Dallas Cowboys

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 21:42

The history of the Dallas Cowboys

About the NFL team Dallas Cowboys.

Based in Irving, Texas, the Dallas Cowboys are members of the National Football Conference Eastern Division. Their home games are played at the Texas Stadium in Irving. The Cowboys will hopefully move to a new stadium in Arlington by 2009.

The Cowboys first joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. They hold the record for having the most consecutive sold-out games (79 straight), and the most sold-out games ever (160 games). They also hold the record for the most sell-out games on the road with 81 games.

The Dallas Cowboys are said to be the most valuable franchise in NFL history. Forbes Magazine cites the team as having an estimated value of $1.5 billion. The team ranks ahead of the Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots. The Cowboys estimate an annual revenue of $250 million.

The team’s commercial success can be credited to their playing records. They are said to be the most successful team since 1960. The Cowboys have five Super Bowls and 8 Conference Championships under their belt. They are the kings of Monday Night football, with a total of 40 wins. Likewise, they hold the record for the most number of consecutive winning seasons, with twenty seasons since 1966. The Cowboys are the first team to record three Super Bowl wins in just four years. The Cowboys are so successful in the field that they’ve been nicknamed “America’s Team.”

The 1960s to the 1970s

The formation of the Dallas Cowboys met some resistance from George Preston Marshall, the owner of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins had enjoyed unrivaled support as the only NFL team in the Southern states. In true fighting form, the Cowboy’s would-be owners, Clint Murchison, Jr. and Bedford Wynne, purchased the rights to “Hail to the Redskins,” the fight song of Marshall’s team. Since the song was integral to the team, Marshall changed his mind and the Cowboys were founded in January 28, 1960.

Initially known as the Dallas Steers and the Dallas Rangers, the team took on the name Dallas Cowboys during their first season. Tex Schramm was hired as their first general manager; and Tom Landry was their head coach. The Cowboys played at the Cotton Bowl and finished with zero wins in their first season.

They selected Bob Lilly in the draft selection of the following year. The team also signed Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Chuck Howley, Lee Roy Jordan, Mel Renfro, and Bob Hayes – all eventually becoming luminaries in the game.

The Cowboys then enjoyed their first winning year in 1966, posting a record of 10-3-1. this was the beginning of the longest winning streak in NFL history. In both 1966 and 1967, the cowboys lost the NFL Championships to the Green Bay Packers, at 34-27 and 21-17, respectively.

At the homefront, the Cowboys fought for the loyalties of the locals, against the American Football League’s Dallas Texans, under Lamar Hunt. Hunt would later move the Texans to Missouri, where they were eventually known as the Chiefs. The Cowboy’s eventual new home had its ground breaking in 1969. The team would eventually move the Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas in 1971.

By the end of the 1960s, Meredith and Perkins retired; and a new force joined the Cowboys. New members included Rayfield Wright, Roger Staubach, Mike Ditka, Calvin Hill, Herb Adderly, Cliff Harris, and Charlie Waters.

The Cowboys eventually made it to their first Super Bowl, following the 1970 season. Quarterback Craig Morton led the team. They lost to the Baltimore Colts with 16-13. The Cowboys eventually won their first Super Bowl during the following year’s season, against the Miami Dolphins, 24-3. To this day, their game with the Dolphins is the only game in NFL history where a team kept its opponents from having a touchdown.

Within the 1970s, the Cowboys added new talents. These included Harvey Martin, Ed Jones, Drew Pearson, Randy White, and Tony Dorsett. The Cowboys later on won the Super Bowl XII, and made it to Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII. The team had become the most victorious team in NFL history, and one of America’s favorites.

The 1980s and the 1990s

At the start of the 80s, Danny White became the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. He eventually led the team to five playoffs and two Division Championships. The Cowboys didn’t make it to the Super Bowl though, even when they played three consecutive championship games in a row.

During the decade, Dallas Cowboys ownership shifted hands. Muchison sold the team to H.R. Bright in 1984. Bright would later be frustrated with the team’s poor showing that he’d sell the team to Jerry Jones in February 1989. The Cowboys continued to post weaker records in the 80s.

One of the first actions taken by Jones when he stepped in as owner was to fire Tom Landry, the only head coach the team has had so far. Jimmy Johnson, of the University of Miami’s team, became head coach. During draft pick, the Cowboys selected Tory Aikman, UCLA’s quarterback. Likewise, running back Walker would be traded to the Minnesota Vikings. They got five veteran players and eight draft picks, in return. At the end of the 1989 season, the Cowboys posted their worst losing record, 1-15.

Their poor standing allowed the team to select some of the best drafts the following seasons. They picked Daryl Johnston and Mark Stepnoski in 1989. In 1990, they got Emmitt Smith. For 1991, they signed Russell Maryland and Erik Williams. In 1992, it was Darren Woodson.

By 1992, the Cowboys were on a winning streak again, with a 13-3 record. It was during the Super Bowl of the 1992 season when they made it to the Super Bowl again, after fourteen years. Here, they pummeled the Buffalo Bills with 52-17. They repeated this feat again, in the next season, with another Super Bowl win against the Buffalo Bills, this time with 30-13. 

However, trouble was brewing within the Dallas Cowboys management team. Friction between Johnson and Jones soon led to the head coach’s resignation. Barry Switzer, of the University of Oklahoma team, replaced him. In the next season’s games, the Cowboys made it as far as the NFC Championship, but lost to the San Francisco 49ers 38-28.

In 1995, Deion Sanders joined the team. The Cowboys then posted a 12-4 record in the 1995 season. They later in defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX with 27-17.

By 1997 however, age, injury and free agency began to affect the team. They had a losing season in 1997 with 6-10. Eventually Switzer resigned; and Chan Gailey replaced him. Gailey got the team to a 10-6 record in the next year, along with an NFC East championship. He was however fired in 1998 for posting an 8-8 record.

2000 to Today

The team’s defense coordinator, Dave Campo, became their head coach. However, he can only muster 5-11 records for three consecutive seasons. Owner Jones was receiving the brunt of blames for the dismal performances. People said he refused to hire strong coaches and managers so he could step in and manage the team himself.

In a surprise move, Jones hired the then retired Bill Parcells to coach the team. By 2003, the Cowboys posted a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. They missed the playoffs in the next two seasons and Parcells eventually went back into retirement.

Wade Phillips took his place. During his first season, they got the NFC East championship title, their 16th total – the most number for any NFL teams.