5th round and he help propel the Cowboys running game in the early 1970s. Willie Townes and Craig Baynham are the only other 2 picks from the Cowboys draft that made much of any impact for the Cowboys.
1966 Dallas Cowboys draft picks
|5||Walt Garrison||RB||Oklahoma St.|
|6||Bob Dunlevy||E||West Virginia|
|7||Arthur Robinson||E||Florida A&M|
|8||Don Kunit||HB||Penn St.|
|9||Darrell Elam||E||West Virginia Tech|
|12||Les Shy||RB||Long Beach St.|
|12||Craig Baynham||HB||Georgia Tech|
|13||Ron Lamb||RB||South Carolina|
|14||Lewis Turner||HB||Norfolk St.|
|15||Mark Gartung||T||Oregon St.|
|16||Tom Piggee||HB||San Francisco St.|
|17||George Allen||T||West Texas A&M|
|19||Byron Johnson||T||Central Washington|
1966 Dallas Cowboys Schedule and results
|1||September 18||W||New York Giants||52||7|
|2||September 25||W||Minnesota Vikings||28||17|
|4||October 2||W||Atlanta Falcons||47||14|
|4||October 9||W||Philadelphia Eagles||56||7|
|6||October 16||T||St. Louis Cardinals||10||10|
|6||October 23||L||Cleveland Browns||21||30|
|7||October 30||W||Pittsburgh Steelers||52||21|
|9||November 6||L||Philadelphia Eagles||23||24|
|10||November 13||W||Washington Redskins||31||30|
|10||November 20||W||Pittsburgh Steelers||20||7|
|11||November 24||W||Cleveland Browns||26||14|
|12||December 4||W||St. Louis Cardinals||31||17|
|13||December 11||L||Washington Redskins||31||34|
|14||December 18||W||New York Giants||17||7|
|NFL Champ||January 1||L||Green Bay Packers||27||34|
1966 Dallas Cowboys Roster