Saturday, June 06, 2009

NFL Team History- the Dallas Cowboys

By Jeremy Dunn

The Dallas Cowboys Own Five Super Bowl Titles

Dallas Cowboys co-founders Clint Murchinson Jr and Bedford Wynne received some opposition from Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, however they were granted a National Football League franchise on January 28, 1960. At the outset, the franchise was referred to as the Dallas Steers. The name changed to Dallas Rangers before ultimately becoming the Dallas Cowboys prior to their inaugural season.

The Dallas Cowboys hired Tom Landry as their first head coach. The Cowboys original season was an absolute letdown as they failed to win a single game in 12 outings. They finished the 1960 season with dismal record of 0 (win) -11 (loss) -1 (tie) record.

On September 17, 1961, the Cowboys were finally on the winning end of a professional football game as they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24.

However, it was not until 1966 when the Dallas Cowboys finally ended an NFL season with a winning record. Their record of 10-3-1 sparked a streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons for the Cowboys. Furthermore, the 1966 season marked the first time that the Cowboys hosted a game on Thanksgiving Day; now a national tradition that most NFL fans partake of.

The first playoff game for the Texas franchise was against the formidable Green Bay Packers. The Packers would end the Cowboys first post-season run with a 34-27 defeat. A year later, the Cowboys would thrash the Cleveland Browns 52-14 in what was their first playoff victory. A week later, they faced their familiar foes, the Green Bay Packers. For the second straight season, the Cowboys would come up empty in their Super Bowl pursuit as the Packers would escape with a 21-17 victory. This particular post-season game played at Lambeau Field became recognized as the Ice Bowl as the Cowboys and Packers played the game in 13 degrees weather, with a wind chill of negative 40 degrees.

In 1971, the Cowboys began playing at the new modernized facility, Texas Stadium, after 10 seasons of hosting games at the Cotton Bowl. Additionally, Roger Staubach became the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.

In 1972, led by Staubach, the Cowboys appeared in their second Super Bowl. The second time around proved to be prosperous for the Cowboys as they trounced the Miami Dolphins 24-3.

The Cowboys were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X. However, two years later, the Cowboys were dubbed 'America's Team' by NFL Films editor Bob Ryan after they won their second Super Bowl in four trips to the 'big game'. They defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10 in Super Bowl XII.

The Cowboys would get another shot at the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1979; however, they were edged out 35-31 by the NFL's most dominant team of the 1970's. After the season, quarterback Staubach retired from the NFL.

In 1981, the Cowboys would fall victim to the up-and-coming San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game after quarterback Joe Montana found wide receiver Dwight Clark in the end zone. The 49ers replaced the Cowboys as the NFC's ascendant team.

In 1984, H.R. Bright acquired the Cowboys from co-founder Clint Murchison.

Following a dreadful 3-13 record in 1988, the Cowboys would undergo a major personnel overhaul. On February 25, 1989, H.R. Bright sold ownership of the Dallas Cowboys to Jerry Jones. The organization's only head coach, Tom Landry, was given the pink slip. The legendary coach was replaced with the former University of Miami head coach, Jimmy Johnson. The Cowboys selected UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman as their first round draft pick.

The restructuring of the franchise became a short-term loss, long-term gain as the Cowboys would suffer through a miserable 1-15 season in 1989. The Cowboys drafted running back Emmitt Smith out of the University of Florida in the 1990 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys resurfaced as playoff contenders in 1991 after posting an 11-5 record. Their playoff run ended with a loss to the Detroit Lions. In 1992, the Cowboys flashed back to their glory days of the 1970's as they posted 13-3 record en route to the NFC Eastern Division title. After eliminating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game with a 30-20 victory, the Cowboys earned their first trip to the Super Bowl since 1979. In Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys stomped the Buffalo Bills by a score of 52-17. A year later, the Cowboys handed the Buffalo Bills another demoralizing defeat. The final score was 30-13.

The 1993 NFL Pro Bowl featured 11 Dallas Cowboys players, which became an NFL record.

After leading the Cowboys to subsequent Super Bowl triumphs, head coach Jimmy Johnson resigned from the organization. Jerry Jones replaced the two-time Super Bowl champion head coach with Barry Switzer. In the 1994 NFC Championship Game, the Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers 38-28 in their third consecutive NFC Championship showdown.

In 1995, the Cowboys returned to the Super Bowl by defeating the Green Bay Packers 38-27. They would match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. The Steelers won the last Super Bowl match-up that featured the two storied franchises, however, on this night, the Cowboys upstaged the Steelers by winning 27-17. This would become the fifth Super Bowl triumph for the Dallas Cowboys organization.

Due in large part to salary caps and free agency, coupled with the aging veterans, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin, the Cowboys began to decelerate as the entered into a rebuilding period.

After successive substandard seasons, Cowboys owners Jerry Jones convinced two-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Parcells to return to football in 2003. In Parcells' first season as head coach, the Cowboys posted a record of 10-6, thanks to their number one rated defense, and clinched their first post-season berth since 1999. In 2003, Jones persuaded Bill Parcells to become the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, the Cowboys fell victim to the surprising Carolina Panthers in the NFC Wild Card Game.

In November of 2004, it was announced that the Cowboys would move to a newly constructed stadium in Arlington, Texas in 2009.

The Cowboys returned to the post-season in 2006 after posting a 9-7 record. Nevertheless, the Cowboys would marginally lose to the Seattle Seahawks 21-20 following a fumbled snap by quarterback Tony Romo on the 2-yard line, which would have been the field goal that would have given the Cowboys the 23-21 lead with 1:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.