1993 NFL season

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1993 NFL season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 5, 1993 (1993-09-05) – January 3, 1994
Start dateJanuary 8, 1994
AFC Champions Buffalo Bills
NFC Champions Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl XXVIII
DateJanuary 30, 1994
Site Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Champions Dallas Cowboys
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 6, 1994
Site Aloha Stadium
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AFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East
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The 1993 NFL season was the 74th regular season of the National Football League (NFL). It was the only season in league history where all NFL teams were originally scheduled to play their 16-game schedule over a span of 18 weeks and did so (the league again played 16 games over 18 weeks in 2001, but this was caused by the postponement of a week of games due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks), where all of the Week 2 scheduled games were moved to an 18th week and the entire postseason was delayed by 7 days before starting). After the success of expanding the regular season to a period of 17 weeks in 1990, the league hoped this new schedule would generate even more revenue. This was also done to avoid scheduling playoff games on January 1 and competing with college football bowl games. The NFL's teams, however, felt that having two weeks off during the regular season was too disruptive for their weekly routines, and thus the regular season reverted to 17 weeks immediately after the season ended. 2021 marked the first season where an 18-week schedule would include 17 regular-season games.


On March 1, 1993, the current free agent system was introduced to the league, replacing the Plan B system instituted in 1989. [1] [2]

The season ended with Super Bowl XXVIII when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 30–13 for the second consecutive season at the Georgia Dome. This remains the only time both Super Bowl participants have been the same in successive seasons. The Cowboys became the first team to win a Super Bowl after losing their first two regular season games. This game also marked the fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss by the Bills, who remain the only team to reach four straight Super Bowls.

Player movement




The 1993 NFL Draft was held from April 25 to 26, 1993 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected quarterback Drew Bledsoe from Washington State University.

New referee

Ron Blum, a line judge from 1985 to 1992 who officiated Super Bowl XXIV and Super Bowl XXVI at that position, was promoted to referee to replace Pat Haggerty, who retired after the 1992 season. In 28 seasons in the NFL, Haggerty was selected as the referee Super Bowl XIII in 1979, XVI in 1982, and XIX in 1985.

Major rule changes


American Bowl

A series of NFL pre-season exhibition games were held at four varying sites outside the United States, with three in Europe and one in Japan.

DateWinning TeamScoreLosing TeamScoreStadiumCity
August 1 New Orleans Saints 28 Philadelphia Eagles 16 Tokyo Dome Flag of Japan.svg Tokyo
August 1 San Francisco 49ers 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 Estadi Olímpic Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona
August 7 Minnesota Vikings 20 Buffalo Bills 6 Olympiastadion Flag of Germany.svg Berlin
August 8 Dallas Cowboys 13 Detroit Lions 13 Wembley Stadium Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London

Regular season

Scheduling formula

AFC East vs NFC East
AFC Central vs NFC West
AFC West vs NFC Central

Highlights of the 1993 season included:

Final standings



Jan 9 – Giants Stadium Jan 15 – Candlestick Park
5 Minnesota 10
4NY Giants3
4 NY Giants 17Jan 23 – Texas Stadium
2 San Francisco 44
Jan 8 – Pontiac Silverdome 2San Francisco21
Jan 16 – Texas Stadium
6 Green Bay 28NFC Championship
6Green Bay17
3 Detroit 24Jan 30 – Georgia Dome
1 Dallas 27
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Jan 8 – Arrowhead Stadium N1Dallas30
Jan 16 – Astrodome
6 Pittsburgh 24 Super Bowl XXVIII
3Kansas City28
3 Kansas City 27*Jan 23 – Rich Stadium
2 Houston 20
Jan 9 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 3Kansas City13
Jan 15 – Rich Stadium
5 Denver 24AFC Championship
4LA Raiders23
4 LA Raiders 42
1 Buffalo 29

* Indicates overtime victory


Most Valuable Player Emmitt Smith, running back, Dallas
Coach of the Year Dan Reeves, NY Giants
Offensive Player of the Year Jerry Rice, wide receiver, San Francisco
Defensive Player of the Year Rod Woodson, cornerback, Pittsburgh
Offensive Rookie of the Year Jerome Bettis, running back, LA Rams
Defensive Rookie of the Year Dana Stubblefield, defensive tackle, San Francisco
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Marcus Allen, running back, Kansas City
NFL Man of the Year Derrick Thomas, linebacker, Kansas City
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Emmitt Smith, running back, Dallas

Coaching changes

Uniform changes


This was the fourth and final year under the league's broadcast contracts with ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, and ESPN. ABC, CBS, and NBC continued to televise Monday Night Football , the NFC package, the AFC package, respectively. Sunday night games aired on TNT during the first half of the season, and ESPN during the second half of the season. When new four-year contracts were signed in December 1993, CBS lost their rights to broadcasting NFC games to the then-seven-year old Fox Network, which had just started its own sports division. This ended a 37-year association with the NFL for CBS, although it would be restarted in 1998.

Jim Lampley became the new host of NBC's NFL Live! , replacing Bob Costas who would still contribute in a limited role. Mike Ditka also joined NFL Live! as an analyst, while O. J. Simpson became a regular on-site reporter. This would be Simpson's last season as an NFL broadcaster before being charged with murder in Summer 1994. [11]

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  2. Springer, Steve (March 2, 1993). "Freedom Comes to NFL : Pro football: On first day of free agency, 484 players become eligible to sign with new teams". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  3. "April 6, 1993: 17 million reasons convince Reggie White". archive.jsonline.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  4. Teicher, Adam (April 20, 2018). "Three things you might not know about Joe Montana trade". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  5. "1993 NFL Transactions: Trades - March". nfl.com. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  6. Grathoff, Pete (January 5, 2019). "Joe Montana likes the Chiefs' chances of winning the Super Bowl". The Kansas City Star . Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "1993 NFL Transactions. Trades - August". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "1993 NFL Transactions. Trades - October". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  9. "SPORTS PEOPLE: FOOTBALL; Raiders Deal Patterson". The New York Times. October 14, 1993.
  10. "Bill Simmons: Bye week Q&A; - ESPN". Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  11. Brulia, Tim. "A CHRONOLOGY OF PRO FOOTBALL ON TELEVISION: Part 4" (PDF). Pro Football Researchers.