The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Not so much from the media.

Every season brings new story lines. There are NFL teams that rise from oblivion to contend for a season. Unforeseen injuries cripple playoff contenders. Teams rise and teams fall every year.

Every new NFL season also brings new, unfounded criticism from the media. This season, the pundits have hung their hat on the fact that since their last Super Bowl (and excluding this season), the Cowboys are essentially a .500 team.

1996 - 2011 130-126 2-7 132-133

The rest of the story is conspicuous in its absence. That the Cowboys are .508 during the regular season during the poorest portion of their illustrious history is generally reported independently of the fact of how the other 31 teams have played over that same period of time.

The Cowboys are actually 12th in winning percentage over that period of time.

New England Patriots 0.691
Green Bay Packers 0.645
Pittsburgh Steelers 0.631
Indianapolis Colts 0.605
Denver Broncos 0.586
Philadelphia Eagles 0.571
Tennessee Titans 0.559
Baltimore Ravens 0.549
New York Giants 0.541
Minnesota Vikings 0.531
Jacksonville Jaguars 0.523
Dallas Cowboys 0.508

So during the darkest time in Cowboys history, there are still 20 NFL teams that boast a winning percentage worse than America's Team. Of the teams in front of the Cowboys, only the Eagles (heh, heh), Titans, Vikings, and Jaguars have not won a Super Bowl. Jacksonville is the only team not to make a Super Bowl appearance despite its winning record.

Notable teams behind Dallas include:

San Francisco 49ers 0.500 No Super Bowl appearances
Chicago Bears 0.473 Has the all-time best winning percentage
Buffalo Bills 0.441 Nothing since four consecutive AFC titles
Arizona Cardinals 0.395 Worst team to make a Super Bowl
Detroit Lions 0.332 Worst team that played every season
Cleveland Browns 0.327 Maybe it was a good thing that they moved

Teams such as the Bears, that have experienced great success over their history, have not even been a .500 team since Dallas won a Super Bowl. New Orleans (.488) and Tampa Bay (.500) are the only teams that have won a Super Bowl with a record worse than the Cowboys over that time period.

It seems that Dallas is in the midst of teams that win enough games to contend for a championship. Unfortunately, most people only know a portion of the real story.

Of course, reporting the whole story would probably sell less copy...

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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