Remember When the Cardinals Used to Be a Division Rival with the Cowboys?
The Cowboys have secured a playoff spot, but I don't think they have plans of letting the foot off the gas with two weeks left in the regular season. The Dallas Cowboys will be meeting up with a former division foe this Sunday.
If you're a new Dallas Cowboys fan, let's delve into some Cowboys history today because I absolutely love this stuff. Before the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, you only had Eastern and Western Conference in the NFL. The Cowboys would join in 1960 (technically 1961 season) to the Eastern Conference. The Cowboys had the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins in there with them. Who we all know quite well as Cowboys fans.
We also had the St. Louis Cardinals, not the baseball team. By the way, having two teams in the same city with the same name is lazy. For God sakes, differentiate yourselves so people don't get confused. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns as well were in the Eastern Conference. Things stayed like for several years, the Atlanta Falcons would join the Eastern Conference 1966.
In 1967, the NFL came up with divisions, inside of the conferences. Now you're probably used to them being named after directions. Like North, South, East or West. For a span of four seasons we had the Capitol, Century, Central, and Coastal divisions with four teams in each. The Capitol division is what you know as the NFC East today. The Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, and Redskins.
Then in 1970, the AFL and NFL merged together and now you have ten teams to add into what is currently there. Try to follow me here. So we will now have three divisions, with two conferences. I always thought it was b.s. how one division was screwed over in this and of course it was my Cowboys. The NFC East had five in their division, while the NFC Central and West only had for four in their division.
No matter what, you have a 25% chance to win the division every year, Dallas and the rest had 20%. We go with this three division format for years. New teams join along the way. Like the Buccaneers and the Seahawks. Then in 1995, everything was perfect. The Jaguars and Panthers join the league making it even across the board. Three divisions in every conference with five teams in each. The Cowboys have had the same five divisional opponents since 1970. New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and St Louis Cardinals. In 1988, the Cardinals would move and go as the Phoenix Cardinals. In 1994, they settled on Arizona Cardinals.
In 1999, the NFL reinstated the Browns after they abandoned Cleveland and became the Baltimore Ravens. This meant one division now had 6 opponents. The AFC Central used to have the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans. Then in 2002, the Houston Texans are announced as a franchise and we have a massive realignment.
Four divisions in each conference and this is what you know today as a Cowboys fan as the NFC East. This meant one of your rivals is gone and for the Cowboys it was the Arizona Cardinals. I remember the Cowboys whooping up on the Cardinals back in the day. I looked it up, from 1990-1996 the Cowboys never lost to the Cardinals. Remember, since they were in the division, they would play each other twice a year.
The Cardinals will return to Dallas on Sunday for a big game because the Cowboys want that number one seed in the playoffs so they can get a bye. The Cardinals have clinched a playoff berth, but the Los Angeles Rams recently passed them in the division and they would probably like that back so they can have a home game.
We will see what happens on Sunday and hopefully you enjoyed my history lesson on the Cowboys division. Remember you can listen to every Dallas Cowboys game in Wichita Falls on 106.3 the Buzz and NewsTalk 1290.