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The Cowboys and their biggest rival, Washington, have one of the more delightful stories regarding the founding of an NFL franchise. In 1960, the same time the AFL was coming to be, the NFL was looking to expand, and Dallas was top on their list of desired cities. But Washington team owner George Preston Marshall thought a Dallas franchise would hurt Washington’s popularity in the southern states, so he blocked it. Not to be outmaneuvered, prospective new Dallas owner Clint Murchison reached out to the composer of Washington’s fight song at the time, “Hail to the Redskins,” and bought the rights to the song. He then told Marshall he would happily allow him to continue to play the song at home games, under one condition: get out of the way of my team. The Dallas Cowboys are now more than 60 years old and one of the most successful franchises in the entire NFL. And they aren’t just the team of the south, as Marshall feared, they are America’s Team, a nickname first ascribed to the Cowboys by legendary NFL Films narrator John Facenda in 1978. And all because Marshall couldn’t be without a fight song that is now no longer played.
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The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in Frisco, Texas. The team plays in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the NFC East division. The Cowboys have a rich history and are one of the most popular and successful teams in the NFL, with numerous division championships and Super Bowl victories.
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Championships by the Dallas Cowboys
They shared a stadium with the AFL’s Dallas Texans and finished the 1960 season 0-11-1. But life did improve for the Cowboys after that inaugural season, and by a lot.
Super Bowl VI
A playoff team since 1965 and a Super Bowl team one year earlier, finally after the 1971 season the Cowboys got over the hump and won a championship, beating the Miami Dolphins, 24-3, in Super Bowl VI. Having lost two NFL Championship Games (1966 and 1967) and the previous Super Bowl, it ended Dallas’ string of championship near misses.
Super Bowl XII
This was the America’s Team that everyone knows, with Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, and the Doomsday Defense. The Cowboys win over the Denver Broncos was also the first Super Bowl played in prime time, which added to the growing popularity of the Cowboys across the country.
Super Bowl XXVII
As great as that Cowboys team was in the late 1970s, they were never a dynasty. That didn’t happen for Dallas until Jimmy Johnson was head coach, and the team was led by Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. The first of the wins was the biggest, a 52-17 thrashing of the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII.
Super Bowl XXVIII
For the only time in Super Bowl history we had a rematch of the previous Super Bowl. But for the fifth time in Super Bowl history, we had a repeat champion, as the Cowboys beat the Bills, 30-13. Emmitt Smith ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns and was named the game’s MVP.
Super Bowl XXX
For the first time in NFL history a team won three Super Bowls in four years, when the Cowboys beat the Steelers, 27-17. Also for the first time a cornerback was named the game’s MVP, as Larry Brown sealed the Cowboys win with his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter.
Key Stats by the Dallas Cowboys
Along with the Cowboys five Super Bowl titles, which is tied with the 49ers and one win behind the Steelers and Patriots, the Cowboys have won their conference championship 10 times – the NFL Eastern Conference in 1966 and 1967, and the NFC in 1970, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1992, 1993, and 1995. The Cowboys have also won their division 23 times, and made the playoffs a total of 34 times. From 1966 to 1985 the Cowboys recorded 20 straight winning seasons, the longest such streak in NFL history. Dallas is also the only team to have claimed a Super Bowl MVP after losing the Super Bowl. The Cowboys lost their first Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl V against the Baltimore Colts, but Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley intercepted two passes and was named the game’s MVP.
Top Players in Dallas Cowboys History
At the Hall of Fame ceremony in 2021 the Cowboys got their 20th Hall of Fame inductee, wide receiver Drew Pearson. He was an undrafted free agent, made the Cowboys as a special teams player, and went on to win three first-team All-Pro awards. The NFL’s all-time leading rusher is Emmitt Smith, a three-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler. He became a Hall of Famer in 2010. The Cowboys have two former quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Staubach won the Heisman Trophy, two Super Bowls, and was put on the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Aikman won three Super Bowls and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVII. Other Hall of Famers of note include guard Larry Allen, running back Tony Dorsett, cornerback Deion Sanders, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Bob Hayes. The sprinter turned wide receiver is one of only two men in both the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jim Thorpe is the other.
Top Coaches in Dallas Cowboys History
One of the lead architects of the Cowboys dynasty in the early 1990s, Jimmy Johnson, is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Johnson was around for the first two Cowboys Super Bowl wins that decade, but it was his team that Barry Switzer led to the third Super Bowl win in four years. Johnson was the first head coach to win both an NCAA National Championship and Super Bowl. Before Johnson took over in 1989 the Cowboys sideline belonged to Tom Landry. He was the first and only head coach for the first 29 years of the Cowboys. That unbroken 29-year tenure is an NFL record. His 20 consecutive winning seasons as a head coach is also an NFL record. Landry ranks fourth in all-time regular season wins and second all-time in postseason wins, making it to an incredible 12 NFL or NFC Championship Games over a 17-year span. Landry was named to the NFL’s 100 Anniversary All-Time Team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
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