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2003 Dallas Cowboys season: Wikis


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2003 Dallas Cowboys season
Head coach Bill Parcells
Home field Texas Stadium
Record 10-6
Place 2nd NFC East
Playoff finish Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Panthers) 29-10
2003 Dallas Cowboys.jpg
Previous season Next season
2002 2004

Despite the release of NFL icon Emmitt Smith, the Cowboys fortunes would begin to change with the introduction of Bill Parcells as head coach. Parcells would begin to reshape the team, particularly on offense, with an overhaul of the coaching staff, including former New York Giants offensive coordinator Sean Payton. Surprisingly, Parcells would retain much of the defensive staff, including defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and maintain the teams basic 4-3 defense instead of immediately installing the 3-4 defense which was a trademark of all Parcells's prior teams. This would prove a wise decision, as the Cowboys would finish the season with the top ranked overall defense. Typical of his previous stops, Parcells would start to rebuild his team through the draft. In his first year in Dallas, Parcells would pick future Pro Bowl players cornerback Terence Newman, tight end Jason Witten as well as future Cowboys defensive captain linebacker Bradie James. One of the biggest rookie acquisitions came via free agency when the team signed undrafted rookie and future franchise quarterback Tony Romo (although that move got little attention for a few years). Also typical of his prior teams, Parcells would bring in veteran players who had played for him at his previous coaching stops, signing fullback Richie Anderson and speedy wide receiver Terry Glenn with whom Parcells had a checkered history.

Though the Cowboys would open the season with a loss, a dramatic come from behind victory the next week against the Giants at New York would spur the teams confidence, particularly in third year quarterback Quincy Carter. This would be followed by a reunion with Emmitt Smith (now with the Arizona Cardinals) in Dallas. Smith would injury his shoulder early in the game and not return. After starting with a 6-2 record, the Cowboys would go 4-4 in the second half of the season including a loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Foxboro. The game received a lot of hype due to Bill Parcells and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seemingly strained relationship due to the events following their final season coaching together with the New York Jets. Though the Cowboys would finish 10-6 and earn a playoff berth, they would lose in the first round to eventual NFC champions Carolina Panthers.

This turned out to be the final season for long-time (and oftentimes Pro Bowl) Cowboys safety Darren Woodson. Woodson represented the last player link to the Jimmy Johnson Cowboys (and to all three Super Bowl teams of the 1990s). Woodson was on the roster the following season (2004) but never saw action due to injury.


Week Date Opponent Result
1 September 7, 2003 Atlanta Falcons L 27-13
2 September 15, 2003 at New York Giants W 35-32
3 Bye
4 September 28, 2003 at New York Jets W 17-6
5 October 5, 2003 Arizona Cardinals W 24-7
6 October 12, 2003 Philadelphia Eagles W 23-21
7 October 19, 2003 at Detroit Lions W 38-7
8 October 26, 2003 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 16-0
9 November 2, 2003 Washington Redskins W 21-14
10 November 9, 2003 Buffalo Bills W 10-6
11 November 16, 2003 at New England Patriots L 12-0
12 November 23, 2003 Carolina Panthers W 24-20
13 November 27, 2003 Miami Dolphins L 40-21
14 December 7, 2003 at Philadelphia Eagles L 36-10
15 December 14, 2003 at Washington Redskins W 27-0
16 December 21, 2003 New York Giants W 19-3
17 December 28, 2003 at New Orleans Saints L 13-7


NFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA Streak
Philadelphia Eagles 12 4 0 .750 374 287 W-1
Dallas Cowboys 10 6 0 .625 289 260 L-1
Washington Redsksins 5 11 0 .313 287 372 L-3
New York Giants 4 12 0 .250 243 387 L-8
AFC East North South West East North South West NFC
Buffalo Baltimore Houston Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta Arizona
Miami Cincinnati Indianapolis Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Carolina St. Louis
New England Cleveland Jacksonville Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans San Francisco
NY Jets Pittsburgh Tennessee San Diego Washington Minnesota Tampa Bay Seattle
2003 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXXVIII


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