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The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team that plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). They are headquartered in suburban Dallas, Texasmarker, which lies between Fort Worthmarker and Dallasmarker. The team plays its home games at Cowboys Stadiummarker in Arlington, Texasmarker, which finished construction in time for the 2009 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as a 1960 expansion team. The team's national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive games in front of sold-out stadiums. The Cowboys' streak of 160 sold-out regular and post-season games began in 1990, and included 79 straight sellouts at their former home, Texas Stadiummarker, and 81 straight sell-outs on the road.

An article from Forbes Magazine, dated September 2, 2009, lists the Cowboys as the most valuable sports franchise in the United States, and second in the world (behind the United Kingdom's Manchester United), with an estimated value of approximately $1.65 billion, ahead of the Washington Redskins ($1.5 billion) and the New England Patriots ($1.361 billion). They are also one of the wealthiest teams in the NFL, generating almost $269 million in annual revenue.


1960s and 1970s

The Cowboys have been one of the most successful teams of the modern era. Founded in 1960, the Cowboys rank tied for second among all NFL franchises in Super Bowl victories and first in Super Bowl appearances. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 consecutive winning seasons (1966-1985), an NFL record that remains unbroken and unchallenged. It remains one of the longest winning streaks in all of professional sports history. In 2008 ESPN gave the Cowboys the top spot in the post-merger era power rankings.

The Cowboys attempted to establish themselves in the Dallas community while competing for the affections of Dallasites with Lamar Hunt's Dallas Texans of the American Football League (AFL). Although the AFL's Texans had a much better record than the NFL's Cowboys, in 1963 Hunt moved the Texans to Kansas City, Missourimarker, where they became the Chiefs. By 1969, ground was being broken on a new stadium for the Cowboys to replace the Cotton Bowl. Texas Stadium in Irving, a Dallas suburb, was completed during the 1971 season.

Although Meredith and Perkins retired after the 1968 season, important new players joined the organization during the late 1960s and early 1970s, including offensive tackle Rayfield Wright in 1967, quarterback Roger Staubach, tight end Mike Ditka, and running back Calvin Hill in 1969, and cornerback Herb Adderly, and safeties Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters in 1970. Led by quarterback Craig Morton, the Cowboys made it to their first Super Bowl, a mistake-filled Super Bowl V, where they lost 16-13 to the Baltimore Colts on a field goal by Colts' kicker Jim O'Brien with five seconds remaining in the contest. The Cowboys moved from the Cotton Bowl to Texas Stadium in week six of the 1971 season, won their last seven regular season games, and advanced through the playoffs to defeat the upstart Miami Dolphins, 24-3, in Super Bowl VI, which remains the only Super Bowl in which a team held its opponent without a touchdown.

During the rest of the 1970s, the Cowboys grew in popularity, not just in Dallas, but nationwide. The Cowboys also continued to add new talent to their roster, including defensive ends Harvey Martin and Ed "Too Tall" Jones, wide receiver Drew Pearson, and defensive tackle Randy White and running back Tony Dorsett. The fresh influx of talent helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII and make appearances in Super Bowls X and XIII. Dallas ended the 1970s as the winningest NFL team of the decade.

1980s and 1990s

Five-time World Champions Mural

Danny White became the Cowboys' starting quarterback in 1980 after quarterback Roger Staubach retired. White led the Cowboys to the playoffs five times and won two Division Championships. However, despite playing in the NFC Championship Game three consecutive years (1980-1982), the Cowboys did not reach the Super Bowl during the 1980s. In 1984, H.R. "Bum" Bright purchased the Dallas Cowboys from Murchison. As the Cowboys suffered through progressively poorer seasons (from 10-6 in 1985 to 7-9 in 1986, 7-8 in 1987, and 3-13 in 1988), Bright became disenchanted with the team. During an embarrassing home loss to Atlanta in 1987, Bright told the media that he was "horrified" at Landry's play calling. Bright sold the Cowboys to Jerry Jones on February 25, 1989.

Jones immediately fired Tom Landry, the only head coach in franchise history, replacing him with University of Miamimarker head coach Jimmy Johnson. With the first pick in the draft, the Cowboys selected UCLAmarker quarterback Troy Aikman. Later that same year, they would trade veteran running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for five veteran players and eight draft choices. Although the Cowboys finished the 1989 season with a 1-15 record, their worst in almost 30 years, "The Trade" later allowed Dallas to draft a number of impact players to rebuild the team.

Johnson quickly returned the Cowboys to the NFL's elite. Skillful drafts added fullback Daryl Johnston and center Mark Stepnoski in 1989, running back Emmitt Smith in 1990, defensive tackle Russell Maryland and offensive tackle Erik Williams in 1991, and safety Darren Woodson in 1992. The young talent joined holdovers from the Landry era such as wide receiver Michael Irvin, guard Nate Newton, linebacker Ken Norton Jr., and offensive lineman Mark Tuinei, and veteran pickups such as tight end Jay Novacek and defensive end Charles Haley. In 1992 Dallas set a team record for regular season wins with a 13-3 mark. In January 1993, only three years after their 1-15 season, the Cowboys earned their first Super Bowl trip in 14 seasons. Dallas defeated the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII, during which they forced a record nine turnovers. Johnson became the first coach to claim a National Championship in college football and a Super Bowl victory in professional football. The following season, they again defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII, 30-13. The Cowboys sent a then-NFL record 11 players to the Pro Bowl in 1993: Aikman, safety Thomas Everett, Irvin, Johnston, Maryland, Newton, Norton, Novacek, Smith, Stepnoski and Williams.

Only weeks after Super Bowl XXVIII, however, friction between Johnson and Jones culminated in Johnson stunning the football world by announcing his resignation. Jones then hired former University of Oklahomamarker head coach Barry Switzer to replace Johnson. The Cowboys finished 12-4 in 1994, but missed the Super Bowl by losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, 38-28. In 1995, Jones lured All-Pro cornerback Deion Sanders away from San Francisco, and Dallas once again posted a 12-4 regular season record. The Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 at Sun Devil Stadiummarker in Super Bowl XXX for their fifth world championship. Switzer joined Johnson as the only coaches to win a college football National Championship and a Super Bowl.

Yet the glory days of the Cowboys were again beginning to dim as free agency, age and injuries began taking their toll. The Cowboys went 6-10 in 1997, with discipline and off-field problems becoming major distractions. As a result, Switzer resigned as head coach in January 1998 and former Steelers offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was hired to take his place. Gailey led the team to two playoff appearances with a 10-6 record in 1998 and an NFC East Division championship, but was let go after an 8-8 playoff season in 1999, becoming the first Cowboys coach who did not win a Super Bowl. In 1998, the Cowboys suffered an embarrassing 20-7 home loss to the division rival Arizona Cardinals. In 1999, they suffered a 27-10 first round loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Oddly, the last Dallas playoff win was a 40-15 win against Minnesota following the 1996 season. Nonetheless, the Cowboys posted more wins in the 1990s than any other NFL team.


Defensive coordinator Dave Campo was promoted to head coach, but he could only post three consecutive 5-11 seasons. Many fans and media were beginning to blame Jerry Jones for the team's ills, noting that he refused to hire a strong coach or general manager, preferring to hire coaches who did not want to be involved with personnel duties so that Jones himself, as GM, could manage them. Jones then lured Bill Parcells out of retirement to coach the Cowboys. The Cowboys became the surprise team of the 2003 season, posting a 10-6 record and a playoff berth by having the best overall defense in the NFL. The Cowboys then finished an up-and-down 2006 season with a 9-7 record and a playoff appearance, but after a last second loss in the Wild Card Game against the Seattle Seahawks, Parcells retired and was succeeded by Wade Phillips. In his first season as head coach, Phillips and his coaching staff led the franchise to its best seasonal start ever, a conference-best 13-3 record, and the franchise's 16th NFC East championship title, the most of any team in that division. (Washington, New York and Philadelphia are tied for second with seven championships each.) The Cowboys were eliminated by the (eventual Super Bowl Champion) Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs, the first NFC #1 seed to do so since the playoff re-alignment.

In the tumultuous 2008 season, the Cowboys started off strong, going 3-0 for the second straight year, en route to a 4-1 start. However, things soon went downhill from there, as quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken pinkie in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger playing as backups, Dallas went 1-2 during a three-game stretch, including a 34-14 rout by the then-1-4 St. Louis Rams. Romo's return showed promising, as Dallas went 3-0 against Washington, San Francisco and Seattle. However, entering December, the 8-4 Cowboys underperformed, finishing 1-3. They failed to make the playoffs, losing at Philadelphia in the final regular season game which saw the Eagles reach the playoffs instead. The Cowboys were defeated 44-6 by the Eagles and finished 3rd in the NFC East with a 9-7 record. In December 2008, the team's locker room woes were exposed in an article by ESPN writer Ed Werder. In the article, wide receiver Terrell Owens expressed that Romo used tight end Jason Witten as a target more than his designated receivers.

On May 2, 2009, the Dallas Cowboys practice facility collapsed during a wind storm. The collapse left 12 Cowboys players and coaches injured. The most serious injuries were special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who suffered fractured cervical vertebrae and had surgery to stabilize fractured vertebrae in his neck, and Rich Behm, the team's 33-year-old scouting assistant, who was permanently paralyzed from the waist down after his spine was severed.

Although the Dallas Cowboys have always been a part of the NFL since their inception, the club will participate in two of the NFL's AFL Legacy Weekend games during the 2009 season. The Cowboys will wear their 1960 alternate uniform for a match against the Kansas City Chiefs playing as the Dallas Texans. Ironically this game will be played in Kansas City instead of Dallas. The Cowboys' annual Thanksgiving Day game is also being billed as an AFL Legacy game as they are playing the Oakland Raiders who will be wearing their AFL throwbacks. Traditionally teams playing on Thanksgiving have donned throwback uniforms, although teams had begun to move away from this practice in recent years with the Cowboys choosing their regular home uniforms and the Detroit Lions selecting their black alternate jersey as opposed to throwbacks and their opponents opting to wear their normal road attire.

Logos and uniforms


The script logo.
The Dallas Cowboys' blue star logo is associated with the team is one of the best known logos in sports. The blue star originally was a solid shape until a white line and blue border was added in 1964. The logo has remained the same since. Today, the blue star has been extended to not only the Dallas Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones' AFL team, the Dallas Desperados that have a similar logo based on the Cowboys. The blue star also is used on other enties like an imaging facility and storage facility.


The Dallas Cowboys' white home jersey has royal blue (PMS 280 C) solid socks, numbers, lettering, and two stripes on the sleeves outlined in black. The home' pants, according to the Dallas Cowboys official media guide, are a unique metallic silver-green color (PMS 8280 C) that help bring out the blue in the uniform. The navy (PMS 289 C) road jerseys (nicknamed the "Stars and Stripes" jersey) have white lettering and numbers with navy pinstripes. A white/gray/white stripe are on each sleeve as well as the collared V-neck, and a Cowboys star logo is placed upon the stripes. A "Cowboys" chest crest is directly under the NFL shield. The away pants are a pearlish metallic-silver color (PMS 8001 C) and like the home pants, enhance the navy in the uniforms. The team uses a serifed font for the lettered player surnames on the jersey nameplates.Image:Dallas Cowboys white uniform.jpg|Dallas Cowboys' current home uniformImage:Dallas Cowboys navy uniform.jpg|Dallas Cowboys' current away uniform

The team's helmets are also a unique silver with a tint of blue known as "Metallic Silver Blue" (PMS 8240 C) and have a blue/white/blue vertical stripe placed upon the center of the crown. The Cowboys are also one of the few, if not the only, team that attach blue Dymo tape with the player's name on the backside of the white portion of the blue/white/blue decal.Image:Dallas Cowboys helmet Front.jpg|Front of Dallas Cowboys helmetImage:Dallas Cowboys helmet Back.jpg|Back of Dallas Cowboys helmet

Uniform history

When the Dallas Cowboys franchise debuted in 1960's, the team's uniform included a white helmet adorned with a simple blue star and a blue-white-blue stripe down the center crown. The team donned blue jerseys with white sleeves and a small blue star on each shoulder for home games and the negative opposite for away games. Their socks also had two horizontal white stripes overlapping the blue.

In 1964 through 1965, the Cowboys opted for a simpler look (and essentially the team's current uniform) by changing their jersey/socks to one solid color with three horizontal blue stripes on the sleeves. The star-shouldered jerseys were replaced with shoulder "TV" numbers. The pants and helmet were changed from white to silver and a white border was added to the blue star.

In 1966, the team narrowed the stripes to two per sleeve/sock and the following year in 1967, the white border was moved farther into the blue star and was now a white pinstripe. The logo and this version of the uniform has seen little change to the present day.

Image:Dallas Cowboys helmet 1960.jpg|1960-1963Image:Dallas Cowboys helmet 1964.jpg|1964-1966Image:Dallas Cowboys helmet.jpg|1967-present

The only notable changes in the last 40 years were:
  • from 1970โ€“1973 when the "TV" numbers were moved from the shoulders to the sleeves above the stripes
  • from 1981โ€“1988 the pants featured a white uniform number in an elliptical blue circle worn near the hip.
  • the removal of the indented serifs on the front and back jersey numbers in the early 1980s (seen currently on the throwback jersey)
  • from 1981โ€“1994 the dark jerseys sported numbers that were gray with white borders and a blue pinstripe. The stripes on the sleeves and socks also used the same gray with white border scheme (sans navy pinstripe).
  • the 1996 addition of the word "Cowboys" in the center of the neckline which lasted until 1998 on the white jersey but currently remains on the blue jersey.

During the 1976 season, the blue-white-blue stripe on the crown of the helmets were temporarily changed to red-white-blue to commemorate the United States' bicentennial anniversary.

In 1994, the NFL celebrated their 75th Anniversary, and the Dallas Cowboys celebrated their back-to-back Super Bowl titles by unveiling a white "Double-Star" jersey on Thanksgiving Day. This jersey was used for special occasions and was worn throughout the 1994โ€“1995 playoffs. During the same season, the Cowboys also wore their 1960โ€“63 road jersey with a silver helmet for one game as part of a league-wide "throwback" policy.

During the 1995 season, the team wore the navy "Double-Star" jersey for games at Washington and Philadelphia and permanently switched to solid color socks (royal blue for the white uniform, and navy blue for the dark uniform). The navy "Double-Star" jersey was not seen again until the NFL's Classic Throwback Weekend on Thanksgiving Day 2001โ€“2003.

In 2004, the Cowboys resurrected their original 1960โ€“1963 uniform on Thanksgiving Day. This uniform now serves as the team's alternate or "third jersey" and is usually worn at least once a year, although team has used their normal white uniforms on Thanksgiving in 2007 and 2008. The team will once again wear this uniform at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2009 while their opponent the Oakland Raiders will wear their AFL Legacy Weekend throwbacks. Dallas wore this alternate uniform on October 11, 2009 as part of one of the NFL's AFL Legacy Weekends when they traveled to Kansas City to play the Chiefs who were sporting their AFL Dallas Texans' uniforms. This created a rare game in which neither team wore a white jersey and the first time the Cowboys wore the alternative uniform as a visiting team.

The Cowboys were the first NFL team to primarily wear their white jersey at home, as it was an unofficial rule that teams wear their colored jersey at home. This tradition was started in the 1960s by Tex Schramm, who wanted fans to see a variety of opponents' colors at home games. Since then, a number of other teams have worn their white uniforms at home, including the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.

Throughout the years, the Cowboys' blue jersey has been popularly viewed to be "jinxed" because the team often seemed to lose when they wore them. This curse purportedly became popular after the team lost Super Bowl V, when they were forced to wear their colored jersey because they were the designated home team. However, the roots of the curse likley date back earlier to the end of the 1968 season when the blue-shirted Cowboys were upset badly by the Cleveland Browns in the divisional playoffs. That turned out to be Don Meredith's final game as a Cowboy. Dallas' lone victory in a conference championship or Super Bowl wearing the blue jerseys was in the 1978 NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, league rules were changed to allow the Super Bowl home team to pick their choice of jersey. Most of the time, Dallas will wear their blue jerseys when they visit Washington, Philadelphia (sometimes), Miami, or one of the handful of other teams that traditionally wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season due to the hot climates in their respective cities. Occasionally opposing teams will wear their white jerseys at home to try to invoke the curse, as when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game. The Washington Redskins, after wearing white exclusively in the '80s and '90s, have since 2002 occasionally reverted to using their burgundy jerseys for second-half home games, but will still wear white against the Cowboys. One of the more recent examples of the "curse" happened in 2008 when the 1-4 St. Louis Rams chose to wear their white uniforms at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear navy uniforms. The Rams would upset the Cowboys 34-14.

Although Dallas has made several tweaks to their blue jerseys over the years, Schramm said he did not believe in the curse. Since the league began allowing teams to use an alternate jersey, the Cowboys' alternates have been primarily blue versions of past jerseys and the Cowboys have generally had success when wearing these blue alternates.Image:Cowboys blue uniform 1960.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys blue home uniforms (circa 1960โ€“1963)Image:Cowboys white uniform 1964.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys white home uniforms (circa 1964โ€“1966)Image:1994 White Double-Star uniform.jpg|The white "Double-Star" jersey worn during the 1994 NFL 75th anniversary season.Image:NFL 75th Cowboys Throwback.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys "throwback" to their original away uniform (circa 1960-1963). Worn once in 1994 on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions.Image:Cowboys white uniform 1960.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys white away uniforms (circa 1960โ€“1963)Image:Cowboys blue uniform 1964.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys blue away uniforms (circa 1964โ€“1966)Image:1995 Navy Double-Star uniform.jpg|The navy "Double-Star" jersey worn during the 1995 season and Thanksgiving Day 2001โ€“2003.Image:Cowboys navy uniform 1981-1994.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys navy away uniforms (circa 1981โ€“1994)Image:2004 Throwback uniform.jpg|The Dallas Cowboys' "throwback" to their original home uniform (circa 1960โ€“1963). Traditionally worn on Thanksgiving Day or special occasions.


Cotton Bowl

The Cotton Bowl is a stadium which opened in 1932 and became known as "The House That Doak Built" due to the immense crowds that former SMU running back Doak Walker drew to the stadium during his college career in the late 1940s. Originally known as the Fair Park Bowl, it is located in Fair Parkmarker, site of the State Fair of Texas. Concerts or other events using a stage allow the playing field to be used for additional spectators. The Cotton Bowl was the longtime home of the annual Cotton Bowl Classic college football bowl game, for which the stadium is named. (Beginning with the January 2010 game, the Cotton Bowl Classic will be played at Cowboys Stadiummarker in Arlington.) The Dallas Cowboys called the Cotton Bowl home for 11 years, from the team's formation in 1960 until 1971, when the Cowboys moved to Texas Stadiummarker. It is the only stadium the Cowboys have called home that was within the city limits of Dallas. The Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers for the 1966 NFL Championship at the Cotton Bowl.

Texas Stadium

For the majority of the franchise's history, the Cowboys have played their home games at Texas Stadium. Just outside the city of Dallas; the stadium is located in Irving, Texasmarker. The stadium is famous for its hole-in-the-roof dome. It was the home field of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and had a seating capacity of 65,675. The stadium opened on October 24, 1971, at a cost of $35 million. The Cowboys lost their final game at Texas Stadium to the Baltimore Ravens, 33-24, on December 20, 2008. After Cowboys Stadium was opened in 2009, the Cowboys turned over the facility to the City of Irving. The roof at Texas Stadium, whose worn paint had become unsightly in the early 2000s, was repainted in the summer of 2006 by the City of Irving, which owns the stadium. It was the first time the famed roof was repainted since Texas Stadium opened. The roof is structurally independent from the stadium it covers.

In 2009, it was replaced as home of the Cowboys by the $1.15 billion Cowboys Stadiummarker, which completed construction and officially opened on May 27, 2009 in Arlington, Texasmarker. Texas Stadium is to be demolished and redeveloped by the city of Irving in early 2010.

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium is a new domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texasmarker, for the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. After failed negotiations to return the Cowboys to the Cotton Bowl, Jerry Jones along with the city of Arlington, Texas funded the stadium at a cost of $1.3 billion. The stadium is located in Tarrant Countymarker, the first time the Cowboys will call a stadium home outside of Dallas Countymarker. It was completed on May 29, 2009 and seats 80,000, but is expandable to seat up to 100,000. Cowboys Stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world.

A highlight of Cowboys Stadium is its gigantic, center-hung high-definition television screen, the largest in the world. The , scoreboard surpasses the screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadiummarker in Kansas City, Missourimarker as the world's largest.

At the debut pre-season game of Cowboys Stadium, a punt by Tennessee Titans punter, A.J. Trapasso, hit the 2,100 in. screen above the field. The punt deflected and was ruled in-play until Titans coach Jeff Fisher informed the officials that the punt struck the scoreboard. ( Many believe Trapasso was trying to hit the suspended scoreboard, based on replays and the angle of the kick.) The scoreboard is, however, within the regulation of the NFL guidelines - hanging approximately five feet above the minimum height.

The first regular season home game of the 2009 season was against the New York Giants. 105,121 fans showed up to completely pack Cowboys Stadium, however the Cowboys lost in a close game 33-31.

The Cowboys got their first regular season win on September 28, 2009. They beat the Carolina Panthers 21-7 with 90,588 in attendance. The game was televised on ESPN's Monday Night Football and marked a record 42nd win for the Cowboys on MNF.


Washington Redskins

The Redskins and Dallas Cowboys enjoy what has been called by Sports Illustrated the top NFL rivalry of all time and "one of the greatest in sports." The two teams storied rivalry goes back to 1960 when the two clubs first played each other, resulting in a Washington victory. Since that time, the two teams have met in 98 regular season contests and two NFC Championships in which Dallas has led the regular season all-time series 57-39-2 and the Redskins leading the playoff series 2-0 . On September 28, 2008, the Redskins defeated the Cowboys in the last meeting at Texas Stadium 26-24.

Philadelphia Eagles

The competition with Philadelphia has been particularly intense since the late 1970s, when the long-moribund Eagles returned to contention. In 1981, the two teams faced off in that year's NFC Championship, with Philadelphia winning, 20-7 (The Eagles subsequently lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV). A series of other factors heightened tensions during the 1980s and 1990s, including several provocative actions by Philadelphia fans and Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan. Among these were the 1989 "Bounty Bowls," in which Ryan allegedly placed a bounty on Dallas kicker Luis Zendejas and Veterans Stadiummarker fans pelted the Cowboys with snowballs and other debris. (Among those fans throwing snowballs was former Philadelphiamarker District Attorney Ed Rendell, who would later serve as Philadelphia's mayor and is currently the governor of Pennsylvaniamarker.) A 1999 game at Philadelphia saw Eagles fans cheering as Michael Irvin lay motionless and possibly paralyzed on the field. In 2008 the rivalry became more intense when the Philadelphia Eagles clinched a playoff spot defeating the Cowboys 44-6 (The Eagles would lose to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship).

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have been another major Cowboy rival. Dallas has played seven postseason games against San Francisco. The Cowboys defeated the 49ers in the 1970 and 1971 NFC Championship games, and again in the 1972 Divisional Playoff Game, when Roger Staubach threw two touchdown passes with less than two minutes remaining for a 30-28 win. The 1981 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco, which saw the 49ers' Joe Montana complete a game-winning pass to Dwight Clark in the final few minutes (now known as "The Catch"), is one of the most famous games in NFL history. San Francisco subsequently won their first of five Super Bowls. During the 1992-1994 seasons, Dallas and San Francisco faced each other in the NFC Championship Game. Dallas won the first two match-ups, and San Francisco won the third. In each of the three seasons, the game's victor went on to win the Super Bowl.

LA/St. Louis Rams

The Los Angeles Rams were a major rival of the Cowboys although this rivalry has cooled somewhat since the Rams moved to St. Louismarker. The Cowboys and Rams have met eight or nine times in postseason games, more than any other teams in the NFL. The meetings include 2 NFC Championship games, 3 division playoff games and 2 wild card games. The Rams wore their white jerseys in certain home games when the team was in Los Angelesmarker, especially against the Cowboys, forcing Dallas to wear their "jinxed" blue jerseys, although since the move to St. Louis the Rams have worn their blue jerseys in most home games. The Rams did, however, make one exception and wore their white jerseys at homemarker in their most recent meeting in 2008, forcing the Cowboys to wear their "jinxed" blue jerseys. Dallas lost 34-14 to a Rams team that wouldn't win another game that year and finished 2-14 (Which would be the second worst record in the NFL that year; only the historically winless Detroit Lions were worse.), while the loss cost the Cowboys a playoff spot that season.

Green Bay Packers

The Cowboys have a lesser rivalry with the Green Bay Packers that began in the 1960s. The two teams have faced each other in the postseason six times. Green Bay defeated Dallas in the 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship games (the latter, known as the "Ice Bowl", is another of pro football's most famous games). Dallas, in turn, defeated Green Bay in the second round of the 1982 playoffs, the 1993 and 1994 NFC Divisional Playoff games, and the 1995 NFC Championship Game. Texas Stadium is one of the few places where then Packers quarterback Brett Favre has never won, Favre has since gone on to play for the New York Jets and currently the Minnesota Vikings; he is 0โ€“9 at Dallas. The rivalry was renewed during the 2007 season, when both teams met in a late-season matchup. Anticipations ran high as both teams boasted 10โ€“1 records, and battled for first place in the NFC playoff hunt. Dallas prevailed, winning 37โ€“27, and clinched the top seed a few weeks later. Many people expected a rematch in the NFC Championship game, and while Green Bay advanced, Dallas lost to the New York Giants in a Divisional Playoff game.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Some consider the Pittsburgh Steelers a rival. The two teams met in the first regular season game the Cowboys ever played in 1960 (a 35โ€“28 loss to the Steelers), the first-ever regular season victory for the expansion Cowboys in 1961, and would later meet in three Super Bowls, all of which were close. The Steelers won Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII; both games were decided in the final seconds. The Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX in 1996. It is said that the rivalry was fueled in the 1970s due to the stark contrast of the teams: The Cowboys, being more of a "flashy" team with Roger Staubach's aerial attack and the "flex" defense-based Doomsday Defense; while the Steelers were more of a "blue-collar" team with a strong running game and the 1930s-esque Steel Curtain defense, a contrast that still exists today. In addition, both teams have national fan bases rivaled by few NFL teams, and both come from areas with a strong following for football at all levels. The all-time series is currently tied 15-15.

Intrastate rivalry with Houston

The Houston Texans, and before that the Houston Oilers, are considered by some to be rivals of the Cowboys because of the in-state affiliation. Almost every year since 1967, the Cowboys have played their downstate rival during preseason play for "bragging rights" and the Governor's Cup trophy, but beyond that, no real rivalry has yet developed.

Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs

A past rivalry that is now considered more of historical and off-the-field significance than contemporary importance was between the Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs in their previous incarnation, the Dallas Texans. In 1959, after failing to secure NFL backing for a Texas football franchise, millionaire Lamar Hunt organized a renegade formation of franchises called the American Football League, composed almost entirely of teams in cities ignored by the NFL like Buffalo, Houstonmarker and Dallas. His own franchise, the Texans, and the Houston Oilers were the first two to play in the state of Texas since another Texans franchise folded in 1952. To counter what was seen as encroachment the NFL organized two franchises in order to deny markets to the AFL, including the Cowboys in Dallas in 1960, and the Minnesota Vikings the following year. During the early 1960s the Cowboys and Texans never met once on the field, yet they competed implicitly for the support of one of the nation's fastest growing sports markets. In 1963 Hunt, frustrated by the suffering state of his team at the turnstiles, despite having won the year's AFL championship, relocated the Texans franchise to Kansas City and labeled them the Chiefs. In the years 1963-70 both the Cowboys and the Chiefs became premier teams in their respective leagues, and came close to facing each other in the 1967 AFL-NFL Championship Game, now called Super Bowl I, but were denied by the Packers' victory over Dallas in the NFL championship final. Subsequently Kansas City would go on to win Super Bowl IV in 1970 over Minnesota, and vindicated Hunt by cementing the legitimacy of the AFL's formation ten years before. However, from then on the Dallas-Kansas City rivalry has faded along with the AFL-NFL merger of that year, and the absence of Kansas City from the Super Bowl since that championship season, whereas the Cowboys would proceed in the 70s to become a premier NFL franchise. As of October 11, 2009 Dallas has a 5-3 all-time record against the Chiefs and has also won the last four meetings between the two franchises.

Season-by-season records

Notable players

Current roster

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Super Bowl MVPs

Although the Cowboys are tied with the 49ers for the second most Super Bowl victories (Steelers have 6), Dallas actually holds the record for the most Super Bowl games played (8) and the most Super Bowl MVPs with 7:

  1. Linebacker Chuck Howley - Super Bowl V - Howley was named the MVP for Super Bowl V despite the Cowboys' loss to the Baltimore Colts. He is the only member of a losing team to win the award. In recording two interceptions and a fumble recovery during the game, Howley was the first defensive player to win the honor.
  2. Quarterback Roger Staubach - Super Bowl VI - Staubach became the fifth quarterback overall to be awarded the MVP trophy after Dallas' win over the Miami Dolphins. He completed 12 out of 19 passes for , threw 2 touchdown passes, and rushed 5 times for .
  3. (Tie) Defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin - Super Bowl XII - Super Bowl XII marked the first time that two players won MVP honors. White and Martin, who helped the Cowboys defeat the Denver Broncos, became the first defensive linemen to win the award.
  4. See #3
  5. Quarterback Troy Aikman - Super Bowl XXVII - Aikman became the second Cowboys quarterback to earn the MVP honor as he led the Cowboys to victory against the Buffalo Bills. He completed 22 of 30 passes for and 4 touchdowns, while also rushing for .
  6. Running back Emmitt Smith - Super Bowl XXVIII - Smith's 30 carries for , 4 receptions for , and two touchdowns led Dallas to a victory over the Buffalo Bills. In that same year, Smith became the first player to win the Super Bowl, the NFL rushing title (i.e. lead the league in rushing), the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, and the Super Bowl MVP all in one season.
  7. Cornerback Larry Brown - Super Bowl XXX - Brown became the first cornerback to be named Super Bowl MVP, recording two interceptions for a total of 77 return yards. The Cowboys sealed the victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers by converting both of Brown's interceptions into touchdowns.

Ring of Honor

Unlike many NFL teams, the Cowboys do not retire jersey numbers of past standouts as a matter of policy. Instead, the team has a "Ring of Honor", which is on permanent display encircling the field. Originally at Texas Stadium, the ring is now on display at Cowboys Stadiummarker in Arlington. The first inductee was Bob Lilly in 1975 and by 2005, the ring contained 17 names, all former Dallas players except for one head coach and one general manager/president. Although the team does not officially retire jersey numbers, some are kept "unofficially inactive", so it is uncommon to find any current players wearing the number of one of the "Ring of Honor" inductees. For instance, the jersey numbers of inductees Aikman (8), Staubach (12), Hayes and Smith (22), Irvin (88), and Lilly (74) were not worn during the 2008 season.

The Ring of Honor has been a source of controversy over the years. Tex Schramm was believed to be a "one-man committee" in choosing inductees and many former Cowboys players and fans felt that Schramm deliberately excluded linebacker Lee Roy Jordan because of a bitter contract dispute the two had during Jordan's playing days. When Jerry Jones bought the team he inherited Schramm's Ring of Honor "power" and immediately inducted Jordan.

Jones also had controversy. For four years he was unsuccessful in convincing Tom Landry to accept induction. Meanwhile, he refused to induct Tex Schramm (even after Schramm's induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame). In 1993, thanks in part to the efforts of Roger Staubach as an intermediary, Landry accepted induction and had a ceremony on the day of that year's Cowboys-Giants game (Landry had played and coached for the Giants). In 2003, Jones finally chose to induct Tex Schramm. Schramm and Jones held a joint press conference at Texas Stadium announcing the induction. Unfortunately, Schramm did not live to see his ceremonial induction at the Cowboys-Eagles game that fall.

The most recent inductees were Troy Aikman, all-time NFL leading rusher Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, known as "The Triplets". The Cowboys waited until Smith had retired as a player before inducting Aikman and Irvin, so all three could be inducted together, which occurred during halftime at a Monday Night Football home game against the arch-rival Washington Redskins on September 19, 2005.

All-time first-round draft picks

Head coaches and staff

Head coaches

Current staff

Radio and television

As of 2007, the Cowboys' flagship radio stations were KLIF-FMmarker (93 Hits) and KTCKmarker (1310 The Ticket). Both are owned by Cumulus Media. Brad Sham returns as the team's longtime play-by-play voice. Working alongside him in 2007 is former Cowboy quarterback Babe Laufenberg, who returns after a one-year absence to replace former safety Charlie Waters. The Cowboys, who retain rights to all announcers, chose not to renew Laufenberg's contract in 2006 and brought in Waters. However, Laufenberg did work as the analyst on the "Blue Star Network," which televises Cowboys preseason games not shown on national networks. The anchor station is KTVTmarker, the CBS owned and operated station in Dallas. Previous stations which aired Cowboys games included KVIL-FMmarker, KRLDmarker, and KLUV-FMmarker. Kristi Scales is the sideline reporter on the radio broadcasts.

During his tenure as Cowboys coach, Tom Landry co-hosted his own coach's show with late veteran sportscaster Frank Glieber and later with Brad Sham. Landry's show was famous for his analysis of raw game footage and for he and his co-host making their NFL "predictions" at the end of each show. Glieber is one of the original voices of the Cowboys Radio Network, along with Bill Mercer, famous for calling the Ice Bowl of 1967 and both Super Bowl V and VI. Mercer is perhaps best known as the ringside commentator of World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s. Upon Mercer's departure, Verne Lundquist joined the network, and became their play-by-play announcer by 1977, serving eight years in that capacity before handing those chores permanently over to Brad Sham, who joined the network in 1977 as the color analyst and occasional fill-in for Lundquist.

Longtime WFAA-TVmarker sports anchor Dale Hansen was the Cowboys color analyst with Brad Sham as the play-by-play announcer from 1985-1996.

See also


  • NFL 2002 Record & Fact Book ISBN 0761126430

External links

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