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History Lesson: Once Upon a Time the Cowboys Actually Played in a Super Bowl

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How Long Ago Was Super Bowl XXX?

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Jerry Jones, in 1996, after the Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX.

High-school seniors in the Metroplex have never experienced a Cowboys’ Super Bowl.

Yeah, let that sink in for a minute.

The last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl was the last time they played in a Super Bowl – January 28, 1996. As in, on Tuesday we passed the 18th anniversary of XXX.

How long ago was it?

When the Cowboys beat the Steelers 27-17 and Larry Brown became the first cornerback to be named Most Valuable Player, they won their third Super Bowl in four seasons. Barry Switzer was the “Aw, shucks” coach. Jerry Jones was temporarily vindicated for parting with Jimmy Johnson. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders were in the prime of their Hall-of-Fame careers.

And no one – I mean nobody – figured the Cowboys wouldn’t win another championship before the Y2K scare. Much less not even come close to sniffing another one until the year 2014. At the earliest. Eighteen years was a looong time ago all the sudden.

In 1996 …

  • Bill Clinton was elected President.
  • Michael Johnson dominated the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
  • Michael Jordan led the Bulls to a 72-10 season and another NBA title.
  • Tiger Woods was a rookie on the PGA Tour.
  • Jerry Maguire was in theaters.
  • Popeye Jones played power forward for the Mavs, and we’d never heard of Dirk Nowitzki. 
  • The Rangers, managed by Johnny Oates and led by Pudge Rodriguez, won their first AL West title.
  • And some of you were actually dancing “The Macarena.”
This drought is by far the longest championship-less era in Cowboys’ history. Their last Super Bowl is so ancient, the Class of ’14 has to resort to only reading about it in History 101.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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