NFL: 25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson (56). (Photo by Ross Lewis/Getty Images) /

25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History: 15. 1979 Dallas Cowboys

The 1979 NFL season was a strange one. The Dallas Cowboys were actually worse than they were in 1978, but 11 wins was enough to be the number-one seed in the playoffs. The Cowboys (11 wins), Eagles (11 wins), and Washington (10 wins) had the three best records in the conference, but since they all played in the NFC East, it knocked Washington out of the playoffs entirely. The Cowboys were getting the lucky draw, and they could go on to make the Super Bowl without ever playing on the road.

Well, they didn’t need to play on the road to put up a stinker. Before that, however, everything was coming up Cowboys. Roger Staubach was enjoying the best year of his career. In fact, Staubach led the Cowboys to a win in the final game of the season. With the NFC East and number-one seed on the line, Staubach led two touchdown drives in the final four minutes against Washington to win the game and knock them out of the postseason entirely.

This was a strange season for the Cowboys, as well. Ed “Too Tall” Jones left football to become a boxer. Hollywood Henderson was cut in the middle of the season because he was too much to handle. This was a team who went to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning in 1978. They were expected to be great. Those expectations clearly weighed on everyone.

In the playoffs, the Cowboys were taking on the Los Angeles Rams. They had already eliminated them twice in the past five seasons, so they had to be confident going into the game. However, a 50-yard pass that was tipped into the hands of Billy Waddy ended the Cowboys season. The Rams beat the big, bad Cowboys without starting quarterback Pat Haden. It was a monstrous upset, and Staubach ended up retiring at the end of the season.