|2009 Dallas Cowboys season|
|Head coach||Wade Phillips|
|Home field||Cowboys Stadium|
|Division place||1st NFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won Wild-Card Playoffs (Eagles) 34–14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (Vikings) 34–3
|AP All-Pros||Jay Ratliff (1st team)
DeMarcus Ware (1st team)
Andre Gurode (2nd team)
Jason Witten (2nd team)
The 2009 Dallas Cowboys season is the 50th season for the team in the National Football League. It is the team's first season playing at Cowboys Stadium. Their victory over the Oakland Raiders on November 26 extended their Thanksgiving winning streak to four in a row and also ended a three game losing streak to the Raiders. They also ended the Saints' bid for a perfect season after a 13–0 start with a 24–17 victory on December 19, 2009. The Cowboys punched their ticket to the playoffs on December 27 beating the Washington Redskins 17–0. On January 3, 2010, the Cowboys clinched their division with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, 24–0. In the wild-card opening round of the playoffs, the Dallas Cowboys, once again, beat the Eagles, 34–14, to score their first playoff win since 1996 and sweep all three games played against Philadelphia this season. They lost to the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs, 34–3.
The 2009 NFL draft was one of the worst in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, with a lot of experts comparing it unfavorably to the 1995 "backup draft". This draft is infamously known as the "special teams draft", but it was so terrible, that as the years have passed it has garnered different nicknames. Entering the season the team considered their special teams a glaring weakness, so they hired a new coach (Joe DeCamillis) and focused on drafting players who could contribute immediately on this unit. The Cowboys started the day without a first round draft choice (part of the price to acquire Roy Williams) and then traded out of the second round to obtain more picks, reaching a total of 12, which was the most selections since their 1992 NFL draft. The eventual result was that the team couldn't find a starter in the group and most of the players drafted were waived by the 2010 season.
On may 2, 2009 during the rookie mini-camp, the Cowboys air-supported roof practice field (a tent-like structure) collapsed during a storm that turned into a microburst. At the time of the incident there were around 70 people inside (team personnel, coaches, media and rookie players), leaving 12 people injured. The most serious injuries were suffered by scouting assistant Rich Behm who was left paralyzed from the waist down after his spine was severed, Joe DeCamillis the special teams coach fractured one of his cervical vertebrae and Greg Gaither the assistant athletic trainer, sustained a fracture to the tibia and fibula in his right leg. The facility was completely destroyed and was never rebuilt. After the incident fallout, Summit Structures, it's parent company Cover-All Building Systems and the consulting firm JCI (helped design reinforcements), all filed for bankruptcy after serious structural flaws were found with the construction and manufacturing of the facility.
|Final score||Team record|
|1||August 13||9:00 pm CDT||at Oakland Raiders||L 31–10||0–1||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum||Local||Recap|
|2||August 21||7:00 pm CDT||Tennessee Titans||W 30–10||1–1||Cowboys Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|3||August 29||7:00 pm CDT||San Francisco 49ers||L 20–13||1–2||Cowboys Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|4||September 4||7:00 pm CDT||at Minnesota Vikings||W 35–31||2–2||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||CBS||Recap|
Regular season 
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||September 13||1:00 pm EST||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 34–21||1–0||Raymond James Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|2||September 20||8:20 pm EST||New York Giants||L 33–31||1–1||Cowboys Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|3||September 28||8:30 pm EST||Carolina Panthers||W 21–7||2–1||Cowboys Stadium||ESPN||Recap|
|4||October 4||4:15 pm EST||at Denver Broncos||L 17–10||2–2||Invesco Field at Mile High||Fox||Recap|
|5||October 11||1:00 pm EST||at Kansas City Chiefs †||W 26–20 (O.T.)||3–2||Arrowhead Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|7||October 25||4:15 pm EST||Atlanta Falcons||W 37–21||4–2||Cowboys Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|8||November 1||1:00 pm EST||Seattle Seahawks||W 38–17||5–2||Cowboys Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|9||November 8||8:20 pm EST||at Philadelphia Eagles||W 20–16||6–2||Lincoln Financial Field||NBC||Recap|
|10||November 15||4:15 pm EST||at Green Bay Packers||L 17–7||6–3||Lambeau Field||Fox||Recap|
|11||November 22||1:00 pm EST||Washington Redskins||W 7–6||7–3||Cowboys Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|12||November 26||4:15 pm EST||Oakland Raiders †||W 24–7||8–3||Cowboys Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|13||December 6||4:15 pm EST||at New York Giants||L 31–24||8–4||Giants Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|14||December 13||4:15 pm EST||San Diego Chargers||L 20–17||8–5||Cowboys Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|15||December 19||8:20 pm EST||at New Orleans Saints||W 24–17||9–5||Louisiana Superdome||NFLN||Recap|
|16||December 27||8:20 pm EST||at Washington Redskins||W 17–0||10–5||FedExField||NBC||Recap|
|17||January 3, 2010||4:15 pm EST||Philadelphia Eagles||W 24–0||11–5||Cowboys Stadium||Fox||Recap|
Division games are in bold text.
All game dates are on Sunday unless indicated otherwise.
† These two games were among the 16 that the NFL designated as "AFL Legacy Games", in honor of the 50th anniversary of the AFL. The Cowboys wore their throwback uniforms during those two games, as did the Kansas City Chiefs (formerly the Dallas Texans) and the Oakland Raiders.
|y (3) Dallas Cowboys||11||5||0||.688||4–2||9–3||361||250||W3|
|x (6) Philadelphia Eagles||11||5||0||.688||4–2||9–3||429||337||L1|
|New York Giants||8||8||0||.500||4–2||6–6||402||427||L2|
Regular season results 
Week 1: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
The Cowboys began their season at Raymond James Stadium for a Week 1 duel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the first quarter, Dallas shot first as kicker Nick Folk got a 51-yard and a 22-yard field goal. The Buccaneers responded in the second quarter as running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cowboys regained the lead as quarterback Tony Romo completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Austin.
Dallas increased their lead in the third quarter as Romo completed a 66-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roy Williams. In the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay answered with running back Derrick Ward getting a 1-yard touchdown run, yet the Cowboys struck right back with Romo completing an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Patrick Crayton, along with running back Marion Barber getting a 6-yard touchdown run. Afterwards, Tampa Bay's rally only produced a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Byron Leftwich to tight end Kellen Winslow.
With the win, Dallas began its season at 1–0.
Week 2: vs. New York Giants 
Coming off their road win over the Buccaneers, the Cowboys would play their very first regular season home game at the new Cowboys Stadium. With an NFL-record regular season crowd on hand, Dallas would play a Sunday night game against their NFC East rival, the New York Giants.
In the first quarter, Dallas trailed early as Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes got a 30-yard field goal. Dallas responded with running back Marion Barber getting a 2-yard touchdown run, but New York retook the lead as cornerback Bruce Johnson returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, the Giants added a Tynes 28-yard field goal to make the score 13–7. The Cowboys responded with a 1-yardTony Romo touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten, yet New York went back on top as quarterback Eli Manning completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mario Manningham, this pass however was juggled but still ruled as a touchdown. Dallas closed out the half as kicker Nick Folk made a 47-yard field goal.
The Cowboys would regain the lead in the third quarter as Romo ran for a 3-yard touchdown. However, in the fourth quarter, the Giants again got the lead as Manning completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Smith, followed by Tynes kicking a 36-yard field goal. Dallas responded with a 7-yard touchdown run from running back Felix Jones. With minutes remaining New York drove the length of the field and Tynes kicked the game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired.
With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 1–1.
Week 3: vs. Carolina Panthers 
Hoping to rebound from their tough divisional loss to the Giants, the Cowboys stayed at home for a Week 3 Monday night duel with the Carolina Panthers. After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas trailed in the second quarter as Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dante Rosario. The Cowboys took control in the third quarter as kicker Nick Folk nailed a 24-yard field goal, followed by running back Tashard Choice getting a 5-yard touchdown run. Dallas pulled away with Folk's 19-yard field goal and cornerback Terence Newman returning an interception 27 yards for a touchdown (with Choice getting the 2-point conversion run).
With the win, the Cowboys improved to 2–1.
Week 4: at Denver Broncos 
Coming off their Monday night home win over the Panthers, the Cowboys flew to Invesco Field at Mile High for a Week 4 interconference duel with the Denver Broncos. Dallas would deliver the opening shots in the first quarter with kicker Nick Folk making a 49-yard field goal, followed by running back Marion Barber's 1-yard touchdown run. The Broncos would answer in the second quarter with quarterback Kyle Orton completing a 9-yard touchdown pass to running back Knowshon Moreno. After a scoreless third quarter, Denver would take control in the fourth. The Broncos would tie the game with a 28-yard field goal from kicker Matt Prater, and then they would take the lead with Orton's 51-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The 'Boys would get a late game drive all the way down to Denver's 1-yard line, but the Broncos' defense would hold on the for the win.
With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 2–2.
Week 5: at Kansas City Chiefs 
Hoping to rebound from their tough road loss to the Broncos, the Cowboys flew to Arrowhead Stadium, donned their throwback uniforms, and played a Week 5 interconference duel with the Kansas City Chiefs. After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas would trail in the second quarter as Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop booted a 47-yard field goal and quarterback Matt Cassel hooked up with linebacker Mike Vrabel on a 1-yard touchdown pass. The Cowboys would close out the half with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Nick Folk.
Kansas City came out in the third quarter with Succop's 38-yard field goal, yet the Cowboys began to take control as running back Tashard Choice got a 36-yard touchdown run. In the fourth quarter, Dallas took the lead as Folk nailed a 28-yard field goal, followed by quarterback Tony Romo completing a 59-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Austin. However, the Chiefs would tie the game with Cassel's 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. In overtime, the 'Boys came out on top as Romo hooked up with Austin again on a game-winning 60-yard touchdown pass.
Austin finished the game with 250 yards on 10 catches along with the two touchdowns, a Cowboy receiving record.
With the win, the Cowboys went into their bye week at 3–2.
Week 6: BYE 
Week 7: vs. Atlanta Falcons 
Coming off their bye week, the Cowboys went home for a Week 7 duel with the Atlanta Falcons. Dallas would trail in the first quarter as Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan found wide receiver Roddy White on a 4-yard touchdown pass. In the second quarter, the Cowboys came out shooting as kicker Nick Folk made a 38-yard field goal, followed by quarterback Tony Romo completing a 59-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Austin and a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Patrick Crayton.
Atlanta tried to catch up in the third quarter with running back Michael Turner's 2-yard touchdown run, yet Dallas answered with Romo finding Austin again on a 22-yard touchdown pass. The Cowboys would increase their lead in the fourth quarter with Folk nailing a 46-yard field goal and Crayton returning a punt 73 yards for a touchdown. The Falcons tried to come back with Ryan's 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Eric Weems, yet Dallas closed out the game with Folk's 34-yard field goal.
With the win, the Cowboys improved to 4–2.
Week 8: vs. Seattle Seahawks 
Coming off their win over the Falcons, the Cowboys stayed at home for a Week 8 duel with the Seattle Seahawks. Dallas would trail early in the first quarter as Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare nailed a 43-yard field goal, yet the Cowboys answered with quarterback Tony Romo completing a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sam Hurd. In the second quarter, Dallas increased their lead as running back Marion Barber got a 2-yard touchdown run. The Seahawks would reply with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deion Branch, yet the Cowboys came right back with Romo's 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roy Williams.
Dallas would greatly increase their lead in the third quarter with Romo hooking up with wide receiver Miles Austin on a 3-yard touchdown pass, followed by wide receiver Patrick Crayton returning a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys solidified their win with kicker Nick Folk nailing a 40-yard field goal. Seattle would close out the game's scoring with Hasselbeck's 4-yard touchdown pass to fullback Justin Griffith.
With the win, Dallas improved to 5–2.
Crayton would join "Bullet Bob" Hayes as the only Cowboys to have back-to-back games with a punt return for a touchdown.
Week 9: at Philadelphia Eagles 
Coming off their home win over the Seahawks, the Cowboys flew to Lincoln Financial Field for a Week 9 NFC East duel with the Philadelphia Eagles with both teams fighting for the division lead. Dallas would deliver the opening shot in the first quarter as running back Tashard Choice got a 2-yard touchdown run. The Eagles would answer in the second quarter as kicker David Akers made a 45-yard and a 48-yard field goal, yet the Cowboys came right back with a 22-yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk.
Philadelphia would take the lead in the third quarter as quarterback Donovan McNabb completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek. Afterwards, Dallas would regain the lead in the fourth quarter as Folk booted a 33-yard field goal, followed by quarterback Tony Romo hooking up with wide receiver Miles Austin on a 49-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles tried to rally as Akers nailed a 52-yard field goal, yet the 'Boys would run out the clock and grab the lead in the NFC East. This win was only the Cowboys third win in the last eleven games at Philadelphia and avenged a 44-6 blowout loss at Lincoln Financial Field in the 2008 season finale.
With the win, the Cowboys improved to 6–2.
Week 10: at Green Bay Packers 
Coming off a huge divisional win over the Eagles, the Cowboys flew to Lambeau Field for a Week 10 duel with the Green Bay Packers. After a scoreless first quarter, the Packers would acquire the only points of the opening half as kicker Mason Crosby booted a 48-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, Green Bay would extend their lead in the fourth quarter as quarterback Aaron Rodgers got a 1-yard touchdown run and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Spencer Havner. Dallas tried to rally as quarterback Tony Romo hooked up with wide receiver Roy Williams on a 9-yard touchdown pass, but the Packers' defense would shut down any further attempt. In this game, the Cowboys avoided a shutout in the final minutes. Their previous shutout was in 2003 against the New England Patriots in which they lost 0–12.
With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 6–3.
Week 11: vs. Washington Redskins 
Hoping to rebound from their frustrating loss to the Packers, the Cowboys returned home for their Week 11 NFC East rivalry match against the Washington Redskins. After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas trailed early after Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham nailed a 45-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Suisham booted a 31-yard field goal to keep the Redskins in front, yet in the fourth quarter, Dallas took the lead with quarterback Tony Romo completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Patrick Crayton.
With the close win, the Cowboys improved to 7–3.
Week 12: vs. Oakland Raiders 
Coming off their win over the Redskins, the Cowboys stayed at home for a Week 12 Thanksgiving duel with the Oakland Raiders. In the first quarter, Dallas began their dominating day with kicker Nick Folk booting a 36-yard field goal. The Cowboys would add onto their lead in the second quarter as running back Felix Jones got a 46-yard touchdown, followed by quarterback Tony Romo finding wide receiver Miles Austin on a 9-yard touchdown pass.
The Raiders would try to rally in the third quarter as quarterback Bruce Gradkowski completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, yet Dallas would pull away in the fourth quarter as Romo hooked up with wide receiver Roy Williams.
With the win, the Cowboys improved to 8–3.
Week 13: at New York Giants 
With a scoreless first quarter the Cowboys scored a field goal and touchdown by Tony Romo to Roy Williams. However the Giants countered by scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter. Nick Folk missed a 57 yard field goal just before halftime. In the third quarter, both teams scored touchdowns and Nick Folk missed a 42 yard field goal which would have put the Cowboys in front. In the fourth quarter the Giants scored two touchdowns, one being a 79 yard punt return by Domenik Hixon. Dallas would score a late touchdown from Romo to Miles Austin but the game ended with the Giants sweeping the series.
Dallas fell to 8–4 with the loss.
Week 14: vs. San Diego Chargers 
Week 15: at New Orleans Saints 
Hoping to end the two-game skid from their tough losses to the New York Giants and San Diego Chargers, the Cowboys went to the Superdome to take on the undefeated New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys took the lead in the first half by scoring two touchdowns with a 49-yard pass from Tony Romo to Miles Austin and a 3-yard touchdown run by Marion Barber. Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware made a big play as he sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees and caused the ball to be fumbled. Anthony Spencer recovered the ball to put it in Dallas' hands. The Saints only points of the half were from a 43-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley.
In the second half, the Cowboys scored their only touchdown in the third quarter with a two yard touchdown run by Marion Barber. Finally in the fourth quarter New Orleans got a touchdown when running back Mike Bell scored from one yard out to make a 24–10 Dallas lead. Drew Brees also made a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lance Moore. After that, Nick Folk attempted a 24-yard field goal, but the kick was no good. With a big advantage to take the lead as the clock was expiring, the Saints were driving for the game-tying score, but DeMarcus Ware made his second sack on Drew Brees, which again caused the ball to be fumbled. This time the ball was recovered by nose guard Jay Ratliff. With the ball in possession, Dallas took a knee to conclude the game.
With a huge win over the once-undefeated Saints, the Cowboys extended their chances to make the playoffs and ended a two-game losing streak. They improved their record to 9–5.
Week 16: at Washington Redskins 
Coming off a huge win over the New Orleans Saints, the Cowboys went to FedEx Field to take on the Washington Redskins. In the first quarter, Tony Romo made a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roy Williams. In the second quarter, Marion Barber made a 3-yard touchdown run. The Cowboys ended the first half of the game holding Washington to no points.
The Cowboys got a 23-yard field goal in the second half by their new kicker Shaun Suisham who had played for the Redskins prior to the game. The Redskins continued to be scoreless and ended the game being shutout. This was the first shutout victory over the Redskins since the Cowboys beat them 27–0 on December 14, 2003 and the first time they swept the Redskins since the 2004 season.
With the victory, the Cowboys would clinch a spot in the playoffs and improved from their final 9–7 record from the previous season. The win also closed the doors on the 8–7 New York Giants, who had a 41–9 loss to the Carolina Panthers earlier that day. With the win, the Cowboys improved to 10–5.
Week 17: vs. Philadelphia Eagles 
Coming off their shutout victory against Washington, the Cowboys stayed home for their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles in a regular season-sealing claim for the NFC East crown. The Cowboys scored their first touchdown of the game when Tony Romo completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten in the first quarter. In the second quarter, wide receiver Patrick Crayton completed a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo. Shaun Suisham also nailed a 44-yard field goal. The Cowboys scored their final touchdown of the game when running back Felix Jones ran a 49-yard touchdown. The Eagles could not score the entire game with quarterback Donovan McNabb getting sacked four times.
With the victory, the Cowboys would once again, reclaim first place in their division and improve to 11–5 to top off their regular season. This is the first time the Cowboys have swept the series since 2005, and also to snap Dallas's 9-regular season finale losing streak, as well as being the first time the Cowboys won a January game since 2000. The Cowboys would face off with the Eagles again in their first game of the playoffs the next week. This is also the first time Dallas posted back to back shutouts and Tony Romo broke his old team record for single season passing. They finished the regular season with an 11–5 record.
Post-season results 
NFC Wild-Card Game: vs. Philadelphia Eagles 
Entering the playoffs as the NFC's No. 3 seed, the Cowboys began their postseason run at home in "Round 3" against their rival, the No. 6 Philadelphia Eagles, in a rematch of their week 17 victory.
After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas delivered the opening shot in the second quarter with quarterback Tony Romo completing a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Phillips. The Eagles responded with quarterback Michael Vick's 76-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin when cornerback Mike Jenkins fell on the route. Then the Cowboys exploded with points, starting with a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Tashard Choice, a 25-yard field goal from kicker Shaun Suisham, Romo's 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Austin and Suisham's second field goal of the quarter, from 48 yards.
Dallas went back to work in the third quarter with running back Felix Jones' 76-yard touchdown run. Philadelphia tried to rally in the fourth quarter as quarterback Donovan McNabb completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeSean Jackson, but the 'Boys would drain every last bit of hope needed for a comeback.
The Cowboys and Eagles combined to set an NFL record for the most penalty yards in a playoff game, ever. The two teams were penalized 23 times for 228 yards.
With the win, not only did the Cowboys improve to 12–5, they finally won their first postseason game since 1996, and head coach Wade Phillips finally got his first postseason win.
NFC Divisional: vs. Minnesota Vikings 
Coming off their three-game sweep over the Eagles, the Cowboys flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for the NFC Divisional Round against the No. 2 Minnesota Vikings. Dallas would trail in the first quarter as Vikings quarterback Brett Favre completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sidney Rice. The Cowboys would respond in the second quarter with kicker Shaun Suisham making a 33-yard field goal, but Minnesota struck again as Favre found Rice again on a 16-yard touchdown pass, followed by kicker Ryan Longwell getting a 23-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, the Vikings pulled away in the fourth quarter with Longwell booting a 28-yard field goal, followed by Favre' 45-yard touchdown pass to Rice and an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.
With the loss, the Cowboys' season ended with an overall record of 12–6 and their first playoff win since 1996.
After news reports about a 2007 shooting allegation surfaced, the Cowboys released talented but controversial cornerback Adam Jones on February 9, 2009. Their next move was to release backup quarterback Brad Johnson on February 26, 2009 and to not re-sign QB Brooks Bollinger. The Cowboys had been 1–3 when Johnson started in 2008. Two days later, the Cowboys traded starting cornerback Anthony Henry, age 32, to the Detroit Lions in exchange for quarterback Jon Kitna to back up starting quarterback Tony Romo. The same day the team signed five-time Pro Bowl, two-time second-team All-Pro linebacker Keith Brooking away from the Atlanta Falcons. The 33-year-old Brooking had led the Falcons in tackles the previous eight seasons, and he signed a three-year deal worth $7.8 million and includes $2.5 million guaranteed.
The team lost starting defensive end Chris Canty to the New York Giants on March 1, 2009. To fill the need left by Canty's departure, the team signed former Chargers defensive end Igor Olshansky to a four-year, $18 million contract, with $8 million guaranteed on March 6, 2009. Linebacker Matt Stewart, who played for Wade Phillips in Atlanta, and had 108 tackles in 2003, signed a one-year contract on March 3, 2009. Stewart helped replace free-agent linebacker Kevin Burnett, who signed a two-year contract worth $5.5 million with a $2 million signing bonus to play for the San Diego Chargers.
On March 4, 2009, the Cowboys cut Terrell Owens, a five-time All-Pro wide receiver who ranks second in NFL history in career touchdowns. The next morning, the team also released five-time Pro Bowl strong safety Roy Williams. Williams had struggled to excel in the 3–4 defense Phillips installed when he became head coach. The Cowboys bolstered its secondary in the wake of Williams' departure by signing strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who started 13 games in 2008 for the Jacksonville Jaguars, to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.
In April, the Cowboys addressed their restricted free agents, whose signing period ran through April 17, 2009. Offensive lineman Cory Procter signed a one-year tender offer on April 4, 2009. Defensive end Stephen Bowen also signed a tender offer two days later. Wide receiver Sam Hurd signed a one-year offer worth $1.545 million on April 20, 2009. The team signed their final restricted free agent, wide receiver Miles Austin, and both exclusive-rights free agents, running back Alonzo Coleman and tight end Rodney Hannah, to one-year contracts worth $1.54 million, $385,000, and $310,000 respectively on April 23, 2009.
Free agents in 2009 
RFA: Restricted free-agent, UFA: Unrestricted free-agent, ERFA: Exclusive rights free agent
|Date signed||2009 team|
|OG/OL||Joe Berger||UFA||February 27, 2009||Miami Dolphins|
|WR||Miles Austin||RFA||April 23, 2009||Dallas Cowboys|
|QB||Brooks Bollinger||UFA||Florida Tuskers|
|DE||Stephen Bowen||RFA||April 6, 2009||Dallas Cowboys|
|LB||Kevin Burnett||UFA||March 10, 2009||San Diego Chargers|
|DE||Chris Canty||UFA||March 1, 2009||New York Giants|
|RB||Alonzo Coleman||ERFA||April 23, 2009||Dallas Cowboys|
|OT||Marc Colombo||UFA||December 25, 2008||Dallas Cowboys|
|TE||Tony Curtis||UFA||April 24, 2009||Kansas City Chiefs|
|SS||Keith Davis||UFA||May 21, 2009||Oakland Raiders|
|TE||Rodney Hannah||ERFA||April 23, 2009||Dallas Cowboys|
|WR||Sam Hurd||RFA||April 20, 2009||Dallas Cowboys|
|QB||Brad Johnson||Released||February 26, 2009||TBD|
|DL||Tank Johnson||UFA||April 7, 2009||Cincinnati Bengals|
|CB||Adam Jones||Released||February 9, 2009||TBD|
|OG||Cory Procter||RFA||April 4, 2009||Dallas Cowboys|
|LB||Zach Thomas||UFA||April 13, 2009||Kansas City Chiefs|
2009 NFL Draft selections 
|Draft order||Player name||Position||Height||Weight||College|
|3||69 (from CLE)||Jason Williams||Outside linebacker||6 ft 3 in||235 lb||Western Illinois|
|3||75 (from BUF)||Robert Brewster||Offensive tackle||6 ft 4 in||325 lb||Ball State|
|4||101 (from DET)||Stephen McGee||Quarterback||6 ft 3 in||222 lb||Texas A&M|
|4||110 (from BUF)||Victor Butler||Outside linebacker||6 ft 2 in||248 lb||Oregon State|
|4||117||Brandon Williams||Defensive end||6 ft 5 in||246 lb||Texas Tech|
|5||156||DeAngelo Smith||Cornerback||5 ft 10 in||191 lb||Cincinnati|
|5||166 (from TEN)||Michael Hamlin||Safety||6 ft 2 in||207 lb||Clemson|
|5||172||David Buehler||Kicker||6 ft 2 in||220 lb||USC|
|6||197 (from MIA)||Stephen Hodge||Safety||6 ft 0 in||234 lb||TCU|
|6||208||John Phillips||Tight end||6 ft 6 in||250 lb||Virginia|
|7||227||Mike Mickens||Cornerback||5 ft 11 in||176 lb||Cincinnati|
|7||229 (from CHI)||Manuel Johnson||Wide receiver||5 ft 11 in||189 lb||Oklahoma|
- Selections 172 and 208 are compensatory selections awarded by the league.
- Dallas traded its first-round (No. 20), third-round (No. 84), and sixth-round selections in 2009 to Detroit in exchange for wide receiver Roy Williams and a seventh-round selection in the 2010 draft.
- Dallas traded its second-round selection (51st overall) to Buffalo for their third-round selection (75th overall) and a fourth-round selection (110th overall).
- Cleveland traded its third-round selection in 2009 (No. 69) to Dallas for Dallas' fourth-round selection in 2008 (No, 111: used to select tight end Martin Rucker).
- Detroit traded its fourth-round selection in 2009 and third-round selection in 2008 (No. 111: traded to Cleveland, see above trade for Martin Rucker) to Dallas for Dallas' 2008 third-round selection (No. 92: used to select defensive end Cliff Avril).
- The suspension of cornerback Pacman Jones on October 15, 2008 triggered a clause in his trade agreement that required Tennessee to give Dallas its fifth-round selection. Had Jones not been suspended, Dallas would have owed Tennessee a sixth-round selection.
- Miami traded its sixth-round selection in 2009 and sixth-round selection in 2008 (No. 167: used to select linebacker Erik Walden) to Dallas for defensive tackle Jason Ferguson and Dallas' sixth-round selection (No. 195: used to select offensive guard Donald Thomas).
Opening training camp roster 
Week 1 roster 
|Dallas Cowboys 2009 week 1 roster|
Rookies in italics
Final roster 
|Dallas Cowboys 2009 final roster|
Rookies in italics
- "Pacman out as 2007 shooting surfaces". ESPN.com: ESPN website (The Walt Disney Company). Associated Press. February 11, 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- Archer, Todd (February 26, 2009). "Cowboys cut Brad Johnson". Dallasnews.com: The Dallas Morning News website. Belo. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- "Cowboys acquire veteran Kitna from Lions for Henry". NFL.com (National Football League). Associated Press. February 28, 2009. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- "Cowboys land veteran linebacker Brooking to bolster defense". NFL.com (National Football League). Associated Press. February 28, 2009. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- Watkins, Calvin (March 1, 2009). "Brooking signs with Dallas Cowboys, excited over new chapter". Dallasnews.com: Dallas Morning News website. Belo Corp. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- Archer, Todd (March 1, 2009). "Former Dallas Cowboys DE Chris Canty signs with Giants". Dallasnews.com: Dallas Morning News website. Belo Corp. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- Davis, Brian; Archer, Todd (March 6, 2009). "Dallas Cowboys sign former Chargers DE Olshansky". Dallasnews.com: Dallas Morning News website. Belo Corp. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
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