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The 2023/24 National Football League season is underway, with the first round of results in the books. The Dallas Cowboys were the most impressive team on matchday one, scoring an emphatic win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Dallas blasted their opponents, strolling to a memorable 40-0 victory in an early season show of strength, and fans hope it’s a sign of things to come. Is their 28-year wait almost over?
Despite being one of the most famous NFL teams and attracting global support, the Cowboys haven’t lived up to the high expectations of their fans in almost three decades. Dallas is a decorated team, winning 24 Division Championships between 1967 and 2021. They’ve also banked ten Conference Championships, getting off the mark in 1966, last tasting glory in 1995. But the record fans are most proud of is their team’s five Super Bowl titles.
Despite ranking among the NFL’s most successful teams and often starting seasons as one of the favorites with apps offering sports betting in Texas, the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl title was in 1995. They defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona to win Super Bowl XXX by 27 points to 17. To those who watched it, that win seems like a long time ago, and a generation of followers have had nothing to cheer for.
The glory days
Fans dream of winning silverware again, but until their team returns to its former glories, all followers have are the memories of Arizona and the hope the good times return. Will the Dallas Cowboys get back on top in 2024? Only time will tell, but they are well-fancied by pundits and industry insiders.
Until then, let’s stroll down memory lane and remind Dallas fans of the good old days. They set a new record when they were the all-conquering, swash-buckling team that won three NFL gongs in four years. Emmitt Smith was the name on everyone’s lips, scoring the most points and touchdowns in that season.
To fully appreciate the Dallas Cowboys’ last Super Bowl win, we need to rewind the clock to the early 1990s. The team’s glory days seemed like a distant memory as they struggled through the late ’80s, facing playoff disappointments and personnel changes. However, the franchise’s fortunes began to shift when they hired Jimmy Johnson as head coach in 1989.
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Building the Foundation
Johnson brought a winning mentality and an eye for talent to the Cowboys. He set out to build a team that would be contenders for years to come. One of his first and most impactful moves was the acquisition of quarterback Troy Aikman, who would become the team’s cornerstone.
Drafting Aikman was just the beginning. Johnson continued to stockpile talent through the draft, bringing in players like Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, and Russell Maryland. These names would go on to define an era of Dallas Cowboys football.
As the ’90s progressed, the Cowboys’ offense became a force, largely thanks to the trio of Aikman, Irvin, and Smith, affectionately known as “The Triplets.” Aikman’s pinpoint accuracy, Irvin’s unmatched receiving skills, and Smith’s punishing running style made them a nightmare for opposing defenses. Together, they formed one of the most potent offensive combinations in NFL history.
Three Championships in Four Years
The culmination of Johnson’s efforts came in the early ’90s when the Cowboys embarked on a remarkable Super Bowl run. In 1992, they clinched their first Super Bowl victory since 1978 by defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. The following year, they repeated as champions by crushing the Bills again in Super Bowl XXVIII.
The 1995 season would prove to be the icing on the cake. The Cowboys easily navigated through the playoffs and faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. This showdown would mark their last Super Bowl win to date.
Super Bowl XXX: A Night to Remember
Super Bowl XXX, held on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, pitted the Cowboys against the Steelers. The game was a tightly contested battle, marked by big plays, turnovers, and dramatic moments that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The Cowboys’ defense, led by Charles Haley and Deion Sanders, put constant pressure on Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell. An iconic moment occurred when Larry Brown intercepted O’Donnell twice, earning himself the Super Bowl MVP award.
Offensively, Troy Aikman connected with tight end Jay Novacek for a crucial touchdown pass. Emmitt Smith, nursing a separated shoulder, displayed unparalleled grit, rushing for over 100 yards and scoring a touchdown. The Cowboys emerged victorious with a final score of 27-17, securing their third Super Bowl win in four attempts.
For Cowboys fans, the feeling of vindication was immense. After years of heartbreak and disappointment, they reveled in the glory of their team’s success. Jerry Jones, the Cowboys’ owner, and Jimmy Johnson, the head coach who had masterminded the revival, shared a poignant moment as they celebrated on the field.
Legacy of Greatness
The Dallas Cowboys’ last Super Bowl win in 1996 left an indelible mark on the franchise’s history. The team’s dominance during the early ’90s, culminating in that championship, solidified their place as one of the NFL’s most iconic and successful franchises.
“The Triplets,” Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith, etched their names in the annals of football greatness. Aikman’s precision passing, Irvin’s acrobatic catches, and Smith’s relentless running style became synonymous with the Cowboys’ success. Each trio member would have Hall of Fame careers, further cementing their place in NFL history.
End of an Era
The win in Super Bowl XXX also marked the end of an era for the Cowboys. After the game, Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones, who had clashed over control of the team, parted ways. Barry Switzer took over as head coach, leading the team to another Super Bowl appearance in 1996, but ultimately could not replicate the same sustained success as Johnson.