Worst Start to a Season That Ended in a Championship

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1993 Dallas Cowboys

1993 Dallas Cowboys

Start of the Season: 0-2

Rest of the Season: 12-2

Hot Streak: Won seven straight after dropping first two and finished the regular season winning five straight

Coming off a Super Bowl victory in the 1992 season, the Cowboys were on top of the world. But, as was often the case with those early '90s Cowboys, the offseason did not go so smoothly for owner Jerry Jones and his team. In this particular offseason running back Emmitt Smith was a restricted free agent and was embroiled in contentious contract negotiations with Jones. As the season approached, Smith had missed the entire training camp and the team was forced to start rookie Derrick Lassic in the opener. In addition to not having Smith, several Cowboys harbored resentment toward Jones for not taking care of the star running back.

In the opener the Cowboys lost to the Redskins, 35-16, and the following week they lost to the Bills 13-10, in Dallas. After the Buffalo game Charles Haley famously yelled “we’re never gonna win with this f*ing rookie!” Fortunately, for Haley and the Cowboys they didn’t have to find out if his statement would become prophetic.

Four days after the Bills game, the Cowboys made Smith the highest paid running back in the league. The next week the Cowboys beat the Cardinals 17-10, but with little help from Smith who only ran eight times for 45 yards. However, from that point on Smith and the Cowboys looked every bit the best team in the NFL, finishing with the top record in the NFC at 12-4 with Smith rushing for a league-best 1,486 yards in just 14 games.

In the Super Bowl the Cowboys would meet the Bills again, but the results were nothing like the Week 2 battle. Instead, it was nearly a repeat of the previous Super Bowl as the Cowboys romped to a 30-13 victory behind Super Bowl MVP (who else?) Emmitt Smith.

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