Inside The Star is where the voices of a nation, you the fans, can come congregate together for high-quality analysis regarding America's Team. I speak on behalf of the entire Inside The Star team when I say that our primary objective is always to satisfy you.
Earlier this week a loyal Inside The Star reader threw a tweet my way and asked if I could write up something on the subject.
If you have something that you want us to write about, all you have to do is ask. Shout out to TJ, hopefully this is what you're looking for good sir.
I love the Super Bowl. I love everything about it. The build up, the halftime show, the pomp and circumstance, and the game itself are collectively a subject matter that I've spent a great amount of time researching.
If you were unaware, Super Bowl LI is in Houston, TX. That's where TJ's question comes from. The Dallas Cowboys have an opportunity to lock down their sixth Lombardi Trophy in the land that they call home – The Lone Star State.
TJ is correct in that no team has ever won, or even played in for that matter, the Super Bowl when they are hosting it; however, four different teams have played the big game in their home state. Two of them have even won it:
- 1976 Oakland Raiders – Won Super Bowl XI at the Rose Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings
- 1979 Los Angeles Rams – Lost Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers
- 1984 San Francisco 49ers – Won Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium against the Miami Dolphins
- 2001 Oakland Raiders – Lost Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pretty funny how all four of these teams who played in/won the Super Bowl in their home state involved teams who all reside in California, isn't it? The only California-based team who isn't a part of this club is the San Diego Chargers. Womp womp for them.
What about the years before these teams stayed at home for the Super Bowl? How did they fare before that season? Did any of them have a year similar to the 2015 Cowboys?
|Team||Year Before SB In Home State||Location of SB That Year|
|1975 Oakland Raiders||Lost AFC Championship to Steelers||Florida (Orange Bowl)|
|1978 Los Angeles Rams||Lost NFC Championship to Cowboys||Florida (Orange Bowl)|
|1983 San Francisco 49ers||Lost NFC Championship to Redskins||Florida (Tampa Stadium)|
|2001 Oakland Raiders||Lost AFC Divisional Round to Patriots||Louisiana (Superdome)|
This is a small table, but there is a LOT of information that we can draw from it.
Those first two teams, '75 Raiders & '78 Rams, involved the Cowboys significantly. Those seasons culminated in Super Bowls X and XIII respectively, both of which took place in Miami's Orange Bowl and both of which the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In fact those are two of three Super Bowls that the Cowboys have played at the Orange Bowl, the third being Super Bowl V against the Baltimore Colts. Dallas has played a Super Bowl in that stadium (and in the state of Florida) three times… losing all three. That's right. They are 0-3 at the Orange Bowl/in Florida. Those are the only Super Bowl losses in franchise history, so let's never go back there ok?
Moving on with these four teams in question, if you'll notice there is a heavy trend with the first three. All of them lost the conference championship game prior to playing in/winning the Super Bowl in their home state, and all three of the Super Bowls that they missed out took place in the state of Florida before moving to California.
The 2001 Raiders are the aberration in this group as the year before they stayed home for the Super Bowl they lost in the Divisional Round (the infamous Tuck Rule Game) and missed out on a Super Bowl in Louisiana, not Florida.
This bit of information isn't too particularly pleasing for Cowboys fans as Dallas did not lose the NFC Championship Game last year so we're not exactly following the book of history word for word in this regard.
Super Bowls In Houston
There have been two Super Bowls played in the city of Houston – VIII (Rice Stadium) and XXXVIII (Reliant Stadium). This is a quick sidebar, but I believe that Super Bowl XXXVIII has the greatest National Anthem of all-time and I will believe that forever.
Super Bowl VIII featured the Miami Dolphins, in the year immediately after their perfect season, capturing supremacy over the Minnesota Vikings. Super Bowl XXXVIII saw the New England Patriots secure their second World Championship in three years over the Carolina Panthers thanks to another last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Super Bowl XXXVIII also has the most roman numerals of any Super Bowl with seven. Fun fact for all you young kids out there!
If history is any indication we'll see an AFC team from the East division (Dolphins and Patriots) and an NFC team who has a quarterback on the roster that wears #17 (Bob Berry and Jake Delhomme). So basically Kellen Moore is our hero!
Same State Super Bowl Matchups
The only reason that the Super Bowl can really even be played in the city of Houston is because there is supposedly a professional football team that calls it home. In all seriousness the Texans reside in Houston, and many people have wanted to see a Lone Star Matchup in the biggest game there is.
People don't really realize this, but we've seen this happen before. Twice.
Super Bowl XXV, which people incorrectly believe had the best National Anthem ever, was a thrilling game down to the end between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills. Where did this game take place? Tampa Stadium in Florida. That state just keeps coming back!
Super Bowl XXIX also saw two teams who share a state duel for the Lombardi, the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers. This was a blowout in favor of the Niners, and it also took place in Florida (Joe Robbie Stadium)!
Florida is a big common denominator in all of this which is particularly fascinating. Thank goodness Super Bowl LI isn't there because we've already gone over how that state has treated the Cowboys. Where else has Dallas played in a Super Bowl, though?
States The Cowboys Have Played Super Bowls In
The Cowboys have played in an NFL-record (Tied for 1st) 8 Super Bowls. These are the states where those have happened:
- Florida (V, X, XIII)… All at the Orange Bowl and all losses.
- Louisiana (VI, XII)… Tulane Stadium and the Superdome respectively, winning both.
- California (XXVII)… The first win for the 90s Cowboys
- Georgia (XXVIII)… The only back-to-back Super Bowl win in franchise history.
- Arizona (XXX)… The third in four years, securing the 90s Cowboys as a dynasty.
The Cowboys will look to add Texas to that list come February of 2017 as they look to become the fifth team to play in a Super Bowl in their home state, the third to win it in their home state, and the first team to play in/win a Super Bowl in their home state in a state that is not California.
Houston, we're coming for you.