Dallas Cowboys: Ranking the 10 Best Seasons in Team History

Jason Henry@thenprojectCorrespondent IJune 15, 2011

Dallas Cowboys: Ranking the 10 Best Seasons in Team History

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  The star at Cowboys Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    For a team that has five Super Bowl wins, it’s a little tough to pick out 10 of the team’s best seasons. Of course, all five Super Bowl seasons will make the list, but what about the others?

    The easiest way to pick for this list is to take the team’s best statistical years and place them in numerical order. Maybe the Cowboys' seasons when they had the best records should be automatic qualifiers or years when their Hall-of-Famers were league leaders.

    But character, toughness, hunger, determination and other factors will also be taken into consideration.

    Let’s take a look at the 10 best seasons in team history in no specific order.

1994 Dallas Cowboys

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    SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 15:  Linebacker Rickey Jackson #57 and defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield #94 of the San Francisco 49ers team up to sack Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman #8 during the 1994 NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park on January
    George Rose/Getty Images

    The start of the Barry Switzer era in Big D was actually one of the best years in Cowboys history. I can remember watching the NFC Championship game against the 49ers">San Francisco 49ers and thinking that it was the one of the best games I had ever watched.

    I was only about 11 years old at the time, but you can’t blame me for being trapped by the moment.

    That team featured three future Hall of Fame players in Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. The defense had Tony Tolbert, Darren Woodson, Charles Haley and many more.

    Dallas sent 11 players to the Pro Bowl that season, scored over 400 points and had Emmitt Smith score 21 touchdowns.

    No three-peat for the ‘Boys, but one of the greatest ball clubs every assembled took the field that year.

1966 Dallas Cowboys

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    1986:  Head coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sideline during a 1986 season NFL game.  Tom Landry directed the Dallas Cowboys to 20 consecutive winning seasons from 1966-85, retiring after the 1988 season.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Ge
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    This was the team’s very first winning season.

    They scored the most points in the league that year, as they averaged almost 32 points per game and planted over 45 points on the scoreboard in three of their first four games.

    This squad featured “Dandy Don Meredith,” Dan Reeves and “Bullet Bob Hayes.”

    They lost of the Green Bay Packers in the conference championship, but Tom Landry was slowly laying the tracks of success for the Dallas Cowboys.

2007 Dallas Cowboys

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 22:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks towards the sideline during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 22, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Hear me out on this one because I’m railroaded for picking this team.

    I believe the 2007 season was Wade Phillips’ best shot at winning a Super Bowl with this group of players because he was able to maximize their potential.

    Tony Romo tossed almost 40 touchdowns that season and led the ‘Boys back to beat the Buffalo Bills after tossing five interceptions.

    Terrell Owens caught 15 touchdown passes at age 34, and Jason Witten had one of the best statistical seasons of his career.

    This team is listed due to the potential and the sheer disappointment. They were fun to watch fans actually believed they would win every game they entered.

    Though the season ended on a sour note with a playoff loss to the hated Giants, there will always be the “what if” questions about this talented team.

1971 Dallas Cowboys

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    IRVING, TX - NOVEMBER 20:  A banner hangs from the rafters commemorating the 1971 Dallas Cowboys as Super Bowl VI Champions during the game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys on November 20, 2005 at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.  The Cowbo
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Cowboys very first Super Bowl victory had to make the list. There was Roger Staubach, Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill, Bob Hayes, Bob Lilly, Rayfield, Wright and a host of others.

    This Dallas team was first in the league in points scored and had an amazing turnover differential of +16.

    What’s great about this team is that they ended the year on a 10-game wining streak, and they clobbered most of their opponents during the streak.

    The ‘Boys scored 52 against the Jets, 42 against the Giants and 31 against the Cardinals in three straight weeks while allowing only 34 total points, which is focus at its highest degree.

    This ’71 team is by far one of the greatest Cowboys teams ever put together.

1992 Dallas Cowboys

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    SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 17:  Running back Emmitt Smith #22 of the Dallas Cowboys hustles for yards during the 1992 NFC Conference Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on January 17, 1993 in San Francisco, California.  The
    George Rose/Getty Images

    The greatest thing about this team is their amazing turnaround. There was a steady, methodical and noticeable incline starting with the team that went 1-15 in 1989.

    The culmination was finally a Super Bowl victory in ’92 led by the triplets, Irvin, Smith and Aikman.

    Their playoff run was beastly as they scored 89 points in three games against the Eagles, 49ers and Bills. The Cowboys defense was young and ferocious, and the offensive was just as aggressive.

    It’s a shame they couldn’t rattle off three straight, but the first Super Bowl of the 90’s was the start of something great.

The 1980 Dallas Cowboys

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    16 Oct 1988:  Quarterback Danny White of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the Chicago Bears during a game at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Danny White years are the 12-4 years. They were consistent as they routinely rattled off 12 victories a year but never could get over the hump.

    This team gave Cowboys fans hope that another Super Bowl was possibly in the future and with the play of Danny White that hope almost manifested into reality.

    But White was responsible for more turnovers than McDonalds and his inconsistent play in the conference championship game didn’t help matters.

    This team featured Tony Dorsett, Tony Hill, Too Tall Jones, Pat Donovan. This team may not be high on the list of many, but Cowboys fans can learn a lot from the failures of the early 80’s Cowboys teams.

1977 Dallas Cowboys

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    IRVING, TX - NOVEMBER 20:  A banner hangs from the rafters commemorating the 1977 Dallas Cowboys as Super Bowl XI Champions during the game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys on November 20, 2005 at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.  The Cowbo
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The second Super Bowl victory in Cowboys' history featured a smothering defense and a consistent offense.

    During the playoffs Dallas allowed only 23 points in three games and held the Broncos to just 16 points in two combined games against them.

    Quarterback Roger Staubach made the Pro Bowl that season along with many others. But toughness defined this group of players as they brought home another Super Bowl for coach Tom Landry.

1993 Dallas Cowboys

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    31 Jan 1993:  Wide receiver Alvin Harper #80 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a leaping catch during Super Bowl XXVIII against the Buffalo Bills at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Cowboys won the game, 30-13. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allspor
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    I know that the Cowboys played the Bills twice in the Super Bowl and beat the slop out of them both times, but I believe their Super Bowl run in the 90’s was partly defined by their games against the San Francisco 49ers.

    Both teams would play great during the regular season and meet in the playoffs for an epic type of battle.

    Brother Emmitt Smith ran for over 1,400 yards and Michael Irvin caught his jersey number in balls.

    They sent 11 players to the Pro Bowl and had enough depth on the sideline that their B squad was probably better than most teams’ starting line-up.

    But the ’93 season will be remembered for the Emmitt Smith holdout and the Leon Lett snow angel against Miami.

    This team was quite possibly one of the best the league has ever seen.

1975 Dallas Cowboys

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    Only a dropped touchdown pass separates this team from being one of the Cowboys greatest. Backup tight end Jackie Smith dropped a sure touchdown pass in the end zone, and the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal and ended up losing by four points.

    The Cowboys also had some great battles with the then Los Angeles Rams in the 70’s, and in 1975 they beat the Rams into oblivion 37-7.

    This Dallas team was top 10 quality, but by today’s standards no player stood out.

    Robert Newhouse led the team in rushing with 944 yards, and Roger Staubach threw 17 touchdowns but also tossed 16 interceptions.

    They had character and fight and almost won a Super Bowl. Pretty good squad in my book.

1995 Dallas Cowboys

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    25 Dec 1995:  Quarterback Troy Aikman #8 of the Dallas Cowboys huddles up with the team and explains the play against the Arizona Cardinals at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  The Cowboys defeated the Cardinals 37-13.  Mandatory Credit:  Jamie Squire
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The ’95 team is one of my favorites because they beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl. In terms of winning Super Bowls, this was the last hurrah for this collection of players.

    The egos, negativity, partying and everything else finally caught up with them in the end, and that’s leaving coaching and management totally out of the equation.

    Another team chock full of Pro Bowlers led by Emmitt Smith, this Super Bowl would be the last for the Cowboys as they have yet to return to the NFL’s grandest stage.