The Dallas Cowboys
Saying that the Dallas Cowboys is a popular team is an understatement. This is because it is one of the most popular and recognizable NFL teams today, as evidenced by 79 home sellouts and 81 road sellouts. This article will take you thru some of the more important events in the Dallas Cowboys’ colorful history.
“Birth of a Titan” The Dallas Cowboys started off as an expansion team owned by Clint Murchison Jr. and Bedford Wynne. It was not easy for Murchison to own an expansion team because of his much talked about rivalry with George Preston Marshall. The latter would not vote for Murchison and the NFL rules at the time required the unanimous vote of all owners. The former surreptitiously bought the rights to the Redskins’ fight song and would not allow the song to be played by the Redskins, the team owned by Marshall. A deal was brokered for the sale of the rights to the Redskins owner to win his vote. Hence on January 28, 1960 the Dallas Cowboys was born.
Not Bad Cowboys The Dallas Cowboys won their first game. It took them a few years but they eventually reached the championships both in 1966 and 1967 only to be stopped by the same team, the Greenbay Packers. 1970 saw the Cowboys lose to the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl but in the next year, they eventually won their first Super Bowl championship.
The Bright years 1984 was the year that owner Clint Murchinson sold the Cowboys franchise to H.R. Bright. However, with Bright al the helm, the team did not fare so well. In February 25, 1989, Bright sold (some say he was forcefully required to sell) the team franchise to Jerry Jones.
Rebuilding the Team The first order of business was to forget the 1989 season when they limped out with a despicable 1-15 slate, the worst record in 30 years. This meant firing Tom Landry the Cowboy’s first and only coach. The head coach position was given to Jimmy Johnson. Aside from this, the Cowboys started strategic trades with several of its veteran players. This eventually resulted in a 7- 9 record with the following line up
- Fullback – Daryl Johnston
- Running Back – Emmith Smith
- Center – Mark Stepnoski
- Offensive Tackle – Erik Williams
- Defensive Tackle – Russell Maryland
- Safety – Darren Woodston
- Linebacker – Ken Norton Jr.
- Wide Receiver – Michael Irvin
- Guard – Nate Newton
- Defensive end – Charles Haley
- Defensive lineman – Jim Jeffcoat
- Offensive lineman – Mark Tunei
- Tight end- Jay Novacek
The Cowboys set a team record of 13 wins and 3 losses. In 1993, roughly three years from their 1-15 performance, the Cowboys were again back on top with their first appearance at the Super Bowl after 14 years.
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Before the start of Super Bowl XXVIII, Johnson retired as head coach and was replaced by Barry Switzer. The Cowboys finished at 12-4 but failed to go to the Super Bowl because of the then invincible San Francisco 49ers. So what did management do? They found a way to get the star of the 49ers, Deion Sanders. This resulted in their fifth Super Bowl championship (Super Bowl XXX).
Nowhere to go But Down
A bad year for the Cowboys with injuries, aging players, discipline problems, drug related suspension, etc. 1997 saw the Cowboys close at 6-10. In 1998 Switzer resigned as the head coach. He was replaced by Cahn Gailey who reversed the 1997 nightmare to 10-6 and an NFC East Championship. He did not, however, register a Super Bowl win and was fired in 1999.
Six Years of Mediocrity Dave Campo was hired as head coach but due to a less than stellar performance of 3 consecutive 5-11 finishes, he was fired. Jerry Jones was besieged with hate mail and he responded by pulling Bill Parcels out of retirement. With Bill on the helm, the Cowboys were back (at least temporarily). They posted a 10-6 season.
Injuries Left and Right: Wade Philips replaced Bill as head coach. He secured the 16th NFC East championship for the Cowboys, but did not win the Super Bowl because they were eliminated by the Giants. 2008 was a bad year for the Cowboys. Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Kyle Kosier, Mat McBriar, Roy Williams and several other starting players got injured.
The Cowboys’ practice facility was devastated by a windstorm culminating in its collapse with coaches and players inside. This resulted in 12 injuries (players and coaches). The worst ones were Rich Behm who was paralyzed permanently from the waist down, and coach Joe DeCamillis, who got a fractured cervical vertebrae
Phillips was fired for beginning the 2010 season with a 1-7 mark. He was replaced by Jason Garrett as interim coach and the team closed the season with a 6-10 record. 2011 saw the Cowboys with USC tackle Tyron Smith suiting up. With the 9th selection overall of the of the 2011 draft, the Cowboys selected Tyron Smith.
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