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Sports Then and Now



Comeback Victory Latest in Cowboys’ Dramatic History 1

Posted on September 24, 2020 by Chris Kent

Great drama has always marked the Dallas Cowboys over the decades. In this, the franchise’s 61st season, the Cowboys have always stood out for better or for worse. The franchise has always made major headlines whether it be during the season or in the offseason. In the early 1970’s, legendary head coach Tom Landry went back and forth between Roger Staubach and Craig Morton as his starting quarterback – going as far as alternating them on each play during one game – before naming Staubach the starter. The volatile tendencies of linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson surfaced later in the decade over drugs, alcohol, his flamboyant play, and high visibility lifestyle. Dallas also played in five Super Bowls and won two in the 1970’s when the team became known as “America’s Team” and took on the persona of the team people love or love to hate which still exists today. The 1980’s saw good teams unable to get over the hump with three straight losses in NFC Championship games. There was also another quarterback controversy, this one between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom between 1983 and 1984. Pressure had mounted on White after losses in three straight NFC Championship games. While Landry appointed Hogeboom as the starter during part of the 1984 season, neither he nor White could lead Dallas to the playoffs that season. The decade ended with new ownership as Arkansas oilman Jerry Jones bought the franchise and hired Jimmy Johnson – his old college teammate at Arkansas – as head coach. That proved fruitful as the Cowboys became the first franchise in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span during the 1990’s when they were the team of the decade.

Dallas owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson parted ways shortly after Dallas won back-to-back Super Bowls in the early 1990’s.

Yet change also came about for the franchise in the 1990’s with the shocking and well-documented breakup of Jones and Johnson due to egotistical control issues. During the 2000’s, Dallas made only four playoff trips and won just one playoff game. While the Cowboys rebuilt in the early 2010’s, they were stuck largely in mediocrity with four 8-8 finishes in head coach Jason Garrett’s nine full seasons on the job sparking a yearly discussion about his job security. In more recent years, Dallas came under the microscope with legal issues off the field as star running back Ezekiel Elliott eventually served a six-game suspension during the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy based on allegations of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend dating back to 2016. Drama has always seemed to follow the Cowboys whether it has been good or bad.

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