Have you found a solution to this yet? I have been wondering the same thing.
If you drag Date onto the filter shelf and then click the down arrow when hovering over the pill and choose Exact Date then some filtering options will become available that I think are what you are after.
For example, selecting Relative Date will work backwards from the current date to show the length of time you want in a specified number of days, weeks or months. Or Starting Date will show all dates from a certain date up to the current date.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for the reply, but unfortunately, that doesn't help. I still need to be able to choose a date range, but when I first open the dashboard I need for it to automatically load the latest date.
This is a constantly reappearing issue on the forum... and there is no easy, built-in solution for this currently. There are some work arounds, involving using parameters. http://community.tableau.com/ideas/1679