In 1960, the NFL expanded by adding a team in Dallas in direct competition with the AFL’s Dallas Texans. The team was owned by Clint Murchison Jr and he hired the Los Angeles Rams PR person Tex Schramm as his GM to run the team. Schramm’s first hire was the head coach. They choose the New York Giants defensive coach, Tom Landry. Originally the new team in Dallas was to be called the Rangers but confusion with a local minor league baseball team caused some concern so the team name was changed to the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys entered the NFL too late to participate in the 1960 NFL draft. They were able to pick 3 players from each of the other NFL teams (expansion draft) which consisted mainly of players that were either on the verge of retiring or marginal players at best. The Cowboys did however sign a couple college players (Don Perkins and Don Meredith) to personal contracts which costs them draft picks in future drafts. The Cowboys signed recently retired QB Eddie LeBaron of the Redskins to play QB for the young team and they set out to make their mark.
The Cowboys finished the 1960 season with a 0-11-1 record. Their only NON loss came near the end of the season when they tied the New York Giants 31-31. The Cowboys won their first game as a franchise on the 1961 opening day by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24. The Cowboys began their 2nd season by winning 3 of their first 4 games but they faltered after that and ended with a 4-9-1 record. The Cowboys won no more than 5 games during their first 5 seasons in the league and despite local rumblings, the Cowboys gave their head coach Tom Landry a new 10 year contract in 1965. The Cowboys finished the 1965 season with a franchise best 7-7 record. The Cowboys began a string of 20 consecutive winning seasons in 1966. 20 consecutive winning seasons is a feat match by no American professional sports team. During that span, the Cowboys won 2 Super Bowls, 5 NFC Championships and reached the playoffs a record setting 18 times! It was during this 2 decade span of dominance that the Dallas Cowboys became affectionately known as America’s Team. The boasted hall of fame players like Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Rayfield Wright and Bob Hayes.
Like all good things, the Cowboys reign over the NFL eventually came to an end. The Cowboys had their first loosing season in 20 years in 1986 by finishing 7-9. The Cowboys would post loosing records the next 2 seasons before the team was purchased by Oil Millionaire Jerry Jones. Jones’ first task was to fire legendary head coach Tom Landry, the only coach the Cowboys had ever had in their 28 seasons! The move was very unpopular among the Cowboys faithful. Jones hired current college coach and former Arkansas Razorback teammate, Jimmy Johnson. Johnson quickly cleaned house and began stocking the team with his players. Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson quickly turned the Cowboys from the worst team in the league 1-15 in 1989 to the best when they won Super Bowl XXVII in 1992. The Cowboys won a record 3 of 4 Super Bowls from 1992-1995. Jones and Johnson didn’t last long as Jimmy was fired after the Cowboys 2nd Super Bowl in the 90s. Jones replaced Johnson with college coach Barry Switzer from Oklahoma. The Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX under Switzer for their last title.
The Cowboys have struggled since the mid 1990s to win games. They have reached the Playoffs only 6 times over the past 16 seasons and have only 1 playoff win since 1998. The Cowboys are now under their 7th head coach since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1988. The most significant thing that has happened for the Cowboys in the past 15 or so years is their new home. The Cowboys opened a new stadium in 2009 in Arlington, Tx. Cowboys Stadium seats nearly 85 thousands fans and with Standing Room Only can reach over 100k. Cowboys stadium hosted the 2011 Super Bowl but unfortunately, the Cowboys were not playing.