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Will it Continue to Be Doomsday for the Cowboys?

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Will it Continue to Be Doomsday for the Cowboys?
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Cowboys Stadium.

A little modern NFL history lesson and numbers that most football fans are very familiar with.

No team has been to more Super Bowls than the Dallas Cowboys, who've made eight appearances in the Big Game--tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most ever.

And only Pittsburgh (6) has won more Lombardi Trophies than the Pokes (5, tied with the San Francisco 49ers), who became the first franchise in league annals to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span (1992-95), a feat since duplicated by the New England Patriots (2001-04).

But 1995 is significant, because it not only marks the last time the Cowboys won an NFL title but also the last time we saw the organization even reach the NFC title game. In 1996, Dallas did manage to win their division with a 10-6 mark and beat the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card playoffs before losing to the Carolina Panthers a week later in the divisional round.

Yes, the championship times have been lean in "Big D" for longer than people may realize or remember. And that "D" could stand for any number of things these days.

Case in point: Since 1997, the Cowboys own a 128-128 regular-season record. Over the last 16 years they have had more 10-plus loss seasons (6) than campaigns with double-digit wins (4). Owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones has gone through six different head coaches and 14 different starting quarterbacks over that span. And the team's 1-6 postseason record since '97 is indeed disappointing.

Still, you would think that both current starting quarterback Tony Romo and head coach Jason Garrett are the main reasons for the Cowboys' woes for nearly two decades. And the heat that always comes with the quarterback job in Dallas was raised several hundred degrees when Romo signed a very lucrative new contract this offseason.

Since winning the NFC East and getting a postseason victory in 2009, the Cowboys have gone three straight seasons without a winning record. The last two seasons have seen Garrett's club in position to win the division in Week 17 only to fall short on each occasion. As for 2013, veteran coach Monte Kiffin is now Dallas' third defensive coordinator in four years.

But the common dominator over the last 16 seasons has been Jones, who has owned the team since 1989 and was around for the glory years of "The Triplets" and Super Bowl titles under head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.

And while it's always easy to label a scapegoat, is Jones the sole reason that the Cowboys never seem to live up to expectations? Perhaps those aspirations are constantly too high.

But it's also worth noting that no team in the NFC East has won more than 10 games each of the last three seasons. And all four teams, the Cowboys (2009), Philadelphia Eagles (2010), New York Giants (2011) and Washington Redskins (2012) have taken a turn winning the division the last four years. Safe to say it's anyone's for the taking.

But in Dallas, both the stakes (as well as the steaks) are bigger.

So will we see a sixth Lombardi Trophy in "Big D" anytime soon?

You "Decide."

Russell S. Baxter has spent the last 40-plus years watching football. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country and is blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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