Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys: 12-4, 2nd NFC East, lost Wild Card playoff
Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi: May 1983, $475.1 million box office
It’s ironic that the end of the first Star Wars trilogy also marked the end of Cowboys participation deep into the playoffs in the 1980s. By deep I refer strictly to the NFC Championship Game, which by this time had become an annual disappointment for Dallas fans all over the United States.
While Star Wars answered all relevant questions of the day, a clear ending was established that left nothing unanswered.
Yip, Darth Vader ended up Luke’s father.
Princess Leia was actually Luke’s sister, which paved the way for the expected romance with Han Solo.
But the Cowboys were a done deal as well, finishing another season with a record of 12-4 while not winning the NFC East division again.
The tide was turning in the NFC, with teams like the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears clearly moving into positions of dominance, which would show itself repeatedly in numerous Super Bowls well into the 1990s.
The Cowboys were an aging team that was finally feeling the effects of too many years spent choosing at the tail end of the first round of the NFL draft. Contrary to what some still think today, White was not the problem with the Dallas decline of the 1980s – it didn’t matter who played quarterback during this time because nobody was going to block the Bears of 1985, period.
In ’83 it only took the Rams to beat the Cowboys well-short of the NFC Championship Game.
Unknown at the time, both Star Wars and the Cowboys would enter their own categories of dominance yet again, albeit many moons into the future.
Next: Prequels Begin As 1990s Dynasty Officially Ends