Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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They are considered America's Team, and are one of the most successful teams in the NFL. WatchMojo continues our series on ...
the Greatest Sports Franchises of All Time with a look at the Dallas Cowboys.
Tags:Greatest Sports Franchises - Dallas Cowboys,Football Playing,Greatest Sports Franchises,Greatest Sports Franchises of all Time,nfl,watchmojo,dallas cowboys
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Known as America’s team, they are the most valuable American sports franchise. Welcome to watchmojo.com and today we’ll be continuing our series of the most successful sports franchises with a look at the Dallas Cowboys.
Having joined the National Football League in 1960, the Cowboys are one of the most successful NFL teams. They were the NFL’s first modern-era expansion team, the club’s ownership group hired Tex Schramm as General Manager and Tom Landry as head coach. The club began play at the Cotton Bowl stadium. Slowly but surely, the club began to feel the competitive team with players like running back Don Perkins, defensive tackle Bob Lilky, cornerback Mel Renfro, wide receiver Bob Hayes and quarterback Don Meredith, the Cowboys achieved the 500 winning percentage for the first time in 1965, bettering that in 1966 with their first winning season and taking the Eastern Conference with a 10-3 and 1 record. In 1967, the Cowboys faced the Green Bay Packers in what has come to be known as the Ice Bowl. That game turned out to be the coldest in NFL history. To add insult to injury, the Cowboys ended up losing the game.
By 1969, the franchise began construction on Texas Stadium in Irving, a suburb of Dallas. The stadium was completed during the 1971 season which was also the year coach Landry named Roger Staubach as the starting quarterback in the second half of the season. The team went on to win their seven regular season games and Staubach led the team to Super Bowl VI, rushing for 252 yards. Dallas defeated the Miami Dolphins by a score of 24 to 3.
The club next won the Super Bowl in 1977 when they defeated the Denver Broncos. It was at this time that an NFL Films editor dubbed the Cowboys, America’s Team. Ironically, the decade following this declaration was a dud. The team slipped so far that when Jerry Jones bought the club on February 25th, 1989, one of his first decisions was to fire the legendary Landry, the only head coach the franchise had ever known. Thankfully for Cowboys’ fans, Jones replaced him with University of Miami head coach, Jimmy Johnson.
During the 1989 draft, the club went on to pick up UCLA quarterback, Troy Aikman first overall. Later that year on October 12th, the Cowboys traded aging running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in what is now called “The Trade.” While the team went on to finish the season one and 15, the trade set the stage for the turnaround by drafting players such as running back Emmitt Smith and center Mark Stepnoski, all on top of veteran players such wide receiver Michael Irvin, linebacker Ken Norton Jr. and defensive lineman, Jim Jeffcoat. It was only a matter of time before this powerhouse of a club returned to and won the Super Bowl.
In 1993, the Cowboys made their first Super Bowl trip in 14 seasons, defeating the Buffalo Bills, 52 to 17 in Super Bowl XXVII.
Coach Johnson became the first coach to claim a national championship in college football and a Super Bowl victory in professional football. But they weren’t done. The next season, they once again faced the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII and this time edged the bills, 30 to 13.
However, only a few weeks after the celebrations ended, Jones and Johnson’s divergent outlooks led to a split, with Johnson ultimately resigning from the club. Undeterred, Jones hired former University of Oklahoma head coach, Barry Switzer. In his first year, Switzer’s squad fell to the 49ers in the NFC championship game. After luring free agent and all-pro cornerback Deion Sanders away from San Francisco, Dallas went all the way. The defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, for their fifth world championship. Incidentally, Switzer joined Johnson as the only coaches to win a college football national championship and a Super Bowl. In the span of four years, the club added three Super Bowl wins. In total throughout their history, Cowboys’ eight Super Bowl appearances have resulted in five championships. This leaves the team tied with the San Francisco 49ers for total Super Bowl wins and trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers who have six.
Since the mid-1990’s, the franchise has faced the cheer of challenges on and off the field. Despite this, along with the NBA’s L.A. Lakers and Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys remain one of the big three successful, wealthy and storied American pro sports franchises. That’s one fact that isn’t going to change any time soon, since the club moved into the massive, billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas in May, 2009. With them, they brought not only the team and the loyal fans but also the legendary Cowboys cheerleaders.