Super Bowl XLVII Dossier: Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys like to be referred to as America’s Team – especially at the urging of public relations-savvy owner Jerry Jones. With that being said, how accurate can that moniker be considering the Cowboys haven’t won a  Super Bowl since the Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin dynasty won its last following the 1995 season.
That 27-17 Super Bowl XXX victory on January 28, 1996, over Pittsburgh was the third in four years for the Cowboys and fifth overall. Larry Brown was named the game’s MVP, still the only time a cornerback has won the award. Dallas, which was a 13.5-point favorite in XXX, has appeared in the NFL’s championship game eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most.
Dallas also won Super Bowl XXVIII 30-13 over the Buffalo Bills as a 10.5-point favorite. In its Super Bowl XXVII 52-17 victory over the Bills the year before, Dallas was a 6.5-point favorite. For Super Bowl XIII in Miami, Dallas was a 3.5-point dog and lost 35-31 to the Steelers. The Cowboys won Tom Landry’s final title the year before in Super Bowl XII, a 27-10 win over Denver.
Defensive lineman Randy White and Harvey Martin were named co-MVPs, the only time players have shared the award. Dallas’ first championship came in Super Bowl VI, a 24-3 win over Miami. The Cowboys were six-point favorites and it remains the fewest points allowed in a Super Bowl game.
The Cowboys’ playoff history since their last title hasn’t been good. In fact, there have been just two postseason wins. The first came in the 1996 playoffs, a 40-15 home win over Minnesota. That would prove to be the final postseason victory for the “triplets” as Aikman, Smith and Irvin were known. Dallas’ other playoff win came 34-14 over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round of the 2009 playoffs. Dallas was then routed by Minnesota the following week 34-3.
Thus the pressure is on current quarterback Tony Romo to finally deliver playoff success. A championship run seems a long shot this year as the Cowboys are 50/1 to win Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Entering Week 14, Dallas is 6-6 (4-8 ATS) and tied with the Washington Redskins, a game behind the NFC East-leading New York Giants. The Cowboys also are a game out of the NFL’s final wild-card spot held by Seattle. However the Seahawks routed Dallas 27-7 in Week 2 and thus hold the tiebreaker with Dallas.
The Cowboys likely will need to finish no worse than 3-1 in their final four games to win the division and it might take 4-0. Their schedule is at Cincinnati (which is one of the hottest teams in the NFL), versus Pittsburgh (which is another possible playoff team), versus New Orleans and at Washington. Dallas will be a dog for the two road games.
That regular-season finale against Robert Griffin III could decide everything. RG3 shredded the Cowboys for four touchdown passes in a 38-31 win in Dallas on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys have split with the Giants this year. Last season in the regular-season finale, Dallas lost 31-14 to the Giants in a winner-take-all for the NFC East. If Dallas misses the postseason again, the calls to potentially move on from Romo will get louder and Jason Garrett’s Cowboys head coaching career could be finished.