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Dallas Cowboys

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  Dallas Cowboys, professional football team and one of five teams in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) of the National Football League (NFL). The Cowboys play at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, and wear uniforms of blue, silver, and white. The team takes its name from the state’s cattle ranching history, and the star on the players’ helmets is emblematic of Texas’s nickname, the Lone Star State. Tom Landry Dressed in a jacket, tie, and trademark hat, coach Tom Landry was a familiar sight on the Dallas Cowboys sideline from 1960 to 1988. During his 29-year career the Hall of Fame strategist guided the Cowboys to five Super Bowl appearances and compiled 270 career wins.SportsChrome-USA Dallas is one of the most successful franchises in NFL history, having appeared in eight Super Bowls—more than any other team. The Cowboys won five of these games, a record matched only by the San Francisco 49ers. Tom Landry, one of the most successful coaches in professional football history, led the club to two Super Bowl victories during the 1970s, with teams starring safety Mel Renfro and quarterback Roger Staubach.

Under head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, the team won three Super Bowls during the 1990s, with lineups featuring quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith. The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. During its first season, the team failed to win a single game. In 1965, under Landry, the Cowboys earned their first of nine consecutive trips to the playoffs. Quarterback Don Meredith, receiver Bob Hayes, and running back Dan Reeves propelled Dallas to consecutive NFL Championship Games in 1966 and 1967. Both years, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Cowboys and went on to win the Super Bowl. (Before 1971, the NFL and American Football League champions met in the Super Bowl after their respective league championships.) Dallas reached Super Bowl V in 1971 after defeating the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) and the Detroit Lions in the playoffs.

The NFL crown evaded the Cowboys, however, as they lost the game on a last-minute field goal by the Baltimore Colts (now Indianapolis Colts). The next year Roger Staubach took over as quarterback and led the league in passing; he was named the 1972 NFC player of the year. The Dallas defensive lineup that year was called the Doomsday Defense because of the way it overwhelmed Dallas’s opponents. Outstanding players included linebackers Chuck Howley and Lee Roy Jordan, end Bob Lilly, and safety Mel Renfro.

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The franchise won its first Super Bowl that year, besting the Miami Dolphins 24-3. Under Landry the Cowboys became the NFC’s most consistent team of the 1970s and early 1980s. Landry’s highly sophisticated game plans produced one of the NFC’s most potent offenses, and the team made three more trips to the NFL title game. The Cowboys lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1976, defeated the Denver Broncos in 1978, and lost to the Steelers in 1979 in one of the most thrilling Super Bowls ever played. Pittsburgh’s quarterback Terry Bradshaw had passed for four touchdowns and the Steelers led the game 35-17 with 6 minutes 51 seconds left to play. But Staubach then passed for a quick touchdown, and the Cowboys recovered an onside kick that led to another Dallas score. A second onside kick attempt failed, however, and Pittsburgh won the game, 35-31. Dallas’s many standouts during this period included several future Hall of Fame members, including running back Tony Dorsett and wide receivers Tony Hill and Drew Pearson. On defense, end Ed “Too Tall” Jones and tackle Randy White, also a future Hall of Famer, were two of the era’s most feared pass-rushers. Dallas entered a rebuilding phase in the late 1980s, and after three consecutive losing seasons, Landry retired in 1989. During his career at Dallas, Landry made 19 postseason appearances in 29 seasons.

With 270 career wins he ranks behind only Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324) on the NFL career list. Landry’s replacement was former University of Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson. After two losing seasons he guided Dallas back to the postseason in 1991. Johnson earned coach of the year honors in 1990 for his rebuilding success. His Dallas teams featured quarterback Troy Aikman, wide receiver Michael Irvin, tight end Jay Novacek, and running back Emmitt Smith. In 1993 Smith became only the fourth player to win three consecutive NFL rushing titles, joining Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, and Steve Van Buren. Dallas captured back-to-back Super Bowls in 1993 and 1994, routing the Buffalo Bills in both games. After a disagreement with team owner Jerry Jones, Johnson left the Cowboys. Former University of Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer then headed the team from 1994 to 1997. Switzer guided the franchise to a fifth Super Bowl success with a victory over the Steelers in 1996, and the Cowboys became the first team to win three Super Bowls in four seasons. However, in the late 1990s the Cowboys struggled and had little postseason success.

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