1960, the Dallas Cowboys became the NFL's first successful new
team since the collapse of the All-America Football Conference
10 years earlier. Clint Murchison Jr. was the new team's majority
owner and his first order of business was to hire Tex Schramm
as general manager, Tom Landry as head coach and Gil Brandt
as player personnel director.
This trio was destined for almost unprecedented success in the
pro football world but the "glory years" didn't come
easily. Playing in the storied Cotton Bowl, the 1960 Cowboys
had to settle for one tie in 12 games and Dallas didn't break
even until its sixth season in 1965. But in 1966, the Cowboys
began an NFL-record streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons.
That streak included 18 years in the playoffs, 13 divisional
championships, five trips to the Super Bowl and victories in
Super Bowls VI and XII.
Dallas won its first two divisional championships in 1966 and
1967 but lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL championship
game each year. Similar playoff losses the next seasons were
followed by a 16-13 last-second loss to Baltimore in Super Bowl
V following the 1970 season. The Cowboys were typified as "a
good team that couldn't win the big games."
But they dispelled such thought for good the very next year
with a 24-3 win over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. The
Cowboys were Super Bowl-bound three more times from 1975 to
1978. They lost to Pittsburgh in extremely competitive games
in Super Bowls X and XIII but defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10
in Super Bowl XII. During their big years of the 1970s, the
Cowboys were led by such future Pro Football Hall of Fame members
as quarterback Roger Staubach, defensive tackles Bob Lilly and
Randy White, defensive back Mel Renfro and running back Tony
In 1967, Murchison announced that the Cowboys would build their
own stadium in suburban Irving, Texas. A new Dallas pro football
era began on October 24, 1971, when 65,024-seat Texas Stadium
The Cowboys of the 1970s and early 1980s were known as "America's
Team," an outfit that was just a step ahead of almost every
other club when it came to image-enhancing promotions such as
The Dallas Cowboys Newsweekly with a circulation of 100,000,
sales of Cowboys souvenirs and apparel and the famous Dallas
The Cowboys suffered their first losing season in two decades
in 1986 and fell all the way to 3-13 in 1988. H. R. "Bum"
Bright, who had purchased the Cowboys from Murchison in 1984,
sold the team to Jerry Jones in 1989. Jones named former University
of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson to replace Landry, who finished
his career with 270 victories, third most by any coach in history.
Johnson's first team won only once in 16 games but some daring
trades and shrewd selections in the annual NFL draft quickly
returned the Cowboys to championship status in Super Bowl XXVII
in the fourth season of the Jerry Jones regime. They followed
with a second straight world title in Super Bowl XXVIII. In
March 1994, college coach Barry Switzer replaced Johnson as
the Cowboys third head coach. The winning continued under Switzer,
as the "Team of the Nineties" won its third Super
Bowl in four years with a 27-17 victory over the Pittsburgh
Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. In 1998, Chan Gailey replaced Switzer
as the Cowboys' head coach followed two years later by Dave
Campo. In 2003, Bill Parcells became only the sixth head coach
in team history.
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