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From Dandy Don Meredith and Roger Staubach to the three mid-nineties Super Bowls won by the unbeatable trio of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith to TO, Tony Romo, and the glitzy soap opera team of today, the Dallas Cowboys have been the NFL's star franchise for more than 50 years. Love them or hate them, the Cowboys are widely celebrated as "America's Team."

But the Cowboys have never been just about football. With their oil baron roots, overbearing, ego-driven owner, players who can't stay out of the tabloids, a palatial new home that sets the standard for modern sports stadiums, fans as enthusiastic as cheerleaders, and cheerleaders who are as famous as the team itself, the Cowboys have become a touchstone of American popular culture.

Joe Nick Patoski plumbs all these stories in a book that is a rich, sometimes scandalous, always entertaining portrait of a time, a place, and an irreplaceable team.

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