|Established 1960 |
Play in AT&T Stadium,
Arlington, Texas, U.S.
(in the Dallas, Texas area)
National Football League (1960–present)
|Team colors||Navy Blue, Metallic Silver Blue, Royal Blue, and White|
|General Manager||Jerry Jones|
|Head Coach||Mike McCarthy|
Team Nicknames The 'Boys, America's Team, Doomsday Defense, Big D
|League Championships (5)
|Conference Championships (10)
|Division Championships (23)
The Dallas Cowboys are an 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 Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The team plays its home games at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth 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 home sell-outs. 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 Stadium, and 81 straight sell-outs on the road. The franchise shares the record for most Super Bowl appearances (8) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, corresponding to most NFC championships (8). The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 consecutive winning seasons (1966–1985), in which they only missed the playoffs twice (1974 and 1984), an NFL record that remains unbroken and unchallenged. It remains one of the longest winning streaks in all of professional sports.
An article from Forbes Magazine, dated September 2, 2009, lists the Cowboys as the highest valued sports franchise in the history of the United States, and second in the world (behind Manchester United of the English Premier League), with an estimated value of approximately $1.65 billion, above the Washington Redskins ($1.5 billion) and the New England Patriots ($1.361 billion). They are also the wealthiest team in the NFL, generating almost $269 million in annual revenue.
- Main article: History of the Dallas Cowboys
1980s and 1990s
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 Clint Murchison, Jr. 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 the Savings and Loan crisis, the team and Mr. Bright's Savings and Loan were taken over by the FSLIC. During an embarrassing home loss to Atlanta in 1987, Bright told the media that he was "horrified" at Landry's play calling. The FSLIC forced Mr. Bright to sell 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 Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson. With the first pick in the draft, the Cowboys selected UCLA 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, defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat, 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: Troy 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 Oklahoma 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 Stadium 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 conference rival Arizona Cardinals. In 1999, they suffered a 27–10 first round loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
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. 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 1990 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. Romo's return showed promise, as Dallas went 3–0. However, injuries mounted during the season with the team losing several starters for the year, such as Kyle Koser, Felix Jones, safety Roy Williams and punter Matt McBriar, and several other starters playing with injuries. Entering December, the 8–4 Cowboys underperformed, finishing 1–3. They failed to make the playoffs after losing at Philadelphia in the final regular season game which saw the Eagles reach the playoffs instead.
On May 2, 2009, the Dallas Cowboys' practice facility collapsed during a violent wind storm. The collapse left twelve 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.
The 2009 season started on a positive with a road win against Tampa Bay, but fortunes quickly changed as Dallas fell to a 2–2 start. In week five, with starting wide receiver Roy Williams sidelined by injury, receiver Miles Austin got his first start of the season and had a record setting day (250 yards receiving and 2 TDs) to help lead Dallas to an overtime win over Kansas City. Following their bye week, Dallas went on a three game winning streak including wins over Atlanta and NFC East division rival Philadelphia. Despite entering December with a record of 8–3, Dallas lost its slim grip on 1st place in the division with losses to the New York Giants and San Diego. Talks of past December collapses resurfaced, and another collapse in 2009 seemed validated. However, the Dallas team surged in the final three weeks of the season with a 24–17 victory at the Superdome, ending New Orleans' previously unbeaten season in week 15. For the first time in franchise history, Dallas posted back-to-back shutouts when they beat division rivals Washington (17–0) and Philadelphia (24–0) to end the season. In the process, the Cowboys clinched their second NFC East title in three years as well as the third seed in the NFC Playoffs. Six days later, in the wild-card round of the playoffs, Dallas played the Eagles in a rematch of week 17. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles for the first Cowboys' post-season win since the 1996 season, ending a streak of six consecutive NFL post-season losses. Dallas ended their playoff run after a hard divisional playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
- Main article: 2010 Dallas Cowboys season
Logos and uniforms
- Image gallery
The Dallas Cowboys' blue star logo representative of Texas as "The Lone Star State" is one of the best known team logos in professional 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' Arena Football League team, the Dallas Desperados that have a similar logo based on the Cowboys. The blue star also is used on other entries 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 common metallic silver-blue 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.
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 also include a unique, if subtle, feature on the back of the helmet: a blue strip of Dymo tape with the player's name embossed, placed on the white portion of the stripe at the back of the helmet.
When the Dallas Cowboys franchise debuted in 1960s, 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 the Cowboys opted for a simpler look (adopting essentially the team's current uniform) by changing their jersey/socks to one solid color with three horizontal stripes on the sleeves; the white jersey featured royal blue stripes with a narrow black border, the royal blue jersey white stripes with the same black outline. The star-shouldered jerseys were eliminated; "TV" numbers appeared just above the jersey stripes. The new helmet was silverblue, with a blue-white-blue tri-stripe down the center (the middle white stripe was thicker). The blue "lone star" logo was retained, but with a white border setting it off from the silverblue. The new pants were silverblue, with a blue-white-blue tri-stripe. In 1964 the NFL allowed teams to wear white jerseys at home; several teams did so, and the Cowboys have worn white at home ever since, except on certain "throwback" days.
In 1966, the team modified the jerseys, which now featured only two sleeve stripes, slightly wider; the socks followed the same pattern. In 1967 the "lone star" helmet decal added a blue outline to the white-bordered star, giving the logo a bigger, bolder look. The logo and this version of the uniform has seen little change to the present day.
The only notable changes in the last 40 years were:
- from 1970–1973 when the "TV" numbers were moved from the shoulders to the sleeves above the stripes
- from 1981–1988 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)
- In 1980 the blue jersey was rendered in a slightly darker shade than the 1964-79 version; from 1981–1994 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).
- Player names on jersey backs, which appeared in 1970, were originally in block-letter style; by the late 1980s the names were slightly smaller and in footed, "serif" style.
- 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 1994–1995 playoffs. During the same season, the Cowboys also wore their 1960–63 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 2001–2003.
In 2004, the Cowboys resurrected their original 1960–1963 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.
Home/road jersey history
The Cowboys were one of the first NFL teams 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 1964 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 likely 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's 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, including the 1982 NFC Championship Game (having gone 3–0 in them during the regular season, during CBS' pregame show, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder actually invoked the blue jerseys in picking Dallas to win the game ), 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 Rams chose to wear their white uniforms at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear road blue 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.
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 Park, 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 has been played at Cowboys Stadium 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 Stadium. It is the only Cowboys stadium within the Dallas city limits. The Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers for the 1966 NFL Championship at the Cotton Bowl.
For the majority of the franchise's history the Cowboys played their home games at Texas Stadium. Just outside the city of Dallas, the stadium was located in Irving, Texas. The stadium opened on October 24, 1971, at a cost of $35 million and with a seating capacity of 65,675. The stadium was famous for its hole-in-the-roof dome. The roof's worn paint had become so unsightly in the early 2000s that it was repainted in the summer of 2006 by the City of Irving. It was the first time the famed roof was repainted since Texas Stadium opened. The roof was structurally independent from the stadium it covered. 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.
Cowboys Stadium (now, AT&T Stadium)
AT&T Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas, for the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. After failed negotiations to build a new stadium on the site of the Cotton Bowl, Jerry Jones along with the city of Arlington, Texas a suburb of Fort Worth, funded the stadium at a cost of $1.3 billion. The stadium is located in Tarrant County, the first time the Cowboys will call a stadium home outside of Dallas County. 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 160 by 72 feet (11,520 square feet) scoreboard surpasses the 8,736 square foot screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri as the world's largest.
At the debut pre-season game of Cowboys Stadium, a punt by Tennessee Titans kicker, AJ 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. It should also be noted that no punts hit the scoreboard during the entire 2009 regular season during an actual game. Also, what should be noted is that on August 22, 2009, the day after AJ Trapasso hit the screen, many fans touring the facility noted that half of the field was removed with large cranes re-positioning the screen. According to some fans, a tour guide explained that Jerry Jones invited a few professional soccer players to drop kick soccer balls to try and hit the screen. Once he observed them hitting it consistently he had the screen moved up another 10 feet.
The first regular season home game of the 2009 season was against the New York Giants. A league record-setting 105,121 fans showed up to completely pack Cowboys Stadium for the game before which the traditional "blue star" at the 50 yard line was unveiled for the first time; however, the Cowboys lost in the final seconds, 33–31.
The Cowboys got their first regular season home 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.
Training camp sites
Dallas Cowboys training camp locations 
- 1960: Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon
- 1961: St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
- 1962: Northern Michigan College, Marquette, Michigan
- 1963–1989: California Lutheran College, Thousand Oaks, California
- 1990–1997: St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas
- 1998–2002: Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas
- 2001: River Ridge Sports Complex, Oxnard, California
- 2002–2003: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas.
- 2004–2006: River Ridge Sports Complex, Oxnard, California
- 2007: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
- 2008: River Ridge Sports Complex, Oxnard, California
- 2009: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
- 2010: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas and River Ridge Sports Complex, Oxnard, California
- Main article: Redskins–Cowboys rivalry
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 26–14 Washington victory. Since that time, the two teams have met in 100 regular season contests and two NFC Championships. Dallas leads the regular season all-time series 59–40–2, and the Redskins lead the all-time playoff series 2–0. The Cowboys currently have an 8–6 advantage over the Redskins at FedEx Field. Some notable moments in the rivalry include Washington's victory over Dallas in the 1982 NFC Championship and the latter's 1989 win over the Redskins for their only victory that season. The last Cowboys game with Tom Landry as coach was a win over Washington on December 11, 1988.
New York Giants
- Main article: Giants–Cowboys rivalry
The first game ever played between the Giants and Cowboys was a 31–31 tie on December 4, 1960. Dallas logged its first win in the series on October 29, 1961 and New York's first was on November 11, 1962. Among the more notable moments in the rivalry was the Giants' defeat of Dallas in the 2007 playoffs en route to their victory in Super Bowl XLII and winning the first regular season game played at Cowboys Stadium in 2009. Dallas currently leads the all-time series 56–39–2.
- Main article: Eagles–Cowboys rivalry
The competition with Philadelphia has been particularly intense since the late 1970s, when the long-moribund Eagles returned to contention. In January 1981, the two teams faced off in the 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 Stadium fans pelted the Cowboys with snowballs and other debris. 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 in the last game of the year in which both teams could clinch a playoff spot with a victory, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Cowboys 44–6, and clinched a playoff spot, where they would go to lose the NFC Championship game to the Arizona Cardinals. The following season, the Cowboys avenged that defeat by beating the Eagles three times: twice during the regular season to claim the title as NFC East champions and once more in a wild-card playoff game by a combined score of 78–30, including a 24–0 shutout in week 17. That three game sweep was Dallas' first over any opponent and the longest against the Eagles since 1992–1995 when Dallas won seven straight matches against Philadelphia. Dallas leads all-time series 65–51.
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.
L.A./St. Louis Rams
The Los Angeles Rams were a major rival of the Cowboys (mid 70s – early 80s) although this rivalry has cooled somewhat since the Rams moved to St. Louis. The Cowboys and Rams have met eight times in postseason games (tied 4–4), matching the Bears-Giants rivalry for the most in postseason history. The meetings include two NFC Championship games (Dallas 2–0), four division playoff games (Rams 3–1) and two wild-card games (tied 1–1). The Rams wore their white jerseys in certain home games when the team was in Los Angeles, especially against the Cowboys, forcing Dallas to wear their "jinxed" blue jerseys, including the 1978 NFC Championship Game (Dallas won anyway, 28–0). 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 home in their most recent meeting in 2008, forcing the Cowboys to wear their "jinxed" blue jerseys. Dallas would lose 34–14 to a Rams team that would finish 2–14 on the season and see the Cowboys miss the playoffs 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 (0–9), Favre has since gone on to play for the New York Jets and currently the Minnesota Vikings. The rivalry was renewed during the 2007 season, when both teams met in a late-season matchup. Anticipations ran high as both teams boasted 10–1 records, and battled for first place in the NFC playoff hunt. Dallas prevailed, winning 37–27, 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.
- Main article: Steelers–Cowboys rivalry
The two teams met in the first regular season game the Cowboys ever played in 1960 (a 35–28 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-Cowboys is to date the Super Bowl matchup with the most contests. 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 January 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" Doomsday Defense; while the Steelers were more of a "blue-collar" team with a strong running game and the 1970s-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 including the playoffs.
Houston Texans (Intrastate rivalry)
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 interstate rival during preseason play for "bragging rights" and the Governor's Cup trophy. Both cities' fans, for the most part, do not look at this as a real rivalry since both teams play in different divisions and conferences, and play is usually in the preseason. The Cowboys face the Texans every four years in the regular season.
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, Houston 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.
A unique side 'rivalry' involves the Preston Road Trophy. The trophy is held by whichever owner's team won in the last Cowboys/Chiefs game, and the two owner families have kept up the tradition after Lamar Hunt's death. The Trophy itself is a custom placard with team insignia and a street sign- the name is because both Lamar Hunt and Jerry Jones' residences were off Preston Road in Dallas and close to each other.
Pro Football Hall of Famers
- Bob Lilly Class of 1980 (DT 1961–74)
- Roger Staubach Class of 1985 (QB 1969–79)
- Tom Landry Class of 1990 (Head Coach 1960–88)
- Tex Schramm Class of 1991 (Pres/GM 1960–89)
- Tony Dorsett Class of 1994 (RB 1977–87)
- Randy White Class of 1994 (DT 1975–88)
- Mel Renfro Class of 1996 (S/CB 1964–77)
- Troy Aikman Class of 2006 (QB 1989–2000)
- Rayfield Wright Class of 2006 (OT 1967–1979)
- Michael Irvin Class of 2007 (WR 1988–1999)
- Bob Hayes Class of 2009 (WR 1965–1975)
- Emmitt Smith Class of 2010 (RB 1990–2002)
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, with Pittsburgh, for the most Super Bowl games played (8) and the most Super Bowl MVPs with 7:
- 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.
- 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 Template:Convert/yd, threw 2 touchdown passes, and rushed 5 times for Template:Convert/yd.
- (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.
- See #3
- 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 Template:Convert/yd and 4 touchdowns, while also rushing for Template:Convert/yd.
- Running back Emmitt Smith – Super Bowl XXVIII – Smith's 30 carries for Template:Convert/yd, 4 receptions for Template:Convert/yd, 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.
- 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 Stadium 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. For the 2010 season, number 88 was issued to rookie Dez Bryant.
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.
Radio and television
As of 2010, the Cowboys' flagship radio stations is KRLD-FM. Brad Sham is the team's longtime play-by-play voice. Working alongside him is former Cowboy quarterback Babe Laufenberg, who returned in 2007 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 KTVT, the CBS owned and operated station in Dallas. Previous stations which aired Cowboys games included KVIL-FM, KRLD, and KLUV-FM. 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-TV sports anchor Dale Hansen was the Cowboys color analyst with Brad Sham as the play-by-play announcer from 1985–1996.
Dave Garrett served as the Cowboys' play-by-play announcer from 1995–97, when Brad Sham left the team and joined the Texas Rangers' radio network team as well as broadcast Sunday Night Football on Westwood One.
Team staff / Coaches
Dallas Cowboys current staff
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Dallas Cowboys current roster
- Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
- List of Dallas Cowboys seasons
- List of Dallas Cowboys players
- America's Team
- Doomsday Defense
- National Football Conference
- NFL 2002 Record & Fact Book ISBN 0-7611-2643-0
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