NotesThe Cowboys conditionally traded their fifth-round selection to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Brice Butler and the Raiders' 2016 sixth-round selection. The pick swap occurred after Butler spent six games on the Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2015.
The Cowboys traded a sixth-round selection to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 49ers' 2015 seventh-round selection.
The Cowboys traded their seventh-round selection to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for running back Christine Michael.
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
The Cowboys fell short trying to win their home opener against the Giants in a hard-fought game. They dropped to 0–1 and lost to the Giants at AT&T Stadium for the first time since 2012.
Ezekiel Elliott struggled to find holes all game, but managed to record his first NFL touchdown. The Dallas defense failed to contain the Giants' rushing attack. The game also saw the return of Victor Cruz, who caught the game-clinching touchdown pass from Eli Manning.
Dallas' final play, a 14-yard catch-and-run by Terrance Williams, put them in field goal range, but he stayed inbounds and time expired.
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott was impressive in his second NFL start, rushing for a touchdown and playing mistake-free football as Dallas evened its record at 1–1 with a win over its long-time rival.
Barry Church's interception of Kirk Cousins in the end zone late in the fourth quarter sealed the game.
Dallas won its first home game in over a year as it dispatched of the Bears, who were without normal starting quarterback Jay Cutler and instead started Brian Hoyer. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 140 yards on 30 carries in just his third NFL game and Dak Prescott threw his first NFL touchdown pass to Dez Bryant.
The Cowboys rallied from an early 14-point hole to win over the 49ers on the road, winning their third straight game in the process. Ezekiel Elliott went over the century mark again, rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Dak Prescott extended his consecutive passes to begin a career without an interception streak to 155, trailing only Tom Brady all-time. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 134 yards on only 15 carries, including a 60-yard touchdown run. The win put Dallas a half-game ahead of the Eagles for first place in the NFC East.
It was the third straight year that the Cowboys traveled to Lambeau to face the Packers. Despite Dak Prescott being picked off for the first time this season, he still managed 247 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also passed Tom Brady's all-time record of consecutive pass attempts to start a career without an interception.
Ezekiel Elliott pounded the Green Bay Packers number one ranked run defense with 157 yards on 28 carries
The Dallas defense dominated the Packers, forcing four Green Bay turnovers. It was the first time since 2008, and second time in franchise history that the Cowboys had won at Lambeau. With the 30–16 victory, the Cowboys went 5–1 heading into the bye week.
Hoping to continue their winning streak, the Cowboys hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in a primetime matchup duel between Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. Jason Witten's touchdown in overtime sealed the victory for the Cowboys, who went 6–1; this was the Cowboys' first victory against the Eagles at AT&T Stadium since 2012.
The winless Browns had no answer for Dak Prescott who threw four touchdown passes in a 35–10 win and improving the Cowboys to 7–1 for the first time since 2007.
A classic rivalry since the 1970s, the Cowboys traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who were coming off a three-game losing streak (including a loss to the Baltimore Ravens the previous week). With the win, the Cowboys extended their winning streak to eight games for the first time since 1977. Ezekiel Elliott reached 1,000 yards in this game and rushed for the game-winning touchdown in the space of 30 seconds. The Cowboys also clinched a non-losing season as they now have the best win–loss record in the NFL.
The Cowboys returned home to take on the Baltimore Ravens. Ezekiel Elliott surpassed Tony Dorsett's record of 1,007 rushing yards as a rookie. With the win, the Cowboys extended their winning streak to nine games for the first time in the team's franchise history. The win also saw the Cowboys beat the Ravens for the very first time.
Thanksgiving Day game
In the traditional Thanksgiving game, the Cowboys hosted the Washington Redskins, who had just came off a victory against the Green Bay Packers. In a game of catch-up, the Redskins never led; however, they made a valiant effort in the fourth quarter to take the lead. The Cowboys held them off and won the game, thus extending their winning streak to ten games for the first time in franchise history.
The Cowboys traveled to Minnesota to take on the struggling Vikings following their loss against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. In a rather tightly contested game that saw penalties on Dallas and strong Vikings defense, the Cowboys nevertheless managed to win and thus extended their historical win streak to eleven games. This was also the first time since 1995 in which Dallas had won at Minnesota. With the win, plus a loss from the Washington Redskins against the Cardinals the following Sunday, Dallas became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth this season.
Trying to win their 12th straight and avenge their Week 1 loss, the Cowboys took on the second place New York Giants in a Sunday night showdown. After taking a 7–0 lead on their second possession of the game, the Cowboys failed to score any more points for the rest of the game and lost 10–7, thus ending their 11-game winning streak. Dak Prescott had his first multiple-interception game and the Cowboys committed three turnovers. It was the first time that they were swept in the regular season by the Giants since the 2011 season.
Following their second loss to the Giants, the Cowboys returned to Arlington in match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who were coming off a five-game winning streak). Despite both teams sharing the lead from time and time again, the Cowboys were able to hold off the Buccaneers. With less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Orlando Scandrick intercepted a pass from Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (who fumbled earlier in the first half) and ended the game as a Cowboys victory.
Dallas' only other highlight came early in the second quarter when Ezekiel Elliott leapt onto the Salvation Army kettle after scoring a touchdown to lead Dallas 10–3. This celebration resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty; however, the following day, the NFL decided to not fine Elliott for the celebration.
The Cowboys improved to 12–2, and with the Giants' loss to the Eagles the following Thursday night, they clinched the NFC East title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Cowboys improved to 13–2 and swept the NFC North. They became the first team since the 2008 Tennessee Titans to sweep both the AFC and NFC North in the same regular season. They also won their 13th game in the regular season for the third time in franchise history, and first time since 2007.
With everything already clinched, the Cowboys rested numerous key starters, including Elliott and Sean Lee, and only played Dak Prescott for two series. Tony Romo played for the first time since November 2015 and in his one series, threw a touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. The Cowboys finished 3–3 against NFC East competition.
Despite having the #1 seed in the NFC and home-field advantage, the Cowboys' season came to an heartbreaking end in Dallas when they were defeated by the #4 seed Green Bay Packers 34–31 as they avenged their Week 6 loss with a last-second Mason Crosby field goal.