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Dallas Cowboys: The Biggest Misconceptions in Cowboys History

Jason HenryCorrespondent IJuly 5, 2011

Dallas Cowboys: The Biggest Misconceptions in Cowboys History

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    The Dallas Cowboys are like the New York Yankees of football. “Everybody” hates them, their owner is a jerk and their players are a bunch of overpaid prima donnas.

    Simply put, the Cowboys are one of the most hated franchises in the NFL. In fact, SI.com had an entire article dedicated to the 25 most hated teams of all time, and the 1992 Dallas Cowboys made the list at No. 3.

    Yet, while it's cool to hate on the Cowboys and everything the team stands for, there are a few, ahem, false impressions about the ’Boys floating around.

    Some grew from urban myth, and some are just plain wrong. Well, I’m here to help clear all of this up.

    Here are the five biggest misconceptions about the ‘Boys in team history.

Jerry Jones Hated Tom Landry

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    Here is by far one of the biggest misconceptions about Jerry Jones and the Cowboys I’ve ever heard.

    When Jerry bought the Cowboys from Bum Bright back in 1989, Jones immediately fired then head coach Tom Landry. Landry was the only coach in team history, but his last season with Dallas yielded a 3-13 record. Before that, Landry had back-to-back losing seasons in 1986 and 1987.

    Landry led the Dallas Cowboys for 28 seasons and won two Super Bowls while doing so. He served the players and the fans well, and Jones was ready to take the team in a new direction.

    What rubbed many fans the wrong way was how Jerry chose to fire the Cowboys' favorite son. Jones traveled to Landry’s vacation home in Austin with team general manager Tex Schramm and delivered the news to Landry that his services were no longer needed.

    Jones did what needed to be done, but the only hate he had for Landry was losing—not the man.

The Cowboys Had the NFL’s First Set of Cheerleaders

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    The Cowboys did not, I repeat, did not have the NFL’s first cheerleading squad. Anytime I hear a conversation about cheerleaders in the NFL, someone either asks if the Cowboys had the NFL’s first cheerleading squad or states it as fact that the ‘Boys own that title.

    Neither is true as the Baltimore Colts was the first team in league history to have cheerleaders.

    In regards to the Cowboys' infamous team of cheerleaders, they are the first team in the history of the NFL to actually hire a professional cheerleading squad.

    The Cowboys brought flare to games with their brand of cheerleading, and they forever changed the game because of it.

The Dallas Cowboys Were the Dallas Texans

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    Another misconception that I’ve heard before is that the Dallas Cowboys were once the Dallas Texans. The Dallas Cowboys have always been the Dallas Cowboys, and until Jerry decides to relinquish control of the franchise, they always will be.

    The Texans were a struggling franchise that lost all the time, something the Cowboys have never experienced. This version of the Texans was sold off in 1953 to become the Baltimore Colts.

    A second edition of the Texans emerged in the AFL in 1960, and that team eventually became the Kansas City Chiefs.

Emmitt Smith Isn’t a Great Running Back

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    This misconception is more opinion and not fact.

    Many spectators of the game believe that Smith reaped huge benefits from running behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Smith wasn’t the fastest, quickest or biggest, so he used the line to his advantage.

    While some of that is true, Smith’s vision and toughness was legendary and helped propel the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in the early 90s.

    Smith’s importance to the Cowboys was on full display in 1993 when the Cowboys started the season 0-2 as Smith held out for a bigger contract from team owner Jerry Jones.

    Smith didn’t have Barry’s agility or speed, but he had durability, strength and the eyes needed for a running back to become successful in the NFL.

    He broke Walter Payton’s rushing record on those legs and ankles, and most fans and pundits know that Emmitt is one of the best running backs in the history of the league.

The Cowboys Bought Neil O’Donnell in Super Bowl XXX

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    O’Donnell is most famous for making former Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown famous.

    In Super Bowl XXX one of the NFL’s most heated rivalries was rekindled when the Cowboys met the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

    Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell threw two costly interceptions in the second half to set up short touchdown drives for the Cowboys.

    Once the game was over, rumors began that O’Donnell threw the game or that the Cowboys bought him off. Fact is O’Donnell just blew it and played a horrible game.

    Brown didn’t complain as his two interceptions led to a very lucrative with the Raiders worth $12.5 million dollars over two seasons.

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