The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which opened for the 2009 season. The stadium took its current name prior to the 2013 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. The team’s national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive sell-outs. The Cowboys’ streak of 190 consecutive sold-out regular and post-season games (home and away) began in 2002. The franchise has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances in history, just behind the New England Patriots record nine Super Bowl appearances. This has also corresponded to eight NFC championships, most in the NFC. The Cowboys have won five of those Super Bowl appearances, tying them with their NFC rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, and the AFC’s Patriots; all three are second to Pittsburgh’s record six Super Bowl championships. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they only missed the playoffs twice (1974 and 1984), an NFL record that remains unchallenged.
In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys became the first sports team to be valued at $4 billion, making it the most valuable sports team in the world, according to Forbes. The Cowboys also generated $620 million in revenue in 2014, a record for a U.S. sports team.
Prior to the formation of the Dallas Cowboys, there had not been an NFL team south of Washington, D.C. since the Dallas Texans folded in 1952. Oilman Clint Murchison Jr. had been trying to get an NFL expansion team in Dallas (as was Lamar Hunt – who ended up with an AFL franchise), but George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins, had a monopoly in the South.
Murchison had tried to purchase the Washington Redskins from Marshall in 1958. An agreement was struck, but as the deal was about to be finalized, Marshall called for a change in terms. This infuriated Murchison and he called off the deal. Marshall then opposed any franchise for Murchison in Dallas. Since NFL expansion needed unanimous approval from team owners at that time, Marshall’s position would prevent Murchison from joining the league.
Marshall had a falling out with the Redskins band leader Barnee Breeskin. Breeskin had written the music to the Redskins fight song “Hail to the Redskins” and Marshall’s wife had penned the lyrics. Breeskin owned the rights to the song and was aware of Murchison’s plight to get an NFL franchise. Angry with Marshall, Breeskin approached Murchison’s attorney to sell him the rights to the song before the expansion vote in 1959. Murchison purchased “Hail to the Redskins” for $2,500. Before the vote to award franchises in 1959, Murchison revealed to Marshall that he owned the song and Marshall could not play it during games. After a few Marshall expletives, Murchison gave the rights to “Hail to the Redskins” to Marshall for his vote, the lone one against Murchison getting a franchise at that time, and a rivalry was born.
Rowdy is the official mascot of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. Named by David Higginbotham of Dallas, he’s been the team’s mascot since 1996. His tenure overlapped with that of Pro Football Hall of Famer, Crazy Ray’s, who was the unofficial mascot of the Cowboys from 1962 until his death in 2007 following the 2006 season.