The 2010Dallas Cowboys season is the 51st season for the team in the National Football League, and the second season playing their home games at Cowboys Stadium. After falling to the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the 2009-10 NFL Playoffs, the Cowboys sought to defend their NFC East division title and contend for a Super Bowl Championship, particularly given that Super Bowl XLV would be played at Cowboys Stadium. However, this did not happen and after a 1–7 start Wade Phillips became the first coach in Cowboys history to be fired during the season. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The Cowboys finished the season 6–10, 3rd place in the NFC East, and failed to reach the playoffs. However, under Garrett the team's record was 5–3 as compared to the 1–7 start under Phillips.
The Dallas Cowboys began their season at FedEx Field on Sunday night against their NFC East rival, the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys trailed early in the first quarter as Redskins kicker Graham Gano got a 29-yard field goal. Dallas would then trail in the second quarter as cornerback DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown.
In the third quarter, Dallas would finally get on the board as quarterback Tony Romo completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Austin. Washington would respond in the fourth quarter as Gano made a 49-yard field goal. Afterwards, Romo threw what would have been the game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roy Williams, but a holding call on offensive tackle Alex Barron effectively ended the game.
With the loss, the Cowboys began their season at 0–1.
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Redskins the Cowboys played at home ground for an NFC duel with the Bears. In the first quarter Dallas trailed early as kicker Robbie Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal. Then they replied with WR Dez Bryant returning a punt 62 yards to the endzone for a touchdown. The Bears got the lead back when QB Jay Cutler made a 39-yard TD pass to TE Greg Olsen. In the 2nd quarter the Cowboys replied again when QB Tony Romo made a 1-yard touchdown pass to RB Chris Gronkowski, but fell behind with Cutler making a 9-yard TD pass to WR Devin Hester, followed by kicker Robbie Gould making a 40-yard field goal. In the third quarter Dallas would reply with kicker David Buehler nailing a 28-yard field goal. However, they continued to struggle in the fourth quarter when Cutler made a 3-yard TD pass to RB Matt Forte, but the Cowboys made the final score of the game when Buehler got a 48-yard field goal.
With the loss, Dallas fell to 0–2 for the first time since 2001 when they finished 5–11.
Still looking for their first win, the Cowboys flew to Reliant Stadium for a Texas rivalry match against the Houston Texans. Dallas trailed early in the second quarter when kicker Neil Rackers hit a 24-yard field goal. Then they took the lead with RB Marion Barber getting a 1-yard TD run, followed by kicker David Buehler's 49-yard field goal. The Cowboys increased their lead in the third quarter when QB Tony Romo completed a 15-yard TD pass to WR Roy E. Williams. Houston replied with Rackers nailing a 30-yard field goal, but Dallas continued to score when Romo found Williams again on a 63-yard TD pass. Then David Buehler made a 40-yard field goal. The Texans would finally score when QB Matt Schaub made a 7-yard TD pass to WR Kevin Walter; the Texans' onside kick attempt was good, but an interception made by Dallas safety Danny McCray ended any chances of a Texans comeback
With the win, Dallas went into its bye week at 1–2.
Coming off their Lone Star win over the Texans, the Cowboys went home for a Week 5 interconference duel with the Tennessee Titans. Dallas trailed early in the first quarter as Titans quarterback Vince Young completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nate Washington, followed by kicker Rob Bironas making a 52-yard field goal. The Cowboys answered with a 51-yard field goal from kicker David Buehler. However, Tennessee came right back in the second quarter as Young found wide receiver Kenny Britt on a 12-yard touchdown pass. Dallas would strike back as quarterback Tony Romo hooked up with wide receiver Roy Williams on a 6-yard touchdown pass.
In the third quarter, the Cowboys tied the game as Romo found wide receiver Miles Austin on a 69-yard touchdown pass. However, the Titans would retake the lead on Bironas' 40-yard field goal. Dallas tied the game again in the fourth quarter as Buehler booted a 26-yard field goal, but Tennessee struck back as running back Chris Johnson got a 1-yard touchdown. Afterwards, the Cowboys would tie the game yet again as Romo found tight end Jason Witten on an 18-yard touchdown pass. However, the Titans continued to pound away as Johnson got another 1-yard touchdown run.
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Titans, the Cowboys flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for a Week 6 duel with the Minnesota Vikings. Dallas delivered the opening punch in the first quarter as quarterback Tony Romo found wide receiver Roy Williams on a 15-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings answered with quarterback Brett Favre completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Camarillo. In the second quarter, the Cowboys regained the lead as Romo and Williams hooked up with each other again on a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Minnesota took the lead in the third quarter as wide receiver Percy Harvin returned the half's opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, followed by running back Adrian Peterson's 1-yard touchdown run. In the fourth quarter, Dallas tied the game as Romo connected with rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant on a 31-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings responded with kicker Ryan Longwell making a 38-yard field goal.
With only 5 seconds left in the game, the Cowboys attempted a lateral play, in a fashion similar to The Play, River City Relay, and the Music City Miracle. However, Romo was then flagged for throwing a forward pass after crossing the line of scrimmage, ending the game.
Trying to snap a two-game losing streak, the Cowboys went home for a Week 7 NFC East duel with the New York Giants on Monday night. Dallas got the opening strike in the first quarter as quarterback Tony Romo found tight end Jason Witten on a 4-yard touchdown run, followed by a 26-yard field goal from kicker David Buehler. The Giants answered with quarterback Eli Manning completing a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. The Cowboys would add onto their lead in the second quarter as Buehler booted a 41-yard field goal, followed by rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant returning a punt 93 yards for a touchdown. New York took the lead with Manning throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Nicks and a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Smith. Afterwards, the Giants closed out the half with kicker Lawrence Tynes getting a 53-yard field goal. During the half, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was suffered a broken left clavicle on a completion from a blocking error.
Dallas' deficit increased in the third quarter as Manning completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mario Manningham, followed by running back Brandon Jacobs getting a 30-yard touchdown run. The Cowboys began to rally in the fourth quarter as quarterback Jon Kitna found Bryant on a 15-yard touchdown pass (with a successful two-point conversion pass to Witten), yet New York answered with a 26-yard field goal from Tynes. Dallas tried to rally as Kitna hooked up with Bryant again on a 15-yard touchdown pass. With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 1–5.
Tony Romo (5/7 for 39 yards, TD) left the game in the second quarter with a broken left clavicle.
Hoping to break their current losing streak the Cowboys played on home ground for an Interconference duel with the Jaguars. In the first quarter the Cowboys took the lead as kicker David Buehler hit a 34-yard field goal. But they fell behind with QB David Garrard getting a 10-yard TD pass to WR Mike Sims-Walker. In the second quarter, the Cowboys struggled further with Garrard finding TE Marcedes Lewis on a 42-yard TD pass, then in the third quarter he found WR Mike Thomas on a 15-yard TD pass, and then he found Lewis again on a 9-yard TD pass. The Cowboys responded in the 4th quarter with RB Marion Barber getting a 1-yard TD run. But the Jaguars scored again with Garrard scrambling 2 yards to the endzone for a touchdown. The Cowboys replied with QB Jon Kitna making an 8-yard TD pass to TE Jason Witten.
Looking for their second win the Cowboys flew to Lambeau Field for an NFC duel with the Packers. The second quarter saw the Cowboys trail immediately after QB Aaron Rodgers got a 9-yard TD pass to RB Brandon Jackson. This was followed by Jackson making a 2-yard TD run, and with Rodgers completing an 8-yard TD pass to WR Greg Jennings. The Cowboys struggled further after FS Nick Collins recovered a fumble and ran 26 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys would make their only score of the game with QB Jon Kitna making a 2-yard TD pass to WR Dez Bryant. They fell further behind after Rodgers found WR Jones on a 10-yard TD pass, and with Crosby hitting a 26-yard field goal. The Cowboys had more problems when Kitna's pass was intercepted by OLB Clay Matthews and returned 62 yards for a touchdown.
With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 1–7. After the game, head coach Wade Phillips was fired and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett became the interim head coach.
Trying to snap a five-game losing streak, the Cowboys flew to New Meadowlands Stadium for a Week 10 NFC East rematch with the New York Giants. Dallas trailed in the first quarter as Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes made a 43-yard field goal. The Cowboys answered with quarterback Jon Kitna connecting to rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant on a 13-yard touchdown pass (with a failed PAT). Dallas added onto their lead in the second quarter with a 22-yard field goal from kicker David Buehler, followed by rookie cornerback Bryan McCann returning an interception 101 yards for a touchdown and Buehler's 23-yard field goal. New York answered with Tynes making a 25-yard field goal.
The Cowboys continued its dominating day in the third quarter as Kitna found running back Felix Jones on a 71-yard touchdown pass. The Giants responded with quarterback Eli Manning completing a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mario Manningham, yet Dallas rebounded with Kitna hooking up with wide receiver Miles Austin on a 24-yard touchdown pass. However, New York continued its persistent play with Manning completing a 35-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Boss. Fortunately, the Cowboys' defense held its ground in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
The game was delayed in the third quarter for about fifteen minutes when the lights at the New Meadowlands Stadium went out. Since it was already dark outside in New Jersey by that time, it was totally dark in the stadium.
The Cowboys' tenth game was an NFC duel with the Lions. In the first quarter the Cowboys pulled ahead with QB Jon Kitna making a 1-yard TD pass to WR Dez Bryant. The Lions replied with kicker Dave Rayner nailing a 47-yard field goal. The Cowboys trailed with QB Shaun Hill making a 9-yard TD pass to WR Nate Burleson, followed by a Penalty on Leonard Davis which was enforced to the endzone for a safety. The Cowboys got the lead back with DB Bryan McCann returning a punt 97 yards for a touchdown, which was followed by Kitna making a 3-yard TD pass to WR Miles Austin. The lead was narrowed with Hill completing a 14-yard TD pass to WR Calvin Johnson. The Cowboys increased their lead with Kitna finding Austin again on a 4-yard TD pass, followed by Kitna's 29-yard scramble to the endzone for a touchdown, which was his longest run of his career.
Cowboys interim coach Jason Garrett won his home debut and improved to 2–0 since taking over for Wade Phillips. It's the first time this season Dallas (3–7) has won consecutive games and the first time all season it won at home, having lost the first four. The Lions (2–8) lost their 26th straight on the road, extending a woeful NFL record that began in 2007, when Kitna was their quarterback. Detroit led 12–7 and was consistently stuffing the Cowboys' offense midway through the third quarter when John Wedling jumped over the goal line and tapped a punt back into the field of play. It hopped up waist-high and right to McCann, and the speedster turned it into the second-longest punt return in franchise history – a week after a 101-yard interception return that was the longest in club history. With the win the Cowboys improved to 3–7 on the season.
The Cowboys hosted the Saints in their annual Thanksgiving Day game. The Cowboys trailed early with RB Chris Ivory getting a 3-yard TD run, followed by kicker Garrett Hartley getting a 50-yard field goal, and then by Ivory making a 6-yard TD run. The Cowboys cut the lead as kicker David Buehler got a 21-yard field goal, but the Saints replied as Hartley nailed a 45-yard field goal. The Cowboys tried to come back as Buehler hit a 53-yard field goal, followed by Miles Austin getting a 60-yard TD run. The Cowboys trailed further with Hartley making a 28-yard field goal, but took the lead with Marion Barber III and Tashard Choice getting a 1-yard TD run. They failed to maintain this lead when QB Drew Brees completed a 12-yard TD pass to WR Lance Moore.
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Super-bowl Champions the Cowboys played against the Super-bowl runner-ups at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Cowboys commanded the first quarter when Tashard Choice got a 20-yard TD run, followed by kicker David Buehler nailing a 30-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Cowboys increased their lead as CB Orlando Scandrick returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown. The lead was narrowed when QB Peyton Manning made a 13-yard TD pass to WR Pierre Garcon, followed in the third quarter by Manning getting a 34-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne. The Cowboys extended their lead with Buehler hitting a 46-yard field goal, followed by Sean Lee returning an interception 31 yards for a touchdown. They trailed slightly as RB Javarris James got a 1-yard TD run, followed by Mat McBriar's punt getting blocked and returned 2 yards for a touchdown by Taj Smith. They replied to get the lead back as QB Jon Kitna completed a 2-yard TD pass to TE Jason Witten (With a successful 2-point conversion as Kitna passed to WR Roy E. Williams), but the game was tied when James got a 2-yard TD run. At overtime, Manning threw his fourth interception, (which totalled 11 interceptions in three consecutive games.) to LB Sean Lee,which soon converted into a successful 38-yard field goal attempt by Buehler, giving the Cowboys the win.
Coming off their win over the Colts, the Cowboys went home for a Week 14 NFC East duel with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. Dallas trailed early in the first quarter as Eagles quarterback Michael Vick got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cowboys answered with quarterback Jon Kitna finding tight end Jason Witten on a 1-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles regained the lead in the second quarter with Vick completing a 1-yard touchdown pass to offensive guard Todd Herremans. Afterwards, Dallas closed out the half with a 50-yard field goal from kicker David Buehler.
The Cowboys took the lead in the third quarter with Buehler's 43-yard field goal, followed by a 3-yard touchdown run from running back Felix Jones. Philadelphia struck back with kicker David Akers getting a 39-yard field goal. The Eagles took the lead again in the fourth quarter with Akers booting a 50-yard field goal, followed by Vick completing a 91-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Akers making a 28-yard field goal. Dallas tried to rally as Kitna hooked up with Witten again on a 22-yard touchdown pass, yet the Eagles held on for the win.
With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 4–9, and were officially eliminated from postseason contention, assuring them not playing the Super Bowl on their own home turf (something that still has yet to happen in Super Bowl history). The loss also secured the Cowboys' first losing season since 2004.
The Cowboys' fourteenth game was an NFC East rivalry rematch against the Redskins at home. In the first quarter the Cowboys took the lead with kicker David Buehler hitting a 42-yard field goal, followed by QB Jon Kitna throwing a 3-yard TD pass to WR Miles Austin; then Buehler made a 20-yard field goal to put Dallas up 13–0. The lead was narrowed when QB Rex Grossman completed a 19-yard TD pass to RB Ryan Torain, but the Cowboys increased their lead with Kitna making a 14-yard TD pass to TE Jason Witten, followed by RB Tashard Choice getting a 3-yard TD run. The Redskins replied with Grossman getting a 10-yard TD pass to WR Santana Moss, but the Cowboys scored again with Buehler got a 20-yard field goal. Washington managed to tie the game with Grossman finding Moss and Cooley on a 5-yard TD pass. The Cowboys managed to get the win after Buehler made a 39-yard field goal, settling both records at 5–9.
The Cowboys' final game was an NFC East rivalry rematch against the Eagles. In the 2nd quarter the Cowboys trailed early as QB Kevin Kolb threw a 4-yard TD pass to WR Chad Hall, but they tied the game after OLB DeMarcus Ware recovered a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown. They trailed slightly with kicker David Akers hitting a 43 and a 22-yard field goal, but the Cowboys fought back with QB Stephen McGee completing a 4-yard TD pass to TE Jason Witten (With the PAT good to take the lead and the win).