Professional football has been played in Texas since the 1930s, but it wasn’t until 1960 that the Dallas Cowboys were founded and began playing in the American Football League (AFL). The team joined the NFL when the AFL and NFL merged in 1970. Over 50 years later, the Dallas Cowboys have become one of the most popular sports franchises in America, and are among the highest-valued sports teams on Earth, worth about $4 billion. A Brief History of the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys were founded in 1960 as an expansion team. The team’s original owner was Clint Murchison, Jr., and its first head coach was Tom Landry. The Cowboys played their home games at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas until 1971, when they moved to Texas Stadium in Irving.
In 1967, the Cowboys made their first appearance in the playoffs, but lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game. The following year, they won their first playoff game against the Cleveland Browns en route to their first ever NFC Championship. A Brief History of the Dallas Cowboys
Early years (1960–1969)
The Dallas Cowboys were founded in 1960 as an expansion team. The team’s first home was the Cotton Bowl, which they played in from 1960 to 1964. The Cowboys won their first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they made it to the NFL Championship game in their inaugural season. However, they lost to the Green Bay Packers. In 1966, the Cowboys moved to Texas Stadium, where they played their home games for the next 32 years. The team had some success in the 1970s, making it to the playoffs several times. However, they did not win a Super Bowl until 1971, when they defeated the Miami Dolphins.
America’s Team (1970–1979)
In 1970, the Cowboys became the first team to appear in three Super Bowls, all in a span of four seasons. They defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, but lost Super Bowls V and XII. The next year, the Cowboys won their first NFL title since 1966 with a 24–3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XIII. In 1975, they made it back-to-back Super Bowls, becoming only the second team ever to do so, and defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X. They would go on to lose Super Bowl XIII to the Denver Broncos 27–10. The Cowboys won Super Bowl XII again in 1977, this time against the Denver Broncos 13–10.
Super Bowls (1980–1989)
The 1980s were a decade of domination for the Cowboys. They won two Super Bowls, appeared in three more, and had the best record in the NFL four times. The team was led by quarterback Roger Staubach and head coach Tom Landry. They had a talented roster that included future Hall of Famers like Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman. The Cowboys were the team of the decade, and their success would continue into the 1990s.
Struggles at Home (1990–1999)
After a series of mediocre seasons, the 1990s were mostly a lost decade for the Cowboys. In 1993, after a 2–0 start, Dallas went 1–15—the worst record in franchise history—during Jerry Jones’s first year as owner. Jones fired Tom Landry, the only head coach in franchise history, and replaced him with Jimmy Johnson. The 1–15 season was followed by another disappointing 5–11 campaign in 1994. However, in 1995, behind strong play from running back Emmitt Smith and quarterback Troy Aikman (who was named league MVP), Dallas finished 10–6 and won its first division title since 1985. The team then upset the defending champion San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.
Rebuilding a Dynasty (2000–2009)
After years of lackluster performance, the Cowboys finally returned to winning form in the new millennium. In 2000, they finished with a record of 11–5 and won their first division title since 1996. The following year, they made it all the way to the NFC Championship game before losing to eventual Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. The next few seasons were equally successful, as the team made it to the playoffs every year from 2003 to 2006. In 2007, they suffered a disappointing loss in the first round of the playoffs. But in 2009, they rebounded with a 13–3 record and won their first playoff game since 1996. They ultimately lost in the NFC Championship game that year, but this was just a sign of things to come for this once-great franchise.
Return to Greatness (2010 – )
In 2010, the Cowboys hired Jason Garrett as their head coach. Garrett had been with the organization since 2007 as their offensive coordinator. In his first season, the team finished with a 6–10 record. The following year, they improved to 8–8. In 2012, they again finished 8–8, but this time missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. Finally, in 2013, they put it all together and went 12-4 to win the NFC East and make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They lost in the Wild Card round to eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. The next year, they went 4-12 and missed the playoffs again.
How did the team come to be?
The Dallas Cowboys were founded in 1960 as an expansion team. They are one of the most successful teams in NFL history, having won five Super Bowls, ten Conference championships, and twenty-six Divisional championships. The team has also appeared in thirty-eight playoff games, more than any other NFL team.
How have they been doing lately?