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Super key drought at 25, what to be the Dallas Cowboys" ideal chances?
Jan 30, 2021
Sixty years ago, America"s Team became the NFL"s 13th team. For much more on the franchise"s storied history:

» Photos: 60 year of Cowboys moments » All-time teams: Tom Landry vs. Jerry Jones » More: Cowboys coverage ~ above

Coming off a 6-10 end up in 2020, the does not show up the dryness will end in the 26th season, yet there will always be hope -- sold by one of two people the moves the Cowboys make this offseason or the never-ending positive of owner and also general manager Jerry Jones.

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Of course, the drought did not need to be this lengthy for a selection of reasons under Jones" stewardship. It"s not favor the Cowboys have actually lacked possibilities to reach the NFL"s championship game.

Dallas has actually made the playoffs 10 times since winning Super key XXX -- 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016 and also 2018 -- yet has not advanced past the divisional round.

As we ponder when the Cowboys will get back to the NFL"s best stage, let"s look in ~ the best chances that eluded them.

In 2007 and also 2016, the Cowboys had home-field advantage in the NFC, just to lose at Texas stadion to the eventual Super key champion brand-new York Giants (2007) and at AT&T stadium to Mike McCarthy"s environment-friendly Bay Packers (2016) after a miraculous third-and-21 perfect in the last seconds.

But were those the ideal Cowboys teams to miss getting to the super Bowl? here are people you can recall:

2014 Cowboys (12-4) under coach Jason Garrett

Why the should have happened: The Cowboys close up door the continual season with 4 straight wins, scoring at least 38 clues in every of the victories. They necessary some great fortune in the wild-card win against the Detroit Lions -- a non-pass interference call and a fourth-down conversion indigenous quarterback Tony Romo to tight finish Jason Witten -- however this was a team that discovered a way to win games with big plays, also with a defense that did not have actually a pro Bowler.

Why that didn"t happen: NFL public representative Gene Steratore and also Dean Blandino. Dez Bryant"s fourth-down catch at the Packers" 1-yard line was overturned by replay so late in the 4th quarter. Bryant took 3 steps and lunged for the goal line after make the catch -- and also it to be a catch. However the ref, Steratore, and also the NFL"s director of officiating, Blandino, ruled Bryant go not maintain possession together he checked out the ground. The Packers take it over and also ran the clock out with two third-down conversions. Ultimately, the pat led the NFL to rewrite its rules, but that did not heal any type of ill feelings. If the catch had been upheld and also the Cowboys scored the go-ahead touchdown, who knows if the Dallas defense can have stopped environment-friendly Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the final four minutes. But this was a defense that did do some vital stops transparent the season.

Biggest what-if: The transforming point the the Cowboys" season come in main 6 v a 30-23 win against the defending Super key champion Seattle Seahawks. Had actually the Cowboys beaten green Bay, lock would have actually returned come Seattle because that the chance to go to Super bowl XLIX. Comforted by the knowledge they already won there, the Cowboys would certainly have carried a ton of confidence right into the conference championship game.


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Why it didn"t happen: The Cowboys" season finished Jan. 13, 2008, v a 21-17 loss to the Giants, a team Dallas had actually beaten twice in the continuous season. In looking back, the actually finished late in the consistent season once they lost two of their last three gamings -- and also their mojo. Phillips made good moves in his first season together Cowboys coach, however he let turn off the gas late in the season and also the team might not gain back its footing.

Biggest what-if: The Cowboys would have hosted the Packers in ~ Texas stadium in the NFC Championship game had castle beaten the Giants. The Cowboys essentially clinched home-field benefit with a 37-27 victory in mainly 13 against the Packers, your second-year coach Mike McCarthy and also veteran quarterback Brett Favre. Indigenous 1993 come 1995, the Cowboys had playoff wins against the Packers, including the 1995 conference title game. Background would have been ~ above the Cowboys" side.

2016 Cowboys (13-3) under Garrett

Why that should have happened: lugged by the youth that quarterback Dak Prescott and also running earlier Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys go not enter the playoffs with the scars of 2006, 2007 or 2014. Favor the 2014 Cowboys, castle were carried by the league"s top rusher, Elliott, and the NFL"s finest offensive line, i beg your pardon helped protect a defense that had one agree Bowler (linebacker Sean Lee) and also the NFL"s top-ranked run defense. This team came to be hardened v wins in ~ Pittsburgh and also Green Bay and also seemed headed for a operation of successful seasons.

Why the didn"t happen: Aaron Bleepin" Rodgers. Prescott overcame a shaky start to command a furious comeback that allowed the Cowboys come tie the divisional-round home game with 35 secs to play. Overtime looked to it is in assured, and also even an ext so as soon as Jeff pagan sacked Rodgers for a 10-yard loss. But on third-and-21, Rodgers be crazy to his left and fired a dart to tight finish Jared chef at the sideline for a 35-yard obtain to the Dallas 33 through 3 seconds left. Mason crossby hit a 51-yard field goal, his second from more than 50 yards in the last 1:33, offering the Packers the three-point win.

Biggest what-if: prior to this loss, the Cowboys had actually been perfect in the postseason (2-0) at at & t Stadium. The environment inside the stadium for the playoff games had been far various from the somewhat docile environment at many regular-season games. The Atlanta Falcons would certainly have come to Arlington, Texas, for the NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys went 7-1 at house in the constant season through an mean margin of victory of 10.8 points.

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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo laments a botched host that compelled a ar goal effort to fail, costing the Cowboys the wild-card win at Seattle ~ above Jan. 6, 2007.AP Photo/John Froschauer

2006 Cowboys (9-7) under coach bill Parcells

Why it should have actually happened: The Cowboys" season was saved as soon as Romo became the beginning quarterback in main 7. Castle won 5 of his very first six start to acquire into the playoffs. The Cowboys closed with 3 losses in 4 games, which took far momentum, yet with Parcells" two Super Bowls and also an knowledgeable staff, the Cowboys appeared ready to make a move in the postseason in a conference the did not have actually a dominant team.