The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team based in the Washington metropolitan area. The Redskins compete in the National Football League as a member of the National Football Conference East division; the team plays its home games at FedExField in Maryland. The Redskins have played more than one thousand games since their founding 87 years ago in 1932, are one of only five franchises in the NFL to record over six hundred regular season and postseason wins, reaching that mark in 2015; the Redskins have won five NFL Championships, have captured fourteen divisional titles and six conference championships. It was the first NFL franchise with an official marching band and the first with a fight song, Hail to the Redskins; the team began play in Boston as the Braves in 1932, became the "Redskins" the following year. In 1937, the team relocated to Washington, D. C; the Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 NFL championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII, XXVI. They have been league runner-up six times, losing the 1936, 1940, 1943, 1945 title games, Super Bowls VII and XVIII.
With 24 postseason appearances, the Redskins have an overall postseason record of 23–18. Their three Super Bowl wins are tied with the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. All of the Redskins' league titles were attained during two 10-year spans. From 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times; the second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the postseason seven times, captured four Conference titles, won three Super Bowls out of four appearances. The Redskins have experienced failure in their history; the most notable period of general failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins posted only four winning seasons and did not have a single postseason appearance. During this period, the Redskins went without a single winning season during the years 1956–1968. In 1961, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing.
Since their last Super Bowl victory following the end of the 1991 season, the Redskins have only won the NFC East three times, made five postseason appearances, had nine seasons with a winning record. According to Forbes, the Redskins are the fourth most valuable franchise in the NFL and the tenth most valuable overall in the world as of 2018, valued at US$3.1 billion. They set the NFL record for single-season attendance in 2007, have the top ten single-season attendance totals in the NFL. Over the team's history, the name and logo have drawn controversy, with many criticizing it as offensive to Native Americans; the team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932, under the ownership of George Preston Marshall. At the time the team played in Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team in the National League; the following year, the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the American League's Boston Red Sox, whereupon owners changed the team's name to "Boston Redskins."
To round out the change, Marshall hired William "Lone Star" Dietz, thought to be part Sioux, as the team's head coach. However, Boston wasn't much of a football town at the time and the team had difficulty drawing fans; the Redskins relocated south from New England after five years to the national capital of Washington, D. C. in 1937. Through 1960, the Redskins shared baseball's Griffith Stadium with the first Washington Senators baseball team of the American League. In their first game in Washington on September 16, the Redskins defeated the New York Giants in the season opener, 13–3. On December 5, they earned their first division title in Washington with a 49–14 win over the Giants in New York, for the Eastern Championship; the next week on December 12, the team won their first league championship, over the Chicago Bears. In 1940, the Redskins met the Bears again in the championship game on December 8; the result, 73–0 in favor of the Bears, is still the worst one-sided loss in NFL history. The other big loss for the Redskins that season occurred in September during the coin toss prior to the Giants game.
After calling the coin toss and shaking hands with the opposing team captain, lineman Turk Edwards attempted to pivot around to head back to his sideline. However, his cleats caught in the grass and his knee gave way, injuring him and bringing his season and hall of fame career to an unusual end. In what became an early rivalry in the NFL, the Redskins and Bears met two more times in the NFL Championship Game; the third time in 1942 on December 13, where the Redskins won their second championship, 14–6. The final time the two met was the 1943 on December 26, which the Bears won 41–21; the most notable accomplishment achieved during the Redskins' 1943 season was Sammy Baugh leading the NFL in passing and interceptions. The Redskins played in the NFL Championship one more time before a quarter-century drought that did not end until the 1972 season. With former Olympic gold medalist Dudley DeGroot as their new head coach, the Redskins went 8–2 during the 1945 season. One of the most impressive performances came from Sammy Baugh, who had a completion percentage of.703.
They ended the season by losing to the Cleveland Rams in the 1945 NFL Championship Game on December 16, 1945, 15–14. The one-point margin of victory came under scrutiny because of a safety that occurred early in the game. In the f
2007 NFL season
The 2007 NFL season was the 88th regular season of the National Football League. Regular-season play was held from September 6 to December 30; the New England Patriots became the first team to complete the regular season undefeated since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season in 1978. Four weeks after the playoffs began on January 5, 2008, the Patriots' bid for a perfect season was dashed when they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, the league championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 3, by a score of 17–14; the following rule changes were passed at the league's annual owners meeting in Phoenix, Arizona during the week of March 25–28: The instant replay system, used since the 1999 season, was made a permanent officiating tool. It was renewed on a biennial basis; the system has been upgraded to use high-definition technology. However, the systems at Texas Stadium, RCA Dome, Giants Stadium did not receive the HDTV updates since those stadiums were scheduled to be replaced in the forthcoming years.
One reason that the technology was improved was that fans with high-definition televisions at home were having better views on replays than the officials and according to Dean Blandino, the NFL's instant replay director "that could have bit us in the rear if we continued." In addition, the amount of time allotted for the referee to review a play was reduced from 90 seconds to one minute. After a play is over, players who spike the ball in the field of play, other than in the end zone, will receive a 5-yard delay of game penalty. Forward passes that unintentionally hit an offensive lineman before an eligible receiver will no longer be an illegal touching penalty, but deliberate actions are still penalized. Roughing-the-passer penalties will not be called on a defender engaged with a quarterback who extends his arms and shoves the passer to the ground. During situations where crowd noise becomes a problem, the offense can no longer ask the referee to reset the play clock, it is necessary to have the ball touch the pylon or break the plane above the pylon to count as a touchdown.
A player just had to have some portion of his body over the goal line or pylon to count a touchdown. A completed catch is now when a receiver has control of the ball. A receiver had to make "a football move" in addition to having control of the ball for a reception. Players will be subject to a fine from the league for playing with an unbuckled chin strap. Officials will not penalize for chin strap violations during a game. John Parry was promoted to referee, replacing Bill Vinovich, forced to resign due to a heart condition. Vinovich would serve as a replay official from 2007 to 2011, he would be given a clean bill of health and return to the field as a referee in 2012. The 2007 season marked the second year of the current television contracts with NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, the NFL Network; the pre-game shows made some changes, with former Steelers coach Bill Cowher joining host James Brown, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marino on CBS’ The NFL Today. On Fox, after one season on the road, Fox NFL Sunday returned to Los Angeles as Curt Menefee took over as full-time host.
Chris Rose, doing in-game updates of other NFL games, was reverted to a part-time play-by-play role. The biggest changes were at NBC and ESPN. Michael Irvin’s contract with ESPN was not renewed, former coach Bill Parcells returned to the network after four years as Cowboys head coach. Parcells left. Another pair of former Cowboys, Emmitt Smith and Keyshawn Johnson provided roles in the studio for Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. At Monday Night Football, Joe Theismann was dropped after seventeen years in the booth between the Sunday and Monday Night packages, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and current Philadelphia Soul president Ron Jaworski took his place alongside Mike Tirico and Tony Kornheiser. Part of the reason that Jaworski replaced Theismann was because of his chemistry with Kornheiser on Pardon the Interruption, where Jaworski was a frequent guest during the football season. NBC’s Football Night in America made two changes. MSNBC Countdown anchor Keith Olbermann joined Bob Costas and Cris Collinsworth as another co-host, while Sterling Sharpe exited as a studio analyst, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber replaced him.
In another change, Faith Hill took over singing “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” for Pink. In the second year of the NFL Network's “Run to the Playoffs”, Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders replaced Dick Vermeil for two games when Collinsworth was unavailable. An unforced change saw Bryant Gumbel miss the Broncos–Texans game December 13 due to a sore throat and NBC announcer Tom Hammond step into Gumbel's play-by-play role in what turned out to be more or less a preview of one of NBC's Wild Card Game announcing teams; the dispute between the NFL Network and various cable companies involving the distribution of the cable channel continued throughout the season, getting the attention of government officials when the NFL Network was scheduled to televise two high-profile regular season games: the Packers-Cowboys game on November 29 and the Patriots-Giants game on December 29. In the case of the Packers-Cowboys game, the carriage was so limited that Governor of Wisconsin Jim Doyle went to his brother's house to watch the game on satellite (which is where the majority of the view
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. The Patriots compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference East division; the team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, located 21 miles southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts and 20 miles northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are headquartered at Gillette Stadium. An original member of the American Football League, the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues; the team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. The Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium from 1971 to 2001 moved to Gillette Stadium at the start of the 2002 season; the Patriots' rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL. Since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in 2000, the Patriots have since become one of the most successful teams in NFL history, winning 16 AFC East titles in 18 seasons since 2001, without a losing season in that period.
The franchise has since set numerous notable records, including most wins in a ten-year period, an undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007, the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history, the most consecutive division titles won by a team in NFL history. The team owns the record for most Super Bowls reached and won by a head coach–quarterback tandem, most Super Bowl appearances overall, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins, tied with the Denver Broncos for the most Super Bowl losses. On November 16, 1959, Boston business executive Billy Sullivan was awarded the eighth and final franchise of the developing American Football League; the following winter, locals were allowed to submit ideas for the Boston football team's official name. The most popular choice – and the one that Sullivan selected – was the "Boston Patriots," with "Patriots" referring to those colonists of the Thirteen Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution and in July 1776 declared the United States of America an independent nation.
Thereafter, artist Phil Bissell of The Boston Globe developed the "Pat Patriot" logo. The Patriots struggled for most of their years in the AFL, they never had a regular home stadium. Nickerson Field, Harvard Stadium, Fenway Park, Alumni Stadium all served as home fields during their time in the American Football League, they played in only one AFL championship game, following the 1963 season, in which they lost to the San Diego Chargers 51–10. They did not appear again in an NFL post-season game for another 13 years; when the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the Patriots were placed in the American Football Conference East division, where they still play today. The following year, the Patriots moved to a new stadium in Foxborough, which would serve as their home for the next 30 years; as a result of the move, they announced they would change their name from the Boston Patriots to the Bay State Patriots. The name was rejected by the NFL and on March 22, 1971, the team announced they would change its geographic name to New England.
During the 1970s, the Patriots had some success, earning a berth to the playoffs in 1976—as a wild card team—and in 1978—as AFC East champions. They lost in the first round both times. In 1985, they returned to the playoffs, made it all the way to Super Bowl XX, which they lost to the Chicago Bears 46–10. Following their Super Bowl loss, they lost in the first round; the team would not make the playoffs again for eight more years. During the 1990 season, the Patriots went 1–15, they changed ownership three times in the ensuing 14 years, being purchased from the Sullivan family first by Victor Kiam in 1988, who sold the team to James Orthwein in 1992. Though Orthwein's period as owner was short and controversial, he did oversee major changes to the team, first with the hiring of former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells in 1993. Orthwein and his marketing team commissioned the NFL to develop a new visual identity and logo, changed their primary colors from the traditional red and blue to blue and silver for the team uniforms.
Orthwein intended to move the team to his native St. Louis, but instead sold the team in 1994 for $175 million to its current owner, Robert Kraft. Since the Patriots have sold out every home game in both Foxboro Stadium and Gillette Stadium. By 2009, the value of the franchise had increased by over $1 billion, to a Forbes magazine estimated value of $1.361 billion, third highest in the NFL only behind the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. As of July 2018, the Patriots are the sixth most valuable sports franchise in the world according to Forbes magazine with a value of $3.7 billion. Continuing on as head coach under Kraft's ownership, Parcells would bring the Patriots to two playoff appearances, including Super Bowl XXXI, which they lost to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 35–21. Pete Carroll, Parcells's successor, would take the team to the playoffs twice in 1997 and 1998 before being dismissed as head coach after the 1999 season; the Patriots hired current head coach Bill Belichick, who had served as defensive coordinator under Parcells including during Super Bowl XXXI, in 2000.
Their new home field, Gillette Stadium, opened in 2002 to
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete as a member club of the National Football League's American Football Conference West division, they began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and play home games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000; the Broncos were competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not complete a winning season until 1973. In 1977, four years they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and advanced to Super Bowl XII. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL's most successful teams, having suffered only seven losing seasons, they have won eight AFC Championships, three Super Bowl championships, share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses.
They have ten players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Willie Brown, Tony Dorsett, Terrell Davis, Brian Dawkins, Ty Law and Champ Bailey. The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959, when Minor League Baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League charter franchise; the Broncos won the first-ever AFL game over the Boston Patriots 13–10, on September 9, 1960. On August 5, 1967, they became the first-ever AFL team to defeat an NFL team, with a 13–7 win over the Detroit Lions in a preseason game. However, the Broncos were not successful in the 1960s. Denver came close to losing its franchise in 1965, until a local ownership group took control and rebuilt the team; the team's first superstar, "Franchise" Floyd Little, was instrumental in keeping the team in Denver, due to his signing in 1967 as well as his Pro Bowl efforts on and off the field. The Broncos were the only original AFL team that never played in the title game, as well as the only original AFL team never to have a winning season while a member of the AFL during the upstart league's 10-year history.
In 1972, the Broncos hired former Stanford University coach John Ralston as their head coach. In 1973, he was the UPI's AFC Coach of the Year, after Denver achieved its first winning season at 7–5–2. In five seasons with the Broncos, Ralston guided the team to winning seasons three times. Though Ralston finished the 1976 season with a 9–5 record, the team, as was the case in Ralston's previous winning seasons, still missed the playoffs. Following the season, several prominent players publicly voiced their discontent with Ralston, which soon led to his resignation. Red Miller, a long-time assistant coach was hired and along with the Orange Crush Defense and aging quarterback Craig Morton, took the Broncos to what was a record-setting 12–2 regular season record and their first playoff appearance in 1977, first Super Bowl, in which they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 27–10. In 1981, Broncos' owner Gerald Phipps, who had purchased the team in May 1961 from the original owner Bob Howsam, sold the team to Canadian financier Edgar Kaiser Jr. grandson of shipbuilding industrialist Henry J. Kaiser.
In 1984, the team was purchased by Pat Bowlen, who placed team ownership into a family trust sometime before 2004 and remained in day-to-day control until his battle with Alzheimer's disease forced him to cede the team to Joe Ellis in 2014. Dan Reeves became the youngest head coach in the NFL when he joined the Broncos in 1981 as vice president and head coach. Quarterback John Elway, who played college football at Stanford, arrived in 1983 via a trade. Drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball, unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included the Broncos. Prior to Elway, the Broncos had over 24 different starting quarterbacks in its 23 seasons to that point. Reeves and Elway guided the Broncos to six post-season appearances, five AFC West divisional titles, three AFC championships and three Super Bowl appearances during their 12-year span together; the Broncos lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants, 39–20.
The last year of the Reeves-Elway era were marked by feuding, due to Reeves taking on play-calling duties after ousting Elway's favorite offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan after the 1991 season, as well as Reeves drafting quarterback Tommy Maddox out of UCLA instead of going with a wide receiver to help Elway. Reeves was fired after the 1992 season and replaced by his protégé and friend Wade Phillips, serving as the Broncos' defensive coordinator. Phillips was fired after a mediocre 1994 season, in which management felt he lost control of the team. In 1995, Mike Shanahan, who had served under Reeves as the Broncos' offensive coordinator, returned as head coach. Shanahan drafted rookie running back Terrell Davis. In 1996, the Broncos were the top seed in the AFC with a 13–3 record, dominating most of the teams that year; the fift
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference East division; the team is headquartered in Frisco and plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, 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 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 eleven Super Bowl appearances; this has 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.
The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons, in which they missed the playoffs only twice. 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 generated $620 million in revenue in 2014, a record for a U. S. sports team. In 2018 they became the first NFL franchise to be valued at $5 billion and making Forbes' list as the most valued NFL team for the 12th straight year. 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, 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. Marshall 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 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, a rivalry was born.
From 1970 through 1979, the Cowboys won 105 regular season games, more than any other NFL franchise during that span. In addition, they appeared in 5 and won two Super Bowls, at the end of the 1971 and 1977 regular seasons. Danny White became the Cowboys' starting quarterback in 1980 after quarterback Roger Staubach retired. Despite going to 12–4 in 1980, the Cowboys came into the playoffs as a Wild Card team. In the opening round of the 1980–81 NFL playoffs they avenged their elimination from the prior year's playoffs by defeating the Rams. In the Divisional Round they squeaked by the Atlanta Falcons 30–27. For the NFC Championship they were pitted against division rival Philadelphia, the team that won the division during the regular season; the Eagles captured their first conference championship and Super Bowl berth by winning 20–7. 1981 brought another division championship for the Cowboys. They entered the 1981-82 NFL playoffs as the number 2 seed, their first game of the postseason saw them blowout and shutout Tampa Bay 38–0.
For the Conference Title game they were pitted against the number 1 seed. Despite having a late 4th quarter 27–21 lead, they would lose to the 49ers 28–27. 49ers quarterback Joe Montana led his team to an 89-yard game-winning touchdown drive connecting to Dwight Clark in a play known as The Catch. The 1982 season was shortened after a player strike. With a 6–3 record Dallas made it to the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season; as the number 2 seed for the 1982–83 NFL playoffs they eliminated the Buccaneers 30–17 in the Wild Card round and dispatched the Packers 37–26 in the Divisional round to advance to their 3rd consecutive Conference championship game. 3 times was not a charm for the Cowboys as they fell 31–17 to division rival and eventual Super Bowl XVII champions, the Redskins. For the 1983 season the Cowboys went 12–4 and made it once again to the playoffs but were defeated at home in the Wild Card by the Rams 24–17. Prior to the 1984 season, H. R. "Bum" Bright purchased the Dallas Cowboys from Clint Murchison, Jr. Dallas posted a 9–7 record that season but missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons.
After going 10–6 in 1985 and winning a division title, the Cowboys were blown out in the Divisional round at home to the Rams 20–0. Hard times came for the organization as they went 7–9 in 1986, 7–8 in 1987, 3–13 in 1988. During this time period Bright became disenchanted with the team. During the savings and loan crisis, the team and Mr. Bright's saving