After their bye week the Dallas Cowboys travel this week to the site of the Super Bowl venue to face their long time divisions rival, the New York Giants. The fact that they are going to the Super Bowl venue got me interested in how they have done when they travel to the site of the coming Super Bowl. For the sake of the Cowboys critics I will begin by rewarding them with the reminder that when the Super Bowl was played in our house we went 2-6 that year.
Okay now that that throng of fans is happy let’s look at the Super Bowl venues. Following the 1966 season the Super Bowl was held in Los Angeles California at Memorial Coliseum. At that time the Cowboys were not in the same Conference as the Los Angeles Rams and did not play them. In 1967 the Super Bowl was played in Miami, Florida at the Orange Bowl. The Miami Dolphins were not yet in the NFL so the Cowboys did not travel to Miami either.
In 1968 the Super Bowl was again in Miami, Florida at the Orange Bowl, and of course the AFL-NFL merger was still in the future and the Cowboys did not travel to Miami for the second year in a row. In 1969 the Super Bowl was held in New Orleans, Louisiana at Tulane Stadium. That season the New Orleans Saints were a division rival of the Cowboys as they had been in 1967. Therefore the teams played a home and home series and the Cowboys traveled to New Orleans. The Cowboys swept the Saints in 1969 and thus won in the Super Bowl venue for a record of 1-0.
In 1970 we had the aforementioned AFL-NFL merger. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Colts, and Cleveland Browns from the NFL joined the original 8 AFL teams (Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers) and their 2 expansion teams (Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins) in the newly formed American Football Conference. I mentioned recently that every Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl loss has been in Miami, Florida. I cringe when they win a Super Bowl bid. The Cowboys of course went to that Super Bowl vs. the Baltimore Colts and lost the game, but in 1970 they did not play the Dolphins.
In 1971 the team by then dubbed as Next Year’s Champions, returned to the Super Bowl. It was once again in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium. The Cowboys did travel to the Big Easy in 1971 to face the Saints, and suffered their first ever loss to the Saints. Prior to that they had been 5-0 against them. Of course that year the Cowboys won the Super Bowl by destroying the Dolphins and their No Name Defense. Their record in Super Bowl venues for the regular season moved to 1-1 just like their record in the actual game.
In 1972 the Super Bowl was again in Los Angles at Memorial Coliseum. However the Cowboys did not face the Rams that season. In 1973 the game moved to Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. However the Cowboys did not travel to Houston to face the Oilers in 1973. In 1974 New Orleans once again hosted the game, but the Cowboys did not play the Saints in 1974.
In 1975 the Super Bowl was back in Miami and Dallas was once again in the game. They lost to the Steelers as Roger Staubach miracle comeback fell short on the last play of the game. The Cowboys did not play the Dolphins in 1975. In 1976 The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California hosted the Super Bowl. No NFL team has ever hosted their games in The Rose Bowl.
In 1977 the Cowboys were about to become two time NFL Champions with a drubbing of the Broncos in the first ever indoor Super Bowl. The game was played in the Saints new home, a domed stadium known as The Superdome. History was made with that Super Bowl being the first indoor NFL Championship. The Cowboys did not play the Saints in 1977 but 2 trips to their stadium for the Super Bowl yielded 2 Championships. Too bad our game last week in that venue was such a lousy outcome.
In 1978 we faced the Steelers again, and once again in Miami at the Orange Bowl. Once again they lost in that venue. For the third time in our History we did play a game in the coming Super Bowl venue against the host team. We lost to the Dolphins in Miami in 1978 putting our tally at 1-2. In 1979, Roger Staubach’s final season, the Super Bowl was again at The Rose Bowl. So there is nothing to add to the record from this season.
The 1980′s arrived and the Super Bowl was back in New Orleans. Alas, Danny White delivered us to the NFC Championship for the first of 3 straight times, but we failed to get to the Championship. We did not face the Saints in 1980. In 1981 we all suffered from seeing the play that ESPN thinks is the most monumental in NFL History, the Catch. The Super Bowl was going to be in Pontiac, Michigan, home of the Detroit Lions. The first cold weather city to host a Super Bowl. The Cowboys did travel to the Silverdome to face the Lions in 1981. They lost to bring the standings to 1-3.
In 1982 the Super Bowl returned to The Rose Bowl, so no game in the venue that year. That was also the year of the first NFL players strike and 7 games were lost. 1983 brought the game to Tampa Bay, Florida and Tampa Stadium. The Cowboys did face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1983, and they did win, but the game was at Texas Stadium, in Irving, not the Super Bowl site. 1984 saw the game move to Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. No NFL team has ever hosted games in Stanford Stadium.
1985 saw the game return to New Orleans and the Superdome. However the Cowboys did not face the Saints that season. In 1986 the game was once again at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, but it would be impossible to face the host team as in previous years. In 1987 the game traveled south in California to San Diego and Jack Murphy Stadium. That was the year of the second NFL players strike. The Cowboys did not face the Chargers.
1988 was the last year of the Tom Landry era. The end of the most glorious time in Cowboys History, but one of the worst years in Cowboys History as well. Kind of fitting that in a worst kind of year the Super Bowl would return to Miami, this time at Joe Robbie Stadium. The Cowboys did not play the Dolphins in 1988. 1989 ushered in the Jerry Jones era in Dallas. His brash new Head Coach Jimmy Johnson took his licks in 1989 though. The Super Bowl that year was held in New Orleans at the Superdome again. The Cowboys opened that dismal season with a 28-0 loss to the Saints in the Superdome. The Cowboys worst opening day loss in their History as they were shut out. Venue tally now at 1-4.
The 1990′s ushered in a new era for the Cowboys as they began to transform. The 1990 Super Bowl returned to Tampa. That year the Cowboys had a home and away series with the Buccaneers by virtue of their identical last place finishes in the NFC. So they did go to Tampa and they did face the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl venue. They swept the Bucs in 1990 so that puts the record at 2-4. In 1991 The Super Bowl was again in a cold weather city as the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota played host. However, the Cowboys did not play the Vikings.
1992 and the Cowboys once again rose to the pinnacle that is the Super Bowl. One again The Rose Bowl in Pasadena played host and watched the Cowboys absolutely demolish the Buffalo Bills. In 1993 the Cowboys would repeat as Super Bowl Champions and add their 4th Lombardi Trophy to the case. The game was in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome. The Cowboys did travel to Atlanta that season. They lost to the Falcons, bringing the ledger to 2-5.
1994 saw the end of the too short Jimmy Johnson era and ushered in the too long Barry Switzer era. As if on cue the Super Bowl was in Miami, again at Joe Robbie Stadium. Michael Irvin is the most disappointed Dallas Cowboys fan in History that we did not make it to that Super Bowl. It would have been in his home town and he wanted to earn the Super Bowl MVP there. We did not play the Dolphins in 1994.
1995 there was a guarantee that the Cowboys were going to play in the Super Bowl venue. For the first time ever an NFC East team was playing host. The game was held in Tempe, Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium. The Cowboys swept their rival the Arizona Cardinals in 1995. The game in Arizona was the Jerry MaGuire game where Emmitt Smith broke the single season TD mark on Christmas Day and the Cowboys ushered Buddy Ryan out of professional football. Then of course they got a measure of revenge on the Pittsburgh Steelers in that same stadium as they added their 5th Lombardi Trophy to the collection and the tally at 3-5.
1996 brought the Super Bowl back to New Orleans, but the Cowboys did not face the Saints that year. 1997 took the game to San Diego and Qualcomm Stadium. Didn’t face the Chargers. In 1998 Miami was once again the Host in pro Player Stadium, didn’t face the Dolphins. The 90′s era ended in 1999 with the Super Bowl returning to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Cowboys did face the Falcons that year, but in Dallas, not Atlanta.
The turn of the century and the turn of the Cowboys fortunes as the Dave Campo era began. The first Super Bowl of the new century was held in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Dallas did play the Buccaneers in Tampa that year, and lost. 3-6 on the standings now. In 2001 the Superdome was again the host. Dallas did not play the Saints. 2002 would see the end of the Campo era and the Super Bowl traveled to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. We did not face the Chargers.
The Bill Parcells era returned a level of respectability to Dallas. Hope sprang new that the Big Tuna could turn the fortunes back to the glory days. 2003 saw the Houston Texans host the Super Bowl at Reliant Stadium. Dallas did not face the Texans that year. 2004 the game moved to Jacksonville, Florida and Alltel Stadium, but we did not face the Jacksonville Jaguars. 2005 took the game back to Detroit, Michigan and Ford Field. The Cowboys played the Lions, but in Dallas. The Parcells era ended with the 2006 season, and the game played in Miami at Joe Robbie Stadium. We did not face the Dolphins.
The Wade Phillips era began in 2007 and the Super Bowl was held in Glendale, Arizona and the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals were no longer an NFC East rival, and the Cowboys did not travel to Arizona to play them. 2008 brought the game back to Tampa Bay and Raymond James Stadium, the Cowboys did plays the Buccaneers, but in Dallas. 2009 ended the era of Texas Stadium for the Cowboys. The Super Bowl never made it to Texas Stadium, but she saw 5 trophies in her day. As if it is a portent of doom, the Super Bowl was in Miami, Florida again that year, the Cowboys did not go to Miami though.
2010 the Super Bowl came to North Texas and Cowboys Stadium. Jerry got his Super Bowl, but lost his Head Coach in the middle of the season as the Cowboys fell apart and ushered in the Jason Garrett era. In 2011 the Super Bowl ventured to it’s third cold weather city and 4th venue, Indianapolis, Indiana and the Lucas Oil Field Stadium. The Cowboys did not face the Colts. That brings us to last year and the Super Bowl held in New Orleans. The Cowboys did face the Saints, but in Dallas, not Nawlins.
3-5 in years we play in a Super Bowl host city against the host team in the regular season. This week’s game marks the 9th time this has happened in Cowboys History and the 2nd NFC East rival to host a Super Bowl. It is a 5th venue for a cold weather city, but unlike the previous 4, this one is in an outdoor stadium, the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Does that 3-5 record give you hope or crush them? Hey, the only other time a division rival hosted a Super Bowl we not only won the road game in the Regular season but came back later and won the Super Bowl in a rival’s house. Can lightning strike twice and repeat this year? The answer starts Sunday.