The Dallas Cowboys have been known as "America's Team" since the late 1960s. After all, no other football team was able to win three Super Bowls in four years before. They have had 20+ winning seasons in the 1966-1985 span, plus 12 playoff victories and three titles in the 90s. It's easy to see why the Cowboys are so loved and popular among the American population. But their winning streak would not last forever. Ever since the Super Bowl XXX back in January 1996, the Cowboys have won no divisional-round playoff games. They only have five playoff winnings and have won no champion games. They have yet to win another Super Bowl as well. Yet they are still wildly popular and one of the most popular team assets in global sports.
We don't just see the Dallas Cowboys on the football field or even through our big screens when we watch their games. But we also happen to see them in Hollywood films. Did you know that the "America's Team" title was created by NFL Films back in 1979? That name has stuck for a long time, and you could say this is where their history in Hollywood started. Since then, Cowboys players have starred in, had cameos, or were mentioned in Hollywood movies and television. Even now, they continue to rise in popularity in both sports and Hollywood despite their losing streak. Here is the history of the Dallas Cowboys in Hollywood.
The Cowboys in Film
Some Dallas Cowboys players have mostly played as themselves in Hollywood movies. And they have starred beside well-known actors. One of the most memorable (and best performances from a Cowboys player) is Michael Irvin's role as Deacon Moss in the 2005 film The Longest Yard. He played a convict known for his toughness and skills in the prison's basketball court. Adam Sandler's character tries to recruit Deacon to the convict football team he leads against the prison guards, which Deacon initially refuses. But he does join after witnessing one of his fellow convicts take racial abuse from a prison guard.
Then we have Tony Romo, who played himself in the movie Trainwreck. While he did not have much screen time compared to Irvin in this comedy film, Romo had a pretty solid cameo when he presented Bill Hader's character with an award. Plus, he and LeBron James are in a video together with the Trainwreck director.
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders even made appearances in the movies Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (1979) and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 2 (1980). So it's not just the football players who can put "starred in a movie" under their resumes. It's cool to see the importance of cheerleading as a sport, even if it gets unfortunately pushed to the background.
The first film centers around a newspaper reporter who goes undercover as a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader to do an insider's story for her boyfriend's newspaper. The second film focuses on cheerleader chief Suzanne Mitchell (played by Laraine Stephens) and how she prepares for the football season. While they may not have proper speaking roles and are uncredited, the real Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders have taken part in both films.
The Cowboys in Television
It's not just Hollywood films that the Cowboys have been part of. The first TV special the Cowboys have ever participated in was the 25-minute special NFL 1967. The owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, has even made a few cameos himself. One of his more memorable roles is, well, himself in a two-episode run of the 2010 show Entourage.
The Cowboys have made cameos/appearances or mentions in our favorite adult cartoons as well. For example, the Cowboys were in two episodes of King of the Hill. In season 3, episode 19, Hank's Cowboy Movie, Hank Hill makes a movie in an attempt to lure the Dallas Cowboys training camp to Arlen, Texas. Then they appear again in season 8, episode 3, New Cowboy on the Block. In this episode, a former Dallas Cowboys football player moves into Hank's neighborhood, much to his delight. But the former football star turns out to be the neighbor from hell. It makes sense that the Cowboys would have some episodes dedicated to them since Hank Hill is a long-time Cowboys fan in the show.
Then there are, of course, documentary series about the Dallas Cowboys or include "America's Team" in certain episodes. Hard Knocks is a documentary/reality TV series where each season follows an NFL team during training camp, preparing for the upcoming football season. This show has been airing since 2001. In another documentary series, A Football Life, former Cowboys player Roger Staubach had an episode dedicated to him about his story from being a Naval officer to a quarterback for the Dallas team.
Other Dallas Cowboys Appearances/Mentions
While none of the Dallas Cowboys were actually in the film (their defense was played by Saints players), their team name makes it to the final scene of the 1969 Charlton Heston film Number One. Producer Robert Evans managed to secure some cooperation with the NFL for the final half hour of his 1977 film Black Sunday, where they filmed during the Super Bowl X game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Former Cowboys player Jim Boeke has amassed 40 acting credits, including an appearance in the 1995 Oscar winner for Best Picture, Forrest Gump.
Not to mention that the Cowboys have been part of/associated with sports video games since the 1987 game Tecmo Bowl. They are a playable team or a team to go against in the Madden video games as well. Needless to say, the Dallas Cowboys have been everywhere when it comes to Hollywood cinema and other forms of media, and they are sure to continue their Hollywood stardom for the foreseeable future.