History of the Dallas Cowboys Team

When they started in 1960, the Dallas Cowboys were the first successful NFL expansion team since the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) folded a decade earlier. Majority owner Clint Murchison Jr. brought in Tex Schramm as head coach, Tom Landry as head coach, and Gil Brandt as player management director for the new franchise.

Staubach Team Action

This group of professional football players was supposed to have “golden years” of success, but it wasn’t easy for them to get there. The 1960 Cowboys, although playing in the legendary Cotton Bowl, managed just one tie in 12 games. In 1965, the team’s sixth season, they would make money.

Starting in 1966, the Cowboys won 20 straight games, an NFL record. The team made the playoffs for 18 consecutive years. During that time, they won 13 division titles, went to the Super Bowl five times, and won Super Bowls VI and XII. 

Despite winning their division in 1966 and 1967, Dallas could not go beyond the Green Bay Packers in the NFL playoffs. All of this led to a heartbreaking loss to Baltimore in Super Bowl V, 16–13 in overtime, at the end of the 1970 season. This was the first of many playoff losses in the years to come. They were the perfect example of the saying, “good team that couldn’t win the toughest games.”

But those doubts were put to rest when, the following year, they beat the Miami Dolphins 24–3 in Super Bowl VI. Between 1975 and 1978, the Cowboys went to the Super Bowl three more times. Super Bowls X and XIII were close losses to Pittsburgh, but Super Bowl XII was a convincing 27-10 win over the Denver Broncos.

Murchison said that the Cowboys would build their stadium in the nearby town of Irving, Texas, in 1967. On October 24, 1971, Dallas ushered in a new era of professional football with the opening of Texas Stadium, which has a capacity of 65,024 spectators.

The Cowboys of the 1970s and 1980s, known as “America’s Team,” were ahead of the curve when it came to publicity thanks to initiatives like the 100,000-copy-circulation The Dallas Cowboys Newsweekly, merchandise sales, and the popularity of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

In 1986, the Cowboys won their first season after playing for a decade. Murchison formerly owned the Cowboys until 1984, when H. R. “Bum” Bright bought them. Jimmy Johnson, a former coach at the University of Miami, has been hired by Jones to take over for Landry, who is retiring after 270 wins, which puts him third all-time.

Johnson’s first team lost 15 of the first 16 games they played. Still, after several bold deals and savvy picks in the annual NFL draught, including Hall of Fame player Troy Aikman, the Cowboys were back in the title picture by Super Bowl XXVII, the fourth season under the Jerry Jones administration.

Then, they won Super Bowl XXVIII, their second world title in a row. In March of 1994, the Cowboys fired Johnson and hired top coach Barry Switzer to take his place. The “Team of the Nineties” resumed its winning ways under Switzer, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–17 in Super Bowl XXX for their third Super Bowl triumph in four years.

The Cowboys have had three different head coaches since 1998: Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, and Wade Phillips. After taking over as interim head coach for the Cowboys in the middle of the 2010 season, Jason Garrett was named the team’s ninth head coach in 2011.

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