|Established January 28, 1960|
First season: 1960
Play in AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Headquartered in Ford Center at The Star (Frisco, Texas)
|Team colors||Navy blue, metallic silver, royal blue, white|
|Fight song||Cowboys Stampede March|
|Head coach||Mike McCarthy|
|General manager||Jerry Jones|
|League championships (5)|
|Conference championships (10)
|Division championships (23)
|Playoff appearances (33)|
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which opened for the 2009 season. The stadium took its current name prior to the 2013 season.
The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. The team's national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive sell-outs. The Cowboys' streak of 190 consecutive sold-out regular and post-season games (home and away) began in 2002. The franchise has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances in history, just behind the New England Patriots record eleven Super Bowl appearances. This has also corresponded to eight NFC championships, most in the NFC. The Cowboys have won five of those Super Bowl appearances, tying them with their NFC rivals, the San Francisco 49ers; both are third to Pittsburgh's and New England's record six Super Bowl championships. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they missed the playoffs only twice (1974 and 1984).
In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys became the first sports team to be valued at $4 billion, making it the most valuable sports team in the world, according to Forbes. The Cowboys also generated $620 million in revenue in 2014, a record for a U.S. sports team. In 2018 they also became the first NFL franchise to be valued at $5 billion and making Forbes' list as the most valued NFL team for the 12th straight year.
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Prior to the formation of the Dallas Cowboys, there had not been an NFL team south of Washington, D.C. since the Dallas Texans folded in 1952. Oilman Clint Murchison Jr. had been trying to get an NFL expansion team in Dallas (as was Lamar Hunt – who ended up with an AFL franchise), but George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins, had a monopoly in the South.
Murchison had tried to purchase the Washington Redskins from Marshall in 1958. An agreement was struck, but as the deal was about to be finalized, Marshall called for a change in terms. This infuriated Murchison and he called off the deal. Marshall then opposed any franchise for Murchison in Dallas. Since NFL expansion needed unanimous approval from team owners at that time, Marshall's position would prevent Murchison from joining the league.
Marshall had a falling out with the Redskins band leader Barnee Breeskin. Breeskin had written the music to the Redskins fight song "Hail to the Redskins" and Marshall's wife had penned the lyrics. Breeskin owned the rights to the song and was aware of Murchison's plight to get an NFL franchise. Angry with Marshall, Breeskin approached Murchison's attorney to sell him the rights to the song before the expansion vote in 1959. Murchison purchased "Hail to the Redskins" for $2,500. Before the vote to award franchises in 1959, Murchison revealed to Marshall that he owned the song and Marshall could not play it during games. After a few Marshall expletives, Murchison gave the rights to "Hail to the Redskins" to Marshall for his vote, the lone one against Murchison getting a franchise at that time, and a rivalry was born.
From 1970 through 1979, the Cowboys won 105 regular season games, more than any other NFL franchise during that span. In addition, they appeared in 5 and won two Super Bowls, at the end of the 1971 and 1977 regular seasons.
Danny White became the Cowboys' starting quarterback in 1980 after quarterback Roger Staubach retired. Despite going 12–4 in 1980, the Cowboys came into the playoffs as a Wild Card team. In the opening round of the 1980–81 NFL playoffs they avenged their elimination from the prior year's playoffs by defeating the Rams. In the Divisional Round they squeaked by the Atlanta Falcons 30–27. For the NFC Championship they were pitted against division rival Philadelphia, the team that won the division during the regular season. The Eagles captured their first conference championship and Super Bowl berth by winning 20–7.
1981 brought another division championship for the Cowboys. They entered the 1981-82 NFL playoffs as the number 2 seed. Their first game of the postseason saw them blow out Tampa Bay in a 38–0 shutout. For the Conference Title game they were pitted against the San Francisco 49ers, the number 1 seed. Despite having a late 4th quarter 27–21 lead, they would lose to the 49ers 28–27. 49ers quarterback Joe Montana led his team on an 89-yard game-winning touchdown drive, connecting with Dwight Clark in a play known as The Catch.
The 1982 season was shortened after a player strike. With a 6–3 record Dallas made it to the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season. As the number 2 seed for the 1982–83 NFL playoffs they eliminated the Buccaneers 30–17 in the Wild Card round and dispatched the Packers 37–26 in the Divisional round to advance to their 3rd consecutive Conference championship game. 3rd time was not the charm for the Cowboys as they fell 31–17 to their division rival and eventual Super Bowl XVII champions, the Washington Redskins.
For the 1983 season the Cowboys went 12–4 and made it once again to the playoffs but were defeated at home in the Wild Card by the Rams 24–17. Prior to the 1984 season, H.R. "Bum" Bright purchased the Dallas Cowboys from Clint Murchison, Jr. Dallas posted a 9–7 record that season but missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons. After going 10–6 in 1985 and winning a division title, the Cowboys were shut out 20-0 by the Rams in the Divisional round at home.
Hard times came for the organization as they went 7–9 in 1986, 7–8 in 1987, and 3–13 in 1988. During this time period Bright became disenchanted with the team. During the savings and loan crisis, the team and Mr. Bright's savings and loan were taken over by the FSLIC. During an embarrassing home loss to Atlanta in 1987, Bright told the media that he was "horrified" at coach Tom Landry's play calling. The FSLIC forced Mr. Bright to sell the Cowboys to Jerry Jones on February 25, 1989.
Jones immediately fired Tom Landry, the only head coach in franchise history, replacing him with University of Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson, who was also Jerry Jones' teammate at the University of Arkansas as a fellow defensive lineman and Michael Irvin was under his tutelage in college. With the first pick in the draft, the Cowboys selected UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman. Later that same year, they would trade veteran running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for five veteran players and eight draft choices. Although the Cowboys finished the 1989 season with a 1–15 record, their worst in almost 30 years, "The Trade" later allowed Dallas to draft a number of impact players to rebuild the team.
Johnson quickly returned the Cowboys to the NFL's elite. Skillful drafts added fullback Daryl Johnston and center Mark Stepnoski in 1989, running back Emmitt Smith in 1990, defensive tackle Russell Maryland and offensive tackle Erik Williams in 1991, and safety Darren Woodson in 1992. The young talent joined holdovers from the Landry era such as wide receiver Michael Irvin, guard Nate Newton, linebacker Ken Norton Jr., and offensive lineman Mark Tuinei, defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat, and veteran pickups such as tight end Jay Novacek and defensive end Charles Haley.
Things started to look up for the franchise in 1990. On Week 1 Dallas won their first home game since September 1988 when they defeated the San Diego Chargers 17–14. They went 2–7 in their next 9 games but won 4 of their last 6 games to finish the season with a 4th place 7–9 record.
Coming into 1991 the Cowboys replaced offensive coordinator Dave Shula with Norv Turner; the Cowboys raced to a 6–5 start, then defeated the previously-unbeaten Redskins despite injury to Troy Aikman. Backup Steve Beuerlein took over and the Cowboys finished 11–5. In the Wild Card round they defeated the Bears 17–13 for the Cowboys first playoff win since 1982. In the Divisional round their season ended in a 38–6 playoff rout by the Lions.
In 1992 Dallas set a team record for regular season wins with a 13–3 mark. They started off the season by defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Redskins 23–10. Going into the playoffs as the number 2 seed they had a first round bye before facing division rival the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys won that game 34–10 to advance to the NFC Conference Championship game for the first time in 10 years. They were pitted against the San Francisco 49ers, the number 1 seed. On January 17, 1993 the Cowboys went to Candlestick Park and defeated the 49ers 30–20 to clinch their first Super Bowl berth since 1978. Dallas defeated the Buffalo Bills 52–17 in Super Bowl XXVII, during which they forced a record nine turnovers. Johnson became the first coach to claim a national championship in college football and a Super Bowl victory in professional football.
Despite starting the 1993 season 0–2, they again defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII, 30–13 (becoming the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl after starting 0–2). Dallas finished the regular season 12–4 as the number 1 seed of the NFC. They defeated the Green Bay Packers 27–17 in the divisional round. In the NFC Conference Championship, Dallas beat the 49ers in Dallas, 38–21. Dallas sent a then-NFL record 11 players to the Pro Bowl in 1993: Aikman, safety Thomas Everett, Irvin, Johnston, Maryland, Newton, Norton, Novacek, Smith, Stepnoski, and Williams.
Only weeks after Super Bowl XXVIII, however, friction between Johnson and Jones culminated in Johnson stunning the football world by announcing his resignation. Jones then hired former University of Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer to replace Johnson. The Cowboys finished 12–4 in 1994. They once again clinched a first round bye and defeated Green Bay 35–9 in the Divisional Round. They missed the Super Bowl, however, after losing to the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, 38–28.
Prior to the start of 1995 season Jerry Jones lured All-Pro cornerback Deion Sanders away from San Francisco. Dallas started the season 4–0 including shutting out their division rival New York Giants 35–0 at Giants Stadium to open their season. Emmitt Smith set an NFL record with 25 rushing touchdowns that season. They ended the season 12–4 and went into the playoffs as the number 1 seed. In the Divisional round they dispatched their division rival Eagles 30–11 to advance to their 4th consecutive NFC Conference Championship Game, in which they defeated Green Bay, 38–27. In Super Bowl XXX the Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–17 at Sun Devil Stadium for their fifth Super Bowl championship. Switzer joined Johnson as the only coaches to win a college football national championship and a Super Bowl.
The glory days of the Cowboys were again beginning to dim as free agency, age, and injuries began taking their toll. Star receiver Michael Irvin was suspended by the league for the first five games of 1996 following a drug-related arrest; he came back after the Cowboys started the season 2–3. They finished the regular season with a 10–6 record, won the NFC East title, and entered the playoffs as the number 3 seed in the NFC. They defeated Minnesota 40–15 in the Wild Card round but were eliminated in the Divisional round of the playoffs 26–17 by the Carolina Panthers.
The Cowboys went 6–10 in 1997 (including losing their last 6 games of the season), with discipline and off-field problems becoming major distractions. As a result, Switzer resigned as head coach in January 1998 and former Steelers offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was hired to take his place.
In 1999 Dallas went 8–8 (during which Irvin suffered a career-ending spinal injury in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles) ending in another playoff loss (this time to the Minnesota Vikings 27–10). Gailey was fired and became the first Cowboys coach who did not take the team to a Super Bowl.
Defensive coordinator Dave Campo was promoted to head coach for the 2000 season. Prior to the season starting cornerback Deion Sanders was released after 5 seasons with the team. He later signed with division rival Washington. In Week 1, they were blown out 41–14 by Philadelphia. That game was very costly when veteran quarterback Troy Aikman suffered a serious concussion which ultimately ended his career. Longtime NFL QB Randall Cunningham filled in for Aikman for the rest of the season at QB. The Cowboys finished the season in 4th place with a 5–11 record. The only highlights of 2000 were Emmitt Smith having his 10th consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season and a season sweep over the Redskins.
2001 was another hard year in Dallas. Prior to the season starting Aikman was released from the team and he retired due to the concussions he had received. Jerry Jones signed Tony Banks as a QB. Banks had been a starter for half of the season the previous year for the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens before being benched. Jones also drafted QB Quincy Carter in the second round of that year's draft, and Banks was released during the preseason. Ryan Leaf, Anthony Wright, and Clint Stoerner all competed for the quarterback position that season. Dallas again finished at 5–11, last place in the NFC East, but they swept the Redskins for the 4th consecutive season.
Prior to the 2002 season Dallas drafted safety Roy Williams with the 8th overall pick. The season started out low as the Cowboys lost to the expansion Houston Texans 19–10 on Week 1. By far the highlight of 2002 was on October 28, when during a home game against the Seattle Seahawks, Emmitt Smith broke the all-time NFL rushing record previously held by Walter Payton. Their Thanksgiving Day win over the Redskins was their 10th consecutive win against Washington. However, that was their final win of 2002: Dallas lost their next 4 games to finish with another last place 5–11 record. The losing streak was punctuated with a Week 17 20–14 loss against Washington. That game was Smith's last game as a Cowboys player: he was released during the offseason. Campo was immediately fired as head coach at the conclusion of the season.
Jones then lured Bill Parcells out of retirement to coach the Cowboys. The Cowboys became the surprise team of the 2003 season getting off to a hot 7–2 start, but went 3–4 for the rest of the season. They were able to grab the second NFC wild card spot with a 10–6 record but lost in the Wild Card round to eventual conference champion Carolina Panthers, 29–10.
2006 was an interesting year for the Cowboys. Prior to the season they signed free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens who was talented yet controversial. The Cowboys started the season 3–2. During a week 7 matchup against the Giants, Bledsoe, who had been struggling since the start of the season, was pulled from the game and was replaced by backup Tony Romo. Romo was unable to salvage that game and Dallas lost 38–22. However, Romo was named the starter for the team and went 5–1 in his first 6 games. Dallas ended the season with a 9–7 2nd-place finish. They were able to clinch the number 5 playoff seed. They traveled to play Seattle where the Seahawks won 21–20. After the season Parcells retired and was replaced by Wade Phillips.
Dallas started the 2007 season with a bang, winning their first five games. They won 12 of their first 13 games, with their only loss during that span being to New England, who went undefeated that season. Despite dropping two of their last three regular season games, the Cowboys clinched their first number 1 NFC seed in 12 years, which also granted them a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They lost in the divisional round 21–17 to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
In the tumultuous 2008 season, the Cowboys started off strong, going 3–0 for the second straight year, en route to a 4–1 start. However, things soon went downhill from there, after quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken pinkie in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger playing as backups, Dallas went 1–2 during a three-game stretch. Romo's return showed promise, as Dallas went 3–0. However, injuries mounted during the season, with the team losing several starters for the year, such as Kyle Kosier, Felix Jones, safety Roy Williams, punter Mat McBriar, and several other starters playing with injuries. Entering December, the 8–4 Cowboys underperformed, finishing 1–3. They failed to make the playoffs after losing at Philadelphia in the final regular season game which saw the Eagles reach the playoffs instead.
On May 2, 2009, the Dallas Cowboys' practice facility collapsed during a wind storm. The collapse left twelve Cowboys players and coaches injured. The most serious injuries were special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who suffered fractured cervical vertebrae and had surgery to stabilize fractured vertebrae in his neck, and Rich Behm, the team's 33-year-old scouting assistant, who was permanently paralyzed from the waist down after his spine was severed.
The 2009 season started positively with a road win against Tampa Bay, but fortunes quickly changed as Dallas fell to a 2–2 start. In week five, with starting wide receiver Roy Williams sidelined by injury, receiver Miles Austin got his first start of the season and had a record setting day (250 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns) to help lead Dallas to an overtime win over Kansas City. Following their bye week, they went on a three-game winning streak including wins over Atlanta and NFC East division rival Philadelphia. Despite entering December with a record of 8–3, they lost their slim grip on 1st place in the division with losses to the New York Giants and San Diego. Talks of past December collapses resurfaced, and another collapse in 2009 seemed validated. However, the team surged in the final three weeks of the season with a 24–17 victory at the Superdome, ending New Orleans' previously unbeaten season in week 15. For the first time in franchise history, they posted back-to-back shutouts when they beat division rivals Washington (17–0) and Philadelphia (24–0) to end the season. In the process, the Cowboys clinched their second NFC East title in three years as well as the third seed in the NFC Playoffs. Six days later, in the wild-card round of the playoffs, Dallas played the Eagles in a rematch of week 17. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles for the first Cowboys' post-season win since the 1996 season, ending a streak of six consecutive NFL post-season losses. Dallas ended their playoff run after a hard divisional playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
To start the 2011 season the Cowboys played the Jets on a Sunday night primetime game in New York, on September 11. The Cowboys held the lead through most of the game, until a fumble, blocked punt, and interception led to the Jets coming back to win the game. In week 2 the Cowboys traveled to San Francisco to play the 49ers. In the middle of the 2nd quarter, while the Cowboys trailed 10–7, Tony Romo suffered a rib injury and was replaced by Jon Kitna. Kitna threw 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions until Romo returned in the 3rd quarter as Dallas trailed 17–7. Romo then threw 3 touchdown passes to Miles Austin as the Cowboys rallied to send the game into overtime. On their opening possession after a 49ers punt, Romo found wide receiver Jesse Holley on a 78-yard pass, which set up the game-winning field goal by rookie kicker Dan Bailey.
The Cowboys ended the season 8–8. They were in a position to win the NFC East but lost to the Giants in a Week 17 primetime Sunday Night game on NBC which allowed the Giants to win the division. The Giants would go on to win Super Bowl XLVI.
The Cowboys started off the 2012 season on a high note by defeating the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants 24–17 on the opening night of the season. They would hover around the .500 mark for the majority of the season. They lost a close Week 6 game to eventual Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens 31–29 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Going into Week 17 they found themselves once again one win away from winning the division. Standing in their way were the Washington Redskins, who had beaten them on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium and whom were one win away from their first division title since 1999. Led by Robert Griffin III the Redskins defeated the Cowboys at home 28-18. Dallas once again finished the season 8–8.
In the 2013 season the Cowboys started off by defeating the New York Giants for the second straight year; this time 36–31. It was the first time since AT&T Stadium had opened back in 2009 that the Cowboys were able to defeat the Giants at home. The win was punctuated by Brandon Carr intercepting an Eli Manning pass for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter.
For the third straight year Dallas once again found themselves stuck in the .500 area. In Week 5, they lost a shootout to the eventual AFC Champion Denver Broncos 51–48. They battled it out with the Philadelphia Eagles for control of the division throughout the season. In December however they lost 2 crucial back to back games to Chicago and Green Bay. They were very successful in division games having a 5–0 division record heading into another Week 17 showdown for the NFC East crown against the Eagles. That included beating Washington 24–23 on Week 16 thanks to late game heroics of Tony Romo. However Romo received a severe back injury in that game which prematurely ended his season. The Cowboys called upon backup quarterback Kyle Orton to lead them into battle on the final week of the season. Orton was unsuccessful who threw a game ending interception to the Eagles which allowed the Eagles to win 24–22. Dallas ended the year at 8–8 for the third year in a row. The only difference of this 8–8 ending compared to the others was that Dallas ended the season in second place compared to the 2 previous 3rd-place finishes.
To start off the 2014 season Dallas began by losing to San Francisco 28–17. After that they went on a 6-game winning streak. The highlight of this streak was defeating the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field 30–23. In Week 8, the Redskins won in overtime 20–17, and Romo injured his back again. He missed next week, a home loss to the Arizona Cardinals 28–17 with backup QB Brandon Weeden. Romo returned in Week 9 to lead a 31–17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, which was played at Wembley Stadium in London, England as part of the NFL International Series.
Dallas played their traditional Thanksgiving home game against division rival Philadelphia. Both teams were vying for first place in the division with identical 8–3 records. The Eagles got off to a fast start and the Cowboys were unable to catch up, losing 33–10. They would rebound the next week when they defeated Chicago 41–28. Week 15 was a rematch against 1st place Philadelphia. This time it was the Cowboys who got off to a fast start going up 21–0. Then the Eagles put up 24 points but Dallas came back to win 38–27 to go into first place for the first time in the season and improve to 10–4. Going into their Week 16 matchup at home against Indianapolis, Dallas was in a position to clinch their first division title since 2009 by defeating the Colts 42-7 and the Eagles losing that week to the Redskins. They became the 2014 NFC East Champions, eliminating the Eagles from the playoffs. Dallas ended the regular season with a 12–4 record and an 8–0 away record when they won on the road against Washington 44–17.
Wild Card Round
On January 4, 2015, the Cowboys, as the number 3 seed, hosted the number 6 seed Detroit Lions in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. In the game, the Lions got off to a hot start, going up 14–0 in the first quarter. Dallas initially struggled on both sides of the ball. However, towards the end of the second quarter Romo threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. Matt Prater of the Lions would kick a field goal before halftime to go up 17–7. Dallas came out swinging to start the second half by picking off Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford on the first play of the third quarter. However, the Cowboys failed to capitalize on the turnover, as Dan Bailey missed a field goal during Dallas's ensuing drive. Detroit then kicked another field goal to make the score 20–7. A DeMarco Murray touchdown later in that quarter closed the gap to 20–14. A 51-yard Bailey field goal almost 3 minutes into the fourth quarter trimmed the Cowboys' deficit to 3. The Lions got the ball back and started driving down the field. On 3rd down-and-1 of that Lions drive, Stafford threw a 17-yard pass intended for Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew, but the ball hit Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens in the back a fraction of a second before he ran into Pettigrew. The play was initially flagged as defensive pass interference against Hitchens. However, the penalty was then nullified by the officiating crew. The Cowboys got the ball back on their 41-yard line and had a successful 59-yard drive which was capped off by an 8-yard touchdown pass from Romo to Williams to give the Cowboys their first lead of the game at 24–20. The Lions got the ball back with less than 2:30 to play in regulation. Stafford fumbled the ball at the 2 minute mark. The fumble was recovered by Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who then fumbled the ball which was recovered by the Lions. Lawrence would redeem himself by sacking Stafford on a 4th down-and-3 play. The sack led to Stafford fumbling the ball again, which Lawrence recovered to seal the game for the Cowboys, who won 24–20. This was the first time in franchise playoff history that Dallas had been down by 10 or more points at halftime and rallied to win the game.
The following week, the Cowboys traveled to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin to play the Packers in the divisional round. Despite having a 14–7 halftime lead, the Cowboys fell to the Packers 26–21, thus ending their season. The season ended on an overturned call of a completed catch by Dez Bryant. The catch was challenged by the Packers, and the referees overturned the call because of the "Calvin Johnson rule."
During the 2015 offseason the Cowboys allowed running back DeMarco Murray to become a free agent. Murray signed with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. On July 15 wide receiver Dez Bryant signed a 5-year, $70 million contract.
At home against the New York Giants, Dallas won 27–26. Dez Bryant left the game early with a fractured bone in his foot. On the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, Romo suffered a broken left collarbone, the same one he injured in 2010, and Brandon Weeden replaced him. Dallas won 20–10 to begin the season 2–0, but then went on a seven-game losing streak. They finished the season 4–12 and last in their division.
After a preseason injury to Tony Romo, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott was slated as the starting quarterback, as Romo was expected to be out 6–8 weeks. In game 1 against the New York Giants, Dallas lost 20–19. After this loss, Dallas would go on an eleven-game winning streak. After much speculation leading to a potential quarterback controversy, Romo made an announcement that Prescott had earned the right to take over as the Cowboys starting quarterback.
In game 10, Romo suited up for the first time in the season and was the backup quarterback. Dallas defeated the Baltimore Ravens to win their 9th straight game, breaking a franchise record of 8 straight games set in 1977. It also marked rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott breaking Tony Dorsett's single season rushing record for a Cowboys rookie. Prescott also tied an NFL rookie record held by Russell Wilson and Dan Marino by throwing multiple touchdowns in 5 straight games. Dallas finished 13–3, tying their best 16-game regular season record. While Dallas defeated Green Bay at Lambeau Field in week 6, the Packers would win at AT&T Stadium in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs on a last-second field goal, ending the Cowboys’ season.
Dak Prescott was named NFL Rookie of the Year in the NFL honors on February 4, 2017, and Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing yards. Both Prescott and Elliott made the 2017 Pro Bowl. This is the first time the Cowboys sent two rookies to the Pro Bowl.
2017 was the first season since 2002 without quarterback Tony Romo, who retired on April 4 after 14 seasons with the Cowboys. The season also featured second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott being suspended for 6 games after violating the league's conduct policy. The suspension was to begin at the start of the year but was pushed back to November. The Cowboys finished the year at 9-7 without making the playoffs. Following the season, Dez Bryant was released after eight seasons in Dallas and tight end Jason Witten, who holds several franchise receiving records, retired after 15 seasons, ending an era.
Thanksgiving Day games
In 1966, six years after their founding, the Cowboys adopted the practice of hosting Thanksgiving games. It is widely rumored that the Cowboys sought a guarantee that they would regularly host Thanksgiving games as a condition of their first one (since games on days other than Sunday were uncommon at the time and thus high attendance was not a certainty). This is only partly true; Dallas had in fact decided to host games on Thanksgiving by their own decision because there was nothing else to do or watch on that day. In 1975 and 1977, at the behest of then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle, the then-St. Louis Cardinals replaced Dallas as a host team (Dallas then hosted St. Louis in 1976). Although the Cardinals, at the time known as the "Cardiac Cards" due to their propensity for winning very close games, were a modest success at the time, they were nowhere near as popular nationwide as the Cowboys, who were regular Super Bowl contenders during this era. This, combined with St. Louis's consistently weak attendance, a series of ugly Cardinals losses in the three-game stretch, and opposition from the Kirkwood–Webster Groves Turkey Day Game (a local high school football contest) led to Dallas resuming regular hosting duties in 1978; it was then, after Rozelle asked Dallas to resume hosting Thanksgiving games, that the Cowboys requested (and received) an agreement guaranteeing the Cowboys a spot on Thanksgiving Day forever.
Logos and uniforms
The Dallas Cowboys' blue star logo, which represents Texas as "The Lone Star State," is one of the most well-known team logos in professional sports. The blue star originally was a solid shape until a white line and blue border was added in 1964. The logo has remained the same since. Today, the blue star has been extended to not only the Dallas Cowboys, but owner Jerry Jones' AFL team, the Dallas Desperados that have a similar logo based on that of the Cowboys. The blue star also is used on other entries like an imaging facility and storage facility.
The Dallas Cowboys' white home jersey has royal blue (PMS 287 C) solid socks, numbers, lettering, and two stripes on the sleeves outlined in black. The home pants are a common metallic silver-green color (PMS 8280 C) that helps bring out the blue in the uniform. The navy (PMS 289 C) road jerseys (nicknamed the "Stars and Stripes" jersey) have white lettering and numbers with navy pinstripes. A white/gray/white stripe are on each sleeve as well as the collared V-neck, and a Cowboys star logo is placed upon the stripes. A "Cowboys" chest crest is directly under the NFL shield. The away pants are a pearlish metallic-silver color (PMS 8180 C) and like the home pants, enhance the navy in the uniforms. The team uses a serifed font for the lettered player surnames on the jersey nameplates.
The team's helmets are also a unique silver with a tint of blue known as "Metallic Silver Blue" (PMS 8240 C) and have a blue/white/blue vertical stripe placed upon the center of the crown. The Cowboys also include a unique, if subtle, feature on the back of the helmet: a blue strip of Dymo tape with the player's name embossed, placed on the white portion of the stripe at the back of the helmet.
When the Dallas Cowboys franchise debuted in 1960, the team's uniform included a white helmet adorned with a simple blue star and a blue-white-blue stripe down the center crown. The team donned blue jerseys with white sleeves and a small blue star on each shoulder for home games and the negative opposite for away games. Their socks also had two horizontal white stripes overlapping the blue.
In 1964 the Cowboys opted for a simpler look (adopting essentially the team's current uniform) by changing their jersey/socks to one solid color with three horizontal stripes on the sleeves; the white jersey featured royal blue stripes with a narrow black border, the royal blue jersey white stripes with the same black outline. The star-shouldered jerseys were eliminated; "TV" numbers appeared just above the jersey stripes. The new helmet was silverblue, with a blue-white-blue tri-stripe down the center (the middle white stripe was thicker). The blue "lone star" logo was retained, but with a white border setting it off from the silver/blue. The new pants were silver/blue, with a blue-white-blue tri-stripe. In 1964 the NFL allowed teams to wear white jerseys at home; several teams did so, and the Cowboys have worn white at home ever since, except on certain "throwback" days.
In 1966, the team modified the jerseys, which now featured only two sleeve stripes, slightly wider; the socks followed the same pattern. In 1967 the "lone star" helmet decal added a blue outline to the white-bordered star, giving the logo a bigger, bolder look. The logo and this version of the uniform has seen little change to the present day.
The only notable changes from 1970 to the present were:
- from 1970–1973 when the "TV" numbers were moved from the shoulders to the sleeves above the stripes
- from 1982–1988 the pants featured a white uniform number in an elliptical blue circle worn near the hip.
- the removal of the indented serifs on the front and back jersey numbers in the early 1980s (seen currently on the throwback jersey)
- In 1980 the blue jersey was rendered in a slightly darker shade than the 1964–79 version; from 1981–1994 the dark jerseys sported numbers that were gray with white borders and a blue pinstripe. The stripes on the sleeves and socks also used the same gray with white border scheme (sans navy pinstripe).
- Player names on jersey backs, which appeared in 1970, were originally in block-letter style; from 1982 onward the names were slightly smaller and in footed, "serif" style.
- from 1996–present the blue jersey features white/gray/white stripes on each sleeve and the collared V-neck, the Cowboys star logo placed upon the sleeve stripes, white lettering and numbers with navy pinstripes, and the "Cowboys" wordmark in the center of the neckline. The "Cowboys" wordmark was also placed at that same spot on the white jersey from 1996 to 1998.
During the 1976 season, the blue-white-blue stripe on the crown of the helmets were temporarily changed to red-white-blue to commemorate the United States' bicentennial anniversary.
In 1994, the NFL celebrated their 75th Anniversary, and the Dallas Cowboys celebrated their back-to-back Super Bowl titles by unveiling a white "Double-Star" jersey on Thanksgiving Day. This jersey was used for special occasions and was worn throughout the 1994–95 playoffs. During the same season, the Cowboys also wore their 1960–63 road jersey with a silver helmet for one game as part of a league-wide "throwback" policy.
During the 1995 season, the team wore the navy "Double-Star" jersey for games at Washington and Philadelphia and permanently switched to solid color socks (royal blue for the white uniform, and navy blue for the dark uniform). The navy "Double-Star" jersey was not seen again until the NFL's Classic Throwback Weekend on Thanksgiving Day 2001–2003.
In 2004, the Cowboys resurrected their original 1960–1963 uniform on Thanksgiving Day. This uniform became the team's alternate or "third jersey" and was usually worn at least once a year, primarily Thanksgiving Day. Two exceptions were when the Cowboys wore their normal white uniforms on Thanksgiving in 2007 and 2008. While the team didn't wear the throwback uniform exactly on Thanksgiving Day in those two years, Dallas wore them on a date around Thanksgiving for those two years. In 2007 Dallas wore the throwback uniform on November 29, 2007 against the Green Bay Packers. In 2008 Dallas wore the throwback uniform on November 23, 2008 against the San Francisco 49ers. The team went back to wearing this uniform at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2009 while their opponent was the Oakland Raiders who wore their AFL Legacy Weekend throwbacks. Dallas wore this alternate uniform on October 11, 2009 as part of one of the NFL's AFL Legacy Weekends when they traveled to Kansas City to play the Chiefs who were sporting their AFL Dallas Texans' uniforms. This created a rare game in which neither team wore a white jersey and the first time the Cowboys wore the alternative uniform as a visiting team. The 1960–1963 uniform may also be used on other special occasion. Other instances include the 2005 Monday Night game against the Washington Redskins when the team inducted Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irving into the Cowboys Ring of Honor, and the 2006 Christmas Day game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In 2013, the NFL issued a new helmet rule stating that players will no longer be allowed to use alternate helmets due to the league's enhanced concussion awareness. This caused the Cowboys' white 1960s throwback helmets to become non-compliant. The team instead decided to wear their normal blue jerseys at home for Thanksgiving, which has since become an annual tradition. In 2017, the team initially announced that they will wear blue jerseys at home on a more regular basis, only to rescind soon after.
In 2015, the Cowboys released their Color Rush uniform, featuring a variation of the 1990s "Double Star" alternates with white pants and socks. The uniform was first used in a Thanksgiving game against the Carolina Panthers and in subsequent Thursday Night Football games since 2016.
The Cowboys also unveiled a navy uniform-white pants combination which was first used on December 10, 2017 against the Giants.
Home/road jersey history
In 1964, Tex Schramm started the tradition of the Cowboys wearing their white jersey at home, contrary to an unofficial rule that teams should wear colored jerseys at home. Schramm did this because he wanted fans to see a variety of opponents' colors at home games. Since then, a number of other teams have worn their white uniforms at home, including the Miami Dolphins. According to Mike McCord, the Cowboys' equipment director, one of the reasons why the Cowboys started wearing white at home was because of the intense heat during Cowboys' home games at Texas Stadium.
Throughout the years, the Cowboys' blue jersey has been popularly viewed to be "jinxed" because the team often seemed to lose when they wore them. This purported curse drew attention after the team lost Super Bowl V with the blue jerseys. However, the roots of the curse likely date back earlier to the 1968 divisional playoffs, when the blue-shirted Cowboys were upset by the Cleveland Browns in what turned out to be Don Meredith's final game with the Cowboys. Dallas's lone victory in a conference championship or Super Bowl wearing the blue jerseys was in the 1978 NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, league rules were changed to allow the Super Bowl home team to pick their choice of jersey. Most of the time, Dallas will wear their blue jerseys when they visit Washington, Philadelphia (sometimes), Miami, or one of the handful of other teams that traditionally wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season due to the hot climates in their respective cities or other means. Occasionally opposing teams will wear their white jerseys at home to try to invoke the curse, such as when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game, as well as their November 4, 2007 meeting. Various other teams followed suit in the 1980s.
Although Dallas has made several tweaks to their blue jerseys over the years, Schramm said he did not believe in the curse. Since the league began allowing teams to use an alternate jersey, the Cowboys' alternates have been primarily blue versions of past jerseys and the Cowboys have generally had success when wearing these blue alternates. With the implementation of the 2013 NFL helmet rule for alternate jerseys, the team decided instead to wear their regular blue jerseys for their Thanksgiving game, something they have not done at home since Schramm started the white-jersey-at-home tradition.
Thanksgiving Day uniforms
With the Cowboys traditionally hosting Thanksgiving Day games, separate practice uniforms have been used for these games in recent years. Through the 2000 season, the Cowboys continued the usual practice of wearing white at home. In 2001, the Cowboys wore blue at home for the first time in years with was an older design of the blue jersey. Dallas would lose the game, but again wore the older blue jersey at home on Thanksgiving the next year and won. With the 2002 victory, it seems an exception to the theory of the blue jersey jinx is invoked on Thanksgiving.
Thus, the Cowboys continued wearing blue at home on Thanksgiving from 2003–2006, however it was always an older-styled alternate blue jersey. In 2007 and 2008, the Cowboys returned to wearing white at home for their Thanksgiving game. From 2009 to 2017, the Cowboys returned to wearing blue at home on Thanksgiving only. (From 2009–2012, the team again decided to go with an older-styled blue uniform as they had in previous years on Thanksgiving, and since 2013 have worn the newer-styled blue jersey.) The Cowboys wore white jerseys on Thanksgiving in 2018.
The Cotton Bowl is a stadium which opened in 1932 and became known as "The House That Doak Built" due to the immense crowds that former SMU running back Doak Walker drew to the stadium during his college career in the late 1940s. Originally known as the Fair Park Bowl, it is located in Fair Park, site of the State Fair of Texas. Concerts or other events using a stage allow the playing field to be used for additional spectators. The Cotton Bowl was the longtime home of the annual Cotton Bowl Classic college football bowl game, for which the stadium is named. (Beginning with the January 2010 game, the Cotton Bowl Classic has been played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.) The Dallas Cowboys called the Cotton Bowl home for 11 years, from the team's formation in 1960 until 1971, when the Cowboys moved to Texas Stadium. It is the only Cowboys stadium within the Dallas city limits. The Cowboys hosted the Green Bay Packers for the 1966 NFL Championship at the Cotton Bowl.
For the majority of the franchise's history the Cowboys played their home games at Texas Stadium. Just outside the city of Dallas, the stadium was located in Irving. The stadium opened on October 24, 1971, at a cost of $35 million and with a seating capacity of 65,675. The stadium was famous for its hole-in-the-roof dome. The roof's worn paint had become so unsightly in the early 2000s that it was repainted in the summer of 2006 by the City of Irving. It was the first time the famed roof was repainted since Texas Stadium opened. The roof was structurally independent from the stadium it covered. The Cowboys lost their final game at Texas Stadium to the Baltimore Ravens, 33–24, on December 20, 2008. After Cowboys Stadium was opened in 2009, the Cowboys turned over the facility to the City of Irving.
AT&T Stadium, previously named Cowboys Stadium, is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington. After failed negotiations to build a new stadium on the site of the Cotton Bowl, Jerry Jones, along with the city of Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, funded the stadium at a cost of $1.3 billion. The stadium is located in Tarrant County, the first time the Cowboys will call a stadium home outside of Dallas County. It was completed on May 29, 2009 and seats 80,000, but is expandable to seat up to 100,000. AT&T Stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world.
A highlight of AT&T Stadium is its gigantic, center-hung high-definition television screen, the largest in the world. The 160 by 72 feet (49 by 22 m), 11,520-square-foot (1,070 m2) scoreboard surpasses the 8,736 sq ft (812 m2) screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City as the world's largest.
At the debut pre-season game of Cowboys Stadium, a punt by Tennessee Titans kicker, A. J. Trapasso, hit the 2,100 in. screen above the field. The punt deflected and was ruled in-play until Titans coach Jeff Fisher informed the officials that the punt struck the scoreboard. (Many believe Trapasso was trying to hit the suspended scoreboard, based on replays and the angle of the kick.) The scoreboard is, however, within the regulation of the NFL guidelines — hanging approximately five feet above the minimum height. No punts hit the scoreboard during the entire 2009 regular season during an actual game. Also, on August 22, 2009, the day after AJ Trapasso hit the screen, many fans touring the facility noted that half of the field was removed with large cranes re-positioning the screen. According to some fans, a tour guide explained that Jerry Jones invited a few professional soccer players to drop kick soccer balls to try to hit the screen. Once he observed them hitting it consistently he had the screen moved up another 10 feet.
The first regular season home game of the 2009 season was against the New York Giants. A league record-setting 105,121 fans showed up to fill Cowboys Stadium for the game before which the traditional "blue star" at the 50-yard line was unveiled for the first time; however, the Cowboys lost in the final seconds, 33–31.
The Cowboys got their first regular season home win on September 28, 2009. They beat the Carolina Panthers 21–7 with 90,588 in attendance. The game was televised on ESPN's Monday Night Football and marked a record 42nd win for the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.
Training camp sites
Dallas Cowboys training camp locations:
- 1960: Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon
- 1961: St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
- 1962: Northern Michigan College, Marquette, Michigan
- 1963–1989: California Lutheran College, Thousand Oaks, California
- 1990–1997: St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas
- 1998–2002: Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas
- 2001, 2004–2006, 2008, 2012–2015: River Ridge Sports Complex, Oxnard, California
- 2002–2003, 2007, 2009: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
- 2010–2011: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas and River Ridge Sports Complex, Oxnard, California
- 2016–present: The Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas
The NFC East, composed of the Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Football Team and New York Giants, is one of the least-changed divisions of the original six formed in the wake of the NFL-AFL merger (its only major changes being the relocation of the Cardinals franchise from St. Louis to Arizona and its subsequent move to the NFC West in the league's 2002 realignment). Three of the four teams have been division rivals since the Cowboys' entry into the NFL. As such, the Cowboys have some of the longest and fiercest rivalries in the sport.
Washington Football Team
Washington and the Dallas Cowboys enjoy what has been called by Sports Illustrated the top NFL rivalry of all time and "one of the greatest in sports." Some sources trace the enmity to before the Cowboys were even formed, due to a longstanding disagreement between Washington owner George Preston Marshall and Cowboys founder Clint Murchison, Jr. over the creation of a new football team in the South, due to Marshall's TV monopoly in that region. The two teams' storied on-field rivalry goes back to 1960 when the two clubs first played each other, resulting in a 26–14 Washington victory. Since that time, the two teams have met in 116 regular season contests and two NFC Championships. Dallas leads the regular season all-time series 70–42–2, and Washington leads the all-time playoff series 2–0. The Cowboys currently have a 14–7 advantage over Washington at FedEx Field. Some notable moments in the rivalry include Washington's victory over Dallas in the 1982 NFC Championship and the latter's 1989 win over Washington for their only victory that season. The last Cowboys game with Tom Landry as coach was a win over Washington on December 11, 1988. In the 2010s, Washington has struggled to consistently compete for the Division title, but still play the Cowboys particularly tough, posting an impressive upset victory against Dallas in 2014, despite being outclassed by the Cowboys in the overall standings.
The competition with Philadelphia has been particularly intense since the late 1970s, when the long-moribund Eagles returned to contention. In January 1981, the two teams faced off in the NFC Championship, with Philadelphia winning 20–7. A series of other factors heightened tensions during the 1980s and 1990s, including several provocative actions by Philadelphia fans and Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan. Among these were the 1989 "Bounty Bowls", in which Ryan allegedly placed a bounty on Dallas kicker Luis Zendejas and Veterans Stadium fans pelted the Cowboys with snowballs and other debris. A 1999 game at Philadelphia saw Eagles fans cheering as Michael Irvin lay motionless and possibly paralyzed on the field. In 2008 the rivalry became more intense when in the last game of the year in which both teams could clinch a playoff spot with a victory, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Cowboys 44–6. The following season, the Cowboys avenged that defeat by beating the Eagles three times: twice during the regular season to claim the title as NFC East champions and once more in a wild-card playoff game by a combined score of 78–30, including a 24–0 shutout in week 17. That three-game sweep was Dallas' first over any opponent and the longest winning streak against the Eagles since 1992–1995 when Dallas won seven straight matches against Philadelphia. During the 2013 season Dallas won the first meeting 17–3 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. They would meet again in Week 17 at AT&T Stadium with the winner clinching the 2013 NFC East title. The Cowboys came into the game at a disadvantage with starting quarterback Tony Romo out with a season ending back injury which put backup Kyle Orton as the starter. It was a tight game with the Eagles up 24–22 with less than 2 minutes to go in regulation. Orton got the ball and started driving down the field when he was intercepted by the Eagles defense, which ended the game and the Cowboys season. In 2014, the Cowboys and Eagles both won against each other on the road, with Philadelphia posting a dominant 33–10 win on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, and Dallas returning the favor two weeks later by defeating the Eagles 38–27 in Philadelphia. The second game between these rivals clenched a playoff spot for Dallas and led to formerly first place Philadelphia missing out on the post-season. Dallas leads the regular season all-time series 63–50.
New York Giants
The first game ever played between the Giants and Cowboys was a 31–31 tie on December 4, 1960. Dallas logged its first win in the series on October 29, 1961 and New York's first was on November 11, 1962. Among the more notable moments in the rivalry was the Giants' defeat of Dallas in the 2007 playoffs en route to their victory in Super Bowl XLII and winning the first regular season game played at Cowboys Stadium in 2009. Dallas currently leads the all-time series 65–46–2.
The two teams met in the first regular season game the Cowboys ever played in 1960 (a 35–28 loss to the Steelers), the first-ever regular season victory for the expansion Cowboys in 1961, and would later meet in three Super Bowls, all of them closely contested events. The Steelers-Cowboys is to date the Super Bowl matchup with the most contests. The Steelers won Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII; both games were decided in the final seconds, first on a last-second throw by Roger Staubach, then as a fourth-quarter rally by Dallas fell short on an onside kick. The Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX in January 1996. It is said that the rivalry was fueled in the 1970s due to the stark contrast of the teams: the Cowboys, being more of a "flashy" team with Roger Staubach's aerial attack and the "flex" Doomsday Defense; while the Steelers were more of a "blue-collar" team with a strong running game and the 1970s-esque Steel Curtain defense, a contrast that still exists today. In addition, both teams have national fan bases rivaled by few NFL teams, and both come from areas with a strong following for football at all levels. Dallas leads the all-time series 16–13 including the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers
The bitter rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers has been going on since the 1970s. The NFL Top 10 ranked this rivalry to be the tenth best in the history of the NFL. San Francisco has played Dallas in seven postseason games. The Cowboys defeated the 49ers in the 1970 and 1971 NFC Championship games, and again in the 1972 Divisional Playoff Game. The 1981 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco, which saw the 49ers' Joe Montana complete a game-winning pass to Dwight Clark in the final minute (now known as The Catch) is one of the most famous games in NFL history. The rivalry became even more intense during the 1992–1994 seasons. San Francisco and Dallas faced each other in the NFC Championship Game three separate times. Dallas won the first two match-ups, and San Francisco won the third. In each of these pivotal match-ups, the game's victor went on to win the Super Bowl. Both the Cowboys and the 49ers are tied for third all-time in Super Bowl victories to the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, with five each. The 49ers-Cowboys rivalry is also part of the larger cultural rivalry between California and Texas. The Cowboys lead the all-time series with a record of 18-17-1.
Green Bay Packers
The Cowboys–Packers rivalry is a rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. It is one of the best known intra-conference rivalries in the NFL. The two teams do not play every year; instead, they play once every three years due to the NFL's rotating division schedules, or if the two teams finish in the same place in their respective divisions, they would play the ensuing post-season. The rivalry has also resulted in notable playoff games.
The all time regular seasons series record is 15–13 in favor of the Packers, and the postseason series is tied 4–4.
Players of note
Pro Football Hall of Famers
|Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famers|
|21||Deion Sanders||CB, KR||1995–1999||2011|
|54||Randy White||DT, LB||1975–1988||1994|
|Coaches and Contributors|
Super Bowl MVPs
|Super Bowl MVP Winners|
Ring of Honor
Unlike many NFL teams, the Cowboys do not retire jersey numbers of past standouts as a matter of policy. Instead, the team has a "Ring of Honor", which is on permanent display encircling the field. Originally at Texas Stadium, the ring is now on display at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The first inductee was Bob Lilly in 1975 and by 2005, the ring contained 17 names, all former Dallas players except for one head coach and one general manager/president.
The Ring of Honor has been a source of controversy over the years. Tex Schramm was believed to be a "one-man committee" in choosing inductees and many former Cowboys players and fans felt that Schramm deliberately excluded linebacker Lee Roy Jordan because of a bitter contract dispute the two had during Jordan's playing days. When Jerry Jones bought the team he inherited Schramm's Ring of Honor "power" and immediately inducted Jordan.
Jones also has sparked controversy regarding his decisions in handling the "Ring of Honor". For four years he was unsuccessful in convincing Tom Landry to accept induction. Meanwhile, he refused to induct Tex Schramm (even after Schramm's induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame). In 1993, thanks in part to the efforts of Roger Staubach as an intermediary, Landry accepted induction and had a ceremony on the day of that year's Cowboys-Giants game (Landry had played and coached for the Giants). In 2003, Jones finally chose to induct Tex Schramm. Schramm and Jones held a joint press conference at Texas Stadium announcing the induction. Unfortunately, Schramm did not live to see his ceremonial induction at the Cowboys-Eagles game that fall.
Some of the more recent inductees were Troy Aikman, all-time NFL leading rusher Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, known as "The Triplets". The Cowboys waited until Smith had retired as a player before inducting Aikman and Irvin, so all three could be inducted together, which occurred during halftime at a Monday Night Football home game against the arch-rival Washington Redskins on September 19, 2005.
The 5 most recent inductees are defensive end Charles Haley, offensive lineman Larry Allen, and wide receiver Drew Pearson, who were inducted into the Ring of Honor during halftime of the Cowboys' game vs. the Seattle Seahawks on November 6, 2011, safety Darren Woodson, who was inducted on November 1, 2015, and executive Gil Brandt, who was inducted on November 29, 2018.
The Dallas Cowboys do not officially retire jersey numbers. However, some are kept "unofficially inactive". As of 2020, four numbers have been kept out of circulation: Troy Aikman's No. 8, Roger Staubach's No. 12, Bob Hayes' and Emmitt Smith's No. 22, Bob Lilly's No. 74. These numbers aren't even used in off-season workouts or training camp. Rich Dalrymple the public relations director of the Dallas Cowboys states that the Cowboys are one of the few - if only - NFL teams that have never officially retired jersey numbers.
- Passing yards: 34,183 Tony Romo (2004-2016)
- Pass completions: 2,898 Troy Aikman (1989-2000)
- Passing touchdowns: 248 Tony Romo (2004-2016)
- Rushing yards: 17,162 Emmitt Smith (1990-2002)
- Rushing touchdowns: 153 Emmitt Smith (1990-2002)
- Receptions: 1,215 Jason Witten (2003-2017, 2019)
- Receiving yards: 12,977 Jason Witten (2003-2017, 2019)
- Receiving touchdowns: 73 Dez Bryant (2010-2017)
- Points scored: 986 Emmitt Smith (1990-2002)
- Field goals made: 186 Dan Bailey (2011-2017)
- Total punt yardage: 24,542 Mike Saxon (1985-1992)
- Punting average: 45.3 Mat McBriar (2003-2011)
- Kickoff return yards: 3,416 Kevin Williams (1993-1996)
- Punt Return yards: 1,803 Kelvin Martin (1987-1992, 1996)
- Pass interceptions: 52 Mel Renfro (1964-1977)
- Sacks: 117.0 DeMarcus Ware (2005-2013)
- Forced fumbles: 32 DeMarcus Ware (2005-2013)
- Passing yards: 4,903 Tony Romo (2012)
- Passing touchdowns: 36 Tony Romo (2007)
- Rushing yards: 1,845 DeMarco Murray (2014)
- Rushing touchdowns: 25 Emmitt Smith (1995)
- Receptions: 111 Michael Irvin (1995)
- Receiving yards: 1,603 Michael Irvin (1995)
- Receiving touchdowns: 16 Dez Bryant (2014)
- Points: 150 Emmitt Smith (1995)
- Field goals made: 34 Richie Cunningham (1997)
- Total punt yardage: 3,665 Toby Gowin (2003)
- Punting average: 49.0 Mat McBriar (2008)
- Kickoff return yards: 1,399 Tyson Thompson (2005)
- Punt return yards: 548 James Jones, Jr. (1980)
- Pass interceptions: 11 Everson Walls (1981)
- Sacks: 20.0 DeMarcus Ware (2008)
All-time first-round draft picks
Head coaches and staff
Radio and television
As of 2010[update], the Cowboys' flagship radio station is KRLD-FM. Brad Sham is the team's longtime play-by-play voice. Working alongside him is former Cowboy quarterback Babe Laufenberg, who returned in 2007 after a one-year absence to replace former safety Charlie Waters. The Cowboys, who retain rights to all announcers, chose not to renew Laufenberg's contract in 2006 and brought in Waters. However, Laufenberg did work as the analyst on the "Blue Star Network", which televises Cowboys preseason games not shown on national networks. The anchor station is KTVT, the CBS owned and operated station in Dallas. Previous stations which aired Cowboys games included KVIL-FM, KRLD, and KLUV-FM. Kristi Scales is the sideline reporter on the radio broadcasts.
During his tenure as Cowboys coach, Tom Landry co-hosted his own coach's show with late veteran sportscaster Frank Glieber and later with Brad Sham. Landry's show was famous for his analysis of raw game footage and for him and his co-host making their NFL "predictions" at the end of each show. Glieber is one of the original voices of the Cowboys Radio Network, along with Bill Mercer, famous for calling the Ice Bowl of 1967 and both Super Bowl V and VI. Mercer is perhaps best known as the ringside commentator of WCCW in the 1980s. Upon Mercer's departure, Verne Lundquist joined the network, and became their play-by-play announcer by 1977, serving eight years in that capacity before handing those chores permanently over to Brad Sham, who joined the network in 1977 as the color analyst and occasional fill-in for Lundquist.
Dave Garrett served as the Cowboys' play-by-play announcer from 1995–97, when Brad Sham left the team and joined the Texas Rangers' radio network team as well as broadcast Sunday Night Football on Westwood One.
Seeking to expand its radio broadcasting scope nationally, the Cowboys began a five-year partnership with Compass Media Networks on February 2, 2011. The result was the America's Team Radio Network, a supplement to the franchise's regional one. Beginning with the 2011 season, Kevin Burkhardt and Danny White handled the broadcasts, with Jerry Recco as the studio host.
The Dallas Cowboys fight song, "Cowboys Stampede March" by Tom Merriman Big Band was the official fight song of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys used at Texas Stadium 1961 until about the early-mid '90s.
"This little platter came from the personal collection of Tex Schramm, and it seems to be from the dawn of the Dallas Cowboys when he was casting about for a song to associate with the team. Eventually, the song "Cowboy Stampede March" would become THE song associated with the team thru their broadcasts in the '60s thru the '80s." George Gimarc
The Cowboys now play We Dem Boyz by Wiz Khalifa for starting defensive line, because of the saying "How Bout Dem Cowboys." For every touchdown scored by the Cowboys at a home game the song "Cowboys and Cut Cigars" by The Burning of Rome is played after a train horn.
- Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
- List of Dallas Cowboys seasons
- List of Dallas Cowboys players
- America's Team
- Doomsday Defense
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- "Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famers". DallasCowboys.com. November 23, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
- NFL Teams Should Uniformly Stop Retiring Jersey Numbers by Michael Zagaris on Sports Illustrated, Jun 4, 2019
- The Dallas Cowboys’ complicated history with numbers by Mac Engel on Star Telegram, 30 Apr 2020
- Only one Cowboys rookie has ever been brazen enough to request Emmitt Smith's No. 22 by Jean Taylor on ESPN, May 7, 2016
- Why don't the Cowboys retire the jersey numbers of their legends? by Mark Lane on WFAA, 12 Feb 2020
- "Compass signs the Dallas Cowboys for new network" Archived February 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Radio Business Report, Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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- Aron, Jaime (2010). Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History. MVP Books. ISBN 978-0-7603-3520-8.
- Hitzges, Norm; St. Angelo, Ron (2007). Greatest Team Ever: The Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s. Rutledge Hill Press. ISBN 978-1-4016-0340-3.
- Millman, Chad (2010). The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the '70s, and the Fight for America's Soul. Gotham Books. ISBN 978-1-5924-0665-4.
- Myers, Gary (2009). The Catch: One Play, Two Dynasties, and the Game That Changed the NFL. Crown Archetype. ISBN 978-0-307-40908-9.
- Patoski, Joe Nick (2012). The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-07755-2.
- Pearlman, Jeff (2008). Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-125680-6.
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