2004 Dallas Cowboys season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2004 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coachBill Parcells
General managerJerry Jones
OwnerJerry Jones
Home fieldTexas Stadium
Division place3rd NFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro BowlersFlozell Adams T
Larry Allen G
La'Roi Glover DT
Roy Williams S
Jason Witten TE
Cowboys uniforms12.png

The 2004 Dallas Cowboys season was the 45th season for the team in the National Football League. The season began with the team trying to continue on their winning 10–6 record in 2003. However, they failed to improve on that record and finished at 6–10.


Before 2004 season began, the Cowboys faced adversity and were forced to adjust. Coming off their first winning season in five years, the team, under Bill Parcells's direction, continued to bring in veteran talent and draft promising prospects. In the off-season, the Cowboys signed quarterback Vinny Testaverde and traded for disgruntled wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Both Testaverde and Johnson had played for Parcells when he had coached the New York Jets, and both were eager to reunite with Parcells. Johnson was especially happy to be in Dallas, as he had been deactivated for the final six games of the previous season while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for "conduct detrimental to the team". In return for Johnson, the Buccaneers received Joey Galloway. The draft saw the arrival of running back Julius Jones, cornerbacks Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones, and college quarterback turned wide receiver Patrick Crayton. In owner Jerry Jones's continuing quest to acquire quarterback talent, the Cowboys traded for the rights to Drew Henson, another baseball player attempting to return to football. Henson starred at Michigan, keeping future NFL quarterback Tom Brady from claiming the starting job outright. His struggles in the New York Yankees farm system led him to reconsider his career and opt for a return to football, similar to Chad Hutchinson, whom the team had acquired two years prior. Hutchinson was later released.

2004 draft class[edit]

2004 Dallas Cowboys draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 43 Julius Jones  RB Notre Dame
2 52 Jacob Rogers  OT Southern California
3 83 Stephen Peterman  G LSU
4 121 Bruce Thornton  CB Georgia
7 205 Nathan Jones  CB Rutgers
7 216 Patrick Crayton  WR Northwestern Oklahoma State
7 223 Jacques Reeves  CB Purdue
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


  • The Cowboys traded their first-round (No. 22 overall) selection to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for second (No. 43 overall) and fifth-round (No. 144 overall) selections, and a 2005 first-round (No. 20 overall) selection.
  • The Cowboys traded their original fifth-round (No. 156 overall) selection to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for sixth (No. 182 overall) and seventh-round (No. 206 overall) selections.
  • The Cowboys traded their original seventh-round (No. 223 overall) selection and a 2005 sixth-round (No. 185 overall) selection to the Oakland Raiders for defensive tackle Kenyon Coleman.
  • The Cowboys traded their sixth-round (No. 182 overall, from New Orleans) selection to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for two seventh-round (Nos. 205 and 223 overall) selections.
  • The Cowboys traded their original sixth-round (No. 188 overall) selection to the Green Bay Packers for wide receiver Terry Glenn.
  • The Cowboys traded their seventh-round (No. 206 overall, from New Orleans) selection to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for fullback Darian Barnes and a seventh-round (No. 216 overall) selection.


Quarterback controversy[edit]

With the opening of training camp, the team seemed poised to take the next step; however, this soon changed. Within the first week of camp, the Cowboys released starting quarterback Quincy Carter. The move came with no warning; reporters at training camp became aware something had occurred when Carter did not suit up for practice and was later seen being escorted from the Cowboys facility. Though never verified by Carter or the team, it has been speculated[by whom?] that his release was prompted by a failed drug test administered by the Cowboys, an action prohibited by NFL rules. Rumors began that Carter had already entered the second phase of the NFL's substance abuse program, meaning he had twice failed NFL-mandated random drug screenings. Test results are not made public but notices are sent to team officials. A third violation of the substance abuse program results in a mandatory suspension, and the Cowboys, unwilling to risk losing a starting quarterback during the season, began to monitor Carter with its own drug tests. Carter's formal protest of his release through the NFLPA as well as his subsequent troubles with drug addiction appear to lend credence to this scenario.[according to whom?] This move had a long-term effect on the team: Had Carter remained (along with Testaverde and the financially invested Drew Henson), second-year QB Tony Romo would have been fourth on the depth chart and likely cut from the team. When Carter left, Romo moved up to number 3, and was later a Pro Bowl starting quarterback for the Cowboys.

Regular season[edit]

As a result, Vinny Testaverde would be the opening day starter for the Cowboys. His extensive experience and veteran presence was an asset to the team, especially to young undrafted practice squad addition Tony Romo, but failed to produce many points behind an inconsistent offensive line. Dallas' defense would also regress from the previous season, especially the secondary which lost starting cornerback Mario Edwards in free agency and longtime mainstay and team leader safety Darren Woodson to injury. The result was a defense often on the field for long stretches and an offense constantly playing from behind. Following a loss to the Baltimore Ravens in which he played well in mop-up duty, Drew Henson would start the annual Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears. Though neither team produced much offense, Henson would flounder, and Testaverde would be brought in midway through the third quarter to a chorus of boos. The game still provided excitement for Cowboys fans as rookie running back Julius Jones, who had been injured early in the season and had just returned in the previous game, put on a masterful performance rushing for 150 yards and two touchdowns in leading the team to victory. Jones' momentum would carry over to the next game where he would rush for 198 yards and three scores in a dramatic win over the Seattle Seahawks. In only 7 starts(8 games overall) Jones would rush for over 800 yards and seven touchdowns, though not justifying Parcells' decision to pass on running backs Steven Jackson and Kevin Jones in the draft. As the season progressed, Parcells would continue to mold the team steadily implementing his preferred 3-4 defense and allowing his assistant coaches on offense, particularly Maurice Carthon and Sean Payton, to take more control. Despite the individual achievements and development, the end result was a 6–10 season. Other notable additions to the team this year include linebackers Ryan Fowler and Scott Shanle as well as former Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George in his final NFL season.


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 12, 2004 at Minnesota Vikings L 35–17
2 September 19, 2004 Cleveland Browns W 19–12
3 September 27, 2004 at Washington Redskins W 21–18
4 Bye
5 October 10, 2004 New York Giants L 26–10
6 October 17, 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers L 24–20
7 October 24, 2004 at Green Bay Packers L 41–20
8 October 31, 2004 Detroit Lions W 31–21
9 November 7, 2004 at Cincinnati Bengals L 26–3
10 November 15, 2004 Philadelphia Eagles L 49–21
11 November 21, 2004 at Baltimore Ravens L 30–10
12 November 25, 2004 Chicago Bears W 21–7
13 December 6, 2004 at Seattle Seahawks W 43–39
14 December 12, 2004 New Orleans Saints L 27–13
15 December 19, 2004 at Philadelphia Eagles L 12–7
16 December 26, 2004 Washington Redskins W 13–10
17 January 2, 2005 at New York Giants L 28–24


NFC East
(1) Philadelphia Eagles 13 3 0 .813 6–0 11–1 386 260 L2
New York Giants 6 10 0 .375 3–3 5–7 303 347 W1
Dallas Cowboys 6 10 0 .375 2–4 5–7 293 405 L1
Washington Redskins 6 10 0 .375 1–5 6–6 240 265 W1


Dallas Cowboys 2004 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve lists

53 Active, 10 Inactive


  • 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


  1. ^ "2004 NFL Draft Pick Transactions". ProSportsTransactions.com.

External links[edit]