When the Cowboys last hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy on Jan. 28, 1996 in Tempe, Arizona, most Cowboys fans, myself included, figured that they were a couple of more to be won perhaps by the end of the decade. It was their third Super Bowl win in four years. The Cowboys were the best team in the NFL and Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith, were all not yet 30(Emmitt was only 26 and had already won four NFL rushing titles and five years) They had the best offensive line in the NFL. The offense was a alternating the top two spots with San Francisco(their quarterback Steve Young, great as well, was FIVE years older than Aikman) This team had basically an ALL-Pro at every position on offense and their defense was a Top 10 unit at least. What noone knew as that it all would fall apart after that. One remaining playoff win (the following season) was all that they could muster for the rest of the decade. Age, free agency, and off the field turmoil would immediately follow that game. The poor drafting and being hung up on high salaries to the likes of Aikman, Emmitt, and Deion Sanders would make the decline last awhile. Nobody could have predicted that that last Super Bowl Trophy being won on that day in the desert following the 1995 season, would be longing for fresh company well into the new century.
The new century got off to a horrible start for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, after recording what would be their last playoff win until 2009, in the 1996 playoffs, missed the playoffs altogether in 1997. After Barry Switzer resigned following '97, Chan Gailey, was hired from the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching ranks and he guided the Cowboys to playoff visits in 1998 and 1999 but with no playoff victories. Jerry Jones probably made as big of a mistake as ever in letting Gailey go following 1999. The team was on the way down, yes, but hiring Dave Campo (Cowboys longtime defensive coordinator) wasn't exactly hiring someone any better for sure. 2000-2002 saw three successive 5-11 seasons, and Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin being forced to retire a little earlier than intended because of injuries(concussions and neck respectively) Emmitt was gone when 2003 opened up with new coach Bill Parcells. Parcells, known for turning around teams who have been down if not out also, quickly coaxed out a 10-6 record wildcard playoff visit in his first year. After taking a step back in '04 due to all of a sudden high expectations, the Cowboys hit a string of what is currently five consecutive winning seasons, three playoff visits, and two division titles. Parcells, gave way to Wade Phillips in '07 but he's the one that's been credited for getting the ship pointed back in the right direction. And Jerry Jones has finally mellowed somewhat in that he has swallowed in some degree, his huge Texas-sized ego(when he hired Parcells in '03) and fired himself as the Cowboys' head coach. One of the things that the Cowboys went through between Troy Aikman and Tony Romo was eight different quarterbacks. The stability of winning is now set. It's time for the team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on their home soil for the first time in what will be FIFTEEN Years. A lot has happened in that time. Lots of things in the NFL, like the Salary Cap and Free Agency have enabled teams (Patriots, Cardinals, Buccanneers, Ravens, Colts, Rams, Seahawks and Saints) that otherwise NEVER would have gone anywhere near the Super Bowl much less win or play in one. And after all this time, the Cowboys STILL despite not getting to the Super Bowl in 15 years, have the most Super Bowl appearances out of anyone. Now the Steelers have the most wins(the four titles in the 1970's and their two in these past 4 years) So it's time for the Cowboys to become the only team to be to NINE Super Bowls, tie for the most Super Bowl wins with 6, and to become the first team to EVER host the Super Bowl and WIN the Super Bowl as a host. It's all about motivation. And to finally give that Super Bowl 30 Trophy some long sought after fresh company