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Better times: 50 years ago today, the Cowboys came home with their first Super Bowl

Dallas beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI in New Orleans. It was a good time to be a Cowboys fan.
Credit: AP
This is part of the crowd of Dallas Cowboys fans that jammed the lobby of Love Field to welcome the winners of the Super Bowl back home, Jan. 17, 1972. Only part of the team returned on the charter flight while others went directly to their homes after the victory over the Miami Dolphins. (AP Photo/CB)

DALLAS — The Cowboys woke up Monday morning with the sky falling down around them, after a loss to the 49ers in Wild Card Weekend.

Mike McCarthy can't coach, the critics say, and Dak Prescott can't quarterback. And Jerry Jones can't raise the AT&T Stadium video board high enough.

Even the sun is out to get us

The mood around Dallas was about the exact opposite on this day 50 years ago.

That's when the Cowboys, on Jan. 17, 1972, triumphantly arrived home from their first Super Bowl win.

The day before, Dallas beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI in New Orleans. When Roger Staubach and his teammates landed at the airport, they were greeted by a horde of ecstatic fans -- and the WFAA cameras captured the celebration.

The footage showed Bob Lilly, Mr. Cowboy himself, and other players walking through a crowd of dozens of pennant-waving fans, some who sat on shoulders to get a glance at the team and their Super Bowl trophy.

Credit: AP
Bob Lilly, Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tackle, walks past cheering fans in the lobby at Love Field as some of the team members returned to Dallas following their victory over the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl, Jan. 17, 1972. Other members of the team went to their homes from New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dallas Morning News) No Sales

The Cowboys of that era knew how to win. Dallas had played in three previous NFC Championship games, including the Super Bowl in 1971. And they'd go on to win another Super Bowl, in 1978, and make a run after run in the playoffs.

Flash forward to 2022, and the Cowboys are cleaning out their lockers at The Star.

Anyway, here's a look back at better days:

As for that 1972 Super Bowl, the Cowboys dominated the Dolphins, as Staubach threw two touchdown passes and Duane Thomas ran for a score. With a 14-game season and no Wild Card round, the Super Bowl was played in mid-January, almost a full month earlier than this year's big game. 

And Cowboys' fans will appreciate this: Against the Dolphins, Dallas only had three penalties for 15 yards. What a concept.

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys is carried from the field by his players after they defeated Miami, 24-3, to win the Super Bowl, Jan. 16, 1972, in New Orleans. Rayfield Wright (70) helps carry Landry. (AP Photo)