To get an idea of teams' strengths and weaknesses over the history of the franchise, I looked at pass offense, run offense, pass defense, and run defense rankings for every Cowboys team since the beginning. For each category I used the stat with the highest correlation to winning, that being pass rating in the pass categories, and touchdowns in the run categories. IOW, the ranking you see for pass offense is offensive pass rating, pass defense uses defensive pass rating (opposing QB rating), run offense uses rushing TD, and run defense uses rushing TD allowed. The rankings are in the order of offensive pass rating, rushing TD, defensive pass rating, and rushing TD allowed. I then took the average of the four rankings to make a team ranking (in parentheses). For example, this... 2007 4th, 10th, 5th, 17th (9.0)* means that in 2007, the team finished 4th in offensive pass rating, 10th in rushing TD, 5th in defensive pass rating, and 17th in rushing TD allowed, for an average team ranking of 9th. The asterisk means that team qualified for the playoffs, as you would expect a team with an average ranking of 9th to do. I also adjusted the average ranking for league size. For example... 1965 8th, 12th, 5th, 8th (18.9) Even though the 1965 team had an average rank of 8.25, that team played in a 14-team league. Obviously, their "8th of 14" was not as good as the 2007 team's "9th of 32". To facilitate comparison of teams across eras, all rankings have been adjusted to what they would be in a 32-team league. That 1965 team's four rankings averaged out to about 19th in a 32-team league, which would be no surprise for a .500 team (That team was 7-7). Here are the 54 regular seasons. 1960 12th, 13th, 12th, 13th (30.8) 1961 8th, 14th, 7th, 12th (23.4) 1962 1st, 6th, 13th, 7th (15.4) 1963 8th, 2nd, 9th, 4th (13.1) 1964 14th, 4th, 6th, 1st (14.3) 1965 8th, 12th, 5th, 8th (18.9) 1966 3rd, 1st, 5th, 1st (5.3)* 1967 7th, 9th, 6th, 4th (13.0)* 1968 4th, 1st, 7th, 1st (6.5)* 1969 3rd, 1st, 6th, 1st (5.5)* 1970 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 9th (6.2)* 1971 1st, 1st, 7th, 5th (4.3)* 1972 15th, 8th, 14th, 2nd (12.0)* 1973 1st, 4th, 12th, 1st (5.5)* 1974 9th, 2nd, 23rd, 5th (12.0) 1975 7th, 10th, 6th, 6th (8.9)* 1976 6th, 9th, 9th, 8th (9.1)* 1977 2nd, 1st, 4th, 7th (4.0)* 1978 1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th (4.6)* 1979 1st, 18th, 18th, 10th (13.4)* 1980 7th, 1st, 7th, 14th (8.3)* 1981 5th, 14th, 1st, 14th (5.4)* 1982 6th, 10th, 8th, 2nd (7.4)* 1983 5th, 3rd, 16th, 8th (9.1)* 1984 23rd, 20th, 2nd, 1st (13.1) 1985 7th, 23rd, 4th, 17th (14.6)* 1986 11th, 4th, 12th, 21st (13.7) 1987 11th, 5th, 10th, 27th (15.2) 1988 18th, 23rd, 28th, 8th (22.0) 1989 28th, 27th, 28th, 21st (29.7) 1990 28th, 14th, 13th, 23rd (22.3) 1991 7th, 12th, 18th, 12th (14.0)* 1992 3rd, 2nd, 10th, 11th (7.4)* 1993 2nd, 2nd, 14th, 5th (6.6)* 1994 4th, 1st, 1st, 3rd (2.6)* 1995 5th, 1st, 8th, 14th (7.5)* 1996 16th, 10th, 2nd, 9th (9.9)* 1997 17th, 28th, 16th, 12th (19.5) 1998 8th, 2nd, 11th, 10th (8.3)* 1999 11th, 5th, 7th, 2nd (7.0)* 2000 27th, 9th, 16th, 15th (17.3) 2001 30th, 26th, 19th, 19th (24.3) 2002 28th, 30th, 8th, 5th (17.8) 2003 23rd, 21st, 3rd, 3rd (12.5)* 2004 24th, 13th, 27th, 20th (21.0) 2005 12th, 14th, 9th, 17th (13.0) 2006 8th, 3rd, 20th, 11th (10.5)* 2007 4th, 10th, 5th, 17th (9.0)* 2008 13th, 22nd, 20th, 8th (15.8) 2009 6th, 15th, 16th, 4th (10.3)* 2010 12th, 29th, 21st, 12th (18.5) 2011 4th, 30th, 25th, 6th (16.3) 2012 9th, 27th, 29th, 26th (22.8) 2013 7th, 18th, 26th, 26th (19.3) When the average ranking is above 12.0, the team always makes the playoffs (24 of 24 seasons). When the average ranking is 12.0-14.6, the team makes the playoffs half the time (6 of 12 seasons). When the average ranking is lower than 14.6, the team never makes the playoffs (0 of 18 seasons). 5 of the last 6 years, the team's average ranking has been below 14.6, which is the first time in franchise history that such a run has happened. The last four seasons, the average ranking has been worse than 16.0 every year. Also a first in franchise history. And this despite a pass offense that has ranked 13th or higher nine straight seasons, which is the second-longest such streak since the Cowboys began. Factoring out pass offense then, the average rank of the rest of the team has been below 20.0 for each of the last four seasons. This is something that had only happened four times in the history of the franchise prior to 2010. Now it's happened four years in a row. Team's average ranking excluding pass offense (years when worse than 20th) 1960 13th, 12th, 13th (31.2) 1961 14th, 7th, 12th (25.1) 1989 27th, 28th, 21st (28.9) 2001 26th, 19th, 19th (21.3) 2010 29th, 21st, 12th (20.7) 2011 30th, 25th, 6th (20.3) 2012 27th, 29th, 26th (27.3) 2013 18th, 26th, 26th (23.3) Those are the rankings for run offense, and pass/run defense only. This can't be good. The only times the rest of the team (minus pass offense) was this bad were the first two seasons as an expansion team, Jones and Johnson's first year (1-15), and Campo's second year. The combined records of these teams was 9-46-2. But remember, those seasons were spread out over three decades, with the only consecutive years being the expansion years of 1960-61. We're on a streak of four years in a row that is ongoing.