NFL Films' 'The Timeline' Reflects on the Moment the Dallas Cowboys Became 'America's Team'

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NFL Films' 'The Timeline' Reflects on the Moment the Dallas Cowboys Became 'America's Team'

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​​'There's Only One America's Team' Premieres Wednesday, November 30 at 8:00 PM ET on NFL Network​

"It's a label that got applied many, many years ago and is not going anywhere. It transcends what is happening on the field." – Troy Aikman

The second season of NFL Network's Emmy-nominated documentary series The Timeline from NFL Films continues Wednesday, November 30 at 8:00 PM ET with There's Only One America's Team, telling the story of the moment when a film producer christened the Dallas Cowboys "America's Team," setting a decades-long debate over whether or not the franchise deserves that lofty designation.

Narrated by actor Josh Holloway, There's Only One America's Team details America's obsession with the Cowboys and the team's rise to mythic levels. With the disappearance of Western icons such as John Wayne, America was looking for new heroes and found them in the team with the blue star on their helmets. The one-hour show features sitdown interviews with former Cowboys players such as Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Drew Pearson, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and NFL Films producer Bob Ryan – the man behind the historic nickname – each reflecting on the cultural significance of the Cowboys in America and how the team represents the entire nation.

To view a trailer for There's Only One America's Team, visit:

Among the topics discussed in There's Only One America's Team are:

  • Why Bob Ryan chose to call the Cowboys America's Team
  • The way the team and the players embodied the Western motif of the classic American Cowboy
  • Tom Landry's embodiment of American ideals and his determination to finish coaching a game despite a threat on his life
  • Roger Staubach's All-American image and his role as Captain America
  • The importance of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in making the Cowboys "America's Team" including what was then the most-watched television movie in American history, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, starring former Bond-girl Jane Seymour

There's Only One America's Team includes interviews with the following people and more:

Roger Staubach – Former Cowboys quarterback 

Troy Aikman – Former Cowboys quarterback

Drew Pearson – Former Cowboys wide receiver

Bob Ryan – Creator of the 1978 Dallas Cowboys highlight film

Chris Christie – New Jersey Governor

Chuck Klosterman – Social critic, author of I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)

Camille Paglia – Feminist, Academic, Author of Sex, Art and American Culture

Brad Sham – Cowboys play-by-play announcer

Jane Seymour – Star of The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders TV movie

Sarah Shahi – Former Cowboys cheerleader and star of Person of Interest

Judy Trammell – Cowboys cheerleaders head choreographer

Provided below are some select quotes from There's Only One America's Team:

- "I never thought it would be as big as it is, and as it was. It's a nickname that goes way beyond a nickname."Bob Ryan

- "No other country in the world really has one professional sports team that stands for the entire nation."Camille Paglia

- "It wasn't as though Bob Ryan is going to call somebody America's team that year, and it could've been the Tampa Bay Bucs but it ended up being the Cowboys. The Cowboys were America's team before people called them that, it was just really astute of the guy to point this out."Chuck Klosterman

- "America was in decline, and so you were searching for heroes. And you found those heroes in Irving, Texas every Sunday in the fall."Chris Christie

- "When the Western died off and the Western hero died off, everyone wanted a new hero. Roger Staubach was probably the most heroic player and iconic figure that ever played pro football. When you look at Roger Staubach highlights and all the twists and turns and all the plays he made out of nothing, he was like a comic book hero." – Bob Ryan

- "Heroes today have evolved to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. We wanted to be cowboys, and that's who we looked up to as that super hero."Drew Pearson

This year, the expanded 10-episode season of The Timeline airs on Wednesdays at 8:00 PM ET on NFL Network, chronicling seminal moments that formed the NFL's storied past, shape the present and, in some cases, set the stage for the future.

Provided below is a broadcast schedule for the upcoming episodes of The Timeline:

  • 1984 – The Season That Saved Football (Wednesday, December 7 at 8:00 PM ET) – The moment the NFL's popularity was in deep decline – and the record-breaking season that ended up saving the sport
  • Lombardi's Redskins (Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 PM ET) – The moment the game's greatest coach arrived in Washington and saved a struggling franchise, all in the midst of the cultural upheaval of 1969
  • The Fog Bowl (Wednesday, December 21 at 8:00 PM ET) – Exploring the 1988 NFC Divisional Round Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears

Each episode of The Timeline – as well as all NFL Network programming – is streamed live on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app ( and via Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile and Watch NFL Network apps), PC (, Xbox One and Xbox 360(NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV and Playstation 4).


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