|Duration||September 4, 1994 – December 26, 1994|
|Start date||December 31, 1994|
|AFC Champions||San Diego Chargers|
|NFC Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Super Bowl XXIX|
|Date||January 29, 1995|
|Site||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida|
|Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Date||February 5, 1995|
The 1994 NFL season was the 75th regular season of the National Football League. To honor the NFL's 75th season, a special anniversary logo was designed and each player wore a patch on their jerseys with this logo throughout the season. Also, a selection committee of media and league personnel named a special NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, honoring the best NFL players from the first 75 seasons.
The Phoenix Cardinals changed their name to “Arizona Cardinals” in an attempt to widen their appeal to the entire state of Arizona instead of just the Phoenix area. The name was initially resisted by team owner Bill Bidwill.
This marked the last season until 2016 that the city of Los Angeles had an NFL team and the last one until 2017 that the city had two. Both the Rams and the Raiders left the city following the season. The Rams moved east to St. Louis, Missouri after being in Los Angeles for 49 years, while the Raiders left after twelve seasons to return to their previous home in Oakland, California. The Rams eventually returned in 2016 after failing to reach an agreement with St. Louis on a new stadium.
This was also the first season that the then eight-year old Fox network televised NFL games; the network had started its own sports division a year prior. Fox took over the National Football Conference package from CBS, who would return to televising the NFL in 1998. The league also signed an exclusivity agreement with the new direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service DirecTV to launch NFL Sunday Ticket, a satellite television subscription service that offers every regular season NFL game. The package remains exclusive to DirecTV to this day.
The season ended with Super Bowl XXIX when San Francisco defeated San Diego 49–26 at Joe Robbie Stadium. This was the first season of the 1990s to not feature the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl.
This was also the first time in which Christmas Day fell on a Sunday during the regular season. The league established the practice to move most of that weekend's games to the Saturday afternoon of Christmas Eve. Every NFL season afterwards with Christmas Day on a Sunday has followed this same scheduling format. Prior to the 1990 introduction of the bye week, Christmas had fallen within the postseason. In years in which Christmas was on a Sunday, that weekend's games would be split between Saturday, December 24 and Monday, December 26.
The NFL's salary cap was implemented this season.
The 1994 NFL Draft was held from April 24 to 25, 1994. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson from Ohio State.
A package of changes were adopted to increase offensive production and scoring:
The league also honored its 75th season by having each team wear throwback uniforms during selected games. The designs varied widely in their accuracy; many of them were not completely accurate for a number of reasons:
Some teams occasionally wore their throwbacks in additional games during the season, and the San Francisco 49ers wore them through the Super Bowl. They proved to be so popular that the New York Giants followed the lead of the Jets (who went back to their 1960s logo in 1998) and eventually returned to wearing them full-time, with very slight modifications, in 2000. After the NFL modified its rules to allow teams to wear alternate jerseys in 2002, the San Diego Chargers selected their throwbacks as their third uniforms.
Instead of wearing their throwbacks in additional games, the Dallas Cowboys celebrated their back-to-back Super Bowl titles by wearing "Double-Star" white alternative jerseys during Thanksgiving and through the playoffs. Similar to their throwbacks, they had blue sleeves and blue stars on each shoulder, but it was the modern star design with white lines and blue borders.
A series of four pre-season games that were held at sites outside the United States. On July 31, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated Denver at Estadi Olímpic in Barcelona. On August 7, Minnesota defeated Kansas City at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. On August 13, the New York Giants defeated San Diego at Olympiastadion in Berlin. On August 15, Houston defeated Dallas at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, in which Atlanta defeated San Diego, was played on July 30 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the same city where the league was founded. The 1994 Hall of Fame Class included Tony Dorsett, Bud Grant, Jimmy Johnson, Leroy Kelly, Jackie Smith and Randy White.
Highlights of the 1994 season included:
|Dec. 31 – Joe Robbie Stadium||Jan. 8 – Jack Murphy Stadium|
|3||Miami||27||Jan. 15 – Three Rivers Stadium|
|Jan. 1 – Cleveland Stadium||2||San Diego||17|
|Jan. 7 – Three Rivers Stadium|
|5||New England||13||AFC Championship|
|4||Cleveland||20||Jan. 29 – Joe Robbie Stadium|
|Wild Card playoffs|
|Dec. 31 – Lambeau Field||A2||San Diego||26|
|Jan. 8 – Texas Stadium|
|5||Detroit||12||Super Bowl XXIX|
|4||Green Bay||16||Jan. 15 – Candlestick Park|
|Jan. 1 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||2||Dallas||28|
|Jan. 7 – Candlestick Park|
|Points scored||San Francisco 49ers (505)|
|Total yards gained||Miami Dolphins (6,078)|
|Yards rushing||Pittsburgh Steelers (2,180)|
|Yards passing||New England Patriots (4,444)|
|Fewest points allowed||Cleveland Browns (204)|
|Fewest total yards allowed||Dallas Cowboys (4,313)|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||Minnesota Vikings (1,090)|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||Dallas Cowboys (2,752)|
|Scoring||John Carney, San Diego Chargers (135 points)|
|Touchdowns||Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys (22 TDs)|
|Most field goals made||John Carney, San Diego Chargers, and Fuad Reveiz, Minnesota Vikings (34 FGs)|
|Rushing||Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (1,883 yards)|
|Passing||Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (112.8 rating)|
|Passing touchdowns||Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (35 TDs)|
|Pass receiving||Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings (122 catches)|
|Pass receiving yards||Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (1,499)|
|Punt returns||Brian Mitchell, Washington Redskins (14.1 average yards)|
|Kickoff returns||Mel Gray, Detroit Lions (28.4 average yards)|
|Interceptions||Eric Turner, Cleveland Browns, and Aeneas Williams, Arizona Cardinals (9)|
|Punting||Sean Landeta, Los Angeles Rams (44.8 average yards)|
|Sacks||Kevin Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers (14)|
|Most Valuable Player||Steve Young, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers|
|Coach of the Year||Bill Parcells, New England Patriots|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Barry Sanders, Running back, Detroit Lions|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Deion Sanders, Cornerback, San Francisco 49ers|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Marshall Faulk, Running back, Indianapolis Colts|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Tim Bowens, Defensive tackle, Miami Dolphins|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Dan Marino, Quarterback, Miami Dolphins|
|NFL Man of the Year Award||Junior Seau, Linebacker, San Diego Chargers|
|Super Bowl Most Valuable Player||Steve Young, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers|
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