The Curse Of The Cowboys: 29 Years Of Choking
— 15 January 2024

The Curse Of The Cowboys: 29 Years Of Choking

— 15 January 2024

Fans of the Dallas Cowboys have long referred to the franchise as “America’s team.” Sort of like what the Los Angeles Lakers are to the NBA or the New York Yankees are to the MLB, the Cowboys have fans all across the country and the rest of the world — and their popularity transcends the NFL.

But just like those other teams mentioned, holding the status of their respective sport’s premier name means even more people who hate absolutely them. The pompous arrogance of calling your team “America’s team” will inevitably lead to ridicule when said team comes up short.

Fortunately for those who hate the Cowboys, there’s been plenty to ridicule in recent memory. They’ve been seven-point favourites in the playoffs three separate times since 1998. After today, where they entered their Wild Card Round matchup against the Green Bay Packers as a 7.5-point favourite, the Cowboys have lost all three times.

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That’s right. The Dallas Cowboys have just become the first team to lose three consecutive games as such a heavy favourite since the 1970 merger. They also hold the record for most consecutive losses at the divisional round (7) since the merger, but after today, there isn’t any risk of them extending that one this year.

Despite trailing 27-7 at halftime, some of the people at Caesars Sportsbook & Casino reportedly claimed that today’s upset was one of the biggest in-game betting wins of the season: “They never stopped betting the Cowboys.”

Green Bay, on the other hand, became the first seven-seed to ever win a playoff game; they had an average age of 25.68, which also makes them the youngest team since the 1970 merger to win a playoff game.

How else did Dallas make history today? They became the first top-two seed to not reach a divisional round since 1975 (when seeding began).

The last time the Cowboys made a conference championship game was 29 years ago. The only other teams to share this drought are the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and Miami Dolphins. This isn’t exactly a winning group — the Cowboys are the only team here that’s had a winning record during a regular season in that span.

In fact, they’ve been the number-one seed twice in that time. Back in 2007, it was the one-and-done against the New York Giants that ended their season. Then in 2016, Aaron Rodgers took their hearts with the famous sideline throw to Jared Cook, setting up a game-winning field goal for the Green Bay Packers.

The comparisons from today to 1996 — the last year of the Cowboys Dynasty — get even more hilarious when you consider the fact that Diana Ross performed at the halftime show the last time the franchise was any good.

Since beating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Super Bowl XXX, they’ve been bounced in the playoffs 13 times. No other team has ever gone this many consecutive playoff trips without at least reaching an AFC or NFC title game. Eight of those trips to the playoffs were over in the first round.

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This is the third straight season where the Dallas Cowboys have retained a record of 12-5. Theoretically, they’re a good team, but instead, they’re the only team in NFL history with three straight 12-win seasons and not a single Conference Championship game appearance to show for it.

Dallas is now one of four teams to have a losing record in games where they’re favoured (5-6) since 1996. Quarterback Dak Prescott is now tied for the worst record of any player of his position (with a minimum of five starts) in playoff history.

Just to really salt the wound: this is the only team worth US$9 billion (AU$13.5 billion) in all professional sports. They’ve been the most valuable NFL franchise for 15 years straight years, riding in the coattails of a team that dominated nearly three decades ago.

Every year, you hear their supporters profess that “this is our year” and “we dem boyz” before facing devastation when history repeats itself. They say money can’t buy you happiness, but apparently, it can’t buy you a championship either.

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